Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #8


Janet had asked me a couple of days ago how I move from one place to another in my domestic version of McTavishing around applique pieces. I decided to draw a little diagram to try to explain to her. I am sharing with you the diagram here – I hope it makes a bit of sense to maybe help you with your background quilting.

[Note: the drawing isn’t exactly the best since I did this while Miss Baby was up. As soon as she saw me use one of her crayons, she had to have the very crayon I had in my hand. And then, she wanted to play with the camera. And then, she came and gave me extra hugs while I was working on my “S”es]

Without further ado, here is my cartoon/clip-art tutorial…

First I find a good space to where I can work in an elongated “S” – like what you would see hair blowing in the wind in clip art. Then I repeat the S-es to make a nice little stack.


Once the stack gets to be looking monotonous, I change the orientation of my “S” to start a new stack, as indicated by the arrow.


And thus, the process repeats again and again. Oftentimes, I have to stitch over previously stitched lines to get out of a bind when I find that I have stitched myself into a corner. That’s not a problem if you are using fine threads (like YLI Silk 100, or Aurifil Mako 50).


Then, it’s just stacking and changing direction for me that does the trick in giving my background McTavishing a nice feeling of movement.


This is how I have domesticated McTavishing for my faithful Bernina. Mine looks a bit different from the genuine McTavishing because I think each person’s has a slightly different stroke in his/her background quilting is slightly different, as in the case of signatures. So experiment a bit and see what works for you.

Seeing these stitched out for real action:

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this new installment of my “Thread Talk” series.

Have a great weekend!