Monday, October 12, 2009

Couching Foiled Fabric

Click Images to Enlarge:

I decided to add fibers on top of the quilting lines across the center of the foil fabric.
My favorite way to couch threads is using my free motion feet.
Above you can see the 3 different free motion or darning feet I use.

I started out with the darning foot that is a half circle shape.
This gives me perfect visibility when I am trying to follow a line on the quilt surface.
Stitch in place a few times to anchor the fiber down.
Then slowly top stitch along the fiber.
I do not zig zag as this compresses the fibers, and I want them to remain fuzzy.

When couching a very fuzzy fiber I use the big plastic darning foot.
It does not snag the fibers like the open toe foot sometimes does.

End your stitching line with several stitches in place to tack the fiber down good

This image displays fibers couched down, you can barely see the stitching.
On the right side I have 2 more quilting lines to couch over yet.

This is what the original piece looked like after it was foiled...

This is the completed piece...ready to bind.

"Golden Moments"

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

May Your Fabrics always be Foiled,

To see my New Work CLICK HERE

To see the Thread Shed CLICK HERE

To see my Exhibit Quilts CLICK HERE

To see Tutorials CLICK HERE


  1. Congratulations on your show! Love your work and thanks for sharing with us. Belinda

  2. Thanks a lot, LuAnn, for showing this technique. I had never thought of this way of couching before.
    By the way, I accidentally clicked the "translate" button, and when I looked at the page again, I was surprised to find a completely nonsensical text in German. Maybe this hint is useful for you.

  3. I use couching to embellish almost all of the quilts I make. Your way of using a darning foot is something I've never tried but it's on my list of techniques to try! I use one of the beading feet that are made for my Janome 6500. There are two of them and each of then have different size openings that are made to attach beads but are perfect for feeding all types of embellishments through them and hold the embellishment in place. I use what's called a "broken zigzag stitch" instead of a regular zigzag stitch. It's right next to the zigzag stitch on almost every sewing machine I've seen but nobody ever uses it. When I use this stitch, which does 3 stitches to the left and then 3 stitches to the right, my embellishments are impossible to pull off the quilt! I make the width match the embellishment so the stitch looks a lot like what you do. My nickname is "The Thread Lady" and I use lots of different threads when couching including metallics, polyester thread that changes color every inch, and just about everything I can fit through my needle. I've just discovered your website by a lucky accident and I'm so thrilled to find your site since there are so few of them that deal with Art Quilts! I used to teach classes on Thread Techniques for years but I stopped doing that a few years ago to concentrate on making quilts for judged shows and doing commissions. I don't have time to do a blog or a website so I'm very happy to have found your site!

  4. Hi Joanne,
    Inspiration is such a wonderful thing, especially to share when you are jazzed about something! So glad you are enjoying the blog.
    Keep on Stitching,
    LuAnn in Oregon