Combining Hand And Machine Stitch

Some time ago I had some alliums (blog post from January 2019) printed onto fabric thinking I might make a lampshade with the material. The scale didn’t quite work but I decided to stitch into the flower heads anyway, with nothing in particular in mind. I just used simple straight stitches and then put the piece aside, unfinished.


I found this piece again today while I was having an end of year clear up so I decided to stitch into it with my machine. Mainly because some appropriate colour thread was already in my machine, but also because I couldn’t imagine finishing it otherwise! So I used some of the lovely Madeira FS thread to go over the individual florets and add a bit of emphasis in the middle of each. It gives it definition and makes it look much better.



I wondered why I don’t combine hand and machine stitch more often. In fact I looked through my samples box and noted that I only had two practice pieces where I had tried it before. Below is where I had made a ‘Midas Touch’ piece, using the old fashioned spider’s web stitch as the base layer, machining right into the spokes to make the hand stitched area stand out.



The other sample was just simple machine sketching to make a hollyhock picture look more like hollyhocks! Not sure I succeeded – it was only a sample – but the darker machine stitching went on top of the tiny fabric scraps and the hand stitching of the foliage.



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