Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Free Machining

Today is the first day of term for my regular ten weekly machine embroidery classes at The Letchworth Settlement. I think this will be my sixth year teaching this class, two terms a year. It is a lovely relaxed class with more of a feeling of a gathering of friends who meet for a bit of stitching one afternoon a week, than a formal class.
 
 
Many of the ladies (it is only ever ladies) have been coming to the class since I started teaching it but also every term we have a few new people join as others leave. And very often those new people are complete beginners which presents me with quite a challenge.

 
How do I introduce free machine embroidery to beginners whilst providing enough stimulus for the regulars? I always start as though everyone is a complete beginner because I feel it doesn't hurt to refresh skills and get a bit of practise in. So they usually have to make a sampler of free machine patterns. They need to get so familiar with free machining that they could do it with their eyes shut... although not to be recommended... I'm not so good with needles in fingers!

 
But once they've made their sampler I like to think up a project that will provide plenty of practise for the beginners whilst offering a bit of a challenge and interest for the others. Yesterday, in my usual last minute approach I was wondering what on earth I could do with them... then I was suddenly inspired by the graffiti like qualities of the sample above and whilst working on a book jacket for another class this week, came up with the idea of a notebook.

 
A page of loose scribble with the needle in black thread on a cream calico background... and this is what I came up with... quickly converted into a book jacket.

 
The addition of a cord, a button and a splash of red fabric paint...

 
and this is the result.

 
Of course now I'm wishing I had thought of this weeks ago because I can see the same technique adorning bags and cushions and all manner of things. But I suppose that can be the challenge for my class. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

 
And meanwhile I can see a whole load of these becoming presents!

19 comments:

  1. May I be the first to comment, Gina. I absolutely love your graffity book cover. I can see a whole lot of items and they will fly out like hot cakes. So fill that Etsy shop of yours. x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi
    I think this is absolutely fabulous
    I will try it so that I can improve my skills that you developed so well at Missenden
    I have been practising
    Anne with gravitas xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful free machining samplers. I also love the graffiti book cover!It could be a best seller!
    Jane www.texturetrail.blogsport.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very Cool Gina! I think you've hit the mark with the perfect project to provide practice for beginners and a challenge for the veterans!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great stuff, a brilliant project for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow that is brilliant, what an impact the red paint makes!
    V xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love those samplers and the book cover. What a clever idea!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh I just love that!!! It's got a real "comic book" feel to it:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a clever idea and a stunning result. I could do with a refresher course on free machining and admire your beautifully controlled stitching. I'm sure all your ladies will enjoy themselves - the novices will provide you with a challenge and the more experienced will encourage the novices.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the graffiti idea and it has transferred perfectly to the notebook. I can definitely envisage a series in this style.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What stunning FME & that book cover is amazing. The recipients of these will be very lucky people.
    Hugs Elizabeth xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love it too! What a great way to practise and a lovely result too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful idea beautifully executed as per usual xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been drowning in a sea of planning for my own classes, which are rapidly approaching, so it's reassuring to know that you have last minute panics about what to do as well! The notebook idea is brilliant, particularly the painted letters - very bold.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ooh, lovely! If you're going to be giving these as presents you're going to have some very happy recipients :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, I might not know much, but I can recognise 'cool' when I see it. This is really great Gina. I watched your video only last week and thought about giving the old machine embroidery another whirl..... might have a try at this myself (don't laugh....) I have a thing about black and red with white. It always works so well. Great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very clever, Gina, love the touch of red.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!