USE YOUR SEWING MACHINE TO CREATE WALL ART, FEATURING DELICATE DANDELIONS FLOATING AWAY ON THE SUMMER BREEZE
Follow Louisa Burtonshaw’s easy guide to blending machine and hand embroidery
Mount the fabric in the hoop backwards, 01 with the outer hoop on the back of your fabric and the inner hoop on the front. Then, transfer the design from the template onto your fabric using an erasable pen and a lightbox or window – the markings need to be erasable as you will not be covering them completely with your stitching. Next, set up your sewing machine by attaching your freemotion or darning foot and dropping the feed dogs – look at your sewing machine’s instructions if you are unsure of how to do this. Make sure that your fabric is flat to the sewing machine bed, then use Machine Straight Stitch to fill in the stalks and outline the leaves with light green machine cotton. If you’ve never done freemotion stitching before, then practise on a scrap of fabric first. Switch your machine to white cotton 02 and use freemotion Machine Straight Stitch to work the heads of the dandelions, using a little star shape to represent each seed head. In the same way, stitch the seeds blowing in the wind. Reverse over the beginnings and ends of each seed to stop them from unraveling and cut off your cotton between each one. Remember to change the bobbin when you switch colours – if you have multiple bobbins you can prepare both in advance. If not, you’ll need to unwind the thread to change from light green to white. Take your fabric out of the hoop and 03 remount the stitching in the hoop so that the design is sitting at the front of the hoop now, as it would be normally. Switching to hand embroidery, use two strands of light green to work the right-hand edges of the left leaf and the left-hand edges of the right two leaves using Long and Short Stitch.
Fill the remaining spaces on all of the 04 leaves using Long and Short Stitch in two strands of dark green.
Using one strand of brown, work 05 Backstitch to create veins on the leaves, working down the centre of each leaf in turn. Then, work more brown lines coming out from the central vein in the same direction as the green stitches, working the stitches more densely towards the base of the stem.
Create some shading on the stem of the 06 dandelions by working Straight Stitches on the left-hand side of each stem in one strand of brown. Next, work Straight Stitches in dark green next to the brown to blend the brown and light green together. Finish the hoop using your preferred method.