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Quilting words – so much to say using Gütermann Dekor thread!


I hope you’ve been having fun getting ready to free motion quilt words and more for a designer cushion.

Was it hard deciding what you wanted to say? Maybe you’re already making more than one?

In yesterdays post we learned how to mark, layer and baste your piece. Now it’s time to create our trapunto using wonderful Gütermann thread.


It's time to quilt!
It’s time to quilt!


Prepare your machine for free motion quilting

Put a new size 75/11 SCHMETZ Quilting needle on your machine.

A quilting needle will pierce the multiple layers of batting and fabric quickly and easily. The size 75/11 is appropriate to the type of thread used in this project as well as the size of patterns being stitch.

Next, put a darning foot on your machine.

This is sometimes called a pogo or free motion quilting foot. There are a variety of different types of darning feet available for most machines. Use the one that you’re most comfortable with.


A variety of darning or free motion quilting feet
A variety of darning or free motion quilting feet


Drop or cover the feed dogs.

These are the little teeth in the base of the machine that usually feed the fabric forward. Check your machine manual if you’re not sure how to do this.

When we disengage the feed dogs were able to freely move the fabric in any direction. We’ll also be in control of the stitch length.

Thread your machine. Today we stitch all of the lines that were drawn on the fabric yesterday.

Once the batting has been trimmed stitch over the same set of lines a second time.

Thread the machine to start with Gütermann 50 weight cotton thread in a color similar to your background fabric.

This is a great confidence booster for new quilters as there’s no need to be too precise with the outline stitching.

The first set of stitching allows to trim away the excess batting while giving you a practice run at following the design.

After you stitch the second time this first line of stitching will be almost invisible even if you don’t quite manage to stitch directly over top.

If confident at covering the same line of stitching twice, simply thread your machine with your Gütermann Dekor rayon thread in both the top and bobbin.


Sewing machine ready for free motion quilting.
Sewing machine ready for free motion quilting.


Let’s get quilting

Outline quilt each of the letters.

Stitch the outlines only of the drawn designs. The detail will be stitched later.

For now, we just want to be able to trim away the extra batting.

Stitch in order of size starting with the largest design. This will help keep your piece square.

Remove any Heirloom safety pins that are in the way as you stitch.

Don’t worry if there’s some twisting or buckling between the motifs as you will be trimming the extra batting away.


Stitch the first time with thread that matches the background fabric
Stitch the first time with thread that matches the background fabric


Now for the magic

Turn your piece over and very carefully trim away all of the batting outside the stitched lines.

Put a little tension on the batting to get as close to the stitched lines as possible without cutting the thread.

Take care not to allow any little folds in the fabric that might result in cutting a hole along the stitching line. If a mishap does occur I find fusible interfacing is a great fix.

Once fully quilted the item will be as good as new.


Batting trimmed outside outline stitching - back view
Batting trimmed outside outline stitching – back view


Time to layer again

It’s time to create the final quilt sandwich.

This time use painters tape to secure the plain fabric for the inside of the cushion to a flat surface.

Smooth the second 20″ square of Fairfield Soft & Toasty natural cotton batting on top.

Finally, smooth the partially quilted square on top of the batting and lightly pin baste with Heirloom safety pins.


Layer again with a backing fabric and second square of batting
Layer again with a backing fabric and second square of batting


Our quilted words are looking so pretty!

You’re all ready for tomorrow when we bring everything to life with beautiful Gütermann Dekor rayon thread and lots of background quilting.

See you then.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Mark, layer, baste, easy preparation for machine quilting

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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