Have you ever heard of a flower stitch foot?
It’s one of my very favorite specialty sewing machine feet. It looks kind of funny and clunky, but you can do some truly amazing magical stitching with it.
As you can see from the photo, the foot is bulky so attachments that are already fitted to your machine such as an inbuilt even feed foot, may cause problems when trying to attach the foot.
Although traditionally used for creating small decorative circles on fabric, the Flower Stitch Foot can also be used with water soluble stabilizer to create all sorts of decorative effects and is a great tool for making fringes and dangly things.
The following is a tutorial based on one of the projects from the amazingly creative book Edges & Finishes in Machine Embroidery by Valerie Campbell-Harding, and demonstrates some of the ways you can use this foot with water soluble stabilizer.
So here’s how it’s done …
What You Need
Cut a piece of water soluble stabilizer. My favorite water soluble stabilizer is the type that looks like fabric (not plastic) because it’s much more stable and generally you only need to use one layer, you can sew on it without using an embroidery hoop, and it also washes out much easier.
Attach the flower stitch foot, select a straight stitch, and sew a circle.
Change to a satin stitch and sew over the top of the stitched circle, then repeat this process by making a bunch of randomly sized circles.
Note - The straight stitch serves as an underlay and will prevent the satin stitches from totally unraveling once the water soluble stabilizer is washed away.
Draw a fringe design on a separate piece of water soluble stabilizer with a half inch border at the top about 6″ long, and several long drops of about 6″ to 8″.
Roughly cut out your stitched circles (but don’t rinse yet) and position them along the drop lines. A tiny dab of water on the back of the cut-out circles will hold those pieces in place. Not too much though because it is water soluble stabilizer and it will disappear if you put too much water on it!
Using a decorative machine stitch, sew rows of overlapping stitches along the horizontal border and vertical drops, then using a straight stitch sew rows of cross-over stitching to connect the circles to each other.
Rinse away the stabilizer, allow the piece to dry, press with an iron, and . . . voila!
Where Can I Get One?
The flower stitch foot is only available for sewing machines with a low shank.
Repeat … low shank only.
Sorry, but if you have a machine with a high shank you’re out of luck because there is no way to use this foot with those types of machines; it just doesn’t work. And there is no adapter to make it work. I’ve tried. You’re one and only solution is to beg, borrow or buy a machine with a low shank.
If you’re not sure what sort of shank your sewing machine has, consult your instruction manual or contact your sewing machine manufacturer.
… both the flower stitch foot and the water soluble stabilizer can be found on amazon.com. How convenient is that! So go grab one and give it a try – I absolutely know you will have tons of creative fun.
PS – You can find additional tools and resources that I recommend and use here on my Resources page
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