You’ve Got to Try This!

Free Motion Couching FlowersAfter writing a post on embellishing wool leaves with the couching foot that came with my Bernina (read HERE)  a follower told me about Bernina’s #43 Couching Foot.  It allows free motion stitching while couching!  

Couching is an embroidery technique in which a heavier thread is laid on top of the fabric and stitched over with another thread to secure in place.

The couching foot that came with my Bernina only allowed straight stitch couching so the design options were limited.  The #43 foot allows  much more design flexibility.

Free Motion Couching FlowersI experimented with several different yarns and cords–more on that in a future post.  Some yarns shredded like– the finger weight yarn below, and some worked pretty well.  My favorite was a nylon twine I found in my basement–probably purchased from the hardware store.

Free Motion Couching Flowers

To use the #43 foot, thread the sewing machine for normal stitching.

Free Motion Couching Flowers

Next, thread the cord or yarn into the side of the foot and down into the bottom of the foot.  After the foot is threaded, attach it to the machine and start stitching (with a straight stitch).   Here’s a  short Bernina video of the process.

Free Motion Couching Flowers

I love this technique, but do have a few more issues to work out–like how to tie the ends of the cord and more experimenting with threads.

Free Motion Couching FlowersI am so excited to think of all the new ways the free motion motifs can be adapted to couching!    Wouldn’t this be great for a pillow, or a table runner, or….

I need to go lay down on the couch and think about it!


PS…All photos, tutorials and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt.  Feel free to re-blog and Pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me (I’ll be on my couch today) at

15 thoughts on “You’ve Got to Try This!

  1. So fun! I love that foot, also. I’ve embellished with couching but never thought to quilt with it. You are always so inspiring!

  2. What a neat look. But what really made my day is the last line “I need to go lay down on the couch and think about that”. That I think I can do! 🙂

  3. I have tried this and found that I need to move slowly for the thread to always catch the cording. Did you experience that??? I’m wondering if I may be doing something wrong???

  4. Isn’t it a fun foot. You can also use this foot if you have an E machine and the right embroidery design with yarn or cording. I love what you’ve done so far.

  5. Was watching Downton Abbey last night and looking closely at their bed pillows. Seems like the did some fancy stitching on those pillow cases in those days. Although I wouldn’t sleep on top of that type of needlework, it surely would make a beautiful couch or top of the bed pillow. Thats what your couching reminded me of. I bought the couching foot over a year ago for my Bernina and still haven’t used it. I guess I have been too busy making quilts. Now I might try quilting with it! Thanks for the great inspiration!

  6. I recently got a couching foot for my mid arm Handiquilter. I love using it to add initials to quilts. Your post is reminding me to play with it more.

  7. I just knew you would “rock” this foot when you got into it! And you certainly didn’t disappoint in the least!! WOW!!! My foot set up for the 440QE has a little metal loop that attaches to the machine on the left that the cord goes through first — looks like for your 830 they did away with that . . . good idea to put the cording in a canning jar (?) I have also put it on my tall, heavy okay words are failing me — uh age — cone holder . . . I’m still counting UFO’s — interrupted by dealing with snow and ice and trying to uncover the sewer and my mailbox . . . now I’m finding a few ants in the house and have no clue where they are coming from — uggh . . . snow to ice to ants . . . I know what’s “blocking” me from finishing these quilts and wall hangings — not knowing how to quilt them . . . I’m a huge fan of yours and Judi Madsen and Angela Walters and Linda Hrcka (the quilted pineapple) and I think I over confuse everything . . . need to just dig in and go . . . Do believe you are getting more snow? Yes or not?

  8. Ooh, Lori, I HAVE that foot! I have never taken it out of the package. I love what you did with the yarn. Please do let us know how you handle the yarn ends. I suppose you could pull them through to the back side with a crewel embroidery needle? Or on smaller projects, hide those tails in the seams and bindings?

  9. I am doing some couching, stems on a quilt I am making now, never having tried this method before, has been quite an experience. Fun and I am using Baby Lock couching attachment altho I have a Brother Machine. I enjoy your tutorials so much. Thank you. The pattern I am doing is a LizzeBCre8ive A Rose Tinted Life.

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