Machine Quilting with Spagetti

Using Spagetti for machine quilting

Yes, you heard that right – I’m going to try machine quilting with Spagetti – the THREAD that is!! I’ve already used the Spagetti and Fruitti threads on my home sewing machine (and they worked beautifully) but I do most of my machine quilting on my longarm, so I wanted to try the threads on it.

The problem was that the sample threads I had on hand were only 100m spools – and my longarm goes through thread FAST!!

So I waited “patiently” for the larger spools of thread to arrive from WonderFil – and here they are!!!

Spagetti and Fruitti thread from WonderFil

Making a machine quilting sample book

After I finish a quilt, I usually take pictures of the quilting motif I used, but I was thinking that it would be nice to have actual samples of my favorite quilting designs, AND it was be even nicer if they were made into a fabric BOOK!

So, that’s what I’m doing this week – I’ll demonstrate how to do many of my most loved (and most used) designs and at the end of the week, I’ll show how to finish them off into a fabric quilting journal. Are you ready?…

First things first – the quilt sandwich

Since I’m going to be quilting on my longarm machine, it can accommodate large pieces of fabric, so I found a 1m piece of light colored tone-on-tone fabric for the top and a similar sized fabric for the back. I divided the top up evenly and used a black marker to draw lines across the width and length of the fabric to make boxes about 8” x 10” in size.

Dividing the quilt top into sections


Going for a smaller sandwich

If you’ll be quilting your samples on a home machine, you may want to make smaller, individual sandwiches for each of your samples.

Cut pieces of fabric and batting approximately 8” x 10” in size. Use basting spray to baste the three layers together. For my sample, I don’t need to use the basting spray as I can pin the backing to the leads on my longarm, lay on the batting and then baste the top along the top and sides using a basting stitch.

Basting the quilt top on my longarm


Selecting the machine quilting needle for Spagetti and Fruitti

For my longarm, the recommended needle size for Spagetti and Fruitti is 18, but for home machines, the WonderFil website recommends a 12/80 – 14/90 topstitch needle since the thread is heavier than most threads you would normally quilt with. Here’s the link for the WonderFil product sheet that lists all of the product information for their threads.

Needle sizes can often be confusing but here’s a website that explains the differences in sizes and types of needles.

Adjusting the tension

Since I normally use a finer thread for machine quilting on my longarm, I knew that I would have to adjust my machine tension to accommodate the heavier Spagetti and Fruitti threads. I used the first square on my quilt top to do some free motion stitching to check the tension. Since the top thread was being pulled through to the back, I knew that I needed to increase the tension on the top thread. After a few small adjustments, with practice stitches in between, I found the perfect balance between the top and bottom tensions.

Testing the tension with the Fruitti thread

The top tension is too loose causing “eyelashes” to form on the back fabric.

Learning some new machine quilting motifs

Now that my machine is all set up, with a new needle and the tension adjusted, I’m all ready to go! Tomorrow I’ll start to stitch out some of my machine quilting samples – I can’t wait to get started!!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 2:  Free Motion Quilting with Fruitti from WonderFil

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Mary Helen in OR June 17, 2015 - 9:51 pm
I have learned lots of new tricks since finding your website. Thanks for the weekly contest. You are very generous!!
Carla A. Canonico June 18, 2015 - 9:09 am
Thank you Mary Helen! You're so very welcomed!
Diane H August 30, 2014 - 8:54 am
Thank you for this. I have a really hard time with the tension.
Christine Baker August 31, 2014 - 6:58 pm
Tension is one of the things that most people have problems with. Just make sure to make small adjustments to the top tension each time and then do some sample stitches. And just because that tension will work today, tomorrow it may need to be adjusted again due to heat and humidity. Best thing to do is keep a practice sandwich beside your machine and do practice stitches before you quilt every time.
Judith August 26, 2014 - 7:30 am
Perhaps you could tell us what weight these threads are? 50? 40? 30? weight? Are they best for topstitching? Thanks.
Carla A. Canonico August 26, 2014 - 9:59 am
Hi Judith! Both are 12 wt - 3ply, Egyptian 100% cotton, double gassed and mercerized.
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