Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No Mark Guide for Machine Quilting and MORE!

As part of my product review series I wanted to try C&T's Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer

When I read the product instructions they also recommended using it for hand embroidery. I immediately thought of redwork since I have seen quite of bit of this embroidery technique used for quilts and home decorating products. I set up two tests, one for redwork embroidery and one for free-motion quilting.

The stabilizer comes in 8-1/2" x 11"sheets applied to a backing sheet. This allows you to print on the sheets using your inkjet or laser printer. To set up my redwork embroidery test I printed a design onto the stabilizer using my inkjet printer and the recommended light (draft) setting. The product insert recommends testing a sample to verify that the ink does not bleed and that it washes out completely. I didn't check for my test but I would recommend that you test your printer and ink setting. 

I peeled off the backing paper and then stuck the design to my linen-type fabric. I used Presencia Perle Cotton #8 for my embroidery and stem stitch. My design also included several French knots. I found it slightly harder to embroider but the stabilizer stayed in place for the whole piece.

When the embroidery was finished I cut away the excess stabilizer around the edges and soaked the entire piece in a shallow tray filled with warm water. The stabilizer washed away completely, the thread did not bleed and I was very pleased with the results. 


For a machine quilting test I traced a feather design from Beginner's Guide toFree-Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner (Stash Books). I traced with a soft lead pencil, removed the backing sheet and stuck the stabilizer to my small layered quilt sandwich that I had pin basted. I made sure there were no safety pins in the area where I would be stitching. I stitched the design with King Tut thread in the top and bobbin, cut away the extra stabilizer and soaked the piece in warm water. 

For this sample I had to run warm water over the piece to remove the stabilizer completely. The results were excellent. There was no residue and it was very easy to see the lines for stitching.


Here is a tip about the needles I used for the embroidery. I use short lengths of thread for embroidery, approximately 16 to 18 inches long. This means a lot of needle threading! To make this easier I use John James Easy Threading needles. The thread is 'popped' into the top of the needle instead of through an 'eye'. I also use these needles when burying threads ends for machine quilting.

Hope you are finding these reviews useful and if you have a favourite product or tool I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment about YOUR favourites products.

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