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Winging It!

Have you ever used a wing needle for decorative stitching? There is a whole other world out there for embellishing that opens up with the purchase of a wing needle :)

I bought one this week to try on some gauzy fabric, and I thought I would show you how it works. This is a technique typically used for heirloom stitching, but it makes some really great designs that could be used for all kinds of things.

Wing needles have flanges on each side of the needle so they pierce a larger hole through the fabric with each stitch. They do not cut through the fabric; they separate the threads with each stitch and leave a larger then usual hole. This gives your project a lacey look.

I used gauzy fabric with a low thread count so the stitches would really show.

Most machines have a few different heirloom stitches or “hem” stitches to choose from. The important thing is making sure the needle will pass through the same hole more then once; this way it really binds up the surrounding fabric. I chose this fairly plain ladder stitch for this project.

I cut a 20” square out of my fabric and double-turned the edges under to form a half-inch hem all the way around.

I used Best Press spray starch to give the edges a little more stability while stitching. You could also use a wash away stabilizer which would give you a stronger stabilizing effect.

With the hem under the presser foot, I made sure the stitch would swing off the edge of the hem to the left, catching the hem again when the needle swung to the right.

You will want to use lightweight thread…. Not all purpose or 100% cottton. I used a bobbin weight thread I had sitting around. This way the thread does not fill up the holes left by the needle (the point is to see those holes after all!).

And here it is, a lightweight tea napkin or hanky.

And just for the fun of it, I turned it into a Boooootiful decoration :)

Here is one last example using 100% linen fabric! I think this would make great holiday napkins, maybe red linen with white or green thread… Hmmm, so many ideas…

Happy Sunday, everyone!


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