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The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Free Standing Lace (FSL) and a Freebie* - with variations**

The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Free Standing Lace (FSL) and a Freebie* - with variations**

I started machine embroidery in December, 2001. I had just moved from Arizona to California, and after 9/11/2001, jobs dried up and the United States was in turmoil. I was fascinated by the machines that could embroider. It appeared that all the operator needed to do was press a button. 

It seemed like I could make some money with it. If you are considering selling your projects, check out my spreadsheet to get a method to price your items.

What fools these mortals be - - - It is 18 years later and I find that I am still learning. The old saying that 'you don't know what you don't know' applies to this lovely craft.

I searched for information on when FSL actually was created. By its nature, it appears that it is not likely that it was done in hand embroidery. I was unable to find the history of FSL, but did find some history of embroidery in general.

Archaeologist have found fossilized remains of embroidery circa the, Cro-Magnon era, about 30000 BC. Items included clothes, boots, even layettes, baskets, men's wear and other items in the digs.

Around 1500 AD, embroidery was consider to be appropriate for religious items; and a luxury for the wealthy . If you see the costs for the machine embroidery, wealth does seem to enter into the picture again - -

* Here are a few tips to make this FSL the professional project you desire:
  • Start with a fresh needle. This design only has 9k stitches but each one needs to be firm for success.
  • Wind up your top color into a bobbin spool. Having it the same on both sides is a great design enhancement. Using the 40# weight thread instead of the 60# (or higher weight) won't alter this design.
  • If you are NOT using Badgemaster (starting at $7.41), seriously consider NOT sewing the first color, or using multiple layers to stabilize. IMHO, multiple layers are not as good as Badgemaster. That color is the baste line and will likely harm the integrity of your stabilizer. It is better to take a chance on the registry going astray by itself. Basting can degrade other stabilizers. Check out my original blog, written in 2008 and frequently updated, on Badgemaster, I still stand by my experiences and observations.
  • Trim the end tails as you go, otherwise they will show in your final product.
  • If you use metallic for the #4 thread, I think you will love the effect. Using any metallic (IMHO) will enhance any part of the FSL. You might even want the heart/infinity lines with metallic as well. At that point, I believe Badgemaster will hold up without fail.
  • Color #3 is for the loop to hang your heart. You may skip it without harm to the design.
  • Use warm water for Badgemaster removal and allow the project to dry between a fold in a terry or paper towel.
BTW, You could just use threads #1 and #5 for this heart on fabric. When I adjust any project, I take the original name and create a synopsis of the recipe:  FSL Infinite Heart 4x4 8k 5 color The Avid Embroiderer. If I decided to save just threads #1 and #5 for future projects, I always use this format:   FSLa Infinite Heart 4x4 4k 2 color The Avid Embroiderer. 

Note the 'a' after the first word, it tells me that it is a different generation of the original. In some cases, I have actually gotten to 'p' because I played around with a design. (These would be for my OWN use only because designs are copyright.) If I have to return to a certain point, I have a map of where the appropriate spot is in the process. 

Here is my Freebie and I hope you like it.

  • ** This design can be sewn on fabric by just using the #1 and #5 threads. It creates just the heart and infinity portion.
  • If you need a loop for another FSL that has none, just copy the #3 thread and paste to the new design. 
  • You can use a single color for the whole design. AND, last but not least,
  •  if you use 'invisible' thread in the #4 thread position, you should have a very interesting ornament/decoration to display. Using that thread is challenging to say the least. Let us all know if it is successful for you. 

Thank you so much for joining me this busy time (or any time) of year. I hope the above tips will help you in all of your FSL projects. 

Comments (4) -

Thank you for all of the tips! I just started stitching out some FSL designs. My initial efforts in the 4x4 size turned out well, but when I tried the 5x7 size, it was a fail. :-( I think it was a dull needle.... maybe insufficient stabilizer and not-so-great hooping as well. I will have to buy some Badgemaster and try that.

Daisy - Thank you so much for your input. It helps me know how things have turned out for my readership.

I only created this infinity heart in the 4x4 size. Resizing of FSL is a dangerous sport and around 10% is even 'iffy.' A 5x7 adaptation is more than 25% larger. You don't specifically say how the 2nd one failed, and fails come in so many ways and means.

A dull needle can (among other things - like skipping stitches because it did not penetrate the project), cause overly large holes which effects the stabilizer allowing it to stretch and/or move. Just movement of .5mm (1/50 of an inch) will alter all the design registration.

My blogs attempt to give some tips and tricks for trouble shooting issues. Just when you figure out one issue, another comes along to keep you on your toes!
Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Oh, dear! I should’ve been more specific — I tried a different FSL design, not your freebie. Unfortunately, I’m not that prompt about stitching out designs I’ve downloaded. There’s usually quite a lag time! Wink

The design I used came in multiple sizes, so I didn’t need to resize anything. When I tried the larger size, I got lots of loose stitches (little loops instead flat thread). It might’ve been okay because it looked like the satin stitching was going to cover it, but then I got a bird’s nest. Ugh! That’s when I gave up. I didn’t notice large holes or mis-registration, but I also didn’t get very far.

I’m sloooowly working my way up embroidery’s learning curve — LOL!

Daisy - I jumped to conclusions - - - I am glad you are trying different things, machine embroidery has a learning curve just like any other craft or talent.
I think you experienced a bobbin issue. Thread coming from the bobbin is retained by restraining device that creates tension for the lower thread. I recommend you read this blog (mine of course)

(copy and paste)
to get a better understanding of the path for embroidery. It is so FULL of good information you will want to keep (print out) it for reference. The more you understand the features/functions, the better you will be able to  trouble shoot for your specific issues.  

You can also do a search for the particular issue you have. Search is on the right of the title bar above. My blogs don't show you how to do projects, it is more leaning toward problem solving.

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