Qa embroidery v2

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Machine and hand embroidery are
the hallmarks of art quilt design and
construction. Depending on the stitch and
the thread or fiber used,
embroidery can give your
quilts a contemporary edge or
vintage charm.
In this free eBook, Essential
Embroidery Stitches: Free
Hand and Machine Embroidery
Designs and Techniques, we’ve assembled four
of our best articles on machine and hand
embroidery. Each one gives you tips, hints,
and instructions for adding embroidery to
your quilts.

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Qa embroidery v2

  1. 1. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques essential embroidery stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques 1 2 4 3 1 Defining the Line: Free-motion Embroidery Skills ellen anne eddy 2 Versatile Satin Stitch 3 4 Kathy york Yvonne Brown Off-site Embroidery Susie Williams Reverse Appliqué Bobbin Embroidery with a Twist essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 1 ©Interweave
  2. 2. essential embroidery stitches Machine and hand embroidery are the hallmarks of art quilt design and construction. Depending on the stitch and the thread or fiber used, embroidery can give your quilts a contemporary edge or vintage charm. In this free eBook, Essential Embroidery Stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques, we’ve assembled four of our best articles on machine and hand embroidery. Each one gives you tips, hints, and instructions for adding embroidery to your quilts. First up, internationally known expert Ellen Anne Eddy reviews the basics of free-motion embroidery in her article “Defining the Line: Free-motion Embroidery Skills.” Ellen offers tips and hints for how to get started, from which foot to use to how to sign your name in stitches. One of the most versatile machine embroidery stitches to master is the satin stitch. In Kathy York’s article of the same name, she explains how the satin stitch can play a unique role in the making of art quilts. From using it to finish the edges of a quilt, to joining quilt blocks, to free-motion quilting and creating shapes, the satin stitch is one you’ll use over and over again. put more designs and techniques Susie Williams shows how to incorporate a hand-embroidered motif into a pieced quilt in “Off-site Embroidery.” This method involves stitching a design on a piece of cloth, cutting the finished embroidered image off the base fabric, and appliquéing the motif to your artwork. It’s a great way to add detailed hand work without your piece becoming too bulky. ESSENTIAL EMBROIDERY STITCHES: FREE HAND AND MACHINE EMBROIDERY DESIGNS AND TECHNIQUES Finally, in “Reverse Appliqué Bobbin Embroidery with a Twist,” Yvonne Brown teaches you to combine painted tissue paper, fabric, and machine bobbin embroidery to create flowing, textured, and layered designs. Because you wind the specialty threads or ribbons in the bobbin, you stitch with your work face down on the machine. A more challenging technique, but the results are worth the effort! Pokey Bolton editor Cate Coulacos Prato Editorial director creative services Larissa Davis Photographers Larry Stein Korday Studios Division Art Director We know you’ll use the knowledge and inspiration from Essential Embroidery Stitches: Free Hand and Machine Embroidery Designs and Techniques again and again to enhance your skills and artistry. Projects and information are for inspiration and personal use only. Interweave Press LLC is not responsible for any liability arising from errors, omissions, or mistakes contained in this eBook, and readers should proceed cautiously, especially with respect to technical information. Interweave grants permission to photocopy any patterns published in this issue for personal use only. Warmly, Pokey Bolton Editorial Director texture in your life ideas, textiles, and techniques related to embellished and contemporary art quilting. Inside, you’ll find design inspiration, step-by-step directions, gorgeous photo­graphy, and motivation for developing your personal style, at ® Quilting Arts Magazine explores all skill levels. EXTREME QUILT P. 72 MAKEOVER Art quilts transformed, before after create   fabrics 11 playful techniques plus: to try, including: Ice Dyeing . 48 Layered Marbling . 44 Monoprinting Finger Painting . 38 Stamping and Stenciling with Unusual Objects . 52 P P P quiltingarts.com 800.406.5283 (U.S. Canada) 760.291.1519 (International) P. 26 art quilt meets   P Quilting Arts Magazine®, P.O. Box 469087, Escondido, CA 92046-9350 essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 2 ©Interweave
  3. 3. essential embroidery stitches defining designs and techniques line Adapted from Quilting Arts Magazine Summer 2002 the Free-Motion Embroidery Skills F ree-motion stitching offers a world of possibilities to all kinds of quilters and all types of quilts. For even the most ardent traditionalist, the ability to stipple and create beautiful feather designs down to the last detail is a passion. For the art quilter, it presents a paint box full of ways to draw, detail, colorize, add texture, and breathe life into quilts. And for the quilter wanting to create something quickly, the ability to easily machine quilt a top to be used and loved makes it all worthwhile. Every quilter will find their ability improved, creativity stretched, and productivity increased by some basic free-motion skills. It helps to under­ tand free-motion s stitching if you first understand a bit more about how a regular stitch is formed. For most machine stitching, your feed dogs, the toothy grids under your presser foot, feed your fabric through the machine. The stitch length setting determines what distance the dogs move with each stitch taken. The presser foot, by applying pressure to the top surface, holds the fabric stable and helps the machine form each stitch. by E llen A nne E ddy “Saracen Flame”; 20 × 37 Hand-dyed cotton, machine quilted, machine embroidered, embroidered applique; rayon, cotton, nylon and metallic threads, and novelty yarns for embellishment. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 3 ©Interweave
  4. 4. essential embroidery stitches M achines Many quilters are under the impression that you need a top-of-theline sewing machine to do free-motion embroidery. Not so! In fact, it’s not about fancy machinery or hard-tofind gadgets. The techniques used have been around since the sewing machine was invented. The only thing necessary is a lockstitch machine (a sewing machine that has a top and designs and techniques bottom thread), and either a hoop or a darning foot, which is used to stabilize your stitching. A wider range of possibilities is opened up to quilters with machines that have a built-in zigzag stitch. F eed D ogs To begin, you need to either “drop” or “quiet” your feed dogs, so that you, not the machine, are guiding your fabric. Many machines have a switch or button that allows you to easily drop the feed dogs. If your machine does not, it may have a special plate designed to cover the feed dogs. You may need to check your manual. If you cannot drop or cover the feed dogs, simply move the stitch length to zero — this basically stops the feed dogs from moving. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 4 ©Interweave
  5. 5. essential embroidery stitches N eedles While the entire sewing machine is involved in creating stitches, it is the needle that does the majority of the work. Many stitch problems are caused by dull, bent, or burred needles; as you begin each new project, you should use a new needle. For free-motion stitching, the best needle is typically a topstitching needle. It has a sharp point that ensures a straight drawing line (unlike a universal needle, which has a ball point, causing it to wheedle its way designs and techniques into the fabric and never create a straight line), and a large eye, that helps to reduce thread breakage as well as making it easier to thread. Keep in mind, however, that everyone is a little different, and so is your machine. Experiment and find what works best for you. F eet Like a good pair of shoes, the right foot can make all the difference. When free-motion stitching, we drop our feed dogs and remove the presser foot; we need to stabilize the fabric in another way. While there are several ways to create a stable surface for stitching, a darning foot is the best. Most machines come with a darning foot — it’s like a tiny embroidery hoop held directly over where your machine is stitching. A darning foot provides the ideal surface support for free-motion techniques, and the one made specifically for your machine is your best bet. Your machine may have darning feet with small and large openings; the smaller the hole, the better the stabilization and quality of the stitch. A foot with a larger tips hints Free-motion stitching is one of those skills that seems impossible to master until you try it! Here are several tips that will help. • ake your shoes off. You’ll have much T more control over your foot pedal. • Hug your machine. You’ll want to sit as close as possible to your machine to protect your back. • Pay attention to your posture. Make sure you have a chair that’s comfortable and provides the necessary support. • Take a break at least every two hours. It’s a hard posture physically, so be gentle with yourself. • SortKwick™ (a gel for sorting papers) will help you get a better grip on your work. • A mustache trimmer can be used to shave off any mistakes you make! Hold the shaver upside down and cut against the stitches. Turn the trimmer off, and turn the piece over. You can use the shaving head to brush off the threads from the other side. Be gentle as you shave—if you’re too aggressive, you can put a hole in your piece. Sample darning feet and darning spring. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 5 ©Interweave
  6. 6. essential embroidery stitches opening is appropriate when using a thicker batting or a heavier quilt. If your machine didn’t come with a special darning foot, check to see if one is available from your dealer. If not, there are generic feet available, typically classified as short shank, long shank, or slant needle. You’ll need to determine the type required for your machine. For truly older machines, a darning spring is an inexpensive but workable option. H oops Even if you can’t find a darning foot, you can free-motion stitch with a hoop to stabilize your surface. My favorite hoops are designed for machine embroidery, made of hardwood, and have a screw on the side that you can tighten with a screwdriver. When you place your fabric in the hoop, it should be right side down, opposite from the way you would insert it for hand stitching. The fabric must lay flat against the arm of the sewing machine. I often work with both a hoop and a darning foot. Sometimes you need as much stabilization as you can get! S tabilizers A quilt sandwich is already stabilized due to the batting, but if you intend to use your zigzag stitch, you may want to stabilize it further with either interfacing or stabilizers. A stabilizer is made to be removed once you are finished stitching. There are a designs and techniques number of different stabilizers: kinds meant to be torn away, rinsed away, or burned away. Whatever option you choose, they will allow your finished piece to hang softly or feel “cozy.” An interfacing, on the other hand, stays in the piece permanently. It is more appropriate for a wall hanging or tapestry, which may require the extra support throughout its life. If you have your machine with feed dogs lowered or quieted, a new topstitching needle in place, your darning foot attached and/or your fabric in a hoop, you’re ready to begin stitching. L earning the  L ingo Like any new skill or technique, free-motion embroidery has its own vocabulary. It’s easy to learn, and in the process, a stitch sampler can be created. Straight stitching is the backbone of free-motion. Here are three basic skills that employ the straight stitch. D rawing Drawing free-motion is a bit like drawing by moving your paper while someone else holds the pencil. While it seems a bit awkward at first, it’s a wonderful way to sketch. It helps if you see patterns as rhythmic movement. You can move in any direction, and back and forth in patterns to add texture. It’s a cross between doodling and contour drawing. You can draw your image first, or go with the flow. Like any other skill, it vastly improves with practice. S tippling While stippling originally referred to a very specific quilting pattern, it has come to mean any free-motion fill-in stitch. Try swirls, sweeps, stars and curves. Squiggle over the surface. Sweep across the surface in big zigzags. Variegated threads, with their color changes, will sweep your eye across the surface. If you change colors of your stipppling thread manually, you can tone your quilt. While there are rules prohibiting points and cross-overs, rules are made to be broken! Work towards the effects that work for you and your quilt. S ignatures Free-motion is the perfect technique for signing your name. It takes practice, but you can sign your name right into the piece! Your critics may not care about who made the quilt, but your grandchildren may. Help them out. Sign your quilt. Learn more about Ellen and her art at ellenanneeddy.com. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 6 ©Interweave
  7. 7. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques Adapted from Quilting Arts Magazine February/March 2010 versatile satin stitch Enrich your quilts with simple machine stitching S atin stitching can play a unique supporting role in the making of art quilts. I have used it for finishing the edges of a quilt, joining quilted blocks, free-motion quilting, by K athy Y ork and creating shapes and defining lines. One of the best aspects of satin stitching is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to look fabulous! essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 7 ©Interweave
  8. 8. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques “Falling Through the Cracks” • 30 x 39 • The edges of the protruding building motif are finished with satin stitching. This quilt won third place in the Embellished category at the 2009 “Quilts: A World of Beauty,” the annual fall judged show of the International Quilt Association at International Quilt Festival/Houston. Basic considerations To get started, I recommend experimenting with the same fabrics that you plan on using for your project. The basic considerations when satin stitching include stabilizing your work, choosing threads and needles, and adjusting the machine settings. S tabilizing • Stretch your fabric across an Satin stitching through a single layer of fabric is quite unruly. It is important to stabilize the fabric before stitching, and there are three main ways of doing this: • Make a quilt sandwich with a top, • Place two layers of tearable stabilizer under your fabric. Make sure to turn them crosswise (90°) to each other. After stitching, gently tear the stabilizer off the back. embroidery hoop that fits the dimensions of your machine. batting, and backing. It will be easiest to work with if it is machine quilted first. T hread There are three points to consider when selecting a thread: color, sheen, and weight. You can often get wonderful results by choosing essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 8 ©Interweave
  9. 9. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques an unexpected color, so experiment with matching and contrasting colors. Threads can either have a matte finish or a shiny one. To make a line recede, use a matte cotton thread of the same color. To draw more attention to an area, use a shiny contrasting thread. Variegated threads can produce wonderful results with different stitch widths (see the bottom three examples in the sample shown here). Slowly pivoting your work as you go, while the presser foot is lifted, allows you to create satin-stitched curves without the underlying fabric showing through. The weight of the thread can also affect the look of the stitching, with thinner threads typically appearing smoother. When choosing a thread for the bobbin, the easiest approach is to select the same thread as the top. However, an invisible or thin thread like The Bottom Line™ from Superior Threads also works well and requires less frequent bobbin winding. Don’t forget to check the tension in the bobbin if you choose a thinner thread. N eedle The black and white stitched lines on this sample demonstrate different machine settings. The top tension of the first line is too tight and the bottom tension of the second line is too loose; in both cases, black bobbin thread is visible. The tension of the third line is just right so only the top white thread is visible. The purple lines on this sample demonstrate the effects of different stitch widths, colors, and types of thread: matte, cotton, and variegated. You will need to select a properly sized needle for your project. Generally, if you are using a thicker thread or sewing through multiple layers, you will need a larger needle. You may also need a larger needle if your thread is continually breaking. Once again, practice on the materials specific to your project, and if your thread is breaking, select the next size larger needle. However, keep in mind that a needle that is too large will make big holes in your fabric, which is also undesirable. T ension settings Your sewing machine’s tension settings will need to be adjusted in preparation for satin stitching. Always reduce the top tension; this is the single-most critical factor for achieving a beautiful satin stitch. For example, the normal top tension on my machine is about a 4, and I reduce it to a 2. You may also need to tighten your bobbin tension. S titch specifics For satin stitching, select a stitch width that’s between 1 and 5, and select a stitch length that’s between 0 and 1. For the satin stitch to look full, you have to set the stitch length really short. However, beware that the essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 9 ©Interweave
  10. 10. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques repeated close punching of the fabric with the needle can weaken the fabric to the point of breaking. F inding the   balance Check your machine’s settings by putting white thread in the top and black thread in the bobbin. Run a wide stitch on a sample piece of fabric. If black thread is showing on the top, then the upper tension is too tight and the bobbin tension is possibly too loose. Adjust the tension and try again. (See the white and black threads in the sample piece.) If you can’t get it perfect (I never can), the best choice is to have only the top thread showing on the front and some of the top thread showing on the back. Skills and applications S tarting a line of satin stitching Pull the bobbin thread up to the top, and reduce the stitch length and stitch width to zero. While holding onto both threads, sew in place for 3–4 stitches. This locks the thread in place. Change the stitch width and length back, start sewing, and closely trim the tail threads. satin stitch tip Use a running stitch to create a guide for your satin stitching. First, sew a simple running stitch with your machine to mark where the satin stitch line will go. Then satin stitch over it. These samples of satin stitching are done on fabric laid on top of two layers of tearable stabilizer. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 10 ©Interweave
  11. 11. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques Some threads will break if a few stitches are sewn on top of each other. For these threads, tie a knot after pulling them to the top, and then bury the ends between the quilt layers. If you have to stop in the middle of a line, place your needle in the last hole that you finished before you start sewing again; it will be as if you never stopped. S ewing curves When satin stitching a straight line, the stitches should remain perpendicular to the edge you are sewing along. When sewing around a curve, the stitch will become less than perpendicular, so it is important to stitch slowly. With the needle down on the outside of the curve, gently pivot your fabric around so it is approaching perpendicular. The key is that, if the needle is down and you pivot your fabric, the next stitch should not leave a gap of fabric showing through, but should cover the fabric with thread as you sew. J oining quilted blocks You can quilt small pieces of any shape on your machine and join them with satin stitching. First, trim your blocks to a size that allows them to fit flush with each other. Zigzag stitch them together with a narrow stitch width and invisible thread. Apply a thin strip of fused fabric over the back of the seam with an iron. If it is a curved joint, cut the fused fabric on the bias. On the front side, use a wide satin stitch to cover the previous stitching. This makes even large pieces sturdy enough to withstand the gravity of hanging. These multi-colored circles are made with free-motion satin stitching and are embellished with a bit of hand stitching. F ree - motion satin stitching This is really fun. Set up your machine for free-motion quilting, and set the stitch width to a wide stitch. Depending on your speed and style, you will get a lovely zigzag or a satin stitch. Let loose and let it go! You can achieve some wonderful effects by layering several lines of satin stitch with different colored threads. F inishing the edges of a quilt is to stitch around the edge of your quilt multiple times. Start with a standard running stitch to prevent the edge from stretching, then set the stitch width so that the needle’s left position pierces the quilt and the right position goes just off the edge. Stitch around the edge of the quilt, creating successively wider stitches each time around. Learn more about Kathy and her art at aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com. To prevent the edges of your quilt from rolling, satin stitch them using a blind hem foot. Another option essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 1 1 ©Interweave
  12. 12. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques off-site Embroidery Adapted from Quilting Arts Magazine Winter 2004 by S usie W illiams “Mrs. McConkey’s Garden” 6 square • Silk, cotton, upholstery fabric, lace; cotton and rayon floss, perle cotton, hand-dyed silk ribbon, Caron Wildflowers thread; beads, plastic flower beads, freshwater pearls; machine pieced, hand embroidered. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 12 ©Interweave
  13. 13. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques F or several months I struggled with how to embroider a finely detailed motif onto a crazy quilt. I was intrigued with the machine- embroidered patches of butterflies and flowers available at fabric shops, however, I wanted to make my own designs. I had made attempts in the past but I found that transferring intricate drawings onto my quilt blocks for satin stitch work was almost impossible. My stitching always ended up as a thick, bumpy mess. It wasn’t until I read Beginner’s Guide to Stumpwork by Kay Dennis and took a class from Irene Kerr that I discovered off-site embroidery. This method of embroidery opened a world of exciting design possibilities to me that I could easily incorporate into my artwork. Off-site embroidery is the technique of stitching a design on a piece of cloth, cutting the finished embroidered image off the base fabric, and appliquéing the motif to your artwork. D irections 1. o begin you need a design; it can T be one you have drawn or one of the many copyright-free patterns now available. m a t e r i a l s • 100% cotton fabric • Embroidery hoop • Embroidery threads and flosses in a variety of colors • Pencil • Embroidery needles • Sharp scissors • Acid-free fabric glue • Small flat bristle brush • Acrylic paint (optional) 4. nce the design is completely O embroidered, use a small, flat bristle brush and apply a thin coat of acid-free fabric glue around the edges of the motif, both on the back and on the front. 5. hen the glue is dry, use very W sharp, fine-point scissors and carefully cut the embroidery off the base fabric. Trim all around the edge, as close as possible. Detail of the fawn in the forest from “Wood Whisper.” 2. ron a piece of lightweight 100% I cotton fabric to smooth the wrinkles. Use an ordinary pencil and trace your design onto this fabric. 3. tretch the fabric tight, using a S hoop big enough to contain the entire design. Choose the floss colors that you’ll use for your embroidery. Using one strand of floss at a time, satin stitch the entire motif; change and blend the colors and threads as you stitch. I satin stitch fairly heavily so that the foundation fabric doesn’t show through the thread. I prefer the satin stitch, but you may prefer to use a looser stitch or a different embroidery stitch entirely. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 13 ©Interweave
  14. 14. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques “Wood Whisper” 20 × 13 • Synthetics, wool, cotton, silk, upholstery fabric, antique lace; wool, variegated and single color floss, perle cotton, Caron Wildflowers thread, silk ribbon; glass and plastic beads, freshwater pearls, crocheted flowers, resin buttons; machine pieced, hand embroidered. For the little fawn, I used my flat bristle brush to apply a small bead of brown acrylic paint all around the edges. This optional step helps to outline the embroidery and give it more definition. Take a look at the fawn in this piece and the chickens in “Mrs. McConkey’s Garden,” and you will notice that Off-site embroidery is not difficult. I think it will provide a wonderful new means of expression in your handwork. The fawn is attached with invisible For instructions on how to make a crazy patch, see Issue 1 of Quilting Arts Magazine®. thread while the chicken and Susie Williams is an award-winning rooster are attached with the same quilter from North Carolina. they both are three-dimensional. color floss as I used in the off-site embroidery. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 14 ©Interweave
  15. 15. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques reverse appliqué bobbin embroidery with a twist W hile I was a City Guilds student I had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of paper surfaces for my embroidery work. I found that I just loved the qualities of tissue paper that had been adhered to a fabric for support. This paper provides an unusually textured and surprisingly strong surface for hand or machine stitch. It can be made with white tissue paper and colored with dyes or paints or it can be colored afterwards. Alternatively, it can be made with colored tissue paper. I have found lots of uses for my handmade paper but one of my favorites is to use it as the background for my cut-work embroideries. I use a reverse appliqué technique with layers of synthetic fabrics and bobbin embroidery and then cut back the design using a soldering iron. by Y vonne B rown A cut-work embroidery bobbin stitched on handmade paper. Embellished with beads and French knots. Adapted from Quilting Arts Magazine Winter 2005 essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 15 ©Interweave
  16. 16. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques Making the paper Work on a flat surface where the paper can be left undisturbed for at least 24 hours to dry. Cover the surface with plastic before you begin. 1. Water down PVA or white glue with about 40 percent water to produce a single creamy consistency and paint the plastic surface with this mixture. Lay your fabric on top and apply another coat of the glue mixture. 2. Scrunch up tissue paper and carefully flatten it out again, then lay it on top of the fabric, gently pushing it down onto the fabric surface. Samples of handmade papers in blue and brown. 3. Now, coat the tissue paper with the glue mixture taking care not to tear the paper. Don’t worry if you do tear it as it provides interesting results where the fabric shows through. 4. If coloring your paper, apply dyes m a t e r i a l s for m a k i n g t h e p a p e r • Tissue paper • Muslin, scrim, or cheesecloth (I prefer scrim.) • PVA glue, Elmer’s® glue, or other white glue • Liquid dyes or paints—e.g. Procion dyes or any paint with a liquid consistency • Metallic acrylic paint or Treasure Gold (metallic wax) • A piece of plastic large enough to cover your work surface • Foam applicator or large, soft paint brush • Pipette or syringe for applying dyes • A small paint brush or paints now. Use a pipette or syringe and apply 2 or 3 colors— remember your color mixing rules or you will end up with something resembling the color of mud. The dyes will travel to a certain extent on their own and begin merging with each other, but you may need to carefully manipulate them with a small brush to achieve the desired effect. 5. When you are happy with the colors you’ve created, leave the paper to dry. This will take around 24 hours. 6. Once it’s dry, peel the paper off the plastic background and you are ready for the next stage. F inishing suggestions • Use a small amount of metallic acrylic paint or Treasure Gold and rub it into the textured surface of the paper with your fingertip to gild the surface. • If the paper was left white, you can color it with acrylic paints once it is completely dry. bobbin e m b r o i d e ry Bobbin embroidery is great for when you want to achieve simple, flowing designs and work with specialty threads or ribbons too heavy or big to fit through your top needle. Simply wind the specialty thread or ribbon in your bobbin, place your work face down on your sewing machine, and stitch with your fabric in this position. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 16 ©Interweave
  17. 17. essential embroidery stitches • To achieve a pearlized finish, mix a very small amount of acrylic paint with Liquitex Iridescent Tinting Medium and paint this sparingly onto the surface. Creating your embroidery 1. You will need a piece of your handmade paper a little larger than your design. 2. Trace your design onto the stabilizer and center this on the back of your paper—remember that the completed image will be reversed on the front. m a t e r i a l s for t h e e m b r o i d e ry • Your design • A piece of lightweight sew-in stabilizer the size of your design • Synthetic felt (I use Kunin felt.) • A selection of synthetic organzas or voiles in colors that work together (Do not use metallic organza as it will not melt.) • A synthetic metallic fabric in your color scheme • An iridescent organza in your color scheme • Machine embroidery threads (I use Madeira Metallic FS 20, also known as “black core.”) • Your sewing machine, set up for free-motion work • A fine-tipped soldering iron Note: It is very important to check that all the fabrics will melt before you start the project. designs and techniques 3. Cut your synthetic fabrics a little bigger than your design and layer them on the front of the paper starting with the Kunin felt, next the iridescent organza, and then 2 or 3 layers of the colored organzas. 4. Audition these against each other to find the most pleasing combination and pin through all layers at all 4 corners of the piece. 5. Set up your sewing machine for free-motion work. Put the feed-dogs down and use a darning foot. 6. Load the bobbin with machine embroidery thread as this will show on the right side of your work. I use Madeira Metallic threads FS 2/2 and I use polyester bobbinfil on the top of the machine. 7. Stitch the design from the back of the work going over each line twice to give a good clean edge. 8. Turn it over to see your design sewn through to the right side. 9. Carefully cut away the fabric around the design with a fine-tipped soldering iron. The soldering iron will only melt away the synthetic fabrics. It will not burn the paper or damage the essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 17 ©Interweave
  18. 18. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques Above: Sequence of layers for the embroidery, beginning with Kunin felt then various sheers and organzas. Right: A soldering iron has cut through the bottom portion of the embroidery. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 18 ©Interweave
  19. 19. essential embroidery stitches designs and techniques using a soldering iron • Always wear a mask when melting and burning synthetic fabrics and work either outside or in a well-ventilated area. • Choose a soldering iron with a really fine tip. • Always work on a heatproof surface. I use a piece of glass with smooth bevelled edges. • Support the soldering iron in a safe way when not in use. I use an upturned terra cotta plant pot—not a plastic one! sewing threads because they are not synthetic. 10. After cutting out the design, you can emphasize areas of the embroidery and create an interesting textured surface by very carefully melting the surface of the top layer of organza with the side of the soldering iron tip. This will reveal tiny areas of the colors beneath the surface. 11. Finally, you can embellish the surface of the design with hand embroidery. Small clusters of French knots and seed stitches in a variegated thread always look good with a scattering of seed beads in a complementary color. (I like to use Stef Francis’ silk threads for my hand embroidery.) Learn more about Yvonne and her art at yvonnebrown.co.uk. Above: A finished piece in autumnal tones. essential embroidery stitches: embroidery designs and techniques Q u i lt i n g A r t s . c o m 19 ©Interweave

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