Research: Poppy Treffy

I recently spoke to a local textile artist called Mrs Bramble who does a lot of free machine embroidery. I was saying that I wasn’t very confident on technique and she highly recommended looking at Poppy Treffy‘s work. In particular she suggested that I focus on how Poppy Treffy’s work embraces imperfections. I managed to borrow two of her books from my local library Free & Easy Stitch Style and Freehand Machine Embroidery.

Free & Easy Stitch Style is a great introduction to free machine embroidery as it breaks down the technique into different skills including outlining, shading and appliqué. There are projects which are broken down into steps and I can see why Mrs Bramble recommended looking at Poppy’s work as she embraces the uneven stitching, unintended consequences and rough edges of the trimmed pieces of fabric.

Freehand Machine Embroidery is very similar to the first book but contains a different set of projects including some tips such as keeping practice squares to turn into mini works of art or wearable art by covering buttons or adding them to old clothes or household textiles.


Treffy, P. (2009) Free & Easy Stitch Style Cincinnati, OH: David & Charles (an imprint of F&W Media International Ltd)

Treffy, P. (2012) Freehand Machine Embroidery Newton Abbot: David & Charles (an imprint of F&W Media International Ltd)

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