When a customer brought some machine embroidery samples into the fabric shop where I worked I was immediately enthralled and captivated. Having never seen an embroidery unit I could not imagine how something so beautiful could be created, not by long hours hand stitching, but by a machine! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would be digitising my own designs and making friends all over the world.
I learnt how to sew on a old Singer sewing machine and I remember that it contained a few gadgets, in a partition under the hand wheel, that I had no idea how to use. Without any instructions I had no idea how they worked but I remember playing with them and examining the dials and knobs. There was a world of sewing out there I wanted to embrace. I am sorry that I no longer have that machine, which is why I created the Antique sewing machine embroidery to replace it.
I had made attempts at hand embroidery but not that successfully probably lacking the diligence and patience to ever finish a project. For a while I was in to cross stitch as I enjoyed all the wonderful colours. My first major purchase when I starting working was a Frister Rossman 35 sewing machine. It served me well and in all honesty I think I wore it out completely. I have always treasured my sewing machines which have allowed me to make clothes for my dolls, then my three girls.
When that machine died I invested in a Bernina machine which had some fancy stitches and an in built mouse. I confess that I never mastered its use!!!
After this Bernina I began my Husqvarna Designer journey starting with the Designer 1 through to my current Epic. I have loved all my machines and they have enabled me to pursue my passion for embroidery. On reflection, my first attempts at embroidery were not successful. Moving my mega hoop into three different positions resulted in my embroidery not lining up. I never found out why this happened but I persisted at it and mastered the hoop in the end. It was not long before I wanted to create my own embroideries so I taught myself to digitise. As each larger hoop has been developed I have loved the challenge to digitise larger embroideries without so many hoopings. However I would say that there is a certain thrill when you create an embroidery with several hoopings. It is very very satisfying to line each design up successfully.
Machine embroidery still has me entranced. To see the designs I have diligently created stitching out for the first time is still thrilling and exciting. There are days when my hoopings do go all wrong and I try to honestly share why this happens here in this blog, and how to avoid it occurring in the future. I am utterly convinced that when we are stressed and in a hurry, the results are often not our best. It is easy to frequently wonder in which direction machine embroidery will go next as the manufacturers blow us away with new machines that do even more than we could possibly imagine a decade ago. What a privilege it is to be part of the machine embroidery world.
As another year of digitising designs for Graceful Embroidery is over, I am looking to the year ahead. I have several collections in development which should be released in 2020, after some Christmas designs. There should be lots of new videos too on YouTube. This is a superb way for you to visit with me in my studio, as I continue on my exciting embroidery adventure. Watch this space to see what Father Christmas brings me this year.
Happy embroidering from Hazel