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Is That Hand Embroidery?

I did the longarm quilting on the most amazing quilt! Nancy is a master at handwork, and her attention to detail is noted in every stitch. I am always so impressed with the way hand embroidered quilts look. Someday I may try my hand at it. But until there are thirty hours in a day, and/or I wean myself off sleep :) I will have to figure out a faster way to get that look.

So, that got me thinking and tinkering a bit with embroidery floss and my sewing machine. I wanted to mimic those little stems and here’s what I came up with. I think this has some potential and could be a super fast hand embroidery substitute!

I pre-quilted a sample patch of fabric to practice on. You could do this on one layer of fabric plus batting and leave the backing off till after quilting. I don’t know how well it would work through just fabric, I think you would want to stabilize it with something. I marked a few stars on the back of one of my sample patches with an erasable fabric pen.

I wound a bobbin with Pearl Cotton. You can wind the bobbin by hand or just hold the thread between your fingers while the machine winds it. You just don’t want to run it through the tension guide, because as thick as the floss is it will wind too tight.

The bobbin case has a large hole at the top. Typically, you would pass the thread through the tension guild on the bobbin case and it would snap into this hole. In this case, I bypassed the tension guild and strung the floss right through the hole.

If your bobbin case has a hole, at the end of the “finger” thread the floss through that, it will add just enough tension so the floss doesn’t sluff off the bobbin.

Thread the top side of the machine with regular thread (matching the floss color). Stitch around your design from the backside so the floss is on the front.

I tied off the two ends of floss and the two ends of regular thread and then put a dot of fray check to make sure they didn’t come undone.

Here, I did a series of flower stems with green thread using this method.

I pulled the floss through to the back side to hide the ends and tied them off.

I tried one method with the freemotion foot on and dropped the feed dogs. It seemed like the floss sloughed off the bobbin more during the freemotion method leaving a lumpier stitch than before… but hey, maybe that gives it a whimsical look!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Anyway, if you’re looking for a fast way to embellish or just a fun method to tinker with this is worth a try!


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