Module 6: Free Choice Item

The brief for the sixth module of the City and Guild L3 in Machine Embroidery is to develop a free choice item using utility stitches in a decorative way based on the Line portfolio produced for Module 1.   I decided that I would make a waistcoat for my husband, who is a musician for a Lancashire Clogging side called Oakenhoof (you can find them at  I wanted to use Celtic and woodland themes and so designed a waistcoat which would be quilted using a wood bark pattern and then have an image of a Green Man appliqued on the back.

I designed the face of a Green Man to the size needed for the waistcoat.  I created a line copy and a full colour version of the design.  I placed the line copy under a sheet of thin muslin so that the lines were visible and, following roughly the coloured copy, applied fabrics in the corresponding colours. I adhered the fabric initially with temporary fabric spray glue.  When all the leaves were eventually glued into place I adhered all the edges using a flexible fabric glue.  During construction I tried to use fabrics which would give the effect of a light source coming from the left as you look at the image.

Creating the Fabric Collage

I then cut out the waistcoat including a cotton interlining.  I joined at the shoulders and then quilted all over in a wood bark pattern which I learned from Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt.

Wood bark pattern
Wood bark pattern

After constructing the fabric collage of the green man entirely, I cut down the muslin backing so that it would not show and appliqued it to the back of the waistcoat.  As I wanted it to appear as if the light source was coming from the left (as you look at it) I covered the right half in black tulle to intensify the darker colours on the opposite side.  I used utility and automatic stitches to applique the leaves to the piece including stretch stitch, zig-zag and a scalloped stitch. Once the applique was finished I applied the collar and lining and finished the waistcoat.

Applique collar


Appliqued to the back of the jacket
Appliqued to the back of the jacket

The finished waistcoat was worn to our local Rushbearing Festival and I was really happy that a few people asked me about it and how it was done!

The samples following were also produced for this module, and I hope including them might be helpful for people doing this course.

Next module is dyeing and a wall hanging…bye for now!

Kate 🙂