Top critical review
241 people found this helpful
Could of been MUCH better!
on January 1, 2011
Let's be honest, with all the embroidery instructional guides online and in print, the meat of this book is the 400-something motifs. There are some nice projects, but nothing new to what can't already be found for free online.
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.