Monday, 10 December 2012

Make with Oakshott - Just Jude

Hi, I'm Judith from Just Jude and Lynne has very kindly asked me to write a tutorial on twin needling using some lovely Oakshott Silks.  Twin needling is sewing with 2 needles in your machine, and 2 spools of thread, at the same time.



When you get the hang of this technique, it is so much fun, and the possibilities are endless.  The most common way to use twin needling to great effect is in Stained Glass Windows patchwork:

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

The bit that you are twin needling is the 'leading' otherwise known as Fusible Bias Tape

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

This is such a cool product and worth every penny.  It comes in different colours & widths, but I use the 1/4" tape with a 1/4" twin needle (twin needles also come in different widths).  And because it has been made on the bias, it curves really nicely! 

So here's how you twin needle!

Ever wondered what the extra spool holder & hole was for in your machine?  As well as the hooks on the sides of your needle shank? Yep, you guessed it!  Twin Needling.

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

Put 2 spools of thread into the top of your machine.  Some of you may have spool holders that are permanently fixed on the top of your machine, some of you may have one that is fixed and a hole to slot in your spare spool holder.

Now take both threads together, and thread your machine as normal, until you get to the needle shank.

This is where you separate the threads again.  Hook one thread to one side, and the other thread to the other side.

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

Insert your twin needle unit in the same way you put in a normal needle and thread each needle.

You should now have 1 bobbin thread and 2 top threads.  Increase your stitch length to 3.

Iron a small piece of fusible bias tape onto a scrap of fabric (always double your fabric) & practise your twin needling until you get the tension right (you may need to loosen your tension as the fusible tape is quite thick).

This is what it should look like on the back:

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

Now you are ready to twin needle your project.

There are 2 ways to do Stained Glass Windows:

1. Using bondaweb to stick down your design and then twin needle the 'leading' on top (check the compatibility of the bondaweb with the fabric you are using).

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

This method is good for more intricate, curved designs.

2. Make an improve patchwork block and twin needle the 'leading' into the seams.

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

What you must remember when making stained glass patterns, is the raw edges of a length of bias tape must be hidden underneath another length of bias tape (rather like foundation piecing where the last raw edge gets sewn over by the next piece of fabric).

Method 2 is a good way to start twin needling if you are a first timer!

Here are the picture steps for Method 2 followed by the tutorial:

Twin Needling Tutorial Dec12

1. Make an improv block to your required size.  I made a 16" square panel for a cushion front.

2. Study the seams of your block to find out which ones will need bias tape first, and which ones have ends that will need to be covered over by another piece of bias tape.  Peel the back off the tape and start ironing on the sections that need to be sewn down first.  Make sure the tape ends reach right into the seams.

3. Baste the block onto some wadding, backed with calico/sheeting.

4.  Take your block to the machine and start twin needling the smaller pieces of bias tape that are stuck down.  You don't need to start or finish with a reverse stitch, just make sure you sew right to the ends of the tape.

5. Continue building up the layers of bias tape until all raw edges & seams are covered.

6. Trim off any excess wadding/backing.

7. Attach a cushion back and binding if desired.

8 & 9. Sit back and admire your handiwork!

Thank you for taking the time to read this tutorial.

I hope you have been inspired to try something new and have loads of Twin Needling fun!

24 comments:

  1. Wow they are amazing! I can't even use a normal sewing machine (I'm Lily's lesser-sewing sister), let alone double anything but the result is fab.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great explanation but then I went and looked at my machine and realised that I do not have the double thread bit down by the needle. Not an option for me then. Oh well!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Absolutely love it, thank you for sharing this method Judith, great tute! xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent tut! I have this next on my list, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great idea and a wonderful tutorial - thank you!
    P.S. Like Susan, my machine doesn't have a double hook on the needle shank. I've not used a twin needle (yet!) but think you put one thread through the needle hook and leave one free - as illustrated in this video (about a minute in) http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=cpwNi0aMwa8

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for this info..it is very useful

    ReplyDelete
  7. My OH bought this twin needle for me about 2 years ago.....perhaps now I will use it. I never thought to use it for bias binding...just thought it was for decorative stitches, so thanks...I can see a new cushion in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have never bothered to figure out what that needle was for, thank you so much for the tutorial. And your cushions are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you Jude- I've always been a bit scared of mine! When I did stained glass patchwork liast I ended up sewing it twice, once for each side with a single needle which is a bit rubbish!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for this. Twin needling is on my to try list and I really had no idea how to go about it. Now I know!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful suggestion for a twin needle! I used one long ago when my kids were young and I did French Handsewing by machine. I still have those needle waiting to be used again...maybe I'll use them again after all!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My husband picked up 2 of these and for the life of me I wasn't sure what to use them for...now I know! Thank you very much for this tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I always wondered why I had 2 places to put my spools and what the HELL was that weird needle(s) for. Genius!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. No way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just when you think you've learnt everything!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is an awesome tutorial. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is terrific, i have some twin needles and have never used them for this, oh no, that adds another project to my ever growing list! : )

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you! I've not used the twin needle option on my machine yet, was too scared! But you've made it look easy with amazing results :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very interesting... Now I want to try mine!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have always wondered how to do the stained glass look and I had no clue it was through twin needling... thank you so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I wondered what to do with the twin needle attachment! gorgeous stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've never used my twin needle for this! SMART!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I use a different method at the beginning. Fuse your squares and rectangles to a muslin backing. Then cover with your double-needle technique. There is no puckering. If your fabrics are thin, consider a stabilizer on the back. Great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I use a different method at the beginning. Fuse your squares and rectangles to a muslin backing. Then cover with your double-needle technique. There is no puckering. If your fabrics are thin, consider a stabilizer on the back. Great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wonderful!! I love the look. I made a quilt this summer then glued 1/4 inch ribbon to all of the seams. I wish I had done this instead. Here is the like to the finished top. http://nunusquiltworld.blogspot.com/2012/09/tetris-quilt-top-finish.html

    ReplyDelete

Comment away peeps :-)