My Favourite Free Motion Embroidery Tools


A while ago I posted a tutorial showing how I stitch detail in free motion embroidery pieces, either to add fiddly, precise features or when I don't want to have an applique fabric 'edge' to follow.  This technique involves stitching through a layer of tissue paper with the design drawn on and then carefully removing the tissue once the stitching is complete.

Today I thought I'd tell you a bit more about some of the tools I've found helpful in getting a neat finish.
The first is a common or garden stitch unpicker / seam ripper / whatever you like to call it.
As I showed in the tutorial, it's really handy for gently poking the tip under the tissue paper you need to peel off and easing it away from the stitching. It's much easier than trying to find an edge you can lift up with your fingers!

Once you've removed most of the tissue in this way, you'll probably find you're left with tiny bits in between lines of stitching, or stuck underneath individual stitches. A pair of needle nosed craft tweezers is brilliant for getting rid of these tiny bits.

I got these in the card making section of my local craft shop, as you can see from the photo below the points are really fine.  You can use them to gently scrape out the tiny bits of tissue you can't get with the unpicker or your fingers, and then lift them away.

The final tool I'm going to recommend is not just useful for this technique, it would be handy anywhere you need to cut threads really close to your work. 

These are curved blade micro snips.  I bought this pair on Amazon for about £6.00, the photo below shows the curve on the blade, enabling you to cut threads very close to your work without fear of snipping the work itself.

I've found they make a lot of difference to the neatness of my work and they're very light and easy to handle.

I'm currently trying to justify a pair of these Tula Pink Hardware ones, at about 4 times the price of the pair I bought.  No difference in how they work, but they're much prettier!

I hope you've found this useful.  As always, if you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below and I'll respond as quickly as I can.

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