So, you want to have a go at stitching motifs with your sewing machine, but don’t know where to start? The idea of ‘drawing’ using a sewing machine is both exciting and a little bit daunting, so designer Janet Clare has created a video tutorial to demystify the technique of freehand machine embroidery…
Freehand machine embroidery (also known as free-motion embroidery) is the process of creating embroidery using a sewing machine. It allows you to write or draw with the machine to create any motifs of your choosing. Not all sewing machines are capable of this process – you need to lower the feed dogs and use a darning foot to get started.
Janet Clare regularly uses freehand machine embroidery in her work, and many of the projects in her book, Home Quilt Home, feature her trademark stitchery designs. You can literally draw ‘freehand’ with the machine or, if you’re a little hesitant, draw a motif onto the fabric using a water-soluble pen and simply follow the lines. It may take some practice, but it’s quite addictive once you get going! When you’ve mastered the technique, there’s no end to the design possibilities.
Watch Janet’s video tutorial to learn more about freehand machine embroidery, as she demonstrates how to stitch a variety of motifs and gives tips for setting up your sewing machine, starting and finishing off your designs:
Have you been inspired to get stitching on your sewing machine? Get your copy of Janet Clare’s book, Home Quilt Home, or download the PDF ebook, to try more freehand machine embroidery designs! If you’re fairly new to machine sewing, check out our tips for buying a sewing machine or our guide to the top 5 Janome sewing machines too.