It is possible to accomplish some amazing quilted textures and designs using a variety of stitches with your feed dogs up. This is particularly the case if you are blessed with a machine with 9mm wide stitches and even more-so if your machine will do sideways stitching for extra large motifs. I was recently reminded of this in my recent presentation at Suzzie’s Quilt Shop in Manassas Virginia where I showed and talked about my quilts. For that I pulled out my two architectural quilts where I used decorative stitches and straight line walking foot quilting a lot.
Some machines provide precise information as to the width and length of a decorative stitch, and are somewhat adjustable. Here is a screen shot from my B880 plus simulator with a flower motif that uses sideways motion to achieve a bigger design. I learned that it is important to keep a flexible clear plastic ruler with both inches and metric for figuring how to use such motifs. Here you see 41.6 mm wide (about 1.45 inches) by 72.2mm (about 2.85 inches). Many of these extra large stitch designs are not adjustable, so in this case, I would probably try to accommodate the design by slightly adjusting the size of the fabric I was going to use if at all possible. Therefore, it helps to plan out the use of such designs before you plunge in. I am thinking of making a small whole cloth quilt project of some sort just to show off what can be done.
This would make a lovely quilting stitch down a narrow sashing, for instance, or the center of a larger design.
But I have also used more ordinary stitches in rows, even curved rows (such stitches will curve well, and you can even adjust the width while stitching on my Berninas, and probably other brands) to build up the texture of an area to look like stucco or rock face or some such:
This method was what I used for some of the walls in this architectural quilt. Note that I had to curve and narrow the decorative stitch design and place them close together. Also it wasn’t perfect, but still looked nice.
If you do landscapes or small pictorial renderings and want a nice field with flowers and grass, for instance a stitch design with small flowers stitched with variegated threads might just be what you need. This is just a 9.0 mm width and a 15.7 mm (.62 inches) length design. Rows of this spaced closely together would work.
I did something like this (I don’t remember the exact stitch, but it might have been this one) in the yard on the rendering of the house on “Dad’s House Plan”.
Sew it is possible to get some wonderfully appropriate and detailed quilting on your domestic sewing machine if you are not comfortable with free motion stitching, and even if you are. Sometimes, it is just the right texture that you need and can obtain with those decorative stitches.
Sew happy everyone! Try something new with decorative stitches and have fun in your studios. I plan on going back to a blog every couple of weeks again. Please comment, pay a visit to my YouTube. Cheers.