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Free Motion Stitching and Stippling



Free motion stitching and stippling creates texture and enhances design details in thick or layered fabrics such as insulated fabrics which need quilting or with fleece fabrics, alone or layered with a shell fabric as shown right using free motion stitching.

This is not a good technique for coated and laminated fabrics which are meant to be waterproof and seam sealed.

Stippling is used for an all over quilted effect, the jigsaw type pattern is worked easily using a freehand stitch, especially with a little practice on sample fabric. Go ahead, have some fun with it!

Try this technique: Follow the darning instructions from your sewing machine manual (if it doesn't have free motion instructions). If your manual doesn't have darning instructions, using a quilting or darning foot, drop the feed dogs and try a sample (you may need to lesson the pressure on the pressure foot if possible).

Remember, you are replacing the feed dogs and have to guide the fabric yourself. Try going slow and then fast, sometimes it's easier to do this technique at fast speed.

When creating a picture or sketch using freemotion stitching, for the best results, go over the design lines three or more times as in the bamboo example at right.

Use a wash out stabilizer, like Solvy, to draw your design on (with a ballpoint pen), pin it to the fabric, then you can easily follow the design while the stabilizer provides a good surface to stitch on.

free motion stitching
free motion stitchin
stippling on mountain parka
free motion stitching & hot tool

Stippling with a darning foot attached and the feed dogs dropped on the sewing machine.

Stippling on parka
  A sample of freemotion stitching and appliqués cut with Hot Tool®.

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