Projects

How To Use The Free Motion Couching Foot

Created By:

Lillia Whittington

Skill Level: Beginner

Hey sewing besties! Welcome back to the Janome blog. I’m Lillia, and today I am going to share how you can use this amazing presser foot to create custom applique, texture, and more to your projects this summer. The free motion couching foot is a simple to use presser foot that easily attaches to your machine to help you create custom designs from just about any sketch! Using a free motion presser foot may be scary, but today’s post is going to share all the how-to's so you can add your own custom designs to anything!

Janome Supplies Required

Supplies:

  • Janome Free Motion Couching Foot

  • Project you’re applying the applique to

  • Medium to Bulky weight yarn(s) (I find these weights work best for beginners)

  • Stabilizer

  • Thread to match your yarn(s)

  • Scissors or snips

  • Heat disappearing pen for drawing on design

  • Iron

  • Tapestry needle

Instructions

Design your Decal

This was my favorite part of the process! I used a short throw projector to cast my design onto my fabric. However, you can always print your design and trace it onto your fabric as well. I chose a fun summer ladybug design for my bag. This design gave me the opportunity to use multiple yarns in one project, making for a fun and dimensional design. Using your heat disappearing pen, trace onto your fabric your design. For designs with multiple colors, label your sections with the colors so you won’t forget once you sit on your machine. 

 

Prep the Machine

For my Skyline S9, I have to change my presser plate from a straight stitch, to a free motion quilting plate. Not all machines may require this, so check your manual to be sure. You’ll want to select quilting, free motion quilting, and drop your feed dogs before beginning. Use your sewing machine key to safely remove your current presser foot and ankle attachment. Replace the whole piece with the new couching presser foot and secure into place with the sewing machine key. Thread your bobbin and machine like normal, then you’ll want to lead your yarn into the  center of the free motion couching foot. Note: Using the appropriate stabilizer for your project will prevent the fabric from puckering around the design

 

How to thread your Free Motion Couching Foot

In the free motion couching foot, there is a small slit to allow the yarn to slide in to sit in the center of the presser foot. This is where the weight of your yarn can determine the ease of stitching for your presser foot. The bulky yarn will fill up the center of the hole in the presser foot, making it easier to use. The smaller the yarn weight, the more precise you’ll need to be as you sew your design. I used a medium weight wool yarn and a fine crochet yarn. I found the medium weight performed best, but the fine details were drawn on beautifully! The more you practice though, the better you will be able to manage the yarn on your designs. 

 

 

How to Draw with your Free Motion Couching Foot

Now that your design is laid down, and your presser foot is loaded, you are ready to begin stitching with the free motion couching foot! Start by outlining your design so you can have a clean edge to draw against with the machine. Make sure your yarn is always coming from the front of the presser foot so the yarn is getting caught in the stitch. Once you outline the shape, work in small circles to fill in the design. Since you are using a free motion presser foot, remember that your hand sets the speed and direction of the stitch. Work from the top of the design down for the best way to fill the design and make sure you are always catching the yarn. 

 

Remember, using the free motion setting on your machine means you set the speed and determine the direction of your stitch! 

 

After you finish drawing with your design in a certain area, cut the thread using your machine's automatic cutter or your snips. Pull a tail of yarn that is 4-5 inches long to be left on your design. This will leave you ample room to pull the thread through with a tapestry needle at the end! When you finish each color, change your thread and yarn the same way you threaded your machine to set up the foot. 

Finish Off Your Design

When you go to complete your design after you have applied all your colors, you’ll want to grab your tapestry needle and snips. Thread the yarn through the tapestry needle, then thread the yarn through the design towards the back to create a seamless finish on the front of your design. Tie the ends off in a knot once you finish pulling all the threads to the back of the design. Give your design a final press with lots of steam to help the fibers bond  together. 

Projects to Use the Free Motion Couching Foot On

This is a great way to add a personal touch to a bag or backpack, jackets, pillows and home goods, or personalized design on a stable fabric. This free motion couching foot will work best on woven fabrics, as knit fabrics with high stretch may cause the fabrics to warp and your design to come out funny and bubbly. For this project, I used upholstery fabric I thrifted from Thistle Creative Reuse center here in Denton, TX. Along with medium weight wool yarn and the white fine crochet yarn. Have fun creating your own appliques! Feel free to reach out to me over on Tik Tok or Instagram on @just.lilliaa if you have any questions! 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Reviews


Tako
Beautiful
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

cpindzola
Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Txmaid
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MargieARK
Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
MickelSews
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
rvstan
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
pjmnana
PJMNana
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
KLWash
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
SewSueMe2002
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Jillfmischo
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
elenaz
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.
plonkar
So useful
Thursday, November 30, 2023

I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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