Adventures in free-motion embroidery

Over the past few months, I have been exploring free-motion embroidery.  In an earlier post, I showed off a cute little owl that I made with Sam at Fabric HQ.   I felt pretty chuffed with the result and wanted to do more.
Then I saw that Claire from My LoftLines was holding a class on free-motion embroidery.  If you haven’t seen Claire’s work then you absolutely must.  It is gorgeous.   It is quite different from Sam’s style in that Claire’s work is more machine embroidery with little touches of fabric.  I signed up straight away.
Claire’s class was run over two sessions.   For the first session, we practised using our sewing machines to embroider patterns and to follow lines over fabric.
Free-motion embroidery exercises

Free-motion embroidery exercises

This exercise I found very challenging, especially when sewing over fabric.  Claire uses glue (glue!) to hold down the fabric before embroidering over it.  I’ll let you into a secret.  I hate glue.  Give me bondaweb any day.  I have nothing but admiration for Claire’s skill in getting her fabric to stay put using glue.  Mine just puckered and went all wonky.

On to week two.  Like all the worst students, I did no practice homework in between the classes.  My drawing skills are non-existent so you can imagine my distress at the thought of having to come up with a picture to convert into fabric art.

On my way out to the class, I grabbed one of my favourite books – “The Comic Adventures of Boots” by Satoshi Kitamura (I just love this book.   It makes me laugh and I find something new in it every time).  It is designed as a graphic novel so I searched through it desperately to find the simplest image that I could.
So, after much trial and tribulation (and a lot of help from Claire who thankfully has the patience of a saint), let me introduce you to Boots the cat.

Boots the cat

Someone, who shall remain nameless, said that Boots is saying “Oh, no” because he has just realised that his paws have turned into oven gloves.  As is the way with these things, once the thought is out there, oven gloves are all that you see (sigh).
Boots is now framed and has a permanent place in my workroom (otherwise known as the dining room).  He will be there to remind me that nothing in life is as bad as looking at your paws only to find that they are now oven gloves.
If you are eager to try free-motion embroidery then you can book a class at Fabric HQ or check with Claire.  If you can’t wait and want to just get stuck in right now, then have a go at this lovely free tutorial from Simple Pleasures Sewing School.  It would make a fabulous housewarming gift for yourself or someone special. 

2 thoughts on “Adventures in free-motion embroidery

  1. emmamaystitching says:

    I love the Skandi sketchy exercises – you should explore this more, and as for Boots, well he raises a smile every time I see him! x


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