It is also usually creatively challenging too.
This year I attended a free motion machine embroidery workshop run by Meredith Woolnough. I had not done a lot of research but did find this very interesting YouTube posting. I had not heard of this series of videos but will be looking for more.
Meredith had sent out an email well before the class, asking us to have our machines serviced as we would be giving them a thorough working out. I dutifully sent it away and when it returned was not happy with the noises it was making, despite the fact that it was sewing. So I returned it, only to be told that he could find nothing wrong. So I took it away. Of course, it did not last the week. I had taken a small Toyota sewing machine as an emergency back-up. It is not set up for dropping the feed dogs and, despite being able to do loose free motion sewing (I used a teflon sheet to cover the feed dogs) it couldn't handle the thicker sewing.
|The thinner sewing done on the Toyota machine.|
|I used this piece of foil to help it dry in a non-flat shape. It became one of the flowers in the picture below.|
Meredith very kindly allowed me to use her Bernina demonstration machine. It was like driving a car when you are used to a bike! But it got the job done wonderfully!
We had a lovely week. Meredith would give demonstrations and make suggestions but we all worked on our own ideas and designs and came up with very different pieces.
We started off with samples,
|This is a small leaf shape that was pinned to baking paper to dry. Then it was embedded in resin.|
Then we spent a couple of days working on our main pieces.
I was very pleased that Meredith showed us how she mounts her work - something that is not often done at workshops. It is very effective but not as easy as it sounds! But it enabled me to layer my work at slightly different heights. One element of Meredith's style is that shadows play an important part of the design, due to the raised elements of the pieces.
Here is the final display, ready for the gallery showing of all classes. There are some small pieces on the table that were embedded in resin, a part of the workshop also.