Free motion embroidery?

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Hello out there...

New poster here.  I was wondering if anyone out there does free motion
embroidery with a "regular" type sewing machine?  I'm interested in learning
how to do this and just thought I'd ask for tips or clues for good books or
websites.

Thanks in advance!  JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
Free motion is normally only done with sewing machines. Embroidery
machines could not make use of that technique used for sewing
(embroidering) quilts, etc..

I may be mistaken about this....anybody else?

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Re: Free motion embroidery?
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Hi John,

Sorry, I wasn't really clear.  I just wondered if anyone out there on this
ng does this?  I'd like to try this with my machine as it looks like a
challenge and fun.  Thx!  JJ

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Re: Free motion embroidery?
Probably break your needle. Tensions may need to be set differently or
not be settable. Tension is dependant on how hard you pull the fabric.

Some machines (like Brother) know what hoop you have installed and
will not even start without one.

Are you thinking of doing quilting style free sewing or embroidery? I
think if you make too thick a pile of thread you will have trouble as
in machine controlled patterns do.

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Re: Free motion embroidery?

Hi John,

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OK, I'll watch for that.

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I just have a regular sewing machine.  There is no hoop to "install"...I'll
just be holding a regular
hoop like for hand stitching.

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Just embroidery and monogramming.  Only one layer of fabric with perhaps
stabilizer as needed.  I've sewn through some pretty thick stuff with my
machine before.  I needed to repair a leather backpack's clip.  While I
wouldn't make a habit of doing that (it was pretty much the limit of what my
machine could handle), I at least know it can handle some pretty tough
sewing.  ;-)

But I don't intend to be doing anything that will be hard on the machine
itself.  More a matter of my own abilities.

Thx!  JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
Stabilizer only keeps the material from parallelogramming and
shouldn't be required for following a line most likely.

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Re: Free motion embroidery?

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 Not necessarily so. Stabilizers will keep the stitches of embroidery from
being lost in a fabric with deep knap, terry cloth, fleece, some velvets,
etc. and keeps delicate fabrics from disintegrating from repetitive
stitching. It's not just for stabilizing anymore ;)

Val



Re: Free motion embroidery?
Turn your tension down and don't use it for free motion.

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Re: Free motion embroidery?
John J. Bengii wrote:
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Top tension should be loosened so that the top thread is pulled slightly
to the bottom when stitching.  This keeps the bobbin thread from showing
and messing up the appearance.  Usually the bobbin thread is of a
neutral color while the top thread is the color of the design being
stitched.  You still need tension on the thread or you wind up with
bird's nests underneath.


--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth.milky-way.com
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Re: Free motion embroidery?
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Thanks very much for the tips (even if not replying to me <smile>)...This is
where I know very little about sewing and my machine in general.  But, I'm
looking forward to taking out some scraps and thread and giving it a try and
just having fun!  The best way to learn is to just do it!  ;-)  I'm enjoying
the help and tips I'm getting though.  Take care, JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
You are referring to embroidery thread tensions and this does not
apply to sewing stitches. In sewing the tension is set to match the
length of top and bottom threads.

We have been discussing fancy freehand sewing techniques.

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Re: Free motion embroidery?
John J. Bengii wrote:
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I am referring to free-motion embroidery on a standard household sewing
machine.  In sewing, you want the upper and lower threads balanced so
that the lockstitch is formed in the fabric, between the layers.  In
free-motion embroidery, you want the upper thread to completely cover
the upper fabric and for none of the bobbin thread to show through.
Seldom would one use matching threads for this work, only if the work is
to be reversible or "see through" such as lace.

Trust me, J.J.  I've done this.

--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth.milky-way.com
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Free motion embroidery?
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Thanks to you both for the discussion.  I understand what you are talking
about now with the tention on the thread, Joanne.  Thanks John...JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
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I would only use it for material that was fragile or very thin I think.  I
also know it's good for use over terry cloth (the kind that "disappears"
with an iron) to lay the loops over for easier sewing.

Thx, JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
JJ wrote:

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Essentially what John said; except that with an embroidery machine you
don't use the embroidery function at all, using it as a "regular"
sewing machine, and a non-attached hoop. You have to be able to lower
the feed dogs, disable any automatic walking foot, etc. With practice,
you can use plain stitches, zigzags, and double-needles.

There are any number of good websites that will give you better and
more detailed information. Just google for

freemotion embroidery
and/or
free motion embroidery

and maybe even freemotion quilting!

- Herb


Re: Free motion embroidery?
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Hi Herb!

I just have a regular sewing machine.  It does have the ability to drop the
feed dogs and such for "darning"...So, I think I can do this with my
machine!  I already have hoops I can use, now just have to go for it and
practice on some scraps!

Thanks for the Google tips.  JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
This is how many quilting adapters work, with a sewing machine with
the feed dogs down and a plotting table attached. The excess material
rolls up under the arm in an attempt to handle bigger sheets of
material.

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Re: Free motion embroidery?
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Oh, interesting. Thanks!  JJ



Re: Free motion embroidery?
JJ wrote:
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Check your library for books on "free-motion embroidery" and "thread
painting."  Having feed dogs that drop is good, but not essential.  You
can also set the stitch length to "0" so that they don't move the
fabric, or cover them with a bit of cardstock.

You use a hoop, with the fabric on the bottom.  There are hoops
available that are thinner so that they go under the needle more easily.
  You can use a darning foot, or no foot at all.  It's a bit easier to
"paint" using a zig-zag stitch, but you can do free-motion work with a
straight-stitch machine.

Start by drawing on your fabric, or on some organza that you will lay
over the fabric, so that you have the outline of what you want.  Most
people start with things like writing their name, to get used to this
kind of stitching.

It's loads of fun.  It's much like digitizing, in that you're doing it
one stitch at a time, but ending up with a picture or words.

--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth.milky-way.com
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Free motion embroidery?
I have operated some of the big quilting machines at the demo shows.
It certainly takes a knack to get on to the technique.

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