decorative thread applique ~ and a giveaway

MarveLes Art StudiosArt and Collage Quilts, Blogs, Mixing It Up 25 Comments


since recently becoming enamored to magnifico thread, i’ve been itchin’ to stitch! that is, to see how it looks with decorative stitching techniques ~ and it’s also a good reason for me to play with some of the thousand+ decorative stitches on my bernina 830 machine!  i love this thread so much, but sadly, i cannot purchase it locally.  but there’s no reason for a sad face! 

tada!  thread of the month club is here to save the day!!  {sing it mighty dog!}  lol  … {in case you don’t remember that cartoon!}

anyway!   i {finally}  signed up for a wonderful offering that superior has implemented; it’s called the magnifico thread-of-the-month club! 

did you know that they have a thread of the month club for every type of thread they sell??!!!  it goes for the spools, and the cones, too!  there are pretty sweet advantages to joining up with a club like this: like free shipping, {including add-on items} for one!

FREE SHIPPING to U.S. and Canada addresses. See below for details.
each month, we will send a different selection of our threads personally chosen by Mother Superior.
Open enrollment. Start anytime. Cancel anytime. No sign-up or cancellation fees.
Members-only specials offered each month.

and with my free shipping, i added a set of twelve spools  called ‘crayon’, seen below {love the selection of colors!} 

i’m also trying “so fine” thread for the first time, too; a 50 wt polyester instead of the 50 wt masterpiece.   it’s $3 less than masterpiece.  and i’m using it in my bobbin:

this is the pattern; it’s by laura heine of billings montana, who owns and operates a gorgeous quilt shop “fiberworks” ~ i do so look forward to going into this shop; the sad truth is that i just don’t get there very often. {a good thing for my pocketbook!}  i’ll show the pattern when i finish the quilt and post about it.

then it’s time to stabilize, stabilize!  without a good stabilizer, decorative stitching, especially with heavier motifs, just does not stitch out nearly as neat and nice. 

my favorite is this one: a heavyweight tear-away by oesd {sold at my local bernina shop in great falls}.  i lightly spray 505 on the back of the fabric, and then pin the stabilizer just in the corners, to keep it from getting unruly on me as i slide it under my needle.

and once again, it’s time to audition threads. blue, red, orange, purple!  which one{s} will i choose?

the orange is pretty and since it’s a neon color, {yes, i love these, too!} ~ it will highlight the flower petal edges… which appeals to me.  i kind of have a creative notion that they are ‘glowing’ against a dramatic sky, highlighted by the sun… {indulge me, k?!}

now, which color of superior’s razzle dazzle?  hmmm… blue or orange?  the orange will blend with the petals… the blue will stand out a bit more, and it will also bring out the tones of the background blue/sky feel of the fabric.  {as i see it!}  regardless of the choice, it will ALL be pretty!

and ya gotta have an open-toe foot! visibility, and ease of use make this the bernina #20 foot the champion of decorative stitching enthusiasts! {like me!}

i chose decorative stitch #419 on my bernina 830.  i’m going to taper it to begin with, which means that as i start at the tips of the petals, i begin with a 3.0 width, and as i am stitching, {no need to stop with berninas}… i gradually widen my stitch out to a 6.0 {or so} width.  i could go up to 9.0 on my bernina 830, but i decided against that. the look i want is just for accent – not to overpower. and that… is what it’s all about ~ what i like!  

notice too, i’ve changed my needle position so it’s oriented in the far right setting. {that is key to achieving easy and  exact placement of the stitching}

starting at 3.0 width, and turning the knob as i am also stitching, tapering to gradually increase to 6.0 width {seen below}

engaging the needle position to the far right enables me to achieve perfect alignment along the exact edge of the applique fabric, seen below.  i also use the #20 foot to guide my stitching placement as i sew, by keeping my eye on the needle, and the edge of the right-hand, inside edge of the toe of the foot!  {that’s a mouthful!}.

in hindsight! i believe it would have been more attractive {and professional looking} had i thought to begin part way up, in the middle of the shape… not at the point.  it’s a smoother transition, and one will avoid nasty bulk at the points as you start and stop with your stitching.  and because there are so many threads in play at those points, it can get bulky, and a tad bit unsightly.  oh well.  that’s how i’ll learn! 

and another hint.  switch to a small straight stitch and adjust the length to a very tiny length, such as 1.0 to  begin and finish your stitching.  

and once i’ve stitched a half-inch with that small straight stitch to start, i then touch the decorative stitch, and start into stitching it.  that way you won’t have thread unstitching itself… and it also looks far more attractive than backstitching with the decorative stitch, which is unsightly, and messy-looking, i think.  i do the same thing when i end, too, or when the stitch breaks and i need to start again.

once the petals are all stitched out, i flip over to the back. one of the best aspects of using a heavyweight stabilizer, is that when you stitch a heavy decorative stitch, it very easily tears away!  {love}

not necessary to tear away the stabilizer on the inside of the petals… although i could, {but i won’t!}

and i won’t because it’s also going to get a layer of batting, and then some more stitching.  this second round of stitching is done with razzle dazzle, and my #39 clear motion embroidery foot, as i outline the shapes with the beautiful blue-aqua-pinky color of razzle dazzle thread.

{i almost changed my mind and went with that red thread!} it would have looked really good with the orange, too…

did you know i have a tutorial published about using the bernina #39 clear embroidery foot with the sweet couching technique it performs? 

view the tutorial  here!

my pictures don’t do that neon orange thread justice!  it’s much brighter with good light.  but hopefully that will happen when i’m finished.

all done.  for now!  {i love~love the blue thread!}

so… what do you think of my thread choices/colors?  i hope you found some inspiration, and hopefully some good information, too.  

thanks for hangin’ out with me and my pal, ‘magnifico’ ~ and now it’s time for the monthly superior giveaway too!

to enter, first, go to, and tell me {by commenting on this post} which set of 12 magnifico threads is your fave, or, if you’d like, let me know which thread of the month club you subscribe to, or would like to.

winner announced next monday ~ november 11th {veteran’s day}. the prize is a $25 gift certificate to spend at superior threads

yay! it’s good  for everyone, including international readers! {beautiful!} share this post on your facebook, website, or blog for an extra chance to win, and leave a comment here with the link that you did so!

joining up with  linky tuesday with free motion by the river, today, too!

thanks so much!

Comments 25

  1. I love Laura's patterns! I'd love to get to her shop but it would be a long trip from Georgia. You seem to be having a blast with the threads. It is looking great! I'd love more of them to play with.

  2. Thanks so much for showing us how you did the stitching on your petals. Your work is gorgeous. I love Superior's Blue Hawaii Magnifico collection. What wonderful ocean colors!

  3. Love Superior Threads – couldn't live without Bottom Line~! The colors of Magnifico A-Z with Ewe & Me appeal to me. BTW, I do a lot of machine applique with the buttonhole stitch. I usually start and end with the teeny tiny straight stitches before switching to the buttonhole stitch. Stitches kind of "melt" together. Love your color choices!

  4. I absolutely love Superior threads, but I must admit, I haven't yet tried their Magnifico line. I love the brilliant colors of the Jacobean Applique Splendor set(but Party Time is a close second!) Your applique techniques are beautiful…thanks for sharing so many details of how you accomplish it!

  5. Thanks for the info and inspiration. I'm still shy of using all these beautiful colors. I'm thinking of making a whole cloth sampler in shades of teal/blue so I would love the Blue Hawaii 12 spool collection.

  6. I have been trying these out on my longarm and I love them! I buy by the cone so I'm building my collection slowly. I already have a huge So Fine collection and think you will love it too. In my dream world of unlimited money I'd buy the shades of red collection in a minute!

  7. Hi Leslie!!! I found out I have a sample set of Magnifico too! Oh yeah… ::: doing happy dance :::
    Oooo you have my dream machine… the 830 🙂 I didn't know Superior had sets so the "Party Time" makes my innards smile. Now, I apologize for not replying to some of your most recent posts. LOVE the painting! I hadn't thought of using a palette for liquid acrylics! Lately I've been trying out the Inktense pencils and blocks.
    Now… watching (in an ethereal way) you channel all that Divine Inspiration into more great art. Thanks bunches always!!
    ~Christina in Cleveland!!!

  8. All of the Magnifico color sets are beautiful and it was hard to choose a favorite, but I like Party Time! Fun colors and a fun name!
    Your tutorials are great and I always look forward to seeing what new projects you have to share with us.
    Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway.

  9. Shades of Green are my favorite (of course! I'm a landscape designer & most of my quilts reflect it, what else could I choose?) Beautiful color choices. Party Time is my next favorite. What caught my eye? the lime greens.

  10. I recently discovered your blog through a friend. Your work inspires me. I love the magnifico shades of red. So vibrant. ThNks for sharing.

  11. I always love the colors you use! They are just so right and show your personality. Funny but when I design needlework I use pastels usually. But I decorate my house more of a jewel tone. Go figure! I love color! And that thread is worth every penny!

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