In which there is a puffin and lots of sewing

This is one of those there crafty blogs and it’s not even about knitting…

I own a sewing machine but mostly it languishes, loved but unused, in the cupboard under the stairs, however for a long while I’ve had a hankering to have a go at machine embroidery. So I asked Father Christmas for the ways and means and was lucky to get needles, a hoop, pointy scissors and two lovely books (Beginners Guide to Machine Embroidery by Pam Watts and Freehand Machine Embroidery by Poppy Treffry) from mum and a day’s course at the Ministry of Craft from Ginge. Buying me a course ensures that there will be at least one occasion when I do the actual thing that has caught my eye this particular time…

This morning I ventured into Manchester and tried to maintain my focus going downstairs in the tempting Aladdin’s cave that is Fred Aldous . The course was a full day with the morning getting to grips with the sewing machines, having a play with the different stitches and making a small appliquéd picture of our own choosing.

Having flicked through the resources that Sam the teacher had supplied and become slightly intimidated by everyone else’s artistic genius, I settled on a puffin. I like a puffin and I also like to prove that I am aware that penguins are not the only seabird.

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I was quite chuffed with the little fellow but wanted to experiment more with machine embroidery techniques (rather than just sewing straight-ish lines on appliqué) and hatched a plan for our bag decorating in the afternoon… After a quick google image search for seed heads and some doodling, I was ready to cut out my basic shapes and stick them down before running free with the thread.

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Apart from nearly going blind doing the tiny circles in the centre, having one or two thread mishaps and accidentally sewing the bag handle to the back of the picture, I don’t think that I made a bad job of it.

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It’s rather wonderful seeing your design appear in front of you and there’s no room for being hesitant with the marks that you make; if I try to draw in pencil, I will go over my lines any number of times trying to get it ‘right’, but using the sewing machine you just have to go for it.

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This is the second course that I’ve done with the Ministry of Craft – the first was making tiny Fimo cake jewellery – and I would heartily recommend them to anyone wanting to try a new craft or brush up their skills. They even do Sew Your Own Knickers afternoons!

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6 thoughts on “In which there is a puffin and lots of sewing

  1. henniemavis says:

    Aren’t you the crafty one? These (puffin & your original seed head) are both lovely! “Sew your own knickers” made me laugh — now that is industrious use of time at home! Love reading your posts about creativity as much as the running posts 🙂

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