Over the last week we have examined some basic techniques for machine quilting using various sizes and types of SCHMETZ twin needles.
It’s time to double the fun!
In this final installment of everything you ever wanted to know about quilting with a twin needle we’re using our sewing machine’s decorative stitches.
Preparing your machine for decorative stitching
A walking foot is essential to help the decorative stitches feed evenly.
Many machines have walking feet with bases that can be changed for different kinds of stitching.
The ideal machine set-up would be to have one of these with a bottom plate designed for decorative stitching.
If this is not possible then a traditional open toe walking foot will work.
Activate your machine’s internal setting for twin needle quilting if required.
Though the wider twin needles can be used for decorative stitching they can limit the amount of side to side motion that your machine is able to do. This will sometimes have the effect of flattening out the stitch.
A 2.5 or smaller twin needle will work well for decorative stitching.
To start, we’ll use some standard construction stitches and make them decorative!
A simple zigzag stitch will take on new beauty when used for twin needle quilting.
This is a side motion, machine stitched zig zag not to be confused with the false zigzag created by the bobbin thread when sewing with a twin needle.
This one is stitched with a 4.0 twin needle.
A three step zigzag does exactly that. This is a construction stitch used to finish raw edges or build in stretch.
Doesn’t it look amazing as a decorative twin needle quilting stitch?
TIPs for using decorative stitches
Most decorative stitches have a certain amount of side to side motion.
Try to stick to the somewhat simpler more open stitches for quilting with your twin needle and walking foot.
Dense stitches such as satin stitch combinations can be stitched through batting but may require tension, foot pressure or stitch width adjustments for optimum stitching.
If your machine doesn’t have a twin needle setting it’s best to un-thread your machine and turn the flywheel manually through one stitch repeat to be sure that the stitch setting isn’t too wide for your chosen needle.
Go slow and guide very gently allowing your machine to feed the stitch.
The pattern repeat will be more even this way and you’ll have fewer skipped stitches.
Skipped stitches are usually caused by going too fast or a dull needle.
As in our previous post don’t be afraid to flip your quilt over and stitch upside down for a differentlook.
All you really need to get good at quilting using a twin needle is the tips in this week-long tutorial, time to explore the varieties of stitching and SCHMETZ twin needle as a trusted tool.