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Free-Form Embroidery with Judith Baker Montano


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About the Author

Judith Baker Montano is an award-winning fiber artist, a bestselling author, and a world-renowned teacher whose career has taken her from painting, to crazy quilting, to embroidery art and beyond. She lives in Colorado.


For embroiderers ready to make the leap of faith from pillowcases with kittens stamped in blue to fiber art, Montano's newest serves as a beautiful bible. Having embroidered dancing spoons on dishtowels helps, however, because 'transforming traditional stitches into fiber art' requires knowing the basics. In the introduction, Montano, an award-winning fiber artist, author (Elegant Stitches), and teacher, encourages embroiderers to leap from traditional to free-form stitchery by describing her own journey from a frustrated little feather-stitcher to a fiber artist, honoring her influences in her account. She annotates supply lists: threads and ribbons, yarns and fabrics, hoops and tools. 'Techniques' starts with choosing background fabrics and ends with framing finished work. Montano's abundant stitch guide, a quarter of the book, ranges from A for arrowhead to W for whipstitch. The guide moves seamlessly to 'Combining Stitches,' which illustrates ways to thread trees, vines (even 'evil' ones like kudzu), and shrubs via photographs and drawings; ditto, flowers and fish. Montano marries an embroiderers' guidebook with a nature study to produce eye candy. Publishers Weekly, 10/01/12 Judith Baker Montano is the queen of hand embroidery to many quilters. Her numerous books have taught a generation about crazy quilting and embellishment, silk ribbon embroidery, and more. Her latest book merges traditional stitch techniques with a modern approach to including embroidery with contemporary quilt making. The gorgeous hand-drawn and watercolor illustrations are totally captivating in their beauty and clarity. I was surprised and impressed to discover they were created by Judith herself, who has a background in fine art and is clearly an accomplished watercolorist. This comprehensive book includes all a reader needs to know-a glossary outlining styles, supplies, and tools; a stitch guide of 60 beautifully illustrated stitches; informative chapters on utilizing stitch in projects; and more. Two notable chapters, Combining Stitches and Think Like a Painter, encourage readers to use embroidery in new and innovative ways. Judith ends with taking readers through the creation of a special project, from the first photograph to design decisions to the final product. Quilting Arts Magazine, Dec/Jan 13 The Queen of Crazy Quilting (and silk ribbon embroidery) has produced another sensational book: this one for those who enjoy stitching in a 'painterly' manner. She provides loads of instructions, guidance and advice for approaching embroidery as an art medium. You'll find a stitch dictionary of free-form stitches along with watercolour illustrations from her own journal, and tips for combining stitches to create trees, grasses, flowers and underwater shapes. There's a fascinating chapter entitled 'Think Like a Painter,' which will help you bring the pictures in your mind to fruition with needle and thread, and another in which she provides step-by-step photographs and detailed notes about the processes she used to create a textile landscape. If you're ready to be a bit adventurous with your embroidery, if you aspire to create art with stitches, buy yourself a copy of this book. It's 128 pages of inspiration. Australian Homespun Magazine, 3/5/13 Create a work of art as you translate your favorite picture of any landscape or seascape into fiber art by learning how to use artistic embroidery techniques for building layers, creating dimension and perspective, and blending shapes together cohesively. I was completely amazed by how the different stitch combinations can be used in context to create the theme you are portraying. This is the perfect guide to get you using all those threads, scraps of tulle and lace, wool, and buttons you have been saving just in case they are needed! Fabrications Quilting For You, February/March 2013

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