Freehand Machine Stitching

The freehand stitched pages are taking longer than I expected. That probably shouldn’t surprise me, I tend to underestimate the amount of time crafty things will take. Mostly it took me a while to get all the settings on the machine figured out so that it would stitch right. I’m using a thicker thread that my mom lent me, which means I needed to decrease the tension, although apparently at first I didn’t decrease it enough. I was having this problem where it would stitch just fine for a while, usually most of a letter, and then the thread would get caught in some part of the tensioning groove and the tension would increase to the point that it would barely sew, but then if I pulled the thread out and rethreaded the machine, it would be fine again. I thought something was wrong and tried all kinds of fixes, including several suggestions from my mom, but nothing seemed to work. So finally I just turned the tension way down. I didn’t do that first because I had turned the tension way down on the first letter I did, and the stitching was really loose and floppy, and just looked bad. I don’t know what I did differently the second time, but when I turned the tension down again, everything started working just fine, and the stitches didn’t get sloppy. Sometimes technology just baffles me. Actually, not just sometimes, most of the time technology baffles me. Now that I’ve got all the kinks worked out, I have the first freehand stitched page done and the second is all written out and waiting to be sewn.

The fabric puckered and got rippled a bit, even with two layers of paper for stabilizer on the back. It’s kind of annoying, but really, it’s a lot of stitching in a small area, so it’s not surprising and there’s probably nothing I can do. Hopefully, once I get the illustration on the page, and sew the book together, it won’t be very noticeable.

 

I’ve discovered I really like freehand machine stitching. I’ve been meaning to try it for a few years now, since I saw a piece done that way in a show and my mom explained how it’s done, but never really got around to it. Well, now that I’ve tried it, I think I’m hooked, and I can’t wait to have time to play around with it some more. I’m thinking I’ll even go back and re-sew the outlines of the letters for the satin stitched pages, because freehand on the machine makes it a lot easier to follow the curves of the letters. I wouldn’t want to sew straight lines this way, but I’m thinking I may never use the feed-dogs for curves again. I really like being able to move the fabric any direction and change directions with one simple movement, it works so much easier for small, strange shapes. Like letters!

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