Yesterday on QUILTsocial I shared with you 8 essential steps for successful bobbin work. We learned how to set up our sewing machines for stitching bobbin work and I showed you the two crazy quilt bases that I made with lightweight interfacing and scraps of fabric. Today we’re going to get stitching with these beautiful Razzle and Dazzle threads from WonderFil.
Prior to starting the bobbin work stitching, make a hole in the fabric and interfacing with an awl so that the bobbin thread can be pulled to the top of the fabric.
Place your stitching base, wrong side up, on the machine and line up the hole with the needle. Lower the foot and use the hand wheel on the side of the machine to pull the bobbin thread up to the top of the fabric. Hold those threads in your left hand as you start stitching, so that the threads don’t get pulled back into the bobbin.
Select a stitch on your machine and start stitching! This one is one of my favorites!!
Here’s the front of my sample, showing the purple Dazzle thread which has been attached to the fabric with the top thread. There are a few loose spots on the threads, so I think maybe I didn’t wind my bobbin very well. Let’s see what it looks like with other stitches.
I tried some other stitches such as a large zig-zag and played with the length and width of the stitches to see which ones looked the best. As you’re stitching, make sure that you gently guide the fabric with both hands and let the machine set the speed.
Even with the other stitches, I still had some areas of the bobbin work stitching that looked like it was twisted. Once I ran out of thread, I switched to another color (dark pink) and paid extra special attention to hand winding the bobbin.
When I popped the new bobbin in, I realized what I had done wrong – when I put the first bobbin in, I had missed threading the Dazzle thread through the tension spring!!
Now you can see the difference that this made on the finished stitches! If the bobbin tension is correct when doing bobbin work, the Dazzle thread in the bobbin lies flat against the fabric with no bumps or twists. I love it!!!
Here’s my stitch-out showing the bobbin work done in two different colors of Dazzle thread with different decorative and utility stitches on my NQ900. Bobbin work is quite fun!! I can see myself doing more of this! I love how that metallic sparkle and the sheen of the rayon in the thread just shine on the stitched sample. What a great way to add embellishment to fabric!
The Bobbin Work Manual that came with my kit had a few designs that you could use for free motion bobbin work. Since I LOVE free motion quilting, I just HAD to give this a try. I decided to try the butterfly design.
First I had to trace the butterfly design onto the interfacing on the back of my second crazy quilt base. I used Unique tracing paper between the paper design and the interfacing. Since my base has lots of different layers of fabric and stitching it was quite bumpy and made tracing on the lines a bit difficult.
Next, I followed the same steps as above to stitch along the lines EXCEPT that I also set my machine up for free motion stitching by dropping the feed dogs. I stitched very slowly and took my time going around the entire design. I brought the beginning and end threads up to the back of the piece and will tie them together to make sure that they’re secured.
Here’s a close-up of the stitching on one of the butterfly wings. Look at how awesome the bobbin work looks!! I wish now that I had selected one of the brighter colored threads, but I’ll know for next time.
I’m always a little leery of using thicker threads for my machine quilting, but now that I know how to do bobbin work, I’ll use this technique to add more texture to my quilting. And it’s so fun to work from the back of the piece and be surprised by what the front looks like when you turn it over!
I’ve loved the look of Razzle and Dazzle for doing hand embroidery and now I love it for bobbin work too!
Tomorrow I’m going to show you how to use these dazzling threads to do punchneedle embroidery – please join me again!