Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Decorative and Quilting Stitches

This is going to be a quick one that I hope will help your creative wheels move into action.

I love texture. Whether it be gorgeous detailed crown molding, or embroidery hand stitched on a piece of cloth. It's all good.

Take a new look at your sewing machine's decorative stitches.

As I was planning what I'd present for today's tutorial, I was paging through the PFAFF expression line Owner's Manual. On page 7 of the Sewing section, I found an image showing stitches that give a look of handwork. I thought I would select a few of these stitches and see what they look like using my machine.

Disclaimer: I'm essentially sewing out ideas, not unlike jotting down quick sketches for future designs. This is a great way to get some thoughts down on cloth so that you can perfect your ideas for a later date!

Before I began, I wanted to do a little experimenting, so I tried out a decorative stitch down the center and surrounded it with a different stitch I liked. By the way, for this experiment, I'm using a piece of Air Lite 80/20 batting between two scrap pieces of a white solid left over from my "Hey Girl..." quilt. Thread is Aurifil 50wt. 100% cotton thread.

I tried two more stitches, surrounding what I already had. I liked the results and will hold onto this thread jotting piece as an idea-prompter for a future project.

Food for thought: How about planning out a sequence of stitches that appeal to you and use it in the center of a pillow? Coordinate fabrics with your choice of thread colors and make a quick accent for an occasional chair or bed. A modern-day sampler, of sorts.

The following stitches are ones I selected from the image I found in the Owner's manual. They suggest for a hand-quilted look. In this case, I used Aurifil 28wt. 100% cotton because I wanted to see how a thicker thread would show more texture. I love to experiment! The results were great, but this thread truly is not made for this purpose. I'd say that if you are doing small projects, it's fine.

So in conclusion, play! explore! experiment!

If you're planning to use a straight stitch to quilt your next quilt, try something new! I think I'm going to try that one on the far right (#53 on the quilt expression 4.2) on an improv quilt I'm making for a friend of mine. It's perfect, and with occasional changes of thread color, it could enhance my design in a unique way!

I hope you enjoyed this rather basic post and will also re-visit your decorative stitches! Please let me know if this interested you. I love to hear your thoughts!

Enjoy your week!