Learning to do Free Machine Embroidery

This afternoon I went to a class at Cally Co in Cambridge to learn how to do free machine embroidery.

The class was taught by Caroline Austin of Two Turtle Doves who is the best sewing teacher I have ever encounter, she was fun, friendly and completely inspirational. She started the class by talking us through her journey into the craft, she then went on to show us examples of work which she had done (which were amazing and especially as they featured lots of animals). After this she introduced us to the set up of the machine and showed us how to start off. Then we were free to go, she showed us how to do the craft with or without a hoop, but it became quickly apparent that I was a natural hoop user and I definitely felt more in control using the hoop.

First of all we started off doing circles and lines to get a feel for the machine, we then moved on to doing some applique work and lettering (I have terrible handwriting at the best of times so this was definitely not the part of the class I excelled at). Then we had a break for a well earned cup of tea and cake, over tea she showed some good books to use and discussed different ways we could use the craft such as sewing onto card ( which is something I definitely want to try).

After tea we came to the hardcore stuff, and were tracing images from the light box to then embroider. There is no surprises that I chose the deer initially - how could I resist, and below is how he turned out (earlier she had told us how doing multiple outlines gives a nice effect - which I tried out). I now need to work out what to do with him - I think I'll frame it.

After I finished this I had extra time so Caroline told me to make a napkin (she said these were a nice way to use the craft for gifts) For this I chose a lovely rabbit.
I really enjoyed this class and feel that in 3 hours I made a serious amount and progress, and feel really confident to continue at home.I shall definitely keep you all updated of my progess.


  1. It sounds lovely Collette and I can't wait to hear more about what you do:)

  2. Wow - these are amazing. That deer is really cute on his wobbly feet. How about a sea onion in the future? :)

    1. A sea onion is top of the list - I'll make it 10 times larger than the actual thing to be consistent - hahaha

  3. These are lovely, Collette - great work for only 3 hours! Watch out - you'll be free machine quilting before you know it . . . ;)

  4. Amazing Collette, you managed to achieve such a lot in a short time. Very impressive. X

  5. Well done, I can't believe you learnt that in one class!