Thoughts on Free Motion

I have this love/hate thing with free motion stitching. In my quest for the perfect stitch, I have spent countless hours and lots of bobbins on trying to find that special thread or thread combination so that I could have finish some pieces.

So even after those projects above were done, I continued my search. They were done with Guttermann gray and yellow threads and I liked them, but I wanted to use some of my other threads.

I decided to do several tests with different battings and different threads to give me a better feel on which threads I liked best and made the best stitches on my Juki.

From left to right battings are wool felt, Quilters’ Dream Green and Hobbs Fusible. I tried a variety of threads including Superior threads: Sew Fine 30, Nature Colors, Fantastico, Living Colors, and Art Studio Colors. I also tried Guttermann and Isacord 40. In the bobbin I used either the same thread or Coats and Clark Bobbin 70 thread.

Here are some of my findings:

  • For most of the threads, the C & C bobbin thread worked great.
  • The batting didn’t make much difference in the look of the stitches.
  • Black thread looks awful on all three. But as I looked at others’ stitches on web posts, I see that a lot of those who use black have the same looking stitches. What is awful about them is they look like straight lines instead of individual stitches.
  • The gray and white Guttermann thread look great using the same thread in the bobbin. However, the black made a line, just like the Sew Fine 30.
  • My favorite of all of the threads and I believe make the best looking stitches on my machine is the Fantastico using the bobbin thread in the bobbin. Even though one of the online free motion classes said not to use varigated, I found they produced the best looking stitches.

What works with your machine may be different than what works with mine. Just experiment. Also, some of the bad stitches were due to operator error. I find I can’t free motion cold. I have to warm up before I sew much.

I’ve decided that I am way too obsessed with the “perfect” stitch. If I really wanted to make sure every stitch was perfect I’d need to spend more money and buy a sewing machine with a stitch regulator. The salesman where I bought my Juki wanted me to try the one on the Bernina he had on the showroom. It was wonderful, but I don’t need or want that machine. So I will lower my expectations and just sew!

If you are wondering what I used to color the completed pieces, I used Inktense Blocks with GAC 900. You can also use just water.

Here is how it looks after painted, but before I zigzaged the edges.

And the finished piece.

I’m linking up with Off The Wall Fridays. Check out the link for some inspiration. Thanks for dropping by.