Friday, May 1, 2015

Free Motion Embroidery on a Featherweight

Happy May Day!

I want to share with you my process for embroidering the eyes on my Elephant Parade baby quilt. In the quilt along pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts, Lorna suggests embroidering the eyes on the elephants and other animals. I had pieced the blocks on my Featherweight, so I decided to try some free motion embroidery. (I was too lazy to set up the Bernina for a zigzag!) It worked out pretty well. Here's how I did it...

1. Cut a small square of interfacing or stabilizer and press to the back of the block. (Not pictured here, but you'll see it later.)

2. Draw a circle with a Frixion pen or marking tool of your choice. You will be hitting it with an iron later, so keep that in mind when choosing your marking tool.

3. Set the stitch length to a high number so it makes tiny stitches. Pull up the bobbin thread to the top so it doesn't make a knotted mess on the back. You can't drop the feed dogs, so just start stitching. Push the block around under the needle, making the circle first, then filling in. I used a black quilting thread that I had in my stash. A thicker thread fills in quicker.
After reading some posts about machine quilting on a FW, I would suggest covering the feed dogs with a piece of template plastic or teflon. Cut a small hole for the needle and tape it to the bed of the machine. If you have a darning foot, use it. I don't, so it was hard to see where I was going.

4. All filled in.

5. Thread a needle with the thread tails and bring them to the back.

6. Tie the ends in a knot. Trim ends to about 1/2". (See the interfacing?)

7. To prevent the black tails from shadowing through, I added another bit of interfacing on top to sandwich the threads. This bit of ironing also erased the markings from the Frixion pen.

So there you have it. Let me know if it works for you.


barbara woods said...

getting a feather weight next week so loved this

Kathy Gaines said...

Hi, love free Motion with my feather weight. I cover feed dogs with a piece of card board like a cereal box weight. I pierce a hole with an ice pick for the needle. I m lucky to have an old embroidery foot from an old White machine that had the same shank. Gives a little freedom on the tension bar. Works like a charm. I have done small things like table runners with great success. I have been known to fill the back seat of the mini van as a studio and can even see on the road! Happy sewing!