Wednesday 22 October 2014

Free Motion Embroidery ~ Recycling Fabrics

I love the online sewing community, but nothing beats a day sewing in real life with a good friend. Yesterday was one such day. My friend and I sewed and chatted for a whole day. Perhaps it was more chatting than sewing, especially on my part, but it had been seven months since we'd last seen each other at the Quilting Retreat and we had a lot of catching up to do.

Never the less, some sewing did occur. We both worked on a piece we'd started at the retreat - joining recycled fabrics together and embellishing with free motion embroidery, to make a new piece of fabric.

I have no idea if Free Motion Embroidery is the same as Free Motion Quilting, but to me it seems to be very similar. We used the darning presser foot, basically using either straight or zig zag stitches to draw designs.

We used lots of different variegated and metallic threads, as well as ordinary thread. I'm not normally a big fan of bling, but I do love the effect of metallic thread. It's a bit hard to see the shine in the top photo, but I love that one.

The ends of each piece of fabric were slightly overlapped with the next and then the whole lot fused onto very thin batting, with a stiffer piece of interfacing behind. For much needed practise with free motion stitching, I stuck to keeping the feed dogs down, forcing myself to try and keep the stitches neat and even. 

For the zig zag stitching, there's no reason a regular presser foot couldn't be used, with the feed dogs up. This would have resulted in more even zig zags. With the purple stitches at the bottom, I had actually chosen a floral embroidery stitch, but it totally didn't work with the feed dogs down!!! Ha, ha... we could say it was a design decision.

I would often start a section, thinking I'd try a particular style, and then change part way through. The machine had a mind of it's own - or should I say, I lacked the concentration required to maintain consistency.

I'm about half way done. The free motion embroidery is not something I find relaxing, but it does bring out the creativity and I'm very happy with the results so far, not to mention I'm learning heaps.

. Pam


  1. I agree nothing like a real life quilty friend :) Your practice piece looks pretty interesting to say at least :)

  2. I like it. It's something I would like to try.

  3. Lovely! I think a lack of concentration adds to the creativity (at least that's what I tell myself...!)

  4. It looks like you had a fun day! The difference between the two is simply what you're sewing on. FMQ is actually quilting an item so should be 3 layers thick, but FME is drawing pictures so can be done on a single layer of fabric.

  5. I, too, know the joy and fun of spending a day sewing or crafting with a like-minded friend. Your practice piece is lovely. The shine of the metallic threads is so pretty! I think it would make a great purse or bag of some kind or perhaps a vest, if you continue to add to it for a while. Knowing you, you will turn that practice piece into something gorgeous! My sewing machine is one of the first electronic ones Singer produced and I don't think it has the feature to lower the feed dogs. There have been many times when I have wished it did.

  6. That sounds like fun and it's looking great. Fmq has been on my to-do/learn list forever. Your strip pieces are an inspiration :)

  7. I'd say overall you did an excellent job of keeping the stitches neat and even.:) Looks like I fun technique to try!

  8. I love all the results =cloth , they really look interesting with the New addition.

  9. It's amazing how much stitching like that transforms the original fabric into something new, it's looking gorgeous.


Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments and try to reply to all of them via email. If you don't receive an email reply from me, check back here.