Mini-cushion with free-motion machine embroidery
Added Sep 22, 2007
I love making cushions, cos they’re so easy! I made the piping for this myself and did the embroidered bird using the machine free-motion technique.* If you haven’t tried this technique you really should, it’s a cool way of doing sketchy pictures in thread and it’s really very quick. If the feed dogs on your machine drop, or you have a feed-dog cover plate, you can do it. You just put the fabric you’re going to embroider on in an embroidery-hoop, but it’s opposite to hand embroidering in that you have the fabric on the bottom hoop so you will be able to fit it under the presser-foot and it will sit flush to the bed of the machine. Then with feed dogs dropped/cover plate on and a straight stitch you start to sew and move the embroidery hoop with your hands to make lines. You move it slower and sorta back-and-forth to build up thicker amounts of thread. It feels weird at first but you get the hang of it very quickly. Use your darning foot if your machine came with one, or you can also buy “spring” needles that make the movement feel a bit more controllable. If your machine has a vibrate setting on the needle bar that will help too. The red loopy-arrow was done by hand just with red yarn.
*I think it’s a hummingbird, I’m no ornithologist but I think I remember reading they have a strange wing motion going on that would seem to be indicated by the loopy arrow!
The “Work Issue” of ReadyMade magazine is where I got the picture of the bird.