Free Spirit Curvalicious Runner ~

MarveLes Art StudiosArt and Collage Quilts, Blogs, Mixing It Up 6 Comments

Almost sounds like it could be a title to a new movie, huh?!  I think this is my newest favorite, now!  {same ol story!} lol

I’ll give you a heads up ~ this post has alot of pics, and info, too.

While it’s fun to post the results {they are below}, I also I thought I would revisit a few process pics of couching non-free motion style, which I’ve used on the table runners I’ve featured lately.  Enter Foot #39:

  1. In case you didn’t know:  A “C” letter on Bernina feet means “coded” and all “C” feet allow for a WIDER stitch, which is specifically geared for 9mm machines {mid-range price and higher}, but ~ these wider feet {such as the one I’ve shown above}  also work nicely on any 5.5mm machine as well!  In fact, all of these feet, whether coded or not, are interchangeable with ALL Bernina machines {with exception of machines made 10-12 years ago}. 
  2.  FYI Coded feet cost more!  There is more metal, more to the foot, and so this cost varies by $7-10 depending on the foot.
  3. With every Bernina Mastery Class I teach, this is one of the littlest known facts of buying {ANY} machine, when comparing, or when actually buying a Bernina.  Just a little thing… with big consequences… because, if you ever decide to UPGRADE… you may have to re-purchase some of the larger {Coded} “C” feet, in order to take advantage of the larger width capacity.  Because they will cost more, it’s definitely a ‘heads up’ if you are in a purchasing mode.

TIP: I like to thread my foot OFF the machine.  Just makes it easier in my opinion.  Make sure you leave a generous tail of thread, so you don’t pull it back out of the hole, while putting your foot back on the machine.

Choose your pretty thread:

For this couching technique, use these settings:

  1. Set a zig zag stitch.
  2. width 1.0 {this is just enough width to cover the width of this type of cord, k?  If you use a slightly thicker cord that still freely flows through the hole of this foot, you may want to go to a wider width setting.
  3. length 3.0 to 3.5.  My personal opinion is that this is a setting range that adequately secures the cord, but doesn’t COVER IT UP!  Otherwise… why do it at all, or use a pretty thread?  After all… you want the thread to SHOW up, and be the ‘look at me’ {aren’t I pretty} kind of thing!!
  4. And choose a top thread that blends with the thicker thread. {or contrast it if you’d like ~ i didn’t}

Now: let the foot do the work for you. The red vertical line on this Bernina foot #39 is your best guide on this tour.  Try to keep your eyes focused on the red guide, and not entirely on the thread.  The only thing your hands should be guiding is the fabric, and ever so slightly, the thread.  Just be sure to keep it in front of the foot as you are sewing.

And for the feathers on this piece, I first chalked a line with my “sewline” chalk pencils, {one of several colors I have; they are ‘must have’ tools in my studio}, and this was the base line I free-handed onto the fabric.

And my favorite foot for quilting feathers:  the #24 free motion, or ‘open-toe’ free motion foot.  Why?  Because of all the free motion feet, {and I have them all}, this one gives me {personal opinion here} the BEST open view, for precise placement of stitches/feathers.

And my favorite {and one of the BEST} inspirational source?  Patsy Thompson, of course!  Fabulous book! – {you won’t be sorry you bought it} as well as any of her DVD’s… which is how I learned to stitch feathers.

And now, bring on the trims, ribbons, and fun! {NOTE: I stitched the ribbons first before free motion quilting anything}

I pinned them in place first, and used the 39 foot to couch on some razzle dazzle thread on the very outside edge of each side of the ribbon.

Oh yeah, forgot to say, that I added ‘hyper-quilting’ {Patsy Thompson’s term} in the feathers.  I tried a different hyper-quilting motif in each set of feathers.  But I kept the threads the same color, so they have a consistent look as well.

{picture below of the back side} ~ I’ve stuck with my favorite threads; Superior Threads Masterpiece for the bottom thread, and their Rainbow tri-lobal polyesters for the top thread.  I like the tension to look good on the back, and this means you drop {or lower} your top tension, usually I lower it one full number, or slightly more. Also notice in the pic below, the zig zag stitching in the top of the pic?  That’s the proper length and width settings I was referring to earlier; they look like that:

And now a couching finish inside the binding edge… with what is called the bulky overlock foot, Bernina Foot #12. This is the uncoded version… I also have the CODED version {21C} because it’s that valuable to me, and I use them both, as the larger one accommodates thicker cords, as well.

A great foot to have!  Look at what else it can do:

Above all, take your time, be precise! This foot does the job very well for you. Especially if you are only doing straight lines {like in the binding here}, or it’s good with very gentle, soft curves. I also like to use a polyester in my top for strength, as it is penetrating a fairly thick cord, and 90/14 needle {which I used on this entire piece}.

Hint:  Use a slightly lengthened straight stitch, and the cord won’t be smashed down like it would with a zig zag stitch.} This works much exactly like the #43 Bernina free motion couching foot, but it isn’t free motion!

It’s foot #12!  {wore out the number ~ so ya know it’s WELL used!}

And there you go!  {Go get ya some of this foot and those cords/threads!}  I’ve used many different colors of Razzle… can you have too many?!  {Answer is no!}


Comments 6

  1. Well, GOLLY!!! So much information!!! I'm book marking this post so I can refer to it! If I ever stop running to Publix grocery shopping!!! That's all I do the first week we're in Florida! Maybe art work this weekend…let's hope!!!

  2. Lesle, how wonderful of you to put all the Tim and effort into this tutorial. It surges makes me want to get a Bernina next time around. I discovered after one of your blog posts and calling Pfaff, that they don't even make a free motion vouching foot. I did find that I have a regular one though and it's on my list to play with. This is all great info.
    Your runner is beautiful!

  3. Every time you post your free motion it takes my breath away!!!!! Thanks for the gorgeous tutorial Les, you are amazing! Have i told you that???

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