Oxford Summer School

Free Machine Embroidery for Beginners

Thursday 8th August 2024 for 1 day — Cost: £60

Tutor: Anne Griffiths

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This course will cover the basics of free machine embroidery, and the imaginative use of zig-zag and automatic patterns. Whether you consider yourself an embroiderer or focus on patchwork and quilting there will be ideas to enhance all your textile projects.

Learn how to use your machine for free machine embroidery: from the basic principals of setting up the machine to adjusting your tension to work with heavy threads.

We will begin with a basic line drawing (you can bring your own or work from mine) which we will embellish with pencil doodles. This will be used as the basis for a small set of stitched reference samples. Firstly, you will learn how to transfer your design onto fabric which will then be stitched in a range of different techniques including straight stitch, satin stitch, cable stitch, reverse appliqué. You will leave with a wealth of ideas on how to take these techniques forward in your own work.

Alongside these stitches, I will also demonstrate a variety of different needles and if you choose to bring your own twin and/or wing needle you can experiment with these too.

This course is suitable for complete beginners or those wishing to improve their free machining skills.

Please bring with you

  • Pencil and notebook
  • Scrap paper
  • White baking parchment
  • Variety (at least three different colours) of machine threads plus black and white
  • A sewing machine in good working order which is has the facility to lower the feed dog or cover the plate
  • Small amount of crewel wool, or similar weight - you can try stranded cotton
  • A new size 90 needle and some spares. Any other needles you might have or wish to buy such as a twin needle, triple needle or wing needle
  • Heavy weight calico or non stretchy denim (about 1m)
  • Small quantities and scraps of patterned fabric (20cms-ish)
  • General sewing kit

I will bring some hoops if you wish to try using them.