I am always getting asked the question of what thread do I use, or what stitch do I use. When sewing invisible machine applique. So here is a little video that shows me stitching around a leaf, in the video I explain what I am thinking as I sew around the leaf and where I need to place my needle to make sure the leaf is stitched down securely.
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I also get so many question regarding the threads and stitch that is used. So here are my thoughts on threads and needles, and stitches I like to use.
Thread: I mostly use Superior monopoly thread, this thread runs smoothly through my machine. I use clear for light fabrics and smoke for the darker murkier fabrics. Lay the thread over your fabric and if you can't see it, then its perfect. Although the clear thread as with most mono-filament threads can have slight shine that I find a little annoying. I find the YLI nylon clear thread does not have as much shine.
The other threads that are good to use for invisible stitching are very fine 100 weight polyester threads. Such as Wonderfil Invisifil and Superior Monopoly thread. Be aware that you must match the colour of the thread exactly with the colour of the applique piece. If the applique piece is a multi coloured fabric the thread will show in places. This thread does a lovely job and is a great alternative, but you do need to have a good variety of colours on hand.
Tension: I find loosening the top tension helps the thread to glide through the machine better. The monofilament threads are springy and stretchy, so a tension that is too tight can make the thread stretch and you don't want that to happen.
Bobbin Thread: I use a plain thread that matches the colour of my background fabric. I like to use what I have on hand, nothing heavier than a 50 weight cotton. I also use 60 weight polyester 'The bottom line' by Superior with great results.
The Stitch: My favourite stitch is a very small zig-zag stitch. This to me gives the look of hand stitching more than any other stitch. All sewing machines vary, even the same models. Set your zig-zag stitch so that you just catch the side of the applique piece and then the next stitch goes into the background fabric right beside the applique piece. I set the length longer than a normal zig-zag stitch about 1 /16 of an inch long. Test this on a sample first. Test your tension too, making sure none of the bobbin thread is popping up to the top. If this happens loosen your top tension until you are happy. If your sewing machine has a bobbin with a finger thread the bobbin thread through the hole in the finger this will tighten the bobbin tension little and help stop this happening.
Needles: The needle size is important as you don't want there to be large holes from the large needle showing in your fabric. I use a 60/10 sharp or universal needle. These are very small and you need to be extra careful not to put any pressure on them when pulling your threads. They make a lovely stitch, leaving only a very tiny hole.
You can find my post on sewing around circles here.
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A couple of questions.
Where on your machine do you put the thread spool? I tried the Superior monopoly on my Bernina 550
but kept getting tangles and loops on the top thread (bottom line in the bobbin). I tried their thread stand and followed all their youtube instructions but still got tangles etc.
Can you thread a 60 needle with your needle threader? I can’t!
So nice to hear from you. I have been collecting threads over my years of quilt making, and in general I use (60/10 for invisible applique) Schmetz needles which can be found in most quilt shops. There are many quilt shops that carry a good range of 50 weight cotton threads, (Aurifil is my brand of choice.) and monofilament threads. I use Superior monopoly or YLI invisible thread. Either one works well and your local quilt shop should be able to help you with them. I hope this helps. Happy Stitching Sharon
Good morning Sharon I complete one of your classes in ChCh class
I have since retired and I’m going to start and finish your piece
Love your post
?? Where do you get your cottons please and needle
Thanks kindest thoughts Eileen
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Making four Flying Geese units at a time is a great time saver, and a wonderful method. I love to oversize the units and trim them down to the correct size for perfect blocks. Read how I go about making these versatile units that I use in almost every quilt I make.
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All machines are different, so the questions you are asking can vary from machine to machine. On my Bernina I place the spool on the upright spool holder. A thread stand often helps, because this gives the thread a longer path before going through the tension discs. I recommend lowering your top tension, this helps as the fine monofilament threads have a wee bit of stretch to them, so loosening the top tension and letting the thread come through the tension disc easier can stop a lot of the problems with tangles. You can not thread a 60 needle with an automatic needle threader. The needle hole is too fine.
I would also recommend making sure your machine has been cleaned of all lint and oiled regularly. I hope this has helped.