Couching is an embroidery technique in which yarn or other materials are laid across the surface of the ground fabric and fastened in place with small stitches of the same or a different yarn. You can couch down Twinery twine the good old fashioned way, or you can get a handy little cording foot for your machine and sew away! I made a few fun St. Patricks day themed bar towels and will share with you some tips and tricks on making your own.
Cording Foot for your sewing machine
Disappearing Ink Fabric Marker
The first thing you want to do is dial in your machine and the foot- on this foot I can do up to three kinds of twine at the same time, but I didn’t like the big zigzag stitch required to cover all three. I also tried a small zigzag stitch that crosses over the twine- that stitch shows up more and is more decorative. If you want the thread to be basically transparent- just do a straight stitch at 2.4-2.6 stitch length.
Start simple with a straight line design and practice on scrap first
Trace a straight line with disappearing ink pen on your fabric
Pull Twine through the foot and out the back leaving about a 4 inch tail.
Unwind about a yard of twine, then place spool of twine (or card if your twine is carded) off to the right of your machine
Lay your fabric under the foot and twine
Start stitching, and make a small back stitch- while holding the tail taught. End your stitch the same way with a slight back stitch
Tip: the twine is attaching at the needle, not where it is feeding into the foot- so don’t worry about how straight its going in to the foot, just that its not getting tangled
When doing multiple lines, just use your foot as a guideline- lining it up to the first row you made, and so on
For Patterns and Words:
Choose a pattern (like my shamrock) and print out the size you want- lay under your fabric and trace over with the ink. For words just write directly on your fabric
Pick a nice straight edge to start on, pull fabric nice and tight of your going around small turns. For best results do NOT fully lift up your foot when turning corners, just barely raise it enough to move the fabric. I am lucky to have a leg lifts attachment which makes this much easier!
Tip: When turning corners, use your hand to move the needle manually making sure you are catching the twine on the reverse turn
Practice those words first!- Denise Hahn
Winery Colors Used: