My good friend Barb started a little machine embroidery group last month. We meet once monthly, so Tuesday we got together and learned how to make free standing lace (FSL). Most of us seemed to be in the mood to make Christmas ornaments, but there are designs for FSL bookmarks, coasters, bowls and baskets, insets for v-neck tee shirts, all kinds of things. I've wanted to learn how to do this for a long time, so I was very excited about it.
The basic idea is to stitch out a design on water soluble stabilizer, then rinse away the stabilizer leaving just the stitching. Each stitch has to be locked so the finished product doesn't fall apart; so if you're new to machine embroidery, look for designs that say "free standing" lace. This is Peggy's design still in the hoop being stitched out.
Last month we learned how to embroider a tee shirt. Because I have lots of trouble with this finicky machine of mine, I pulled a shirt out of the rag bag to practice on. Under Barb's tutelage, I managed to stitch out a nice design with nary a pucker. I'm encouraged to try a stitch out on a "real" tee shirt.
Next month we're doing machine embroidered applique. Can't wait!