Friday, April 4, 2014

In Search of The Perfect Satin Stitch

Spoiler Alert.... I'm still searching but learned much on the following effort.  Since I'm normally a painter/quilter on whole cloth, I've had little opportunity to use this time honored stitch called Satin.  On the fun..out of my box piece I'm working on .. I'd like to honor the great Libby Lehman who OWNS the satin stitch as far as I'm concerned.
There are obvious things I will mention first in working on such a dense stitch as this on a quilt top.
1)  A good quality stabilizer is paramount... Stitch and Tear is what's underneath my quilt top.
2)  Using comparable fabric layers and the stabilizer a test of planned stitches is worth every second.  Record each/ width length you've tested. Once you've found a width/length you like. In this case...I liked the left most ... I recorded that to so if I need come back at a later time...I know where I've been and wish to go.

Before you start your satin stitch.... first secure your thread with a few forward/backward straight stitches. ( Thanks for this one Libby)  This will keep your thread ends secure. I hate seeing pop ups on this kind of stitch.. so  just don't permit it to 'pop' ! ;-) 
Though not required on all projects... once I found the length/width I liked, I employed use of a straight stitch on either side the the satin stitch on the far left.  This is a Libby technique I think really cleans up edges and produces a class finish!  

So now, I move to the real deal with the same preparation.  I am using a Superior 1" change 40 wt  "Rainbows" thread on this effort. I love the look of this color change.
Key learnings here..
1) DON'T RUSH THE MACHINE by 'helping/pushing as we feed the fabric. LET THE FEED DOGS do the work of moving the fabric. Too much hand help produces irregular stitch length/width. 
Now a straight stitch on one side...

and finally a straight stitch on the other side. 

This produced a pretty nice look. 
Finally, remove the excess stitch and tear on the back. 


Amy Art Quilter & Fyber Cafe said...

The stitches on the sides sure make a NEAT stitch, I'll have to try that, but so much extra work. The trilobal Poly is nice, but try the Sulky or Robinton-Anton Rayon. It is a little fuzzier, and fuzzes to fill in the satin stitch. Making it very dense and smooth.

Patt Blair said...

Thanks Amy... Oddly enough... my next post in draft at present does showcase Sulky... I like their thread for this. I have tried Robison Anton though not "YET" for the satin stitch but I feel sure you are right on about that one too.