Workshop - Beginners and Improvers

Free Machine Embroidery

Are you nervous about getting started or frightened that you might damage your machine? Perhaps you are tired of messy tangles that sometimes jam your machine as well and have got annoyed with frequently breaking needles? In either case this workshop is for you! 

You will be shown how to set up your machine properly
for FREE MACHINE EMBROIDERY and learn how to avoid the usual frustrations already mentioned and why they happen. We will consider various ways of using straight and zigzag stitch and discover which of your set stitches are also appropriate to use in this mode. You will also learn how to safely alter your top tension to produce Whip and Feather stitch.
                                                                                                                                                  Once you have mastered these skills you will be able to have fun creating a series of samples where you work at your own speed, experimenting using all you have learnt to make a large variety of marks for use in those embroideries you have been wanting to make.

You will go home with lots of samples and a comprehensive 7 page handout, will have developed a good understanding of why the most common difficulties arise and how you can either avoid or rectify them and have confidence to carry on.

If you are a beginner you will need:
  • a sewing machine (recently serviced or in excellent running order) where the dog feed can be lowered or covered.
  • your sewing machine instruction booklet
  • sewing machine toolkit (it is essential that the brush is included)
  • embroidery/darning foot
  • spare needles (a pack of assorted sizes is fine)
  • your usual sewing kit to also include small sharp pointed scissors
  • 8 inch embroidery hoop  with the inner hoop bound with bias binding
  • plain calico for initial samples – if you have any pre-dyed calico this might be used later in the day to experiment with, using toning threads. If you bring along some wadding you might also try some free quilting or you could bring along some felt that you have made to machine into.
  • sewing thread as described below but please do not buy anything especially
Do not buy lots of stuff, initially you only need 2 contrasting colours and you do not need machine embroidery threads to start with, just good quality ordinary machine threads. The sort of polyester and/or cotton thread you would normally use for regular machine sewing; bring whatever you have.  (absolutely no metallics!)

As an improver, in addition to that needed as a beginner, it would be a good idea to include some good quality embroidery threads that you already have! Just one of the things we will consider is the subtleties of the different tensions created by using different types of thread top and bottom and the variety of affects you can create. It is probably best to avoid metallics initially but there is no reason not to have go with them later in the day...there are simple tricks to successfully use them!
© Molly Tufnell 2009