About Me

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Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom
Hello there, my name is Sharon and I live in Westcliff on Sea with my two daughters, Rosie Matilda and Rumer Valentine and, when he's home from uni, my son Sydney. I opened my shop Roses & Rue in July 2009 and this has been a long held dream realised. I have recently given up teaching so that I can focus on building the business. As well as being fanatical about knitting, I love to crochet, sew and generally have a go at all things crafty. Hopefully you will take a little time out now and then to visit the blog and find out whats been going on in my busy world.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Move over Poppy Treffry

Writing this a few days after the event but just have to tell you about what a fab day I had on Saturday in the shop with Ros and a couple of sewing machines. A few weeks back, Ros lent me the book by Poppy Treffry, 'Free and Easy Stitch Style', and since then I have been dying to have a go at some freehand embroidery. 

I braved it and worked without a foot, as I didn't have an embroidery foot to hand. Poppy Treffry recommends being very careful, as you can get your finger rather too close to the needle but I had so much freedom to move the fabric that I'm going to stick to no foot.

So, having read through the book and with machine at the ready, I started with a little bit of scribble, just to get the hang of moving the fabric around. It took a bit of courage and a different mindset as I very quickly learned that its totally different to sewing normally. It was actually quite emancipating being able to move the fabric about and use the needle as a kind of pencil.

  Moving from scribble, I then managed to gain more control and 'drew' a little house.

Note the 'filling' in the door, produced by a simple backwards and forwards motion
I wanted to then have a go at creating an appliqued picture and decided that it had to be something that was simple, without too many circular shapes involved as I wasn't terribly confident that I could manage them successfully. Ros had an example on a placemat that her mother had brought back from America and so I used this as my inspiration.

The first bit was relatively simple, placing the main piece of the house onto the backing fabric. I had a slight problem putting the circular 'window' on the fabric as I used some felt and it puckered a bit as I was moving the needle around. Poppy Treffry recommends using an embroidery hoop and placing the fabric inside it to get a taut piece of fabric but I couldn't quite master moving the hoop round. It felt more natural to use my fingers, but I will try again as I gain more confidence. 

A Little bit of puckering and a wobbly bit of stitching!

A bit more confidence and I was able to machine the rest on quite successfully, adding a few leaves and some embroidered birds.

Ros's sampler and my version, almost done.
And finally I was pleased with the final result, given that it was my first go. I attached the piece to a cushion cover that I had knocking around and hey presto - my first piece of free-hand embroidery and applique!

 So, I'm ready set go for some more 'freehanding'. Watch this space.

My guide to free stitching, Poppy Treffry.
 For more information, try checking out Poppy Treffry's website and blog http://www.poppytreffy.co.uk/


Ros Made Me said...

Well done Sharon! I am still hitting panic mode half way through sewing but you are right it is great fun to do...now I am back to my machine to play some more

Picto said...

Hi Sharon, the free sewing looks good fun, I'll have to give it a go myself.

The link from Wendy's blog didn't work for me so I found you through Ros's blog.

Jan x

Wendy said...

I've been fiddling with the link for ages and ended up putting another one on (you may now have 2 working links, but never mind!).

it's a long while since I did free machining but you look like you're really getting to grips with it! Well done! If the embroidery hoop isn't for you, try interfacing or even paper behind the piece to firm up the stitching area - might help a little and can be ripped off afterwards if necessary.

Roses & Rue said...

thanks for sorting the link out Wendy. I had thought about interfacing the fabric, so will give it a go. As it was, I managed to find some nice sturdy thick calico and that did the job for the time being.

Caroline Lovis said...

Oooooh I bet you two had such fun, there will be no stopping you now, wasn't it Kirsty who said it was the crack cocaine of the sewing world? Lovely first attempts, I haven't had much success without a foot yet but like you say I think my fabric needs to be more taut. Poppy's book looks a must for my Christmas list.

Roses & Rue said...

Haha, thats a very naughty but very accurate description! Ros and I are totally addicted after one shot at it. I'm desperately trying to clear the backlog so that I can justify doing some more.