Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Quilting With A Twin

This post is not about working with my hubby (who is a twin) but about the use of a twin needle for quilting.
Like regular machine needles, twin needles are sold in various sizes and gauges but they have two number designations.  The sizing on this one - 2.0/80 - signifies it is a size 80 needle with 2 mm between the needles.You can buy sizes with the needles spaced further apart;  it all depends on the look you are going for.  Twin needles are most often used in decorative stitching, but there is also a use for them in quilting. I made this little satin bow tie quilt many years ago, on my old Kenmore, using a twin needle to stitch pintucks to recreate a tuxedo shirt front
I stitched the pintucks on the top layer of cotton only, for use in the patchwork.
I used a special pintuck foot on my machine but you don't have to have one;  any foot with a wide opening (like a satin stitch foot) will work.
 This is a 5 channel foot, and the grooves ride along the tuck to keep your rows straight.
I have used pintucks in several of my quilts, including one in this book by Leisure Arts called Quilts For Babies and Kids. 

This isn't a very good picture, but the shirt front of Thomas Mouse featured pintucks.
You can also use a twin needle with your walking foot to quilt evenly spaced parallel lines on your layered quilt. 
Depending on how far apart you want your rows of double lines, you can use the edge of your presser foot (or a bar guide) to space the rows.
 On the back of your work, the stitch looks like a narrow zigzag.
I am using a double needle and metallic thread on my Hoffman Challenge quilt to stitch rays from the centre section of the quilt. I like the effect. The downside of quilting with a twin needle is that you can't travel between sections very discreetly, so there is a lot of starting and stopping (and a whack of thread ends to darn in!).
The little zigzag stitch on the back doesn't look a bit out of place.


  1. So clever. I may have to give it a go. Thanks!

  2. Great post Karen. I love using twin needles! Speaking of twins, my niece is expecting twin girls this summer...

  3. Would never have thought of this - thank you!

  4. I LOVE those tuxedo shirts with their tiny buttons and the bow ties! And the little mouse in his fancy shirt!! Too cute for words!