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!