Over the long weekend ( President’s Day in the US), I finished another Craftsy Course: Machine Embroidery: Hand Stitched Looks.
I was hesitant about taking this course. I’ve had more unsatisfying classes than good or great Craftsy courses. But I had purchased it last Christmas when Craftsy was selling classes at half price or less and decided to complete the course while I had a little down time.
AND I was pleasantly surprised. This is a nice demonstration of a very old machine sewing technique: Free Motion Embroidery. This is not really a beginners class. The instructor teaches with projects and concentrates on two of the many FME technques. The projects are completed using smooth contour stitch and what she calls a French Knot. Her french knot is created by stitching a spiral from outside to center and immediately from center back to the outside. To me, that doesn’t really resemble a french knot however it is excellent for the Russian Needle Punch project in Lessons 04 and 05. The instructor, Terry White, makes maximum use of the smooth contour in the Crewel Embroider (Lesson 02, 03 ) and Lace Cuff (Lesson 06 ). Lesson 07 is an exciting Contemporary Lace demonstration; and Lesson 01 is an excellent Red Work demonstration.
Terry use multiple threads in the needle and describes what she uses and why at the beginning of each project. She also discusses the needle, stitch length, tensions and stabilizer with each project. She is very good a telling not only what she is using but why. She also comments that you may have to adjust your machine, the needle or thread to achieve the same look she is producing. I was particularly impressed by her specific tensioning expamples. These are just pointed out as she is doing the work. She is a bit of an artist and takes time to stop, evaluate her work and correct either stitching issues or artistic effect. As stated before, the course is project orientated so the instructor is not just showing how to do the technique but also how to tie on and off, offers both jump stitches or a smooth running stitch for progressing from one area to another; and finishing techniques; all things needed for a successful project. The lace cuff, for example, needs the water soluble stabilizer removed. While the mug rug needs a sturdy edge to withstand use. You might think that the last lesson (08 Setting Up Your Machine) should have occurred earlier. But it is the class when she addresses many issues that can occur and offers help with difficult threads including some information for metallics and tips for relieving your physical stress.
It’s been years since I’ve done FME so this was a good review for me with a few “Ah hah!” moments. I think a beginner might have more questions and some difficulty. I think this is the class to take after seeing FME demonstrated and want to try it for yourself.