Thursday, 18 October 2012

Book Review. Freehand Machine Embroidery- Poppy Treffry.

For those that haven't heard of Poppy Treffry, she is the UK's foremost teacher/designer/maker of freehand embroidered accessories- supplying products to Fortnum and Mason and Anthropologie amongst othersPoppy is based in sunny Cornwall, where she has her own shop (you can buy online) and runs courses in the techniques required to master this fun art.  

So, onto the book, "Is it any good?" I hear you ask.  In my opinion, yes, it's "BRILLIANT!"  And now I've got that out in the open, let me tell you a bit more about the book and why it's so good.

Freehand Machine Embroidery is one of those books with a really great set of pictures, and fun style, that makes you want to just flick through the pages, take it all in, and then get right onto the sewing machine and give it a go.  It's inspirational.  And it will appeal to those who like being able to create fun and quirky items both for themselves, and the ones they love!

The book itself is divided into straightforward, not too wordy chapters.  It starts with a good section on the basic equipment needed, which is pretty small, great for the cost conscious crafter.

Equipment needed

And then moves on to advice on creating texture- an interesting read, and great for anyone who has done a little basic FME but hasn't really worked much on depth and texture creation so far (i.e Me).

Techniques and creating depth

There are some cute little projects in 4 categories (Getting Crafty, New Arrivals, Party Time, and Happy Holidays), and fortunately they don't just stop at showing you how to do the embroidery, there are also instructions on how to make them into something useful, whether it be a sewing kit, baby room wall art, bunting, or a backpack to name but a few. 
Template pages are included, which is always helpful, many are at full size, though a few do still need to be enlarged at 200%, which can be a bit of a pain, but as the shapes are reasonably basic, for most of them, I would be comfortable drawing out my own version anyway (see below).

Some troubleshooting is also thrown in- which in my experience is vital when FME, but my best advice is to walk away and have a cuppa.  When you return to it, it's usually something straightforward like the bobbin hasn't wound evenly or the feed dogs haven't been dropped (yes, i have done that before, and it did make me very grumpy!). 

It all wraps up with some helpful reference websites and magazines for inspiration, and a supplier list for the UK, North America and Australasia.

So, all in all this is a terrific introductory book for embroidery with your sewing machine, it has good, sound advice and beautiful inspiration, with not too much on the text front- but enough to get you started on your own projects and working out any problems, so, as I said, brilliant!

And my favourite project, oooooooh................. its a hard choice, I'm not even sure I can choose between them, they're all so lovely.......oh go on then, you twisted my arm, its this one, and I er, already started it...
My own project- just perfect for my yarn collection (well, it will be when it's finished).
Ange x
This book can be purchased at RUCraft, happy embroidering!



  1. Thanks for the review. Poppy Treffry's style is attractive yet simple. I like your project too. Di x

  2. Great review!! I've never thought of FME before, it may just have to be added to the list after learning how to use the DSLR!!
    Sarah x


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