What Is Couching?

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Technique Tuesday.

Couching is a form of embellishment done on the top of a fabric with yarn, cording or ribbon. This material is laid out on top of the fabric it needs to be attached to and then sewn down with either a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch. It is most often used in art quilts. It is also very common in embroidery. The couching adds texture and dimension to the fabric.

When couching make sure to put a foot on the sewing machine that will allow for a zigzag stitch as well as allow a piece of yarn, ribbon etc to feed under it. Some sewing machines have a specific couching foot that has a channel in it to accommodate the yarn, etc.

The yarn under the foot already to be stitched down

The yarn under the foot already to be stitched down

The first bit stitched down with a zigzag stitch

The first bit stitched down with a zigzag stitch

There are even free motion couching feet which I do have but must say have not tried. I’ll leave that for another day.

This week for Stitch Along Sunday with Ruth Blanchet of Arbee Designs the challenge is to add an embellishment to the little art piece we have been working on for the past couple of weeks and augmenting each week. Each week we have been given 2 – 4 words to represent in our piece. This week the words are warm or cool – so the embellishment needs to be either a warm or cool colour.

I thought I would add a bit of couching to the dune. I contoured lines echoing the shape of the dune. The yard I used was a warm colour and it went from thick to thin which adds even more texture to the piece. I used a lighter coloured thread which stands out a bit more so that we have the illusion of the moonlight shining down on it and making it sparkle a bit. The thread I used was The Bottom Line from Superior and it is a 60 wt thread. I didn’t want to take away from the yard with a thick a thread so chose the finer thread.

Three rows of couching.

Three rows of couching.

Want to join along with us then make sure to check our Stitch Along Sunday Party where you can link to your blog and we can check your piece out there. If you don’t have a blog, just email me a photo and a description of what you’ve done so far and I’ll put up a guest post for you here on Quilts by Jen.

The full piece with the couching in place

The full piece with the couching in place – subtle but effective

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature






I shared this post at WIP Wednesdays and The Needle and Thread Network