Free Motion Embroidery

Two years ago for Christmas Bryan got me a free motion foot for my sewing machine, and a book called Push Stitchery. The book has 30 different artists in it doing various types of embroidery using many different mediums (“pushing the boundaries of stitching”) , a lot of them using free motion. Since I started embroidering Bryan always thought that I should try free motion, and I always wanted to as well, but it just seemed so intimidating. I honestly just wasn’t sure if I could do it, so I put it off.

Two years later, I’ve finally started to give it a try. It is really different to get the hang of, and I’m still struggling to make things look like they are actually something. But, it is really, really, fun! It’s also been a good stress release for me. So, here is some of my “practice,” I haven’t actually made anything ‘real’ yet, but I’m getting there!

DSCN3957 This was during my first attempt at it. Cursive letters seem to be the easiest thing for me to do, I think it is just because there is a flow to it and no hard edges.

DSCN5024 Accuracy has to be the most difficult part, so I just have to keep in mind that imperfections are okay, otherwise I will drive myself crazy trying to make it just right.

DSCN5029 So this little piece of practice was going to be a feather, but I think it might look more like a leaf? I’m not quite sure what this is, I guess!

DSCN5028 This is a sock bun- I wanted to try and do a fill and see how that would turn out, and the first thing that came to mind was hair.

DSCN5025 Lastly, I stitched this girl. She ended up having claw hands, but it was a first attempt and free hand, so I couldn’t expect too much!

One thing I noticed is that it’s easy to go heavy on the peddle, making it so I try and move too quickly. Any stitching friends have experience with free motion and want to lend some tips?

Hopefully next time I share machine embroidery I’ll be able to show you a finished piece!



Filed under Embroidery, free motion

3 responses to “Free Motion Embroidery

  1. I did some freehand stitching many moons ago at high school. we always put the fabric in an embroidery hoop when doing little things to give a better handle on the fabric and easier to move it round when getting the hang of it.
    Not sure if you were using one but its the only thing I really remember from doing freehand 🙂
    Laura xx

  2. It looks cool! I’ve only had one feeble attempt at free motion stitching. But it’s on my to-do list!

  3. Yes, use a hoop or at least some kind of backing fabric for stability. ‘foot fast, hands slow’ is the way to go, i.e. use a fairly high machine speed but move the fabric piece slowly. Difficult concept to begin with but easy to remember once you get the hang of it. I hope you don’t give up on free-motion embroidery – I think it’s great fun and a good way to de-stress!

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