Machine Embroidered Portraits

I saw a post about artist Harriet Maxwell on Mr. X Stitch, and just had to pass the word along. She uses an Irish sewing machine to create detailed portraits. Y’all, what is an Irish sewing machine? Is it just from Ireland, or is there something special about it? Google is failing to answer the question.

So, here are some pictures of her work – there are more on her blog, or on the post about her at Mr. X Stitch.

Harriet MaxwellHarriet Maxwell

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8 Responses to Machine Embroidered Portraits

  1. corinne says:

    Well—since its this evening on the day of your posting. I’m guessing that no has a clue as to what an Irish sewing machine is??? Sorry to say I have no idea but now I’m curious so if I find out anything I’ll let you know! Thanks again for all the work you do for this blog I love it!

  2. corinne says:

    PS- the quality of the workmanship is subperb!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’ve never heard of an Irish sewing machine, and that’s not like any machine embroidery I’ve seen before!

  4. Elmsley Rose says:

    Yowsers, they are good! Imagine the control you’d have to have over the machine, and the thread colour changes! I wonder if it is a multi-bobbin machine to hold different colours, and she programmed the various features – or whether it’s more ‘freehand’.

  5. ruth says:

    Irish sewing machine is an old industrial sewing machine that has no ‘feed dog’ to pull the fabric through front to back. The operator has to move the fabric about under the needle to create the pattern/picture. It is like the free motion embroidery that you are able to do on a domestic sewing machine by dropping or covering the feed dogs.

  6. Eleanor says:

    they also usually have a knee lever to control the stitch width. (well, the ones in my university do… )


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