In my quest this month to blast through my UFOs as fast as humanly possible, I’ve taken the time to use this exercise as a way to expand my horizons, creatively. Usually, I’ve been completing projects in a deadline driven way – which leaves little or no time to experiment with new techniques or tools, but not so much this month. I found myself staring at something in my sewing box, perplexed…exactly what is this and what is it used for?
I came to love sewing (and quilting) through a convoluted path ‘back in the day’, we had Home Ec, where a long line of sewing machines greeted me every week in 7th grade. I struggled with the mechanics of the machine for a long time, and barely survived the class with my blue floral mini skirt basted together. I have very vivid memories of playing with the tension a lot – so lets just say that a lot of the advanced techniques were skipped.
Today, I am able to sew on a machine which is well suited to my needs – my Janome 8900 is a wonderful creation, and it’s truly a joy to sew on it, and it’s given me the confidence to tackle attachments and feet which test my boundaries. Those needles in the picture above were something I tried for the first time when I was attaching the machine binding to the Hunter’s star runner this weekend.
I have several of the twin needles, and the first thing I determined was that there are various sizes which describe the distance between the needles. For the project that I was working on, I selected the red needle, inserted it into my machine, and then determined which thread to use.
I was working with a red, white and blue quilt, so I went with one thread blue and one red – both needles use the same bobbin (gray in my case), and I then needed to thread the machine. I had the blue thread in the regular thread holder in the machine, and installed the red thread (on a bobbin) on the smaller spool pin – the only thing that is recommended is to have the threads unspooling in opposite directions, so that you can avoid tangling, then thread as normal. The needle threader doesn’t work with twin needles, so you do have to thread each side manually. For this technique, I used the zig zag foot on my machine.
I grabbed the closest quilt sandwich I had been working with, put the speed of the machine on low, and began sewing. It may be hard in the photo to see the blue stitching, but it definitely works and gives a clean stitch. I then turned the piece over so that I could see what was going on on the backside of the piece…clean and neat!
I am really happy with how this came out, and I can see all kinds of ways to incorporate this into my quilting arsenal. Here’s a close up shot of the Hunter’s star runner.
So inquiting minds want to know – what techniques/tools do you have in your room that you’re intimidated by? Let’s explore together – leave a comment below and we’ll play!