My Stitch Along for May Week 4

Posted by Ruth on 24 May 2015 | 0 Comments


This week is my favorite because the stitching is the most fun, in my eyes anyway. With the borders added last week, this project has turned out a little larger than previous challenges, but that means more stitching.

I like using free-motion when stitching my raw edges. I usually do a double stitching and often my students ask "why not use a twin needle?". I have tried it before but not for a long time so decided I might as well jog my memory as to why I don't use a twin needle. There are a number of reasons!

But before starting, I had to find a backing fabric and add a layer of batting. I like cotton batting especially for free-motion. One advantage of cotton batting is it clings to the fabrics so no need to pin these small projects.project is layered

I selected a couple of threads. A brown and a variegated green.dark brown threads and variegated green

Added a twin needle and began stitching.stitching with twin needle

It didn't last to long! Here are some of the reasons why...

  • I needed two reels of thread the same, although this didn't matter too much because often I do use two different colors for this.
  • The twin needle I had wasn't narrow enough in my opinion. It was about 1/8" and I usually like my stitches closer than that, especially for finer work.
  • It was impossible to make sharp points on the applique.
  • It was very slow going around corners thus actually takes longer than stitching around it twice.
  • Even though I was doing free-motion, I still had to twist the quilt to steer it around the applique. No going sideways or backward in my maneuvers. 
  • It is more difficult to secure off the ends
  • I don't care for the zigzag effect on the back

zigzag stitching on back

I soon changed back to a single needle as I realized that the twin just wasn't working. Look what a difference it is on the back!double stitching on back

I stitch around all the raw edges of the dark brown twice. double applique stitching with a single needle

Next I wanted to stipple down the light colored area of the background so threaded up the variegated thread. I started stitching and realized it was too dark so it was back to the thread drawer to find variegated thread to use

This thread was much better, it had all the different colors in it. It was fun watching the colors change and seeing which fabric they ended up on. I think it makes the fabrics blend together better.stippled background

After the stippling, I decided to use the same thread to stitch down the teardrop shapes.teardrops top stitched

The last thing I did was stitch an outline to continue the curved lines around further. I made a double stitching - without the twin needle - and then stippled down inside the area leaving the teardrop shapes to pop up.

stitching finished

Now I'm wondering if this way looks best?

Here's a close up.closeup of the stitching

I haven't decided what to do with the very outer edge, maybe nothing at all. I think I'll decide when I do the binding next week.

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