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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
1h00

Recreate a picture or a sketch in fabric
Free motion embroidery, free motion sewing, or raw edge applique allows you to turn one your favourite pictures or sketches in a piece of fabric art.

This technique provides you with full control over the picture - by dropping the feed dogs on your machine you guide your picture through your sewing machine to create the look you want. For your background fabric, choose something firmly woven such as calico, cotton or even linen.

Posted by Claire E Published See Claire E's 7 projects »
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  • How to applique . How To Make A Free Motion Embroidery Picture - Step 1
    Step 1

    Choose a picture that you would like to recreate. Start with something simple, without too many small pieces. In this example I am using a sketch of a dress I keep meaning to draft.

  • Step 2

    Cut your background fabric. Add at least five centimetres to the size to allow you finish your picture with a frame or turn it into something else. Add interfacing to the underside – this doesn’t need to be the same size as your background fabric but should cover more than the area your picture will be.

  • How to applique . How To Make A Free Motion Embroidery Picture - Step 3
    Step 3

    Trace your picture and cut it up. Take your fabric and turn it wrong side up on the table. Place your cut out pieces and place them on the fabric also wrong side up (this will ensure that your picture is the right way). Trace around them and cut out.

  • How to applique . How To Make A Free Motion Embroidery Picture - Step 4
    Step 4

    Take a sheet of bondaweb big enough to fit your fabric pieces. Place the bondaweb sticky side up on your ironing board and arrange the fabric on top. Take a piece of greaseproof or tracing paper and place it over the top. This layer will prevent the excess glue sticking to your iron. Press the fabric to the bondaweb.

  • How to applique . How To Make A Free Motion Embroidery Picture - Step 5
    Step 5

    Carefully remove your fabric pieces from the backing sheet of the bondaweb. Arrange them on your background carefully and press them into place. You may need to use greaseproof paper again to protect your iron. You may also wish to press some pieces ahead of others to ensure none of them move.

  • How to applique . How To Make A Free Motion Embroidery Picture - Step 6
    Step 6

    Ensuring the darning foot is fitted to your machine, drop the feed dogs and set your stitch length to zero. Carefully stitch as close to the edge as you can along the inside edge of each of the fabric pieces. Don’t worry if the stitches are further in than you may wish, you can correct this by going around the edge again. I tend to go around twice as a habit to give more definition to the picture.

  • How to applique . How To Make A Free Motion Embroidery Picture - Step 7
    Step 7

    Once you have gone round the edges, it is time to add the detail. You can either free hand this or faintly trace the lines with a pencil as I have in the picture. Carefully stitch over your lines to complete your picture.

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