Do I need a special sewing machine?
No, a normal sewing machine with a swing needle setup and where you can drop the feed dogs or cover them with a plate is perfectly alright.
Do you need to use special needles?
I do tend to buy the right needles for the right thickness thread but I have been known to put a jeans needle in when I was desperate as the shops where shut.
What machine threads do you use?
Any threads that your sewing machine behaves with. This technique is more about choosing the right colour thread, not whether it is rayon, metallic or cotton. Although I am partial to the Madeira metallic.
Can you do this technique by hand stitching?
No, It needs to be free machine stitched with the feed dogs dropped or covered as some designs can be quite complicated and you need to be able to manoeuvre around them with ease. You can sew on a normal small straight stitch with the feed dogs engaged but it will take you longer to complete.
What do I use it for when it is complete?
The world’s your oyster. Look at all the things I have gone on to do with it.
On a simpler note, you could: bead it onto a cushion front, embellish it with beadwork, make it into a small window hanging, it could be a panel on a bag front or book front or it could be applied to a square of fabric and quilted and so much more. I will leave it to your imagination.
Where do you get your designs from?
I make small rough drawings in a sketchbook, nothing fancy or clever as they are for my eyes only.
You could use photographs, birthday cards, wallpaper patterns, pattern books as guidance.
Please remember to check the copyright of all the designs you may wish to use remembering that someone has spent hours working to produce them. The best way is to sit down and have a go at sketching your own.
What made you decide to add hand work in the form of Stumpwork to the organza?
My machine work is 3 dimensional and I wanted to see if the traditional hand-worked raised work would complement the more modern approach.