Free Machine Embroidery


1 Day Workshop

Sat, 15th February, 2020

10:00am - 4:00pm

Do you feel anxious about dropping your feed dogs? Do you want to add textural detail and richness to your stitched work? Do you want to use the free motion technique with control and confidence?

Then this workshop is for you, we focus on the free motion embroidery technique in depth, going back to basics and creating confidence in using your machine successfully. Leave feeling inspired and empowered to use this exciting and liberating technique!

This is a beginners’ workshop on free machine embroidery (free motion/freehand). Using your own sewing machines you will learn the basics of free machine embroidery, pick up handy hints and tips and trouble shoot previous issues and problems.

The day will be full of wonderful exercises to build confidence in using our machines in this exciting and dynamic way. We will create a visual reference or dictionary of patterns and mark making to use in future creative art projects, quilts pieces and stitched work. We’ll consider the machined stitched line as a drawing tool. Explore several ways to write with your machine enabling you to add personalised messages in your future work.

You will gain confidence in mastering the popular technique and we will combine both free machine embroidery and appliqué, completing a little piece by the end of the day.


Sewing machine - Please ensure that your sewing machine is able to drop its feed dogs, these are the ‘teeth’ that help feed the fabric through the machine. If it doesn’t please check that it comes with a cover for the stitch plate.

Please make sure your machine has a free machine embroidery foot to sew with, (these are normally spring loaded and have a circular foot, it can be open or closed, plastic or metal) check with manufacturer for the suggested foot if you don’t have one.

Your machine’s operation manual & sewing table extension if your machine has one. Don’t forget your power cable!

Basic sewing kit:  Scissors, spare machine needles, un-picker, fabric pencil/pen.

Pencil, pen, notebook, plain paper

A small range of coloured machine threads.

A small amount of fusible webbing, i.e bondaweb.

Selection of fabric scraps, including printed and plain fabrics.

Eight to ten pieces of calico/plain coloured fabric about A4 –A3 in size (medium weight) pre cut. Please bring some extra fabric for additional samples.

4 to 5 piece of fusible webbing such as bondaweb cut slightly smaller than your fabric pieces approx A4-A3.

We will make up some calico/bondaweb sandwiches with these pieces as a base to sew on, you can make these up before you come to the workshop if you want. Each sandwich consists of two pieces of fabric and a piece of bondaweb in the middle as if it were your filling. If you’re not at all sure we can make these together on the morning.

For Quilters: If you would like to substitute the bondaweb filling for a piece of cotton batting please do so. Sometimes it’s nice to try these techniques out using the materials we are most familiar with. Make your sandwiches up using 505 spray to secure your batting in place.

Useful, but not essential:

A flat embroidery hoop - Do bring one if you have one but please do not go out and buy one especially, I will have a selection for people to borrow.  Approx 8 - 10 inches in diameter or suitable to use with the size of fabric you have brought.