Whether it comes with your machine, or you purchase it as an accessory, this little foot creates lots of stitching fun!
The multi-hole foot, or multi-cord foot has either holes in the surface or channels under it that allow you to feed multiple strands of specialty threads, small cords, yarns, metallics, ribbons, etc. through them for couching. The foot keeps all the strands parallel for you while you stitch.
Depending on the brand, you may be able to couch over three, five, seven or nine strands at once. Strands can be all the same color, or totally different colors, and you can create a secondary pattern by the sequencing of colors. For example, put darker strands along the outside and lighter ones in the center.
If you thread the machine needle with Coats Polyester Embroidery thread, Coats Machine Quilting thread, or even regular Dual Duty XP all-purpose sewing thread in a contrast color, the stitching becomes a prominent part of the couched design. For fun, try a Coats Thread in a multi-color. If you prefer to let the strands show their stuff, then thread the machine with Coats Transparent thread.
A zigzag or almost any open decorative stitch can be used, but be sure the stitch width covers all the strands for maximum hold. On some fabrics it may be necessary to add stabilizer under the stitching to prevent puckering.
Stitch slowly as you’re guiding multiple strands at one time—either following a design line marked on your fabric or free-form.
If the design line doesn’t end in a seam, thread each strand through to the underside and knot, or extend the ends and tie them into a knot or tassel for additional decoration.
TIP: If your machine brand has a foot with holes in it, use a wire needle threader to pull each strand through the top of the foot. On machines with channels, simply open the latch to lay in the strands in order, then snap closed for stitching.
About the Author
Linda Griepentrog is a writer, editor and designer who lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband (a long arm quilter) and dog, Frank. She loves all things fabric! Linda also leads fabric shopping tours to Hong Kong. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.