Free Motion Embroidery - Fan Coral

No comments
Free Motion Embroidery - Fan Coral
Free motion embroidery - Coral

Since my last post, I've been getting messages from readers about my video on stitching the gorgonian fan coral for my upcycled installation. Questions included:
a) why didn't I use a footer?
b) why didn't I use dissolvable stabiliser
c) what machine did I use for the free motion embroidery.

To answer these questions:

With or Without a Footer

I had intended to use my darning footer when I stitched the red fan coral. However, after initially trying it out on scraps without the footer, I just went ahead and continued with the piece.  There are a few artists (e.g. Karen Nicol) who do not use a footer.  I think it is personal preference, and I do believe that with a lot of practice, you will be able to have better control over your free motion embroidery.

Here I am sewing the blue fan coral but with the footer. I'm using a darning footer and during the process I did feel more confident with the footer than without.

My thoughts are:

  1. Sewing without a footer (and especially on something as flimsy as organza) is difficult as there is no footer to stop your project from bouncing up and down. There were quite a few moments during my sewing when the embroidery hoop jumped up and down. I had to stop, take a breath and start moving again, but slowly.  
  2. You need steady hands and slow movements. I was no longer to do long stitches, so all my stitching for the red fan coral were very short. 
  3. Sometimes you will forget to lower your footer shank. When that happens then you will get horrible bunched up thread at the bottom of your piece and possibly a cranky sewing machine. I jammed mine a few times because I forgot to do it.  So, always remember to keep the footer shank lowered and never lift it up during the project. 


When I sewed the coral pieces, I wanted to emulate the fan and so I didn't use any stabiliser except I sewed onto the organza. I think if I did it again, I might use the soluble stabiliser so that the fabric would be tighter around the hoop. Mind you, there were problems trying to get the organza nice and flat in the hoop.

Sewing machine

This is my sewing machine. It's a good old Singer basic sewing machine with nothing really fancy. I cover the reasons behind why I don't buy an embroidery sewing machine in this post.  But I would like to add a very important point and that is I do feel that a basic machine that allows you to lower the dog feeds gives you greater control than an embroidery one. This is my opinion, but if you beg differ, that is perfectly fine!

Free motion embroidery - stitching coral

If you are keen on getting updates about this project,  sign up on my mailing list! You will receive a confirmation email which you will need to confirm.
Your contact details will be safe with me.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

author profile image

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

No comments

Post a Comment