Here is another book by Jayne Emerson that is full of wonderful ideas. She starts with a comprehensive section on equipment and basic skills for both hand and machine embroidery.
The second part of the book consists of twenty projects starting with a meandered chair seat pad and ending with a chenille hot water bottle cover. The projects use techniques ranging from raw edge appliqué to fused patches to machine appliqué. There are a couple of ideas that would really appeal to people who like to make fabric cards and her embroidered flowers are now on my to-do list. There is also a bag project that I may have to do. I really need more bags. I should take a picture of the mound of bags sitting in my studio.
Of course, I had to try a project, just to see if the instructions are detailed enough and if everything works as it should. They are and it does. I made the machine lace bowl and what fun! Of course, doing it again (which I’m sure I will) I would get some heavier wash-away stabilizer and use beads, feathers and yarn as well as thread. I tried adding feathers this time but the stabilizer tore when my machine tried to go through them. I think it was probably because the stabilizer I had on hand was too thin. This bowl has about an 8 inch diameter. I used an ice cream pail to make the circle. It used a couple of bobbins of thread. Next time I would plan a bit more of a pattern for my free motion stitching but I do like the random look too. It is shaped over a bowl and dried. Voila, the most delicate looking bowl I have ever seen.
I think this book would appeal to both beginners and more accomplished embroiderers. The projects in the book could be followed step by step or act as a springboard to more complex work.