Machine Quilting with Spagetti and Fruitti Threads

Quilting with my WonderFil threads

My skinny table runner is all hand stitched, now I just have to do some machine quilting with Spagettiand Fruittithreads. As I have a longarm quilting machine, I do a lot of machine quilting for myself and for a few customers. I tend to use mostly cotton threads in the top and a bobbin thread in the bottom. Since I have a large quilt on my frame right now, I’ll try out the Spagetti and Fruitti threads on my home sewing machine instead – hopefully I can remember HOW to machine quilt with that little machine!

Picking the threads

I find the best way to pick a thread to use when I’m quilting, is to lay the spool on the quilt top and unravel the threads a bit to see how they look laying on top of the fabric. This gives you somewhat of an idea if the thread will blend or stand out. Here are the colours I decided to use on my table runner:

picking the threads for the quilting

unravel the thread and lay it on top of the quilt top to get a preview of what it will look like.

Preparing the quilt sandwich

Cut your backing and batting at least three inches larger than your table runner on all sides then secure your backing to a flat surface, wrong side up. Lay batting and quilt top (right side up) on backing, smoothing away any wrinkles. Baste the layers together using your favorite basting method – for small projects like this one, I use adhesive spray and a few safety pins around the edges.

making the quilt sandwich

Practice first!!

I always try out new motifs and check the tension on my machine with a test sandwich that I keep on hand at all times. To make one of these sandwiches pick 6″ – 9″ squares of similar fabrics that were used for the quilt top and backing and a square of the same batting used in your project. Use your basting spray to stick them all together. Keep one of these squares beside your machine at all times, so that you can fix problems with tension or your design BEFORE quilting your actual quilt.


It’s always a good idea to get your tension issues fixed BEFORE you start to quilt. For this project, I used the same thread in the top and the bobbin, but you can use many threads and thread weights in either spot – you just have to adjust the top tension accordingly. In my two photos you’ll see three lines – one with the top tension too tight (number is too high), one with the top tension too low (number is too low) and one where the top tension is just right.

tension test – back of the quilt

tension test – top of quilt

Quilting motifs

There are thousands of different designs that can be used as quilting motifs, but when you are first starting out, basic is best. Once you have the basics mastered, then you can add in lots of different motifs to make more complex designs. If you have mastered the meander/stipple then try adding is some loops, swirls, hearts, stars, or leaves. Or try different combinations of these motifs. They only way your machine quilting skills will improve is by PRACTICE!! Look for new designs to try on the internet. Pinterest has LOTS of machine quilting designs, and I have a board just filled with pins – you can follow me with this link. You can also like my Fairfield Road Designs Facebook page too – I’m always posting pictures of the latest machine quilting designs that I’ve used!

Machine quilting with a walking foot

Although I rarely use a walking foot for quilting, many people do, so I wanted to try my walking foot to do my first machine quilting with Spagetti and Fruitti. I used a topstitch needle and used the side of the walkiing foot as a guide to stitch about 1/4″ from the edge of each circle. I found the thread to work very well. The weight of it looks very nice and I’m quite happy with the resulting stitches.

machine quilting with a walking foot and Spagetti thread

closeup of machine quilting done with a walking foot and Spagetti thread

Free motion quilting with Fruitti

Most of my quilting is free hand, free motion quilting, but I haven’t had a lot of practice on  my home machine lately as I do ALL of my quilting on my longarm machine. But, I gave it a try anyway! I decided to use the pink variegated Fruittithread and did a meander over most of the top with a flower along each side between the circles.

closeup of free motion meander and flower using Fruitti thread

Machine quilting with Spagetti and Fruitti 

The quilting on my table runner is almost done, so tomorrow I’ll trim it up and add the binding. I’m really enjoying my play time with all of these awesome WonderFil threads. Hope you have a great day – I’m going to get back to my machine quilting with Spagetti and Fruitti! 

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Margaret Smith February 22, 2016 - 10:26 am
Wonderful tips on machine quilting. I am just new to this and appreciate the help. Your photos are really great.
Carla A. Canonico February 22, 2016 - 3:59 pm
So happy to hear it.
Pam September 13, 2015 - 4:50 pm
Thank you for all the great tips on machine quilting! I especially appreciated the photos about diagnosing tension problems. And the motifs with the blanket stitching are darling!
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