12wt thread is a very thick thread. For my first experience with it I chose to free motion quilt this quilt. The thread is Aurifil. It was one of my most amazing quilting experiences. While quilting this quilt, I learned how helpful the Jeans needle is. Since then, this needle type is the only one I use for quilting and for sewing bags.
While sewing my latest faux leather bags, because I “quilted” the panels from the back side, I thought it is a great opportunity to try bobbin work. Winding 12wt thread in the bobbin is like winding any other thread, you just need more bobbins than usual!
The back panel of this bag was stitched with 12wt thread (Aurifil).
The interfacing is foam. I stitched these panels with the foam side up.
Here are some tips for sewing with 12wt thread in the bobbin:
- use the walking foot
- use 40wt thread in the needle
- use Jeans needles 18/110 (or 16/100)
- tighten the tension of the top thread, loosen the tension of the bobbin thread
- increase the size of the stitch (3.0 or 3.5 mm)
- test the tension setting on a scrap before starting to sew your project
Not fond of vinyl? You can use the same technique on other fabrics that need some embellishment (like the heavyweight cotton you see below) and you find it harder to quilt them in the regular way.
If you want to sew a complicated design, print it (or draw it) on paper, put the paper on top of the fabric+foam and sew through all the layers.
Remove the paper; you created an amazing design with no effort!
Here are the bags made with this technique, with designs on paper.
If you have some thick, decorative thread at home, I hope you will give these techniques a try!
Pattern for all these bags here.