Monday, April 21, 2014

Free Motion Stitching Tutorial: from Mug Rugs to Tool Mats?

Mug Rug: 'Pussy Willows for Spring'
created by me, Eileen Gidman
using a piece of my hand dyed fabric (pussy willows)
This last 2 weeks I have made several mug rugs. Click here for the first post about them. Mug Rug Tutorial . They seem to be a perfect gift for a woman but it got me thinking what could I make for the guys? A couple of years ago I gave my husband some scraps for shop rags. I was surprised to find that he was using a practice piece of free motion stitching that I included in those scraps as a mat for laying the tools out that he was using for a project. Just last week, I saw he was still using it so I thought why not make a tool mat and practice my free motion stitching at the same time. Here is what I did.

 I cut two pieces of lightweight denim about 13 X 15" as well as a piece of thin batting the same size. After sandwiching the batting between the wrong sides of the denim fabric, I pinned it in several places.

 First I stitched the feature box in the upper right section and left it until I had warmed up a little with some free motion stitching practice.

 Details of free motion stitching.

Tool Mat?
'Mountain Bluebird'
12 1/2" X 15"
When I felt ready, I stitched the bird by first lightly sketching it on the fabric, in pencil, from a reference photo on my Ipad. You could just as easily print off a copyright free photo and trace on a design if you are not used to drawing.
Then I continued sewing free motion designs. Yes, there are a lot of patterns available for free motion stitching on-line but I preferred to let my hands go with the ideas I thought up. Before starting a new design, I outlined a box with a straight stitch. Most of these boxes were just eyeballed to keep the artistic nature of the piece.

The backside worked out fairly well too. As it is going to the shop, I didn't bind it but simply anchored the edges with 3 lines of straight stitches. There you have it, a nice little gift for the men in your life and some free motion stitching practice to boot.


Win Dinn, Artist said...

Greg is one lucky man to cop that Tool Rug, Eileen...spoiled, or what! Gorgeous job on it!

Laura Leeder said...

Nicely done Eileen!

Gloria said...

Great idea, Eileen! A good use for a practice piece!