Quite a wonderful path to free embroidery is the sewing machine. Many people who embroider and quilt by hand despise it for all the wrong reasons. Some even claim that machine embroidery does not count as handwork. Yet my experience has been different. The calm design work on a sewing machine can be very meditative, apart from that it very much requires working with a steady and adept hand. Above all, though, it is a lot of fun and quick results shouldn’t be dismissed either – in my opinion!
The fact that you will not spend much time on just one piece opens up the possibility to try out a lot more, to work in series and to extensively explore the most diverse techniques in combination with new materials.
The combination of hand- and machine embroidery is particularly fascinating. You can work on exciting backgrounds which can be further developped with hand embroidery techniques; special effects can be achieved by applying goldwork, needle felting and beads. I am very curious what I will still discover. I completed a City-and-Guilds Certificate in Free Machine Embroidery with Pamela Watts in Great Missenden in mid-2007, and I named one of my threads after her: “Helipam”, that’s her nickname.
I buy my sewing machine threads here:
I particularly recommend the tearproof metallic threads by Superior.