Special Effects for Quilts
Quilt designer Pat Nelson shows how to jazz up quilts with fringe and couching techniques.
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Whip and Feather Stitch Samplers (figure N)
Materials and Tools:
2, 8" squares of muslin
5" spring hoop
needle: universal 80/12; topstitch 90/14
thread - 35 wt. brown rayon twist and 40/3 dark gray cotton quilting thread for the whip stitch.
dark green all purpose (50 wt.) and 35 wt. bright green rayon twist for feather stitch.
extra bobbin case and a screw driver to fit the larger screw on it
2 empty extra empty bobbins
1. Fill bobbin with brown rayon twist and insert into extra bobbin case. Paint the latch with a spot of fingernail polish to identify it. Adjust tension on the bobbin case so the thread flows very easily with some tension still on the thread. Set top tension to 7 or 8.
2. Insert the topstitch needle and thread it with the brown 40/3 cotton thread.
3. Hoop a square of the fabric, right side facing up.
4. Attach the darning foot and drop the feed dogs. Set the machine for straight stitch with 0 length.
5. To create the stitch, run the machine at a high speed and move the hooped fabric under the needle very slowly to allow the bobbin thread to come up and wrap itself around the top thread. Slowly meander around the hooped area to practice the stitch (figure O).
Feather Stitch (figure P)
1. Fill bobbin with green rayon twist and insert into extra bobbin case. Adjust the bobbin tension so the thread flows so freely there is no tension on it at all. Set the top tension for 9 or 10.
2. Insert the universal needle and thread it with the dark green all purpose thread.
3. Attach the darning foot and drop the feed dogs. Set the machine for straight stitch with 0 length.
4. Hoop a square of the fabric, right side facing up.
5. To create the stitch, run the machine at a constant medium speed and turn the hooped fabric in quick small circle. The combination of moving the hoop and the loosened tension will cause little spikes of thread to be pulled up from the bobbin.
6. To create another version of the stitch, set the machine to a zigzag stitch with a width of 3 and sew the same way as above. A totally different look!
Alex Anderson solves the riddle of how much backing fabric to buy.