|Natalya Aikens combines hand and machine stitching to create different textures on her
Hand stitching or machine stitching, which do you prefer? If you ask me, the answer would depend on the day or the project. Hand stitching is meditative, tactile, and personal. Machine stitching is fast, even, easier on the hands, and less likely to be interrupted by certain four-legged friends.
We asked our friends on Facebook which they preferred, and got similar responses. But many people couldn't pick a favorite method and chose "Both!" as their reply.
In fact, I include both machine and hand stitching in many of my projects. And not just because I enjoy doing it; they complement each other.
Natalya Aikens is an artist who is adept at combining machine and hand stitching.
"When I combine hand and machine stitching, it is as though I am finding ways to marry the two different sides of my artistic soul," she says in Volume 3 of our interactive eMag In Stitches.
Here is some of her advice.
Fiber Artist Natalya Aikens
Don't be afraid to overlap stitches, whether created by hand or machine. Lots of overlapped stitches add great texture and boldness.
- If you have identified your design lines with bold machine strokes, don't take away from them by adding contrasting-thread hand stitches. Try a coordinating color or a soft variegated color thread to achieve the needed texture without excess boldness.
- To avoid gathering and puckering during machine stitching, use tear-away stabilizer, especially with sheers. Just don't forget to tear it away before adding hand stitching. Instead of using tear-away stabilizer, you can use an embroidery hoop.
You can watch video of Natalya demonstrating her technique, zoom in on a gallery of her work, and read many more tips on the best ways to combine machine and hand stitching in In Stitches Volume 3, available now.
P.S. So, which do you prefer, hand or machine stitching, and why? Express your opinion in the comments section below.