Monday, May 16, 2011

Yes You Can!

This post is for all my quilting friends and readers who think that quilting on a regular sewing machine is either
    1) boring, because all they can think of to do is stitch in the ditch or;
    2) frightening, because they think that in order to not be boring, the quilting needs to be free-motion (which can be very frightening and burdensome to do on a regular machine).

I recently tried a technique that I had seen several guild members use...


I quilted this Project Linus quilt (the photo shows the back) on my regular Bernina sewing machine, not on my HQ16 mid-arm machine. The stitch I used was #4 on the Bernina (called the Running Stitch) with stitch width and stitch length both set at 3. The effect is sort of a serpentine stitch. It's not free-motion, but it's a lot more interesting than a straight stitch (and frankly, it goes a lot quicker than stitching in the ditch). Most non-quilters who receive a quilt quilted like this will be quite impressed and think that it was difficult to do (let them continue to think that).

I wanted to see if I could do something similar on my travel machine, the Janome Jem Platinum 720, and the closest I could get was stitch #9 (called the Multiple Zigzag) with the stitch width and length settings also set at 3. As you can see in the (bad) photo below, it's not quite the same -- a bit more angular -- but still better than stitch in the ditch, in my opinion. Click on the photos to see a larger and better view.


So you see, you CAN quilt a quilt on a sewing machine and make it look impressive. I would just recommend using a walking foot. If you don't have one, it's a good investment, and not just for the machine quilting of your projects. It comes in handy for lots of things.

Go ahead...give it a try!

10 comments:

Jackie said...

Great stitch and it looks wonderful on the quilt!

Nanci said...

A super idea Anya! I'm just thinking that my free motion quilting needs a rest and this idea of finishing a quilt is ideal for the little easy tops I've got finished.

Diane said...

Hi Anya,
I call that a "wiggle stitch" I do it free motion on my HQ in place of stitch in the ditch. It goes fast and looks good. I never thought to see if my DSmachine had a stitch that would work too. Great idea.

Susan said...

I agree! You don't even need a machine with a fancy stitch...try quilting gentle curves the length and width of the quilt using a straight stitch (and walking foot). It is easy to do and also gives a "free motion" effect.

karenfae said...

I recently machine quilted a baby quilt for the first time with my Janome 720 and just used the straight stitch - I had not thought to use the zigzag. I might continue to do baby quilts now and then by machine instead of hand quilting and I will remember this to try the next time I do one.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Needled Mom said...

I love using that wavy stitch with my walking foot. It makes a great quilting design.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

You are absolutely right!!! I don't know what I would do without a walking foot....I rarely take it off.

Smiles,
Kelly

Heather said...

this is great, I'll have to try ig. Thanks.

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Hi Anya, I love your use of the BERNINA running stitch! I hope you don't mind, I'm sharing a link to your post as a great example of quilting with this stitch at WeAllSew.com. :) Erika

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Hi Anya, I love your use of the BERNINA running stitch! I hope you don't mind, I am sharing a link to your post as a great example of using this stitch over at WeAllSew.com. :) Erika