Jennifer Keltner gives you tips for where and when to use all those cute decorative stitches on your sewing machine.


Hi, I'm Jennifer here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Today we're going to talk about where and when to use decorative stitches to enhance your quilting. I've got a couple of ideas to share with you. The first has to do with binding your quilt. Typically when you bind, you place your binding on the quilt top and wrap it around to the backside of your quilt, and either hand- or machine-stitch it in place. But for this technique, consider reversing that. Place your binding on the quilt back and then wrap it around to the front. That's when the decorative stitching comes into play. I've got a couple of examples here: the first involves blanket-stitching. You do have to pay attention to which way your needle is going to swing so you place your quilt binding properly when you're lining it up under the presser foot. But that's a great way to stitch your binding in place and not have to do any binding by hand. Another option is to choose a decorative stitch such as a scallop stitch. I think this is a wonderful choice if you're making a quilt for a little girl or more feminine looking wall hanging. You do have to pay attention when you bind like this to the fact that it's maybe best used on wall hangings or place mats or things where you don't care so much what the wrong side of your quilt looks like because that stitching will show back there. But it's an outstanding way to make the most of your decorative stitches. Another technique for using those stitches is with crazy quilting. Crazy quilting has become very popular. But when you're doing the embroidery by hand, you have to be concerned about hiding the thread tails and making sure that your stitches come out evenly at the ends of rows so you can fit things it. But when you do it by machine, all of that difficulty is taken away. So you simply sew your first two pieces together with the seam, press that seam open and then use a decorative stitch to stitch over that line exactly. The next piece that I added was this one, and again I just stitched from end to end. I don't have to worry about hiding those thread tails. I continued on and sewed over this seam and then this last piece that I put on. I've already sewn to the foundation, pressed it open, and I'm ready to stitch some more. It's a great way to make the most of your machine. So have fun using your decorative stitches to bind or to do crazy quilting or for any other ideas you can think of that will make your quilting even more spectacular.