I have discovered something new this week. And I am very excited to discover it. Anyone who has been in the vague vicinity of me in the past week will know what I’m talking about here, and hence the irritating reference to the Soup Dragon’s song which has been buzzing around my head for days but I have broken FREE from the constraints of normal run-of-the-mill sewing. Yes I have. And yes you may very well say – but Anne – you have only been sewing for about a year, how can you be rule breaking already? Well I am… I’ve dropped my dogs and gone skipping off into the wonderful world of ‘Free Machine Embroidery’.
And what a wonderful world it is too. I like to sew yes? You may have picked that up if you have been paying attention to this blog thus far, and I also like to draw. Put them together and what have you got? You’ve got Free Machine Embroidery that’s what. Or Free Motion Embroidery or whatever you would like to call it. But basically it means you drop your feed dogs on your sewing machine and hoop up some material and off you go – using the needle like a pencil and drawing stuff on material.
Now I have to say a big shout out thank you to the lovely Poppy Treffry here for her wonderful book ‘Free Machine Embroidery – Learning to Draw with your Sewing Machine‘ now I was mightily excited to read that title I can tell you as the concept of drawing with thread just totally floats my boat. I bought the book, I soaked up the contents, and I faffed about for days, on the pretence that I couldn’t possibly start actually trying this out until I had the right embroidery hoops that were on order from Amazon. Then they arrived and I faffed about some more. Then I realised that I was scared… So excited was I to discover such a fun sounding thing that I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do it, or I would hate it, or I would break my lovely machine.
Now there is only one way to deal with fear isn’t there? You gotta just dive in. So dive in I did.
First of all, as recommended by Poppy, I did some scribbling…
My good friend Mandy really likes owls, and it so happens that I have some owl fabric left over from a dress I made for my daughter last year. So I thought for a start, I would try a ‘cheat’ applique and see if I could draw around the owl shape. I even added some eyelashes to the girl owl… clever huh?
The Happy Birthday bit is very wobbly indeed. Maybe a little more wobbly than could strictly be classed as ‘charming’ but hey – it is my first attempt – and I know Mandy is very forgiving and won’t mind me practicing on her card, I am sure she will be greatly honoured to have the very first Free Machine Embroidered masterpiece off of the production line!
Then I made a card for my friend Rachel, who is super dooper amazing at making cakes. So I thought a cupcake would be appropriate. And my writing is slightly less wobbly… I made a bit of a mistake with the cupcake case… sssshhh don’t tell anyone but there is actually two layers of cupcake case as the first one went wrong as I sewed it on before the cake layer… ooops. Not to worry, you can easily patch over the top. I was quite pleased with my daring change of stitch type to zig-zag to make the top of the case. Shame I didn’t think of that to start with, then I wouldn’t have had to unpick the straight line I did originally…. 🙂