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Machine quilting with DecoBob Thread

by Christine Baker

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas day at our house is a fairly low key event. Now that our boys are both teenagers, we no longer get up before dawn to see what Santa brought. All of the grandparents come over for our traditional breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls and to open presents. Later on, we get together again to have our turkey dinner. But, usually, the afternoon is spent reading our new magazines, playing new video games or having a nap. So, while everyone else is enjoying their new presents, I’m going to head to my sewing room to do some machine quilting with DecoBob thread on my next UFO – my painted peony.

Squaring up the fabric

The first job is to square up the fabric the peony is painted on. When squaring up fabric and quilts, I like to use two rulers. My large 16” square and my 6” x 25” long ruler. By butting them up together, you can cut a multiple of sizes making sure that the corners are a 90º angle.

Squaring up the peony using two rulers

Squaring up the peony using two rulers

Adding the borders

The stitching that I’m going to do on the peony is much less dense than what I did on my tulip, and I want to have it serve as quilting stitches too, so I’m going to add the borders and layer the quilt before stitching. I want the emphasis to be on the flower, so I’m going to use pink tone on tone fabrics for the inner and outer borders. The inner border is cut 1½” to finish at 1” and the outer border is cut at 4” to finish at 3½”. Since Lucy mentioned how well DecoBob works for precision piecing, I’ve decided to try using it in the top and bobbin to sew on my borders.

Using DecoBob to sew on the borders

Using DecoBob to sew on the borders

Layering the quilt

Once all of the borders have been added, it’s time to layer the quilt with the batting and backing. I talked about this process in my QUILTsocial posts back in JuneWhenever I am basting a small project like this, I always use 505™ adhesive spray.

Quilt basted with 505 spray

Quilt basted with 505 spray

Picking the threads

I have some Tutti and Fruitti threads that match my peony beautifully, so I’m going to use them to do the machine stitching and embellishing on the flower petals and leaves. I’ll use the DecoBob in the bobbin to make sure there isn’t a lot of thread build up on the back of the quilt.

Picking threads for the peony

Picking threads for the peony

Embellishing the peony with machine quilting

To do the stitching, I put on my free motion quilting foot and dropped my feed dogs. On the first stitch, I bring up the bobbin thread from the back and do a few stitches in place to lock the threads in place. Then, I follow the contours of the petals and stitch the veins with the medium-colored threads first. Next, I re-thread the machine with the darkest thread and then the lightest thread. Finally, I change to the green threads and stitch the leaves and stems. I really love the effect that the green variegated thread has on the stems.

One thing to watch when changing thread colors often is to make sure that you always have your machine foot up to make sure the thread passes between the tension discs. This ensures your upper thread tension is consistant.

Closeup of machine stitching on the peony petals

Closeup of machine stitching on the peony petals

Closeup of machine stitching on the leaves

Closeup of machine stitching on the leaves

Machine quilting with DecoBob

Since I want the focus to be on the flower, I want the quilting in the background to blend in with the fabric. DecoBob, because it is so fine, will work wonderfully for this! So, I thread the machine with DecoBob on the top and in the bobbin and start quilting the background.

As I quilted, I noticed the top thread looks like it’s tighter and tighter. All of a sudden, there’s a huge crash and my needle looked like this:

The bent needle

The bent needle

Practice what you preach

I realized that I hadn’t followed my own advice and, in my haste to get quilting, forgot to put the top DecoBob on the thread holder instead of leaving it on the top thread pin. Since I also forgot to put a WonderGuard on the spool, the slippery threads slid off the spool and wrapped around the thread pin. Once I got the WonderGuard thread guard on the spool and put it on my thread holder off the machine, things worked much better!

DecoBob on the thread holder

DecoBob on the thread holder

Time for turkey!

I used DecoBob to to do the quilting in both the white background and in the outer pink border. As you can see the thread blended in well with both! I used one of my variegated pink Fruitti threads to quilt the skinny inner border. Now that my machine quilting with DecoBob thread is all done, it’s time to head back to the Christmas festivities! Tomorrow, we’ll trim the quilt and add binding and I’ll show you how to make a hanging sleeve.

The completed machine quilting on the wall hanging

The completed machine quilting on the wall hanging

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3 comments

terry December 28, 2014 - 2:22 pm

i have this issue a lot. how can I prevent it.?
please help. with photo if possible.id be greatfull.

Reply
Carla A. Canonico January 5, 2015 - 10:54 am

Hi Terry. Which issue are you referring to?

Reply
Elaine December 25, 2014 - 8:21 am

I LOVE the bent needle. YES – we must practice what we preach!!!!

Reply

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