A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Extreme Texture--Cording technique

Here is where we ended up last time.  The fabric has some puffs and has been scrunched and partially stitched. Time to add some cording.

You can see here the fabric that has been scrunched and the upper half has been stitched.  The bottom half I wanted to add some cording so I left it unstitched. Cording comes in different thicknesses and densities.  You do want cording large enough to show but remember that you will at some point be finishing the edge of your quilt.  Your two options are to choose a cording that you can stitch through to put on a binding or to not take the cording all the way to the edge. I used two types of cording.  This is the ugly type of cording you can get at the fabric store.  It is meant to be covered with fabric and that is how I used it. 

You will want to change your free-motion foot for your zipper foot so that you can stitch right up next to the cording.
Here are three cords that I stitched in place.  Easy Peasy.  Just place the cord between the scrunched fabric and the batting. Please notice that I did not try to smooth out any of the scrunching!  Think about design as you place the cords.  You can place the cord in straight lines or curves.  I would suggest you start with a straight cord first.   I found that it was hard to stitch the first side close to the cording because the cording kept moving around.  I finally got smart and pinned the fabric on the opposite side of the cording so the cording had no where to go and then stitched the first stitching line.  When you stitch up the second side, you just want to make sure the cording is tight against the first stitching line.

A second way to stitch the cording in place is to couch it in place with some hand stitching.  Beth Berman showed me this one!  Here I used some embroidery thread I had dyed. Beth showed me how to do that too!  I chose a variegated orange thread to go with my blue-orange complementary color scheme.  In the picture you can see the couched cord right next to the machine stitched cording.  I used just a simple overcasting stitch but you could be creative and use any embroidery stitch that you like.

I decided to use some cording on top of the fabric too.  This is a different cording that is meant to be shown off.  It is very shiny and it really adds to the total texture of the piece to have it showing.  Do think through how you are going to secure your cording ends.  These types of cording often frays.  You will need to have the cord go off the edge of your piece into the binding, be secured in some way so that it won't fray, hide the end under some texture, or intentionally let it fray to add to the texture.

In this picture I just  overcast couched the cording to emphasize the twist in the cording.  I'll talk tomorrow about the other embroidery stitches you see in the picture.

In this picture I just had fun with the cording and pulled it apart and was a bit more creative in my stitching. 

So there you go!  Four ways to add cording to your extreme fiber piece.

Tomorrow we'll talk about finishing touches.


  1. Judith, your tutorial rocks! Thanks for the great instructions. Your piece is gorgeous. I can't wait to see the whole finished piece.

  2. Very cool/interesting piece! Good tutorial!!

  3. great tutorial! I love the overcast stitch on the cording!


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