I love the look of gathering, however I don't always love gathering. With my luck I always break a thread or 2 and have to start over.
My wonderful mother showed me a much easier way to gather thicker fabric!
What you will need:
A sewing machine
Your fabric (I used Burlap)
First I cut my burlap into strips, Next lay your fabric out and decide how you want your ruffle to look, I wanted my burlap to ruffle on both sides so I ran my embroidery thread down the middle of my strips.
Make sure your embroidery thread is at least 6 inches longer than your fabric on both ends!
Adjust your machine to Zig Zag and you want your zig zag to be as wide as possible. You don't want your stitch length too long but it doesn't have to be really tight either. You want to zig zag right other the top of the embroidery thread DON'T catch your embroidery thread in your stitch or you will not be able to gather.
Once you have zig zagged over the length of your fabric you are going to HOLD the embroidery thread and begin pushing the fabric toward the center. Make sure you don't pull the embroidery thread through on the other end.
And here is what a gathered piece of burlap looks like!