Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Basket Panel–Bobbin Work

The topic of this blog post is on doing bobbin work on the flowers, leaves, stems and basket handle.  First I am posting the after photo of the bobbin work so you can see what I did to the panel.  Just click on the photo to get a larger version you can see the detail.  (Sorry this photo is a little odd as the fabric was laying on the floor so the photo was taken at an angle.)  Keep reading if you want to know how I did the bobbin work.
IMG_4126-2To start, I pinned the water soluble stabilizer I had on hand to the back of the flower area then used the sewing machine to baste around the edge and in a grid across it to hold it in place.  I would tell you what brand it was but don’t know as the label was gone.  I do think any of the paper like water soluble stabilizers will work though.IMG_3979
Next I needed to get the position and shape of each flower, leaf, etc. transferred to this white interfacing.  I didn’t want to mess with getting out my light box so just taped the sandwich to the window. IMG_3982
I used the FriXion marker to trace the outlines on the white interfacing and any other marks I wanted to stitch with bobbin work.  This marker made a bright enough mark to see and heat will make it disappear.  I have heard that the marks from these markers have been known to come back if the piece gets cold but since this will be then inside of my quilt it just won’t matter.IMG_3984
I wound bobbins with the 6 strand DMC embroidery floss for my bobbin work.  Not a lot of floss will fit on each bobbin since it was so thick so had to fill bobbins pretty often.  The top thread I chose matched the floss I was using for each part….green top thread with green floss, blue top thread with blue floss, etc.   Matching the thread makes it invisible if it pops to the top.

I used a free motion foot on top and the second bobbin case I own for this machine in the bottom.  I purchased the second bobbin case so I could adjust the tension on it when ever I wanted for heavier threads and keep the other bobbin case for regular threads.  The tension screw had to be loosened quite a bit for this thick thread.  I do have a tip for anyone doing adjustments on the screw on their bobbin cases.  Put the bobbin case in a small plastic bag and do the adjustments while it is in the bag.  From personal experience if that itty bitty screw comes out and drops or flies away you will have a dickens of a time finding it.  The plastic bag will at least contain it.  Another tip – if you do happen to loose it on the floor take all the pins off your magnetic pin cushion and pat the floor in systematic rows and you might be lucky enough to find it…I found mine that way once.

I started stitching following the lines on the stabilizer pulling the floss to the backside which is actually the side that is up when you are stitching bobbin work.  Confusing I know, but remember the floss will be stitched to the front of the panel so the top thread is stitching on the back.  It is hard to stitch and not know what it will look like until you turn it over but that is what you have to do.  Try to make even sized stitches so the bobbin stitches will look nice when you are done…not an easy task but that is the goal. At the end of a line of stitching leave long tails on both threads and pull or using a large eyed needle bring the floss tail to the back.  I tied the tails together to secure them on the back then trimmed the tails.
IMG_3994 IMG_3991
I really like the texture this adds to the panel.  I have never done bobbin work on anything but a sample when I took a class one time.  I think the hardest part was keeping the stitches fairly even and not to stop moving my hands while the needle was still moving.  That is a sure way to make a lumpy spot in the bobbin stitching and of course those places had to be all ripped out and done over.  I tried to start and stop in the same spot so no one would be able to spot the starts and stops where lines had to be joined.  I still have a lot to learn to make my bobbin stitching perfect but I like my first real attempt.
I want to use this technique again as it was fun and sure adds a lot to the printed flowers, etc. on this panel.

Until Later,


bernie said...

This is really neat, I am fascinated by bobbin work though have only tried it in on a small piece myself. Thanks for the peek at your work. Bernie

Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studios said...

I think your piece just comes to life with the bobbin work; nice hints and tips, too. If the piece should be further quilted (free motion)... you just want to be sure you try to avoid the knots with the needle (if that becomes the case, that is). Beautiful results!! Nice job!

Bobbie said...

very cool! I just won a book on bobbin work - havent tried it yet- but have collected the bobbin cases to try it! your flowers are so pretty!


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