Aurifil is thrilled to introduce a once a month guest post by Aggy Burczyk! Aggy knows her way around a machine as a technical long arm expert for Bernina, she loves Aurifil threads and is also a talented quilter and designer. Aggy is one busy person! There is so much to know about the different Aurifil thread weights and Aggy is going to share her tips and tricks on how to use your Aurifil threads correctly and in ways that you may not have used them before. Please join us in welcoming Aggy!
Who would doubt that thread matters?
Often we just forget how MUCH thread can really influence our designs and how much the right thread can bring a touch of perfection to our little (or big) projects. This is equally valid for thread weight and thread color.
Welcome to the first issue of Aurifil’s new blog “Thread Matters” – I am beyond thrilled that I was asked to participate in this new adventure, trying to give to all present and future Aurifil lovers a variety of information around this wonderful thread: tips & tricks to improve your work.
“Binding with a Touch Part 1 – Beautifying your binding ” is the first little project I would like to share with you. Yes, part 1(!) – there is so much to tell, that it needs more than one blog issue to cover it all!
Did you ever think of “beautifying” your binding? Why not personalize the binding, especially when using a solid or a tone on tone fabric? Our sewing machines have many, many beautiful stitches we hardly use. This is a good opportunity to combine different thread weights and special embroidery stitches to show off in the binding.
For the first beautified binding I used an Aurifil cotton 28 wt, color 2810 with a 90/14 top stitch needle for the embroidery part and a fabric-matching Aurifil cotton 50wt, color 1100 with a 80/12 top stitch needle to attach the binding.
I cut standard 2,5” strips, joined them, folded and ironed well in half wrong sides together and applied the embroidery to the folded strip, knowing that for the closure I would have to be a little bit more creative than usual.
For the embroidery I used a lovely stitch from my Bernina 550 and let the strip flow along the 5/8” marking on the stitch plate. Taking care to have the wrong side of the embroidery up, I used a fabric-matching pink Aurifil 50wt and a 1⁄4” foot (#37) to attach the binding to my little sample piece.
I knew I did not want to join the ends of the binding with just a straight seam, which would have ment to have to cope with a lot of unhappy bulk in that spot and thought the best way would be to hide the joining ends in one of the corners. The necessary folding for this came very close to origami, but turned out to be perfect for this purpose.
The rest was then a piece of cake, because I just LOVE finishing my bindings by hand with an invisible whip stitch, this time using again the matching pink Aurifil 50wt cotton.
Yes, I cannot deny it – to some it is almost as bad as naming “Voldemort”, but I love the “H” word. But what if I came up with an idea for all of you who would like to have the “Non-H” alternative? So, let’s start from the beginning with new colors and using the Bernina flat felled foot (#71) to attach the binding.
This time I used a variegated Aurifil cotton 28 wt, color 4663 with a 90/14 top stitch needle for the embroidery part and a fabric-matching turquoise Aurifil cotton 50wt, color 5006 with a 80/12 top stitch needle to attach the binding. I decided to do the embroidery on a simple fabric layer in order to be able to do the standard binding closure. It needed some trials to find the right measures and positioning. To cut a long story short, here is what I did for a perfect outcome: I cut again 2,5” strips, joined them on the diagonal, folded and ironed well in half and applied some iron on light stabilizer (Pellon light, but I guess any other brand will do) to the wrong side of one half.
This time I decided to use the seam guide attached to the back of the foot in order to be able to sew a perfect straight line in the middle of the stabilizer.
As anticipated, the fabric shrank a little on the embroidered half. Since anyhow I needed a max. 2” strip for the flat felled foot (#71) I was going to use to attach the binding, I simply trimmed the folded binding to a perfect 1”.
Now to the beauty of the BERNINA flat felled foot. I brought my needle completely to the left (-5 position) and attached the binding with the non embroidered side up with a perfect 1⁄4”.
I closed the binding as usually on a diagonal without a binding tool, but you may want to use one if you feel safer. I then positioned the needle one position to the right (now -4) and attached the binding from the back with the help of the guide of this special foot. It magically always works.
An excellent description of this Flat Fell Foot method was written by Lisa Yarost from A Woman A Day .
You will get a perfect binding without the “H” word, just be aware that you should use binding strips not wider than 2” – 2 1⁄4 “.
Enjoy some of your own beautified bindings, be creative and try your own Aurifil thread weight and motif combinations for special occasions (a new baby, kitchen utensils … ) and always remember …
Thread matters! Un abbraccio Aggy
Thank you Aggy for your excellent tutorial. I have never used Aurifil thread as yet but I just ordered a spool to test it out. After reading all the rave reviews about this thread it seems to be a must to try.
Thanks Lu. I am happy you liked my little tutorial. I am sure you are going to love this thread – it is sort of addictive once you tried it with all the color choices.
What a great idea! I think I will plan this technique into my next baby quilt. And I do love the “h” work!
Hi Mary Ann, I agree – this technique is absolutely wonderful for a baby quilt. So much possibilities to play and personalize. We would love to see the final quilt – try to post a picture.
This is fantastic Aggy! Just love the creativity and can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Karen, thank you very much! Wait for part 2 of the “Beautifying your binding” blog. I just finished the samples and can’t wait to show the results to all of you.
Love this idea, and although I have done many bindings, this never occurred to me. Thanks for the great idea and I look forward to many more.
Hi Gale, thank you very much. Wait for part 2 of the “Beautifying your binding” blog. I just finished the samples and can’t wait to show the results to all of you. The next part is going to be easier – but just as beautiful.
I have heard that this technique can be used to label a quilt using the built in letters on most machines, although I have never tried it myself.
Hi Lisa, this sounds like a great idea. I have tried to put little messages on the binding, but I guess you could also “sign” your quilt in this way.
Excellent! I have put names on the binding at Christmas before but not designs. Welcome to Aurifil!
Thank you so much for the welcome! Putting names sounds like a wonderful idea as well. I could imagine doing this also on table sets.
Awesome Tutorial! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Shirley – and a very special hello to Canada. I lived there when I was a child.
This is a wonderful idea and tutorial. The finishing result adds a beautiful touch to bindings. Thank you! … 🙂 Pat
Thank you Pat. I am so happy you like this idea.
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You seem to be very professional in the way you write.::’~*