Sunday, 12 January 2014

Playing with embroidery..

First of all .. Happy New Year to you all!  Hope 2014 is a good one :)

Before Christmas I mentioned that I had been playing around with machine embroidery..  time to tell you more :)

I had a few weeks thinking I was in imminent need of buying a new sewing machine.. and worrying over which to buy.  My poor old sewing machine, which is just a bog standard Brother that only cost me about £50 ten years ago is starting to struggle.  I certainly can't grumble.. it's served me well!  Then my mom gave me her (very similar) machine as she hasn't used it for years.. this was a lovely surprise! And I had a few days free.. perfect time put the new machine through its' paces and play around a little at the same time :)

First of all I finished sewing my curtains - such a relief to get them finished and hung in time for Christmas!  The machine purred like a kitten.. ran smooth as you like.. things were looking good!  I altered a skirt with a fairly light fabric, again worked it well.

Next I wanted to do some free motion embroidery.. For absolutely ages I have been wanting to do something inspired by the Bayeaux Tapestry - I LOVE the Bayeaux Tapestry!  It's one of my favourite pieces of art!  I have a lovely book about the tapestry which shows the whole thing up close and in brilliant detail.. so I picked a couple images and went to work.

I wanted to used machine embroidery to hold appliqué pieces in place, then add detail.

I photocopied and enlarged the simple boat in the background..
Figured out each appliqué piece that I would need and used tracing paper to make a template for each
I lightly needle felted each piece into place before starting to stitch round it
Then added detail and texture with freemotion embroidery
Next step WORDS.
This is the script that describes what is happening on that section ..
translates to 'in a great ship   crossed the sea'
After embroidering the words through the tissue paper I carefully
tear the paper away.
You can't really see it on the photos.. it looks like a big blank area at the bottom,
but there are actually lines representing the waves..
close up - waves
Pleased with the text..
I rather like the back!  I love the faint colours from needle felting it in place along
with the reverse embroidery
 And another, slight/y different, approach.    I had used a straight stitch with the boat .. now I used zigzag for the geese.  Lightly needlefelting them in place again before starting to stitch.

I used nuno scraps for these entwined geese. 
Now I have to say.. this machine does not particularly LIKE embroidering!   Jumping and jolting.. not smooth at all.  So now I think I have to keep both machines till I can buy a new one..  My old machine which embroiders well still, but is a bit dodgy stitching anything heavy weight and can't wind a bobbin anymore.  And this one which stitches light and heavier weights and winds bobbins in the blink of an eye.. But is a bugger for embroidering with!

At least the pressure is off, I don't need to rush to buy one.. mom saved the day :)


Unknown said...

Jak zwykle masz świetne pomysły. Nie ukrywam , że jestem ciekawa jak to wykonujesz. Pozdrawiam ciepło.

Zed said...

Wow, they're brilliant Deborah! I saw the Bayeux tapestry when I was about 14. The machine my mum gave me died :( I don't think it liked felt too much, or the fact I only used zig zag :)

silvermoonwoman said...

your experiment turned out really nice! interesting to read how you did it and i really like your results! free machine embroidery on felt has quite some possibilities and it's nice to play around - i also just started experimenting.... good luck with choosing a new sewing machine (when it's time for :))

Wendy said...

your Bayeaux boat is incredible! I can't believe how neat the writing is as it's FME'd, I really struggle to keep mine neat

Lyn said...

I love the boat with the text - spot on - and the geese are great! And yes, I too like the reverse of needle felting. It has charm.

Have you considered getting your machine serviced? After I bought my very old Bernina, I got it serviced at a reputable shop and it runs like new. And when the foot pedal went haywire (I only had stop or go and nothing in between) I looked at buying a new one (about £70) but the sewing machine man repaired the original one.

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you girls :) xoxo

Wendy, have a go at writing the text on tracing paper and embroidering through it.. it really helps to have a visual guide to work to x

Lyn, I don't think we have many sewing machine experts left in the area to be honest.. and it would probably cost more to have it serviced than buying a new one in the same model :( not that I'm planning to do that.. I shall go for a bit more of a workhorse next time. Glad to the repair man did such a good job on yours! x

Virginia said...

Hi Deborah, Love your machine felting work! There are some brands that perform with greater 'courtesy' than others when free machining. I have had two Bernina machines now and find them marvelous. I've also taught and found that, no matter how old, a Bernina will purr. If you can find a Bernina shop, enquire about either new, or second hand machines when you come to replace your mother's machine. They are reliable and their service people are (in my experience) very helpful.
Hope that helps.... and I am not paid in any way to say this!!

FeltersJourney said...

Hi Virginia :) Thank you!
I am definitely fancying a Bernina.. I know Jackie Cardy uses one and gets on well FMEing felt, which as you know is really important to me. Great to hear that the service people are good too. If I can save up enough I'd love to buy a new one 'cos I've seen them with 15 year guarantees - which is excellent. But otherwise will keep my eyes open for a nice second hand one. Thank you for your advice, you have reinforced my decision :)