Free-motion machine embroidery online course

Break free of the lines!

Course information

This course is designed for all skill levels. Whether you are a complete beginner or an intermediate refining your craft, you will find practical instructions and helpful tips.

I will take you on an exciting journey of learning how to draw with your sewing machine. We will cover all the basics with mini projects and time to practice what you have learnt.

This course has been developed from my most popular intense live workshops that I can no longer run due to the pandemic. I’ve extended it to go into more detail, and I’ve added a bonus festive project.

We will cover:

  • Getting started & technical information
  • Practice doodles
  • Backing fabrics
  • Stems and grasses
  • Adding small shapes of fabric
  • Cutting out shapes
  • Drawing to aid stitching
  • Using a hoop
  • Couching down yarns
  • Using heat vanishing pens
  • Heat transfer paper for larger shapes
  • Tear drop leaves, group project
  • A variety of floral shapes
  • Optional book made from your samples
  • Final design project 
  • A festive bonus project

What's included in the course?

  1. Lots of videos of me stitching.
  2. Clear downloadable instruction supporting the video lessons
  3. Downloadable flower patterns
  4. Trouble shooting video
  5. Access to a Facebook group exclusively for members of this course where you can share ideas, support each other and chat with like-minded people
  6. Question and answer opportunities
  7. Opportunity to buy materials and equipment required for the course (Quantities are limited. Act soon if you'd like one!) *Sorry but I am only shipping these within the UK at this time.
  8. Technical support -- there will be technical assistance available if you have any tech problems.

Sign up to get notified when enrollment is open!

Sign up to get notified when enrollment is open!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start?

The course starts 1st November and runs for six weeks. Enrollment will open up in mid-October. If you are one of the early birds, there will be some videos waiting for you before the course officially "opens" and you can gather your materials and check your machine is working well.

How long do I have access to the course?

For six weeks (until Sunday 13th December). The lessons will be released gradually over a four week period to give you plenty of time to practice the skills. If you fall behind or want extra time for practice and feedback, do not worry. You will have access to the course for six weeks (until 13th December), and the lesson PDFs can be downloaded and printed for future reference.

How much time will I need to complete the course?

You'll need a minimum of 30 mins twice a week but you could happily spend an hour a day or more if you wish to.

How much does the workshop cost?

The workshop is £75. Payment can be securely made by clicking the Enroll Now button.

Are any discounts available?

If you have already booked and paid for a workshop at Jo’s house and it was cancelled due to COVID, you can swap over onto this course. I will email you a code.

If you are a member of my Facebook group "Free Motion Embroidery with Jo Hill Textiles" then you get a discount of 15%. A code will be released on the Facebook page.

If you are on my mailing list you get a discount of 15%. A code will be sent via email

What materials do I need for the course?

  • A sewing machine where you can lower the feed dogs (teeth) and you will need a free motion embroidery foot attachment, sometimes called a darning foot.
  • Spare machine needles size 14 or 16 will be fine
  • A selection of fabrics to applique onto your work.
  • A firm backing fabric, I use 10 oz cotton canvas or you can use a thinner fabric and a stabilizer like iron on Vilene, or spray on a lining fabric using Odit temporary adhesive spray.
  • Good quality threads. Thick size 30’s good quality black thread will do to get you started.
  • An 8” embroidery hoop no thicker than 1cm, I use and sell Elbesee. Bamboo can split and warp, plastic and metal don't like a stiff backing fabric.
  • A heat vanishing pen is very useful (I use a frixion pen)
  • Small and medium sharp scissors
  • Heat transfer paper (bondaweb)
  • Glue stick like pritt stick or a fabric glue.
  • A small selection of chunky yarn, scraps will do fine.

I will be selling some of the material on a first come first served basis for the first 50 students living in the UK. If you wish to purchase material or equipment from me head over to my website ( where I sell backing fabric, coloured applique fabric swatches, Frixion pens, bondaweb and hoops on a first come first served basis.

Can I buy a starter pack of material to get me started?

Yes you will have the option to buy backing canvas in two weights, a hoop, Frixion pen, bonaweb and a swatch bag of fabric for the flowers, these are priced individually. There are limited quantities available so if you are interested, I encourage you to purchase ASAP. A link to purchase these items will be emailed to you upon course sign-up. Sorry as this is limited to members in the UK only

Do we get handouts?

You will receive all lessons as a printable pdf and also some design pattern ideas to print out and use.

How much content is included?


There are 11 videos where you can watch me working, 9 practical mini projects for you to do and 1 final project. Plus a bonus festive project.


You will have all the information available on PDFs that you can print out at home if you wish.

How will the course be delivered?

All content will be found within the online course. Course material will be released on Saturdays to enable you to have a week to do the projects and watch the videos.

Is there a Facebook group?

Yes you will all be able to join a private Facebook group with everyone on the same course as you where you can show your work, make comments and encouraging remarks of others work.

What if I'm unhappy with my purchase?

Well, I would be sad. But if you're really unhappy with the course, just email me within 6 days of the start date to get a full refund.

What happens if our stitching develops a problem?

I will have a video on common problems and if this doesn't help you can email me with your problem and I will do my best to solve it.

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at

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Not great with technology? No problem. There will be technical assistance available if you have any tech problems.

You'll have an opportunity to connect with other stitchers in our exclusive social group. Within the group you’ll be able to share your work with your fellow students, ask for feedback, and encourage each other

This is an interactive workshop. There will be the opportunity to ask me questions within the course and get personal feedback.

About Me

Hi, I'm Jo! I have a degree in textiles and many City & Guilds qualifications, and also a teaching qualification. I have been in textiles for all my life in one form or another.

I have been running this workshop for about 8 years from my house and Garden Studio in Whitgreave Staffordshire or from venues up and down the country so you are in safe hands.

You can learn more about me on my website at

Sign up to get notified when enrollment is open!