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.
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.
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.
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.
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!