free motion embroidered flowers made at the make spot

The Evolution of My Free-Motion Embroidery Journey

Jul 04, 2024Lucy Adams

In 1998, during my teaching practice, I stumbled upon the captivating art of free-motion embroidery. I vividly remember the day I embarked on a project to create teaching resources, with a brief to make an ivy leaf crown. With no online tutorials or instant searches available, I headed to the local library. I spent hours trawling through books, seeking inspiration and techniques that could help me bring my vision to life. That's when I stumbled upon the enchanting world of free-motion embroidery.

Experimenting with Free-Motion Embroidery

Free-motion embroidery, I learned, allows the fabric to move freely under the needle, enabling the creation of intricate and detailed designs. Intrigued and excited, I decided to experiment with this technique. My trusty Janome sewing machine, which had seen me through numerous projects, became my partner in this new artistic endeavour. I set about creating the wire crown adorned with gold and green ivy leaves by using dissolvable muslin as a base. I began to embroider the delicate leaves, allowing my creativity to flow unhindered. The process was both challenging and exciting, as I learned to control the fabric and thread to create the desired effects.

This project ignited a passion that would shape my future in unexpected ways.

After that initial discovery, I began incorporating free-motion embroidery into my teaching in small ways. However, it truly took off in 2001 when I started teaching as a Textiles Art teacher. The freedom and creativity that free-motion embroidery afforded my students were boundless. By integrating paint, ink, collage, fabric, photos, and other materials, the students could explore their artistic expressions in unique and exciting directions. Watching them embrace this technique and seeing the diverse outcomes was incredibly rewarding.

The Make Spot free motion cockeral

While teaching, I continued to refine my own free-motion embroidery skills. By 2012, I had honed my craft to the point where I was ready to share it with a broader audience. I became one of the first people to launch an online stall on Not on the High Street, selling free-motion embroidered pieces inspired by children's art. This venture allowed me to combine my love for teaching with my passion for creating, bringing joy to customers through personalised and meaningful embroidered pieces.

not on the highstreet cover with LucyMadethis

Today, my inspiration comes from the natural environment around me. I combine my love for sketching, walking, and taking pictures with my embroidery work. Nature provides an endless source of beauty and inspiration, and I find immense joy in capturing its essence through my stitches.

At The Make Spot, we offer workshops in free-motion embroidery throughout the year. And if one day isn’t enough, I'm thrilled to announce that in September 2024, we will be premiering our Textile Art course. This new course will expand on the foundations of free-motion embroidery, exploring its potential even further and encouraging students to push their creative boundaries.

Free-motion embroidery has been a constant source of joy and inspiration, and I look forward to continuing this creative journey, discovering new techniques, and sharing the art with others.

Stay tuned for more updates on our upcoming Textile Art course as well as other exciting projects at The Make Spot. The world of free-motion embroidery is ever-evolving, and I can't wait to see where it takes us next!


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