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Making quilted words pop – it’s all about the thread

Welcome back.

Yesterday was such a fun day!

We set up our machines for free motion quilting, did our first set of outline quilting, learned how to trim the batting for trapunto and layered our piece to prepare for today’s background quilting.

Now it’s time to really make those quilted words pop as beautifulGütermann Dekor rayon thread brings life to our designer cushion!

 

Beautiful thread makes the design come to life
Beautiful thread makes the design come to life

 

All of the stitching from now on will be done with Gütermann Dekor Rayon thread that contrasts with the background fabric.

I used a single color throughout a variety of colors either solid or variegated would be equally gorgeous. The thread really brings this design to life so don’t be shy about color. Use your contrasting fabric to help you decide.

 

A small selection of Gütermann Dekor rayon thread
A small selection of Gütermann Dekor rayon thread

 

Anchoring the letters and designs with stitching

Having stitched around the letters and drawn designs on the front of your designer cushion once already.

Now we need to stitch those same lines a second time. This anchors the designs to the additional layer of batting and gives them more definition.

The second line of stitching should be directly on top of the first or as close to it as possible.

The first time around you probably stitched with Gütermann cotton thread the same color as your background fabric. If so then you’re OK if you miss the line a bit. The cotton thread will just blend in with the background fabric and add more texture. This is especially true with the wonderful line of fabric called Canvas from Northcott.

If you stitched using the contrasting thread for the first line of stitching try to be as accurate as possible when recrossing the same lines.

 

Outline stitch over top of the previous stitching
Outline stitch over top of the previous stitching

 

The first set of outline stitching was very plain, just enough to be able to trim the extra batting away.

When you stitch around the second time you can add more detail. Don’t overdo it or the trapunto areas will lose their puffiness.

 

Add more detail with the second stitching
Add more detail with the second stitching

 

TIPS for free motion quilting on an existing line

Free motion quilting on an existing line, either drawn or stitched can be tricky.

The best way to stay on a line is to look ahead to where you want to be. It’s kind of like when you drive your car. If you look at the road directly in front of the car you’ll weave all over the place.
Look at something you don’t want to hit well… we all know what happens there!

When you’re free motion quilting you don’t want to look at the needle. This is like looking down at the road, you’ll be off the line most of the time. Try to look ahead of where you’re actually stitching on the design. In other words, look where you want to go.

Try to look for obvious pause points where it will be easy to stop and reposition your hands.

Above all, relax and have fun!

 

Quilting backgrounds can be relaxing and fun!
Quilting backgrounds can be relaxing and fun!

 

Background fill makes our quilting special

There are an infinite number of designs you could use to quilt the background of your designer cushion.

I chose a swirl design because it reminds me of the movement of wind and water.

‘Dream’ could mean you’re sleeping … floating on a cloud.

‘Dream’ could also mean to follow your dreams, dream big, you’re capable of your dreams.

Swirls seemed to fit this theme.

I used a little squiggle for the areas that were too small for the swirls to fit in.

 

Swirl design background quilting
Swirl design background quilting

 

Consider both your comfort level as well as what you like when choosing your background design. This is a great time to try stitching new designs.

Keep the scale of the design small in relation to your other quilting. If the background design is too large your main elements will start to disappear.

Gütermann Dekor rayon thread helps to achieve beautiful results.

It’s pliable enough to stitch small designs while the lovely sheen adds a whole extra dimension to the background stitching that helps the words and other trapunto elements stand out even more.

 

Keep your background stitching small.
Keep your background stitching small.

 

Aside from the lettering, our designs are fairly organic.

If you really go off course just add an element. Pop in an extra leaf or flower. How about a curlicue or vine?

There are no mistakes, only happy accidents!

 

Just add a stem or vine if you stray off a line.
Just add a stem or vine if you stray off a line.

 

We’ve completed the quilting and it looks amazing thanks to our Gütermann Dekor rayon thread.

Join me tomorrow for a gourmet finish to our one of a kind, designer cushion.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Quilting words – so much to say using Gütermann Dekor thread!

Go to part 5: A gourmet finish for a quilted designer cushion

Julie Plotniko is a quilting teacher, blogger and designer from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Teaching for almost 40 years, recent credits include Quilt Canada 2016 and 2017, many quilt guilds and groups throughout Canada and CreativFestival Sewing and Craft Shows in Victoria, Abbotsford and Toronto. When not on the road Julie works and teaches at Snip & Stitch Sewing Center in Nanaimo, BC. Her favorite things include free motion quilting (standard bed and mid-arm machines), precision piecing, scrap quilting, machine embroidery, blogging, designing and of course teaching. Julie believes that to see a student go from tentative beginnings to having confidence in themselves and their abilities is one of the greatest rewards that life has to offer.

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