Add Dimension to Your Quilt With Shirring; StabilizingApril 11, 2009
About two weeks ago I began exploring shirring and how it can be used in quilts. Today I’d like to share with you why and how shirring can be stabilized.
Stabilizing insures that the fabric will stay as you want it. Stabilizing prevents the loss of gathering in case the gathering threads break and it also secures the distribution of the gathers.
With a piece of fabric, or stay, beneath the shirring topstitch over each gathered row to lock the arrangement in place. If you stitch right on top of the original gathering stitches the stabilizing stitches do not stand out. You could also hand tack the stabilizing stitches along the rows if you wish to further hide those stitches. Here is a picture of some shirring stabilized and set within a block.
The stabilizing stitches could also be used as a decorative element on the shirring. In this next photo I used a Sulky Holoshimmer metallic thread and a very short zig-zag stitch over the top of the gathering thread.
Note that I also hemmed the edges of the shirring and left them to float above the surface of the quilt. That might make an interesting interior border on a quilt.
Next I plan to explore and play with shirring. I have an idea that I can’t wait to try!