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Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection: 400+ Easy Embroidery Designs Paperback – October 5, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I have major issues with the motifs. The author and publisher really push that these motifs are meant to be combined together to make your own unique pieces, without any limits. They also make it sound like it's easy to arrange them in an image program and print.
Super de dooper wrong!
The images are all in tiff files at 300 dpi, without any transparency, so you have to use the magic wand to remove the white background to be able to overlay the motifs. Also, the lines are very very thin, if you scale them down at all, be ready to make them thicker because they're basically invisible! My method in photoshop is to select the lines with the magic wand, expand the selection by 4-10 pixels (depending on how it's already scaled by the author) and then filling the selection again with black. Then I would scale the motifs to my piece after removing the white background.
I'm a graphic designer, so I was able to work around the limitations and put together some nice pieces. However, I doubt that the average person will be able to do this without a lot of frustration. Even if you follow the alternative method suggested by the author and print out the motifs and paste everything together - nothing is scaled to the same proportions. For example, the tree design that signifies the seasonal changes is smaller in dimensions than the bird motifs. Of course, this is so that people doing larger pieces of the bird will be able to have it at the highest quality - but it makes it harder to do the intricate pieces the book totes. So, anyone planning on printing and putting their pieces together needs to still scale everything to size on the computer.
Overall, the motifs are nice and worth such a low cost with the amazon discount. I just wish there was more variation... like some embellishments that were rounded for framing with a hoop, instead of ALL straight border embellishments. I can get around that with photoshop, but people without those skills will not be able to. There's also some duplicates with just some small changes... like cakes on different types of stands. So in reality, you aren't getting 400-something unique motifs.
The motifs come on a CD-ROM --- I have not tried out the CD-ROM yet, but I am looking forward to trying it out, and hoping that it will allow me to resize the patterns any way I see fit. In addition to the projects, this book contains a how-to section that is an expanded version of the how-to section from her first book.
The rest of the book has lots of fun pictures and line colored drawings of each motif. Each motif is numbered (I am assuming for reference) -- there are 450 motifs altogether, but keep in mind that the first 52 are letters (an upper case, and a lower case alphabet). The motifs are divided up in the book by category. The categories included are: alphabet, asian chic, baby, celebrations, circus, embellishments, farm anials, flowers, food, fruits & veggies, garden time, space, sweet shoppe, trees & leaves, under the sea, weather, winged wonders, woodland animals, woodland fairytale.
I really love all of the motifs and Aimee's wonderfully whimsical style! The only thing that is "missing" from this book would be a holiday category .....I would love to see another book, just like this one (also done by Aimee) devoted solely to holiday motifs. Maybe it could be called "Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection" ... just a little hint to the publishers/author ... :)
Very well done, a must for your embroidery library!
The only reason for the 4 star review is the ease of use for the digital templates. They are very large files with NO TRANSPARENCY!!! So even if you scale each layer down using a photo editing program, there is no way to overlap or combine templates without them blanking out the adjacent image. Luckily I am pretty handy with photo editing and have changed most of the templates I like to have transparency in PNG format so I can combine them and move them around as I like. Some images burn out or have very faint lines if they are reduced too small, so I work on a large background to try avoiding that.
SO if it weren't for the technical frustrations, this book would have gotten 5 plus stars from me! I hope the author reads some reviews and continues making changes with each excellent book she releases. I'm looking forward to the next collection of motifs!