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Today I learnt how to do free motion machine embroidery!

When I first heard about free motion embroidery I was still at school.  Unfortunately my Elna Lotus could not drop it's feed dogs I gave up on that dream. Then a few months ago I picked up Poppy Treffry's book "Free & Easy Stitch Style" in the library, and just loved her stuff.  I then realised my new Janome DC3050 could drop it's feed dogs so I treated myself to her book.

I have to say, my attempts at following her instructions were disappointing.  I dutifully lowered my feed dogs, hooped up my fabric, and fitted my zipper foot.  Poppy's was the old sort with a single ling central toe whereas my short fat modern one was a bit of a nuisance.


My hoop kept getting in the way when I tried sketching out a design, and my machine tension was a mess.  I was pretty tense too, til I noticed my local sewing course Mecca was doing a 'Free Motion Machine Stitching' Course!  Went off there last week, and came back all fired up and confident.


We doodled, and shaded...

we embellished.....

We applied and embellished - a bit wonkily at first!

but with a little more practice it got better.  We used a different colour in the bobbin...

and the tension was fine, in fact the back looked even better than the front!

so then we chose chose a project, and I made this needle case!

and now I can't wait to try it out on my machine!


Extra pointers I picked up -

  1. Use an Embroidery Needle (I had jeans, ballpoint and leather, but not embroidery)
  2. Use Embroidery Thread (we used Madeira Rayon)
  3. Keep the image the same way up and move the fabric around, don't move the design about.  (A better explanation -  treat it as a mug of coffee, and keep it upright so you don't spill the coffee!
  4. Keep the speed up on the machine - faster is better!
  5. My tutor used one of those neat round darning feet rather than a zipper foot (I don't have one of them).
  6. You don't have to use a hoop, you can use your fingers to keep it taut.  You can also interface the fabric to help keep it smooth.


I have bought a set of embroidery needles and threads

now I just need a project to try it out on at home

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