Free Motion Machine Embroidery: The Full Monty! | Lilach Tzudkevich | Skillshare

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Free Motion Machine Embroidery: The Full Monty!

teacher avatar Lilach Tzudkevich, Textile artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. The Full Monty For Machine Embroidery

    • 2. Everything You Need To Begin With

    • 3. Setting Up Your Machine

    • 4. Applying The Right Foot

    • 5. All The Machine Settings

    • 6. Don't Be Afraid To Practice

    • 7. Closure

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About This Class


Free Motion Machine Embroidery: The Full Monty is an all level ground base class for free motion thread drawing machine embroidery.

This class will cover all the basic information one has to have for optimal easy free motion machine embroidery

In this class you will learn the specific machine settings needed for machine embroidery
apply an open toe foot on your machine, tinker with the feed dogs and stitch settings needed

You will also have a chance to practice your new skill while getting to know various stitch types and stitch manipulations used in free motion machine embroidery

This class is for crafters, sewers, embroiderers and artists who would like to expand their creative tools and explore a new ways for self expression using free motion machine embroidery as a tool

*Basic knowledge of operating a sewing machine ((Like switching it on) is required to complete the project

**Any domestic sewing machine will do with a free motion quilting foot

Meet Your Teacher

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Lilach Tzudkevich

Textile artist


Hi there, I'm Lilach Tzudkevich, a self-taught textile artist from sunny Israel.

I love anything and everything about sewing embroidery and crafting with textiles.

Creating crafting and exploring the possibilities of textile and threads excite me.

Art is an essential part of my life and thus I advocate getting crafty, it's good for your soul your heart and your well being.

I studied visual arts for some good years, mastering graphic design, illustration, painting, and drawing. 

Through life events I found myself back in art at the form of textiles and threads.

Stitching heals me on many levels. It's both soft and strong at the same time and I love it.

In my work, I create abstract and figurative images... See full profile

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1. The Full Monty For Machine Embroidery: Hi, my name is Lee laughter. I'm a textile artist and a teacher here on Skillshare. Today I'm going to cover the basic fundamental pillars for free motion machine embroidery. This class is a ground base for crafters, embroidery and sellers who wants to engage in free motion machine embroidery, specifically with thread drawing. If your hands are tickling for a new adventure and you're considering machine embroidery, then joined this class and see for yourself how easy it is to set up your machine as a creative tool. Any sewing machine will do. You're going to learn the specific machine settings needed for machine embroidery, thinker, the downing, food feed dogs, and stage settings. Practice your new scale and get to know various teach types, end stage manipulations. All in all, you will have covered a potential or your sewing machine and unleash your creativity. What are you waiting for? Let's jump right in. 2. Everything You Need To Begin With: Materialists for this project. So first of all, in order to produce your project, you will need a sewing machine. Any sewing machine any type will do. And what we're going to do is we're going to change the presser foot to a free form quilting food or darkening fluid. We're going to go into the details of that in the class. Obviously you're going to need some sewing threads. And then using a normal DMC sewing thread. But if you want, you can get some designated machine embroidery threads and under the same logic. So going to need some selling MS-DOS. And I recommend needles number 75 or 80. The next item is not mandatory, but I strongly suggest you acquire an extension table. They're generics extension tables online and they make your life much easier. You're going to need a woven medium way to material, to practice. Going to meet and put an embroidery hoop in order to put the material in and stabilize it. It's always good to have a pair of scissors next to your sewing machine. And also lastly, if you want to make a visual project out of your new scale, then you better have some kind of a visual reference to work upon achieving that goal. So without further ado, let's go into the class itself. 3. Setting Up Your Machine: Setting up your sewing machine is as important as any workstation you would set up. One can do with less, but if your workspace is setup correctly, then your work will flow better. You will be able to focus on your results rather than on the mechanics. So let's say if you were to work on a computer, you would make sure you have the electricity plug in. You would set up the chair in there, right? Tie the keyboard and a mouse and so on. And in the same way, again, to set up this sewing machine to a successful machine embroidery. And standard household sewing machine usually comes with a small sewing area, which is the actually the arm cover. And foremost sewing project. This is fine, but for machine embroidery, you would do better with a larger area to work on. So the uncover could be replaced with an extension table. An extension table, as the name suggests, wraps around the free arm of your sewing machine. And by that, extending vastly your sewing and working area, it improves your sewing station greatly. You can get generic sewing tables on line, a specific ones for your sewing machine model. Would I have done specifically in my working table is that I have created an opening to fit my sewing machine. And the attached the shelf underneath the tables so that this my sewing machine actually sits on the shelf and the free arm is aligned with the table. This way I'm using all of my table as an extension. So integral. The next step in the setup would be to change the fraud for a designated free from quilting foot. And this is what we're going to do in the next step of the class. Stay tuned. 4. Applying The Right Foot: Free motion machine embroidery is usually done with the free motion quilting food, also called dining for it or hopping foot. This foot is going to replace your normal person front here. And it don't worry about it. It's a really easy step to do. But all you need is a flat screwdriver. But before we do that, let's have a closer look at the free motion quilting foot. Not only it has a few names, also, the design can vary, as you can see in the examples running in the corner here. And they all share the same principle. The free form quilting foot will latch itself to the pressure foot arm of your sewing machine with a bar at the top part leaning on their needles lever. I'll show you later how it's done and why. And another thing to notice is the round small hope at the button, allowing a full view of your selling lines. This structure enables the hopping food to hop up and down in full sync with the needles movement. So when the needle threads through the material, the foot will press the material down. And when the needle retracts up, so will the food released the material to move freely? This is how the free motion is happening. We're going now to assemble the free form quilting food into place and see it in action. So firstly, if the pressure foot lever to an app position, then unscrew the bolt that secures your foot lacking in place by turning it anticlockwise, like so. Once the latch is released, you can replace the food with your donning foot latch. Securing it took place by screwing the bolt back clockwise. Here is a living proof like how sometimes it takes exactly five seconds to adjust the bolt back in place and sometimes you just have to fiddle with it, but don't worry, you will get it done. It's not so complicated. Once you have succeeded to have the vaulting place, you just score it clockwise. And you can also give it an edge with a screwdriver to make it even stronger. Now let's have a closer look at the foot inaction. So this is the top bar of the quilting food's sitting on the shaft of the needle lever. And then it can go up and down together with the needle. So as I have mentioned before, there's a gap between the third and the fabric, allowing the fabric move freely. And once the needle goes down, the foot presses the fabric in place when and when the needle retracts, then the fabric is free again to be moved. And this is how we create the free motion machine embroidery. Another issue that is important to address artifact dogs. These are the little teeth that are under your normal presser foot when you're sewing and they are the one to feed the fabric into the machine. But when we are doing machine embroidery, we actually want to disengage those teeth because we want the fabric to be very, very free and smooth to move around. In my machine they fit or Control button is just at the back of my free arm. And when I push it, it retracts the feed dog down and disengage them. So check your machine model and where you have the button located. The feed dogs should be visibly retracted in and you can also feel it. If you smooth your finger under the foot, then the feed dog should not come up. And then, you know, they're retracted and disabled. Whenever you finish working with the machine embroidery or experimenting with the feed dogs, don't forget to engage them back up because otherwise normal sewing cannot be done without the feed dogs. And the next part of the class we're going to thread the machine and tested inaction. Yay. 5. All The Machine Settings: In this part of the class, I'm going to cover everything you need to know about the machine's settings for a successful and fun machine embroidery. So we're going to cover thread type, needle type thread tensions, stitch length, stitch type, speed, and hope versus backing. Now I know it sounds like a lot of settings and it's quite alarming. Might actually, it's going to be very simple. So just stay with me and I'll walk you through it. You'll see it's really not a biggie. We're going to start with a thread type. I'm using a normal DMC sewing thread by 2, there are many designated machine embroidery sewing threads may have different types of weight and feeling to it. And you should choose the thread type depending on the project you're aiming for. So if you're just trying out a thread painting than a normal sewing thread will do just fine. On the other hand, if you intend to have a heavily embroidered project, then you may want to consider using the designated sewing machine embroidery threads. Now let's talk about needle type. Needle type corresponds to the material type you are working with. Generally, I recommend using a universal good make needles in size 80 slash 12 or 90s slash 14. If you're working on a thinner, more lighter material than you may want to consider a lower number, needle size 75 slash 11. Radio machine is you're normally do. And my suggestion for now is to use the same thread that you're using for your talk threading for your needle, also for your bobbing. It's better to have the same thread working from both sides. Now let's talk about thread tension. Fact engine is an important aspect of sewing. Every machine will have a thread tension controller either on the front panel in proximity to the threat cores are on the top panel. The controller is like a dial, usually from a number 0 to nine when zeros are very loose, tension and nine is very, very tight. With machine embroidery, you want to set the average thread tension around four. In my machine, I have an automatic threat engine and I just leave it at that. Let's talk about stitch length. The recommendation for machine embroidery is to use stitch length 0, r is lower as you can with your machine. Each machine will have a stitch length controller. Either it's manual, like a dial or it's digital. If you're not sure which one is in your machine, then you should check your manual. Let's talk about stitch width. If you are going to use a straight stage, then it has no width. And so changing the stitch width may determine the location of your needle leaning to one side or the other. But if you want to get a satin stitch look, then you'll be using clean, condensed 66 days and determine its weights according to your desired outcome. So in action, still chew it is a changing variable when you're using a zigzag stitch and is irrelevant when you're using a straight stitch. Okay, now I'm going to talk about speed. So if you have a speed control in your machine, then use a medium speed, even though machine and bribery can be intimidating in the beginning. And you want to go slowly, what you will actually find is that the slower you work, the stitches are loose and wobbly. When you go a bit faster than you actually have a better control and better results. The last issue I'm going to talk about these materials stabilizing. If you're embroidering on a quilt or on a layer IT project. Then the layers together are supporting each other and therefore your material is quite stabilized by definition. But if you're going to embroider on one layer of material, then you will find that the material will stretch and your pattern will be worked. And therefore you need to find a way to stabilize it, either by pressing a hot stabilizer on its back or by using a simple embroidery hoop, wouldn't embroidery hope would work great. Choose the size that allows you to work freely on your pattern, as well as move freely on the machine arm. The embroidery hoop will hold your material well stretched in place and you'll be able to move it around easily and get great results. So hopefully, I haven't totally overwhelmed, deal with all these technical details. On the next part of the class, we're going to put all of them in practice. Stay tuned. 6. Don't Be Afraid To Practice: It's time to practice all the settings. So take a simple embroidery, hope I use a wooden one. They're great and separate between the external part. In the internal part, placed the material you chose to embroider on, on top of your external hope and then apply the internal hope in place. While you push it in. We stretch the material out like so. You may have noticed the material is supposing upside down because it's stretched at the bottom part of the hope. As opposed to handle embroidery when it's stretched on top facing you. But this is how we want it for machine embroidery 12 material to be as solid as possible, facing and supported by the table. Now you can check if it's stretched well enough by tapping on it like a drum. And if you feel that it's not stretched enough, you can always adjust the hinge of the external hoop in order to stretch it even further. Once your material is well stretched, you can take it to the sewing machine. Now in order to insert the hoop, only need to do is to push the presser foot lever further up. Even if you haven't done it before your presser foot lever can go further up. So just try it out. Before you begin stitching, you want to pull up the bobbin thread, insert the needle and take one stage as you pull the bobbing threads through the top of the fabric. This will prevent from the thread to get tangled at the back of your work. If your machine has a damn setting position, then set it so and if you don't, you can manually turn the wheel towards you for the same results. Don't forget to set your machine for the lowest value of stitch length as possible. When you begin sketching, you want to work a couple of stitches on the spot to security ends and then begins teaching. So if you want, you can sketch with a pencil on your material ahead of time, a few lines and shapes and follow them around with a machine. Or just take a deep breath and dive into it and just move your hand and be compassionate to yourself. Don't be afraid. It takes practice. In the beginning, it will be odd and strange and inconvenient between his time. It'll get easier and better. So just keep on practicing and practice variety of maneuvering with your hands. Now when you reach the end of an area or a nine, take a couple of stitches on the spot to lock this layer before cutting this meds or moving to the next area. I am speeding up the video, but carry on practicing maneuvering the embroidery hoop with your hands to create different types of lines and different types of shapes until you feel comfortable with this method. Now I'm going to demonstrate a second stage, which is a series of flat stitches stitched tightly together to create either white lines or cover a certain area. For that purpose, I am using a zigzag stitch and I'm choosing the weights according to my desired outcome with the lowest value of stitch length. So they are tightly together. Using the zigzag stitch can be very playful. So as you try it out, I suggest you tinker with the Width settings to see the different outcomes. So for instance, what I've done here is that I made two rows that are overlapping each other in order to create a certain area which is all covered with stitches. Now I'm going to change the settings a little bit because I want to show you how I'm doing a thick line using the satin stitch. Like so. And I can change the settings as I go. I can make it wider or narrower according to what you want. If you don't like the zinc 60 Joe, you want to use a different method. What you can do to widen the lining, give it more presence is to use a straight stitch and just repeated straight stitch on the same area like so. We'll be, we'll give you a similar effect. Now the way to create volume is to maneuver the stitches in an ordered or disordered manner. It's like little leaves or little circles that are creating a certain volume or noise. So in a way I'm creating an organized or disorganized pattern and the certain area of my project. And it can create an effect of shade, density, or depth depending on your artistic needs. You can be precise in your movement and create a repeated pattern or liberal and sketch them as you go. It's really up to you. Don't be discouraged. If you haven't quite mastered the skill. The more you practice, the better you will get. It's really an easy, fun, and very rewarding skill. So enjoy experimenting and create your own machine embroidery art. 7. Closure: Now that you have finished watching this class, you can set up your machine and be well on your way with your creative new path. If you want, you can pop into my machine and very creative classes and get your juices flowing in that direction. Also, feel free to hit the Follow button here or here to make sure you get notified when my new classes are coming live. You can also follow me on Instagram and get a glimpse of my creative path. It's under my name. They lasted until the next time, right?