Creative articles about quilting

How colorful should it be?

There are many wonderful multicolor and variegated threads you can use for making decorative stitches, functional stitches and threadpainting, all with your sewing machine. Unfortunately you don’t always have them in your collection. Besides, sometimes the combination of colors you would like to use is not always aailable. Also the changes in color of the multicolor and variegated threads are often made in a certain rhythm, and you just want something different…. E

If you like experimenting, you are in luck: just use two threads together with one needle. Can this be done? Yes, I will show you how, working om my BERNINA770QE.

First I am gathering threads, looking for which combinations to use, to get a special effect. I will use two contrasting colors like a bright green and a fuchsia (both ombré), both cotton, Weight40.

The needle I will use is a Topstitch 90/14: it is important to use a needle with the largest eye you can find. The threads must run smoothly – if the eye of the needle is too small, one or both threads will get stuck .

I will also use a cone holder for one thread: the first thread I will place on the spool holder from the machine, The second one on a seperate cone holder behind/to the right of the machine.

The thread will be guided seperately through the first tension disks, in this order: the green thread is placed on the spool holder of the machine, goes in first and will be placed to the right with my first tension disk. The second thread, the fuchsia, will be placed on the seperate cone holder on my table, and will go trough the left of the tension disk. It is imperative that you don’t place them together to the right or the left of the tension disk: they need to be seperated there.

Looking at the end/small side side of the machine, the green thread is mounted on your machine and placed on the right, the fuchsia is on the table and on the left. Remeber that, and you know on which side of the tension disk the threads need to go. At the picture above you can see the machine from the side of the cord/on and off button, there you see the green thread on the spoolholder of the machine/right, and the fuchsia below on the cone holder at the table/left. 

After this, the threads will go through all other thread guides, take-up lever etc. all the way to the needle, the ‘normal’ way. Because the presser foot is up, and the needle in its highest pisition, the tension disks are open and the threads can be pulled through.

My bobbin thread is DecoBob/Wonderfil, just one thread.

Working on a sample – a small sandwich (off-white backing, batting 100% bamboo and fabric on top) – is the best way to see what happends when working with two theads together. If you want to work on a fabric and not a sandwich, stabilize the fabric.

Straight stiches first, and that gives a really fun effect. It is best to start with this stich, to see if the tension of both top threads is ok, and the bobbin thead is running smoothly too. If one top thread is loosened, it probably slipped from the first tension disk, so remove both top threads and start over.

After this, I have made a zig zag stitch: looks great, and different from using one variegated thread.

What about decorative stitches? I have made one; the stitches are very close together and it works fine. Perhaps you will need to widen the stitch, that depends on the threads you are using..

If you are working with two threads together, check if you need to ajust the upper tension. Also try to ajust the stitch length – the threads are not supposed to lossen, or make loops, but run smoothly together.

Remember the endless possibilities to work with two theads.. I have choosen many combination, which you can see in the picture above. Two by two I have choosen contrasts and blending colors. Purple/blue and turkoise will blend but give enough contrast to see all colors of both threads. But the yellow and orange (below) will mix as if it is one thread with slightly different effects. Also mixing green and brown variegated threads gives me enough effect to make barks or trees. The red and pink will make beautiful petals… Thin threads, thicker threads, metallic threads, rayon threads… and what about using two threads for makin the decorative stitches with your Crazy Colors Myster Quilt 2017 project… just try and have fun.

Please show your results in the  COMMUNITY of this BERNINA BLOG to inspire others.

Sylvia Kaptein
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio

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