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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Monarch Butterfly - Machine Embroidery


All summer I have been intending to have a go at machine embroidery, as I see such lovely things on other people's blogs. But things (or little people) always seemed to get in the way. Also I had the idea that I would have to buy a special foot for my machine, and I thought this might be difficult, as my machine is not very modern. 


Finally have managed to get my act together. I found the manual for my sewing machine, which directed me to this magic little switch at the back, which I had never noticed, which lowers the feeders. It said I could embroider with no foot at all!!! Bit scarey.  I managed to find my embroidery ring, which I knew I owned but just couldn't find.


So here is my first attempt. It has taken me all afternoon, but I have to say I am a bit pleased with it (I know that sounds smug). I thought I would try a subject I am familiar with, but something organic so it wouldn't matter if it was a bit wobbly. 



At first the whole thing was a bit scarey, with my needle swinging around rather wildly. I have also probably used a whole reel of black thread. After a bit I realized that it was actually easier if I got a bit of speed up. I started off using the embroidery ring, but by the end found the whole business of getting it under the needle a bit of a pain, so I abandoned it for all the fine lines.

I had got a book out of the library on machine embroidery, but soon realized it was much too advanced for me. If anyone could recommend a fairly basic book on techniques, I would really appreciate it. I have lots of ideas for projects, but still need to learn a bit. I really wanted much bigger black areas on the tips of the butterfly's wings, but couldn't make my stitch any wider. Perhaps I should have used more applique, or found a way to fill those areas in. I did the little spots by hand, as I do like a bit of hand sewing, especially french knots. 

But now I have to think what to do with my monarch butterfly, which is just on a small square of hessian. I think the best thing may be to incorporate it into a cushion. Any ideas?


23 comments:

  1. Well done on having a go! Practice and experimentation really is the best teacher. I think some wobbliness in machine embroidery adds to its charm (perfection is seriously overrated!).

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  2. You do need to practise with machine embroidery and I think you butterly has turned out great and looks very neat.

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  3. Your butterfly looks lovely, I would never have guessed it was your first attempt. I must get my machine repaired, it must be over 30 years old and has never been serviced! Tut tut I hear you say! It seems to have one speed at the moment - Formula 1 speed - not good for machine embroidery! You have given me the push to get it repaired so I can give this a go!

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  4. your butterfly is a work of art and a fantastic achievement for a first attempt at a new technique!

    i very much look forward toseeing what you have a go at next :) x

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  5. I think he looks great for a first attempt no wonder you are pleased! I can't wait to see what you do next!!

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  6. That looks lovely, machine embroidery is another one of those things on the "want to" list :)

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  7. I love the butterfly.It(he?) looks fabulous and you should be very proud of him.

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  8. Your butterfly is lovely, I love the colours, very bold. Machine embroidery is something that gets better the more you do it and the more confidant you get. I think you should be really proud of yourself. :)

    Jan x

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  9. Congrats on giving the machine embroidery a go and practice will get you where you want to be with it.
    Great colours for your Monarch, love the white French knots.
    Don't know of any books to recommend but I'd get on the net and look at Youtube for videos. There's so much out there.
    You could do a whole series of different butterflies....once you start there's just no stopping.

    Claire :}

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  10. Love the butterfly and machine embroider both freehand and designs is very addictive

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  11. I had no idea that you could do that with a sewing machine!!! (I don't even know how to turn the one we have on). But that looks great.

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  12. Your butterfly is so beautiful, you are very talented.

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  13. Your butterfly looks really pretty. I think a cushions a lovely idea. Thanks for sharing. Ali x

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  14. That's fantastic, I wouldn't have guessed it was your first go.

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  15. That's amazing - my machine does all the fancy stuff but haven't been brave enough to try yet. Can't believe this is your first attempt, its brilliant

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  16. I didn't know sewing machines could be used for things like this. Looks fantastic, especially for a first time.

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  17. Your butterfly is beautiful. Can't wait to see what you do next

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  18. The butterfly turned out lovely.
    No tips from me really. I guess just practice practice practice.
    x

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  19. Oh you should be smug! Your butterfly is gorgeous.

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  20. That's a fantastic effort, unbelievable for a first attempt! Have you found Stitchfork's blog..she does heaps of fantastic machine embroidery and I'm sure would help you with any techniques you want to know?

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  21. It's beautiful ! Well done for a first attempt. I wouldn't know of a book to recommend but I attended a one-day workshop on machine quilting and it taught me the basics to give me enough confidence to trial my own things afterwards. I would encourage you to just attend a little workshop if you get a chance. I like the fact you used hessian canvas too. You may want to cut a big square around your embroidery and fray the edges and then just use that square on a cushion or a calico bag or even a matching coloured hessian canvas tote bag :-)

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  22. thanks for posting..

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