WEEK 1 – STITCH: FREE MACHINING

First day studying Stitch; initial session demonstrating Free-Machine Embroidery. Maggie Cullinane is the TD for Stitch and gave me some incredibly useful information before starting on my Stitch journey:

  1. BE INQUISITIVE WHEN USING THREAD & FABRIC & CHANGE MEDIA TO EXPRESS DIFFERENT MARKS.
  2. BE PREPARED. SOURCE A STITCH BOX TO KEEP ALL CORE & ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT IN. BRING EACH WEEK TO CLASS/TUTORIALS.
  3. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS SET WITHIN THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION PRINTOUTS.
  4. WHEN MACHINE THREADING BOBBIN, ALLOW 2″ LENGTH THROUGH THE HOLE AND HOLD SECURE UNTIL ENOUGH TENSION IS VISIBLE, THEN CUT.
  5. BOBBIN NEEDS TO BE TURNING ANTI-CLOCKWISE
  6. THREAD ALWAYS WITH MACHINE FOOT UP
  7. TEETH DOWN FOR FREE MACHINING, ALWAYS CHECK BEFORE STARTING.
  8. ALWAYS KEEP ALL TECHNICAL INFORMATION IN FILE, IT IS A BIBLE OF WEALTH AND KNOWLEDGE.
  9. THICKER THREADS DO NOT WORK AS WELL WITH SHORT STRAIGHT STITCH, BUT EXPERIMENT WITH A RANGE OF THREADS.
  10. USE EMBROIDERY HOOP WHILST FREE MACHINING, OTHERWISE PUCKERING WILL OCCUR.
  11. UTILISE WAXED PAPER (WAXY SIDE UP) WITH FABRIC TO CREATE A STIFF AND STRONG SURFACE TO STITCH ON.
  12. LENGTH OF STITCH IMMATERIAL IF MACHINE TEETH ARE DOWN.
  13. SLOW AND STEADY SPEED TO GAIN CRISP AND VIBRANT MARKS.

Maggie gave an introduction to Stitch and delivered a Health & Safety induction. She gave a demonstration in how to use the sewing machines and began a tutorial to instruct us on our first task.

I have a Bernina 330 at home, so seeing these machines did strike a little fear into my heart. However, I discovered that the simplicity of these machines, JANOME, was a welcome find. After I had threaded the machine and bobbin, I began experimenting with stitch width, length, shape and pattern. Utilising a thick and more rigid thread to use in the bobbin does come with a risk of jamming, as evidenced below. I gained valuable insight by my mistake to use thick/rigid thread within the bobbin, going forward the thread can be thicker, but far more flexible. Fluffy or fibrous thread can easily jam the bobbin……avoid.

IMAG0271

It is amazing what modern machines can do, the stitches available are incredible. The machine I am using is a basic model, but there are machines that can undertake the most  incredibly intricate and complex stitches. Certain stitches have a certain function, I will make a comprehensive technical file detailing what is what and how it can be readily available when I need it.

I was instructed to begin using samples of my drawing/sketchbook to transfer the image from paper to fabric/stitch. I have always loved linear quality within any artwork, so decided to use a very simple line drawing of a section of bark on a tree. At first the process of free-machining using an embroidery hoop seemed alien and restrictive, but after a few minutes of free-stitch I actually began to really enjoy myself.

Building a simple linear quality by straight stitch. I think that either the tension was a little loose or the bobbin had been inserted with a clockwise action, this made the stitch look/seem a little off/weak; in future this will be carried out before I begin to stitch.

I began to incorporate another colour to add contrast and to describe a more 3-D image. I incorporated straight stitch, zig-zag and half mood stitch. Looking at this sample it seems apparent that this application would be far more effective when used in conjunction with Appliqué, which is what will be demonstrated next Friday.

Author: vmhtdesign

About to undertake my BA TEXTILE DESIGN @ NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY. So Excited. Follow my progress from beginner to professional.

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