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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Supplies Needed for Designing with Stitch

Drawing on fabric with your sewing machine is fun bit it takes a little practice and as with anything else, you need the right tools and supplies.

So in this post, I’m going to share with you the supplies and tools I’ve found useful in my drawing on fabric journey.

So here we go.

Mid Weight Stabilizer: I use a sew-in stabilizer or interface called  Pellon 910.  Any light weight to mend weight interface / stabilizer should work if you can’t find this particular type. You can also use two layers of light weight stabilizer if you can’t find a mid weight stabilizer.

  • Sewing Machine Needles: Universal or Embroidery 80/20, 90/14; Topstitch 90/14
  • Threads: I use light weight polyester threads (40 weight) because I like the sheen of polyester as opposed to cotton. Also, lightweight means I can build up thread in areas where I want dark shading as well as light shading. 

Polyester Threads for Drawing on Fabric

  • Bobbin Threads: I use the same thread in my bobbin as on top. You can use rayon threads as well.
  • FMQ Teflon Mat: I use a teflon mat on my machine bed to help me easily move my fabric around. I initially had the Supreme Slider for a while but when it got worn out, I tried a different one. And I love this new one I got from SewSlip. It’s a little bit bigger 12”x 18” compared to the Queen size Supreme Slider- 11 1/2 x 17 and it’s thinner; which makes it sit seamlessly on my machine bed.

  • Quilting Gloves: I have a couple from Fons and Porter and from Machingers to help me control the fabric and keep a firm grip. I love Machingers the best but its the most difficult to keep clean. However, any type of quilting gloves will do.
  • Batting: - I use polyester felt in my quilt sandwich, you can use light weight cotton or cotton/polyester blend batting if you want.
  • Sewing Machine for FMQ : You'll need a sewing machine with the ability to have feed dogs down and a darning foot attached

Get your sewing machine in good working order, oiled , cleaned, and serviced.  We just need a straight stitch for these exercises. Oh, and the ability to free motion quilt. Use the weekend to get all your supplies. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

I’ll see you on Monday when I’ll help you set up your sewing machine for drawing.
See you soon.

Warmest Regards,


  1. I have made very beginner attempts at this in the past with varying results (mostly epic fails) so I'm very interested in seeing how this goes! Always love a new possible design element!

  2. Kelly, I'm going to go slowly so those who're really interested can follow along and achieve some good results. Just stay open-minded. I really believe anyone can do it if you'll just give it a chance - especially all you very creative folks here on the Fire Blog. :-)

  3. Good info here. Clara, have you had any trouble with the corners of the SewSlip curling up after some time/use? Thanks!

    1. Yes, I have Ann. It's quite annoying. But I solve that by taping the corners down. I use tape that's easy to pull up to change bobbin threads and then stick it back down. I'll use either Supreme slider or Sew slip.


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