Free Motion Wall Art

free motion header

I’ve always been a big fan of typography and can obviously never have enough fabric to feather my nest, so it seemed natural to me to merge the two.  Of course I needed the help of a Typography Supremo with a fun an whimsical style; who better than the lovely Sam Osborne who does all my fabulous branding goodies. I’ve been sitting on her design for a while and initially had a go with some applique versions, but it’s just as fun when rustled up in a free motion-style.

free motion collage 1

This is not a full blown free motion master class (you can get excellent ones already at The Sewing Directory & Bloomin Workshop :, or why not sign up to Sam Malloy’s class at Fabric HQ). But you can download for free the fabulous template that I’ve used and whip up your very own.

downloadable template graphic

you will need

So first of all you’ll need to gather up all your goodies. I went for a neutral background and then zingy fabrics for my words (the multi-coloured is Paradiso Floral Resort Multi By Moda, and the birds are: flamingos by Sevenberry both available at Fabric HQ).  I’ve tried the opposite before in terms of fabric combos and that works well too, but I think I’d got a lavender candle burning during this sewing session, so a calm fabric scenario seemed good. You’ll also need some BondaWeb (who can live without?), some interfacing or stabiliser, some contrasting cottons and an embroidery hoop.

cut out template

So, first things first – I cut out the letters from the template with a craft knife so that I could use the shapes to draw onto my chosen fabric, but was also able to lay the template down over the main fabric to help when positioning the individual fabric letters. Caution! I didn’t do this first time round, and everything ended up a little on the wonk.

cut out letters

So pop some interfacing or stabiliser on the reverse of your background fabric. Now grab your Bondaweb and iron on the back of one of your letter fabrics, pop the letters on top and draw around the shapes – REMEBER TO REVERSE THEM! Then cut out the shapes, peel off the other side of the Bondaweb and position them onto your background fabric.


Time for embroidering! Clamp your fabric in an embroidery hoop and set up your machine for free motion action (darning foot on, feed dogs down). The beady-eyed among you will notice from the image above that I don’t use a foot on my machine when doing free- motion work. This isn’t because I enjoy the potential danger of sewing over my fingers – it’s just that my machine doesn’t have a darning foot as such – it performs it’s marvellous darning manoeuvres with a standard foot and if I adopt this foot for free motion work too, I can’t see a pickling thing that I’m sewing! Fear not, I cling on to the outside of the embroidery hoop with both hands and don’t let any fingers wander.

completed work

And there you have it really! Frame it, hang it and admire. Bless Your Nest!

complete squared cream

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3 Responses to Free Motion Wall Art

  1. Jen June 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    Truly a thing of beauty. I love that you have incorporated the birds into the fabric rather than having to embroider them separately. Can’t believe that you do this without a darning foot! You are much braver than me.

    • admin June 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Ha Ha! I’m just too thrifty to cough up and buy one! x


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