qod 7/12/12

calliopeJuly 12, 2012

OK, can you tell I'm on a roll, with all these posts? I wanted to ask you another question, so will put this as question of the day. Are you familiar with twin needle sewing? Have you ever used it when quilting?

I found a double needle in the attachment box of my new machine and it intrigued me, so I went searching for information on how to sew with one. Today, I broke it out and used it for the first time when working on my baby quilt, instead of trying to make a narrow double row, one seam at a time. I birthed this quilt and wanted to run a twin seam about 3/4 inch from the edge all around the piece, as sort of a faux binding, but without the added weight and stiffness.

I am just impressed because the seam is automatically perfectly straight. Any machine can use a double needle and they come in different widths, so you can choose how wide you want to make your double seam. The back of the work leaves a very pleasant pattern as well, sort of like a zig-zag decorative. Both needles catch up the single bobbin thread at once.

I know how difficult stitch in the ditch is, and know it's often recommended to go slightly to one side of the seam to keep the line accurate. My thought is that this could be a good solution....to straddle the seam with the twin needle, sort of encasing it between the rows. I could see where the encasement would be an added benefit for durability in quilts one would expect to launder frequently, like a baby quilt, adding strength to the existing seam holding the pieces together, sort of like the intention of sashiko.

Here is a link that might be useful: using twin needles

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I had a twin needle with my first machine.
I used it once and liked it but, for some reason, didn't use it again

I was making a flowers wall hanging and had narrow bias binding for the stems. I pinned the bias stems in place and used a double needle to sew them down. Worked well.

I can also see using the double needle to sew down the 'leaded' area when doing a stained glass project.

I will have to look at that website later this evening.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Back when I used to sew clothes I sometimes used a twin needle for topstitching.

For quilting, I've used one for stained glass quilts to stitch the bias. I also used it on my recent T shirt quilt - I made narrow bias for the letters at the top and stitched them with a double needle.

I like your idea of using it for quilting on both sides of a seam. I think you're right that it would add strength for one that would be frequently washed like a baby quilt.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:17AM
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That is one thing I haven't bought and tried out yet....but you have piqued my interest now. So many different things to try and so little time......sigh.

But - I now have an order for 3 smocks from an Etsy customer....woo hoo! (Trying to make money from sewing and quilting keeps me too busy to try new things....sigh again..


    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:27AM
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What a great idea for a stitch in the ditch quilting, but are you able to use it with your walking foot?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:28PM
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There isn't any reason a twin needle wouldn't work with a walking foot. It's just straight stitching, after all.

I've used them in topstitching, occasionally hemming, and in heirloom sewing for pintucks.

Make a test run with the needles and thread - the bobbin thread may need to be loosened a bit if you're using it for quilting. If making tiny pintucks, the bobbin thread is usually tightened.

Another bit of advice - stitch slowly. That one bobbin thread is traveling farther on each stitch. Give it some time to keep up with you!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Also triple needles!!!! Multiple needle sewing is fantastic for top stitching. The sewing surface must be flat and even for the most beautiful results. Obviously garment sewing is scrutinized, and perfect stitching a must for bridal, tailoring, etc. -- opposed to quilts. I think if you were to use twin needles instead of SITD, you would have to press your seams open for the best results, to avoid the uneven seam.
You are able to use different colors of thread for the individual needles for a different look, and as you stated the width of the needles can vary. You need to stay within the guidelines of your machine for the width. You can also use twin needle sewing with many decorative stitches-again dictated by the width your machine can handle.
Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Mary offered some good advice with regards to tension,bobbins, and speed. I agree.
I have used twin needles often with homesewing and heirloom sewing which I love but have limited experience with quilting. I have used them with stainglass windows.
Recently I have given some thought to using them with echo quilting and straddling a seam but not sure I like the effect the bobbin creates on the back but have to agree it would add strength to the seam. Interesting discussion.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I used a twin needle on one quilt and I did have to sew slower and I used a walking foot. I was OK with the back but I do hear a lot of quilters say they don't like the way the stitches look on the back.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:36PM
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My machine came with the double needle but in 12 years I've never even tried it! Now I'm interested and will check it out.

Thanks for bringing up this topic!


    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I haven't tried this...always wanted too, though.

Rosa, can you show us a picture of what the back looks like too!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 5:49PM
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