How to Couch Yarns on a Domestic Sewing Machine

Hi everyone,

Couching on fabric has been around for a long time but it has now become mainstream in the quilting world.  Handi Quilter has made a set of couching feet for their mid and long arm quilting machines. However many of us do not have a long arm machine but would still like to include couching in our sewing projects.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a go using the couching foot that’s available for my domestic Pfaff Passport 2.0 sewing machine.

This foot attaches just like all the other feet and the machine is in normal stitching mode when using this foot. (ie. not in free motion)

I used a very small zig zag stitch to stitch down my thread /ribbon.

I first practised in straight lines then I decided to experiment in couching curves.

Quilt 1.

This quilt was my first venture into using this foot for curves.  I traced a pattern using the Westalee Ruler (Spin-E-Fex No 4 3.5”)

It was tricky going around these curves given the machine is not in free motion but I was reasonably pleased with the result. This time a heavy metallic thread was used.




Quilt 2.

Also using the metallic thread but this time I used a mandala made up of straight lines and large curves. Whilst doing this quilt I started to get the hang of going around the curves smoothly. I then filled several sections of the design which taught me to lay the thread next to previous stitching lines.




Quilt 3.

For this cushion, I couched satin ribbon onto satin fabric having chalked the design using a Westalee ruler (Circles on Quilts Spinning wheel 7)

This would be a great way to decorate a ‘wedding ring cushion’ used in marriage ceremonies.




Quilt 4.

This quilt was couched with wool and this time I “free motioned” a design by smoothly turning the quilt sandwich every time I wanted a curve. The key to getting a reasonably smooth curve is to leave the thread/fibre loose and just allow it to gently feed through the foot with no pulling.




It’s all about the quilting.


First published on our old blog 17/11/15