2010 Midwest Book Awards Finalist—Crafts/Hobbies
Be inspired by the surprising evolution of threads from a device that holds fabrics together to a creative tool that beautifies projects with designs, colors, textures, structure, and ornamentation.
Follow each step-by-step technique in photos and text; then create a world of your own Passport pages. Whether expanding your knowledge of traditional techniques or experimenting with thread painting and molding thread structures, you’ll experience threads with new creativity and inspiration.
- Dozens of techniques shown in step-by-step photos
- Passport examples for practice and play
- Gallery of thread projects
- Nuts and bolts on supplies and equipment
- More than a dozen projects
- “Go-to” References and Resources
Please note that the following reviews apply to the original, hard-cover edition of Threads The basics & beyond.
The Midwest Book Review Library Bookwatch October, 2010
A bit of thread can spice up one’s art by a good degree. Threads The basics & beyond: The Complete Visual Guide to Thread Techniques & Creativity discusses thread and how to weave into the techniques of quilting, painting, and other artistic mediums. With no shortage of ideas and full color photos throughout, Debbie Bates & Liz Kettle teach readers well on using thread in many versatile ways. Threads is a fine addition to any crafts collection.
ProfessionalQuilter.com (International Association of Professional Quilters) Reviewer: Morna McEver Golletz December, 2010
Do you want to understand how and when to use the myriad threads on the market today? Threads will get you off to a great start. The authors, Debbie Bates and Liz Kettle, suggest creating a “passport”: 5″ by 7″ “quilts” made from fabric, batting and stabilizer that will create a book. You’ll use a different page to sample each technique using your sewing machine. Techniques include thread in quilting, thread as paint, thread as texture, thread as structure, thread as ornament and thread as embellishment. When you’ve finished creating your passport, you’ll be more knowledgeable about how and when to use thread as you build your skill level. While the book focuses on machine work, it would be easy to translate the passport concept to handwork.
HandQuilting.blogspot.com Reviewer: Violette Severin November, 2010
Debbie Bates and Liz Kettle wrote Threads and it was published in 2010 by Landauer Publishing. It is the most comprehensive book on threads I have ever seen. There is info on the threads themselves, thread as paint, thread as texture, thread as ornament, thread as structure and thread as embellishment. A cool chart is on page 9 that rates threads as ultra fine, fine, medium, heavy and ultra heavy. I love Threads and think it is well worth the $27.99 USD price. I would say, though, that it was written for an audience that is new to machine sewing. More advanced machine sewers will probably find a few new tips. My lack of skill with a sewing machine precludes me from giving a knowledgeable statement about its usefulness to skilled machine users. This 176 page hard cover book has spiral binding for ease of use while sewing. The authors recommend making a passport, which is just a journal where each page uses a different technique in the book. There are many techniques addressed in Threads. For each technique, you get information on the required sewing machine set-up, tension, top threads, bobbin threads, and needles as well as step by step photos. The thread painting chapter addresses thread painting on printed fabrics, stitched portraits, a stitched color wheel, underpainting, thread blending, drawing and sketching to appliqué. The thread as texture chapter discusses couching, hand stitching, machine stitching, confetti fabric, heat shrinking thread and faux weaving. The thread as ornament section goes into making your own fabric and lace and the use of ribbons and fringe. The thread as structure chapter discusses a thread lace grid, thread lace elements, free form embroidery and small thread structure. The thread as an embellishment section uses beads, metals, text, printing on ribbon, stamps, tags and crazy quilting. One page is devoted to building a thread stash. OMG. A fabric stash is not enough! The pages on stabilizers and on fusible webs are helpful for the beginner. The included projects are modern looking and small-8.5" x 11". I am so impressed with this book that I would rate it as being one of the top quilting books of all time.
BloomBakeCreate.com Reviewer: Lynda Heines November, 2010
Threads the basics and beyond is the seventh title in this “basics & beyond” series by Landauer Publishing. I absolutely loved Fabric Embellishing which I reviewed earlier in the year. First of all, I really like books that are spiral-bound and this is another one of those books. This book, written by Debbie Bates and Liz Kettle, contains 176 pages. The book begins with lots of information, including sewing machine needles sizes and their uses, an explanation of thread weights and the different kinds of fusible webs, a stitch dictionary, and that’s all in the first 23 pages. The first set of exercises is called Nuts and Bolts, with one of the first ones, Understanding Tension. This is exactly what I need to know and understand. Other topics in this chapter include mock cretan, whip and feather and moss stitches, piecing, and edge finishes. The remaining chapters teach the reader how to use thread as a specific medium, from thread as a paint and texture to it thread as an ornament or embellishment. There are beautiful pictures throughout the book, with clear easy-to-understand and step-by-step instructions. They also include on each project the type of threads (top and bobbin), correct needle size, correct tensions and sewing machine set-up. Since I’ve never been real confident with my Elna, this is the perfect book for me. This would also make an excellent reference book for even the more seasoned sewing machine users. If you know someone who has just gotten a new sewing machine or wants to experiment with thread – or go beyond the basics – this would make a great Christmas present. Once my studio/woman cave is back up and running and my Elna is on top of my new table (which is in pieces in the dining room), I’m going to do some work in this book.
Quilters Newsletter (International Association of Professional Quilters) April/May, 2011
The latest installment in Landauer’s basics & beyond series encourages you to jump into the thread fray and explore. Whether expanding your knowledge of traditional techniques or experimenting with thread painting and molding thread structures, you’re sure to experience threads with new creativity and inspiration. Dozens of techniques, lists of necessary supplies, and more than a dozen projects are shown in step-by-step photos.
The Appliqué Society Newsletter Reviewer: Patti Ives September/October, 2011
Threads The basics & beyond is the seventh title in Landauer Publishing’s award-winning and best-selling “basics & beyond” series. This book is for anyone that works with thread and either wants to learn more about thread or learn how to use thread in a more creative way. As you learn about thread types, properties, contents and weights you will create small “passport” pages to showcase each technique or thread you use in your stitching travels. The book is designed to work from front to back with each exercise building on the last. You will begin your journey with an extensive section on tools needed for success. The “Nuts & Bolts” chapter covers understanding tension, piecing, various stitches, edge finishes. Each subsequent lesson is offered in small manageable bits. You can sit down and spend hours working through the lessons or just do one as time allows. A few of the lessons included in the book are: Thread as Paint, Thread in Quilting, Thread as Texture, Thread as Ornament, Thread as Structure and Thread as Embellishment. This book is like getting a college education in thread and its use. In the end you are left with a greatly expanded knowledge of thread as well as your personal passport pages that act as a visual guide to the lessons learned and can be referred to again and again. This book contains 176 pages. It has a hardcover, hidden spiral binding with lay-flat pages for easy use.
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