Free machining allows the user of the sewing machine to control the fabric by hand, and thus alter the direction and path of the needle and stitching. To free machine, one requires an embroidery foot for the sewing machine (sometimes called a darning foot) this can be seen in some of the following photos. The 'dog feet' on the sewing machine must be lowered too, as they usually control the fabric on it's way through the machine. Refer to the manual of the particular sewing machine, on my Bernina there is a dial which must be set to the hash sign.
|Lowering the 'dog feet'|
I decided to show the students free machine embroidery on Lutrador, additionally enabling the demonstration of using a heat gun. Lutrador is a non-woven bonded fabric (similar construction to Vilene fusible interfacing), the fibres are random and bonded to set in position and produce the fabric, as opposed to being woven or knitted into a fabric.
|Lutrador in original state|
|Lutrador sprayed gold|
|Lutrador sprayed gold, and sponged with acrylic|
After applying colour to the Lutrador, I placed the Lutrador over my motif and traced the design onto it. If it is light application of colour, it should be easy to see through. However, if there is access to a light box this may help. I traced the design using a pencil.
|Lutrador with motif design outlined|
|Lutrador inserted into embroidery hoop|
|Metallic thread and spun polyester thread|
|Outlining: See the embroidery foot or 'darning foot'|
|Filling in the sections in lilac.|
|Filling in sections in green, and highlighting with metallic thread|
|The finished sample.|
My example has gained a 'shabby-chic' or antiqued effect. This could be layered with other fabrics or Lutrador surfaces to inject more colour, texture and depth.