Machine Quilting And Beads



 You can bead BEFORE you quilt as you embellish the top of your applique quilt.  “But…but…but…..” I hear you stuttering with panic.  Dear fellow quilter, knots on the back are not necessary (and ugly) and the excuse that they are part of the “artistic intention” doesn’t fly with me.  I do say this with the best intentions for your success and my sanity.

The normal presser foot height causes you to snow plow and catch beads creating an impossible situation:




Machine quilting after beading is just a matter of adjusting your presser foot pressure.  A quick flick of the wrist on a Bernina.  You know this dial on the left side of your machine? 




Just turn it up this high (or higher if need be) as shown in the picture.  As you approach the beaded area, stop, adjust the dial up, and then float over your bead(s) as you quilt going slow one stitch at a time.  After you pass the beaded area, turn down the dial to the normal level you previously had and continue as usual.  Voila!  Now wasn’t that hard? 




For those of you with different machines there should be something similar for adjusting the presser foot pressure.   This trick also works very well for areas that are hand embroidery stitches, trapunto, stuffed applique, etc.

So lets review… beads sewn on securely, no ugly knots on the back, and all it took was a flick of the wrist that takes less than a second.   I will let you draw your own conclusions which looks better and is easier when all is said and done.  No creative excuses are needed. 

Have fun!




©2009 Sandra Leichner all rights reserved

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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

3 thoughts on “Machine Quilting And Beads

  1. thanks for the tip. I had heard, DO NOT bead until after quilting which really bothers me. I will try your method. Enjoy your many tips and thanks for the free pattern. Nancy p.s. Did you get your apron made??

  2. Hi Nancy!

    I haven’t been able to make the apron yet! The pattern and fabric are still sitting here looking at me. 🙁

    When I get this quilt done, that is my reward to sit down and make myself the apron. I am looking forward to doing something different. Then I am back to the Margarita Quilt.

  3. What a fantastic idea! I am still resisting doing my own machine quilting, however, I really do want to do it some day. I am looking forward to you finishing the Margarita Quilt. I loved what you showed us. Are you doing to have a pattern? I’ll be first in line to purchase it!


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