How to Thread Paint on a Juki 8700

Wow the summer is finally here! I've been busy with summer things and family visits and I wouldn't have it any other way.   Yesterday I able to spend a couple of hours working with my new Juki 8700.  I purchased this machine to sew and quilt my Mission Project  and to thread paint.  Ahh, I love thread painting and there is nothing better than doing it with a fast smooth machine.  Having a quiet servo motor and a large throat space, makes this machine perfect for the job.  I am making it sound simple - but initially it wasn't.  I had to find the right foot
 - which I did for a reasonable price   this price is about $20.00 less than Amazon or Ebay.  This foot made the machine sing!

For a first attempt I wanted to make a little gift for another Artsy friend.  These colors work for her space and style (I think!).  This became an exercise for me to become acquainted with my machine.

The first step (after finding the right foot for my machine) was setting up my thread.  I have a beautiful collection of vintage cotton threads, I wouldn't trust them in a seam but I LOVE the rich color and glow on the surface of fabric.  I look for and save theses threads for thread painting - most of the time they work beautifully.
For this piece I used two threads through the needle  and tried several colors and bobbin embroidery threading the bobbin.

I tried several ways for the thread path

This is what worked best - it did not tangle during the run.

To use the top tension or not?

Not using the tension worked best

Getting two threads through the needle eye - I used a #14 needle nothing special

A cheap-o needle thread made it easy. I used a yellow cotton thread in teh bobbin

I changed out my foot and put a guard over the feed dogs.

I took the guard off  dropped the needle bar  pressure  reduced the thread tension and set stitch length to zero, that worked just fine.  These are the tweeks you would have to make any machine and if your memory is challenged - write it down  and keep it by your machine.

I took a scrap and added my stabilizer, and did a little test.  When the thread was in the top tensioner it made it the movement very difficult, there was no flow and I could not move the fabric easily under the needle.

With the top tension skipped I was able to find a nice smooth flow.

 With thread painting and free motion quilting you have to develop a rhythm between your hand movements, and machine speed - these factors determine your stitch length and maneuverability.  All it take is persistence and practice.  Play, develop your hand at this and you will master it in no time!

.  I marker my wool felt with a white quilt marker I had handy and just filled it in with stitches and colors I liked.  This flower required about 20 minutes of sewing time and it was really fun.

I stitched the flower and the petals onto a backing and then  together.
The center was a do-dad I had in my stash

I will turn this into a mug rug or something for the gift.  I wanted to share this with you, and let you know it is worth the initial effort of figuring out how to make your machine do what you want it to.  When I first got the Juki and could not get it to freemotion I was ready to toss it through the window I was getting so frustrated.  The machine was not doing what I purchased it to do and I couldn't take it back!  Sometime you just have to step away and rethink the process.

Hope this was helpful  and have a great day!
Ginny M


Wow - that is quite some thread set up, Ginny, but all your experimenting paid off with that gorgeous flower! I can freestyle embroider with my household Elna, but have not done much - I have mainly used the feature for mending!

Popular posts from this blog

How to Make Sweet Little Paper Dress Cards!

Tutorial: Making Napkin Cards

How To Restore A Vintage Rubber Stamp