Another two zippered pouches finished, but not for presents. I'm keeping these ones!!! I love the shape, the colours and the free motion embroidery.
Almost a year ago, I attended a three day quilting retreat at Blackheath; the Autumn Triple Treat, with a different project to be tackled each day. The last day was spent learning free machine embroidery techniques with Petal Davies.
Our task was to construct a new piece of fabric with the kit we were given - strips of fabric fused onto Pellon. Petal made it look easy as she guided the machine to draw intricate shapes, designs and pictures.
Not nearly as easy as it first appeared!!! My first thought was a feeling of total freedom - just make the machine draw whatever I wanted. Not only does it take a GREAT deal of concentration, but the picture in my head didn't always translate to the end result on the fabric.
From the back view above, you can readily see the actual stitching. You can also see where the Pellon backing came away from the fabric and doubled over. By the time I noticed, there was NO way I was unpicking all those tiny stitches.
As with free motion quilting, we used the darning foot, with the feed dogs down. In my first post showing the beginnings of my free motion embroidery, I posed the question as to the difference between free motion quilting and free motion embroidery. My thanks to Wendy, from The Crafter's Apprentice...
I bought myself a pair of quilting gloves and found they really made a difference to guiding the fabric in the direction I wanted. They just help my hands stick to the fabric. I'd been told not to bother with quilting gloves - just buy a pair of gardening gloves or dishwashing gloves to cut down on the expense. Can't say I tried either. The quilting gloves are well worth the money to me:
- excellent grip
- light and comfortable
- breathe well and let the air in
I have to confess the zig zag in the photo above was sewn with the feed dogs up and my regular presser foot. To speed up the process, I cheated with some of the zig zag.
As you can see, I've used a lot of variegated thread of varying thicknesses and types. This meant experimenting with the tension. I tended to keep the tension down, between 1 and 2.
You can see more close up photos of the free motion embroidery in a progress post from last year. I've enjoyed the free motion machine embroidery journey so far, but I still have so much to learn. Here are a few resources which might help. Some of them use embroidery hoops, a technique which I haven't tried yet...
- Drawing with Your Sewing Machine: How to Free-Motion Embroider
- Introduction to Free Machine Embroidery
- Free Motion Embroidery
- DIY Scribbles
- Free-Hand Motion Machine Embroidery Session
- Free Motion Machine Embroidery
When I began this project, I didn't know what the end result would be. In our kit, there were instructions to make a clutch purse, complete with a lace motif. According to Sharon, my lace motif looked like a doily the dog had chewed and she was right... LOL!!! No way was I going to put dog eaten lace on my new free motion embroidered fabric!!!
Rather than go with one clutch purse, I decided to cut the fabric and make two zippered pouches using the open wide pouch tutorial, changing the dimensions to create narrower bags. The boxed corners of both ended up at 1½" wide. When making the bag you measure ¾" from each corner.
I really should have taken photos of cutting the fabric, but I was on a roll and didn't want to stop. Basically I let the fabric dictate where I made the cuts. I omitted the seam underneath the bag. The green at the top of the first bag came from one end of the original fabric and is attached by butting the ends and zig zagging. Yeah, another cheat with the regular presser foot. It achieved the look I was after, though.
The larger bag measures 6½" x 6½" x 1½"; the smaller, 6" x 5" x 1½". (width x height x depth)
The top of the second bag was made by using the fabric that was included in the kit and intended for binding. It's just doubled over and sewn with a normal seam, then topstitched. It's not very wide and reasonably thick, so no need for interfacing.
My new bags are my favourite open wide zippered pouches to date.
They'll be joining the 230+ bags in the Purses, Clutches & Pouches collection here at Threading My Way.
I'm looking forward to this year's Autumn Triple Treat next month. While many of you are looking forward to warmer weather, I'm hanging out for cool Autumn days next month. In Petal's workshop we'll be playing with Autumn themed three dimensional appliqué techniques. Perhaps there'll be more free motion machine embroidery.
Have you ever experimented with Free Motion Machine Embroidery? It's a lot of fun and most definitely brings out the creative side.