Saturday, March 5, 2016

Matchstick Quilting a Fiber Postcard

March 2016
Sheree McKee
Matchstick quilting runs horizontally here

Matchstick quilting is just another name for dense straight line quilting.  

The narrow gaps between each row of stitching, mimic thin matchsticks.

It is an simple technique to try on your fabric postcards.  I suggest you practice with samples before you make your primary postcard.  You might need to adjust your machine tension settings.

Fusible batting
Some Experiments to Test:

  • Different thread colors or variegated shadings
  • Vary thread thickness or weights such as fine rayon embroidery threads, or thicker metallics
  • Space variances between your stitching lines 
  • Decorative machine stitches, with narrowed width settings
  • Mix machine and hand-stitched matchstick lines
  • Mark a motif in erasable pencil, such as heart, shamrock, monogram lettering, then avoid stitching through this shape.  It will "pop" like trapunto. See Matchstick Feathers link below.

Some Tips:
This made two postcards

  • Dense matchstick stitching can make your fabric layers feel a bit stiff
  • Lots of stitching can also thin out your layers 
  • Layer a top fabric, thin filler, or optional backing to make a sandwich
  • I like to use fusible batting applied to only my top fabric, and no backing (image 2)
  • Make your quilted matchstick layer a bit larger than a postcard (approximately 6" x 8") then trim it down to postcard size (4" x 6").
  • Mark a center straight line, and use it as a guide for straight stitching
  • Or use more organic, freeform stitching lines with soft waves, much like tree bark.
  • I do not use an even feed foot, but I stitch all lines in one direction, top to bottom

Learn More:

Sulky has a nice tutorial HERE

Matchstick Feathers HERE by 13 Spools website

Matchstick Experiment by BuzzinBumble HERE

Sewing thread types HERE by Sewing Mantra website

I found some pre-cut felt shamrocks for embellishment

March 2016 ~ Sheree McKee ~