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Tips and tricks for summer sewing

Most of us think of sewing and/or quilting as more of a winter activity, but did you know the first sewing machine was patented on July 17, 1790? The early sewing machines are unrecognizable when compared to their modern counterparts... this is extremely obvious when perusing Carter Bays' book The Encyclopedia of Early American & Antique Sewing Machines, available at your library. No matter what model you have, the only thing that matters is that it is capable of sewing a decent stitch!

Take time out of your busy summer schedule to explore books about sewing machines or sewing tips and check out the many sewing and pattern books from the Detroit Lakes Library.

• 200 Sewing Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets, by Lorna Knight. Just like having your own personal sewing guru on hand 24 hours a day, this book covers all the techniques you could ever need, along with handy hints, timesaving tips, and homespun secrets. Improve your skills, speed up your sewing time, and make garments, accessories, and home projects with a professional finish in no time! Easy-to-follow techniques are organized in the order you'll need them, or you can dip in and out for help with a specific problem. "Try it" and "Fix it" panels highlight useful inspirations and troubleshooting ideas throughout the book.

• Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, Plus 150, Inspired Projects from A to Z, by Martha Stewart. Whether you just bought your first sewing machine or have been sewing for years, Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts will open your eyes to an irresistible range of ideas. A comprehensive visual reference, the book covers everything a home sewer craves: the basics of sewing by hand or machine, along with five other time-honored crafts techniques, and step-by-step instructions for more than 150 projects that reflect not only Martha Stewart's depth of experience and crafting expertise, but also her singular sense of style.

• Appliqué Quilt Revival: Updated Patterns from the '30s, by Nancy Mahoney. Nancy Mahoney is back with more block patterns from the 1930s -- and this time, it's an adventure in Depression-era appliqué. Grab your stash of reproduction fabrics and start stitching blocks from this rare collection, taken from actual newspaper clippings from the period.

• Sew With Sara: PJs, Pillows, Bags & More, Fun Stuff to Keep, Give, Sell! by Sara Trail. Teenage sewing whiz Sara Trail shows you how to sew cute clothes and accessories for fun and profit.

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

For more information on library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave.

The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL).