'Patriotic' Table Topper (pic)

bee0hioJune 23, 2012

With 4th of July approaching, I made this using Sandi Blackwell's "Square Agonals" technique. It is made with all squares, then cut & resewn.... no "set-in" triangles. It is going to a friend in S. Carolina.

A question: See the little stars in the small red border? I used a decorative stitch from my sewing machine to make that "quilting" (otherwise it is FM'd & SITD). The line of stars was ~supposed~ to be a STRAIGHT line, but every once in a while, it would zig off a bit. I don't think it detracts from this quilt much (I am ok with it), but I have NEVER been able to use my decorative machine stitches for quilting. For a big quilt I can understand because there is "drag" & it takes a lot to move the quilt around under the presser foot, but this was small (19"x31") so it should have been doable.

Any tips on using your "decorative machine stitches" for quilting?

I'll have to add 2 more posts for the close up & view of the back as I can't put 3 pictures in 1 post.

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So here is the close up so you can see the decorative stitches & how they "zigged"....

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:06PM
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That's very pretty. I love that dark blue. I don't have decorative stitches so hope someone else can give you some help. Good job, though.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I did SITD & free motioning on the rest of the quilt (other than the red border). I used yellow thread & it showed up with a glisteny golden look. The fabric on the back & 9 patches on the front was reminiscent of a midnight sky (dark navy) with gold stars (solid & just outlines) and lighter blue stars. The 3 center blocks, I quilted by outlining the stars present in the fabric. (I should've smoothed out those folds more before taking the pictures....)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Love it! I've had the same thing happen to me with the decorative stitches, don't know why it happens - I guess it's the operator.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Very pretty, Bee! I'm sure your friend will love it.

As far as the decorative stitches, it's probably just the thickness of a quilt sandwich that throws it off, even if there isn't any weight dragging on it. The machines are probably programmed to stitch through one or two layers of fabric and stitching something as thick as a quilt throws it off.

I like your star stitch...my machine has a gazillion decorative stitches and I don't think it has stars. Of course, I can't check b/c it's still in the shop! Grr.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Love that! The star fabrics play so well together! Your quilting is nice also. I have lots of decorative stitches on my Viking stitch D cards - but I have to say, I have never thought about using them to quilt a design on a quilt. I think maybe the thickness of a sandwiched quilt just doesn't lend itself to use with the decorative stitches. Just my opinion. I think I would have free motioned stars and loop-de-loops on that border.

If you practice some deco stitches on fabric with some interfacing or stabilizer under it, you will see that the deco stitches use very dense stitching. Anyway, that's my thinking on it.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:26PM
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I used a decorative stitch on my last quilt for all of the machine quilting. Batting was a mid-loft poly and I really, really liked the effect. Play with a sample first and see how it flies.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Thanks for the comments!

I thought I recalled that there were some here who have used their decorative stitches as part of their quilting, is why I thought some might have some tips.

The batting I used wasn't very thick and this particular star pattern wasn't really "dense" at all.... just single stitches the whole way. Some decorative patterns are very dense & I doubt they would turn out acceptable even on a small quilt such as this one ... at least using my machine (or me, as the operator). My machine does have an automatic thickness sensor for the pressure foot.... but... no matter, I agree it's probably "operator error". Oh, & I did use a "walking foot" for the decorative stitches, if that makes a difference?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:55PM
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I have used decorative stitch on some of my quilts, the Monkey Bars I just posted has the border done with one of the wide decorative stitches. I can't say I have had your problem but I do not use the walking foot but the foot meant for decorative stitching which is different from the reg. foot on the Baby Lock. You do have to be careful of "drag" as it will cause distortion of the pattern.
I have used programs decorative on my Jamome, that is an embroidery mac., but they were done in a hoop. I don't think your problem is because of the batt but possibly the foot or an adjustment in the stitch pattern.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 9:12PM
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It's a darling topper........and no the deviation in the line on the stitching wouldn't bother me either. I did not use a walking foot on the quilt where I used a decorative stitch, even though it had a moderate loft. I used what is considered a heavy-duty machine on that quilt, however, and adjusted the tension on the presser foot for a very light pressure so that I could hold the work very taut above and below the sewing area to minimise drag between the layers.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 3:55AM
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Love your table topper!!

I used the star stitch from my Janome with the walking foot on this quilt. I had to slow down and the stitch looked OK - if I tried to go at a faster speed sometimes it skipped.

I only use a few of my decorative stitches to quilt - but I find I have to slow way down to get all of them to stitch correctly - and I always use my walking foot.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:44PM
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I have only used decorative stitching on one large baby quilt. I did not have any problems with the stitching, but I found it too slow. Like Jane, I used a foot meant for stitching decorative stitches.

Bee- if you have a needle down feature-engage it. Your zigs look like they occur at somewhat regular intervals, and my guess is you are causing the zig each time you adjust the fabric after stitching a few inches (6"), and the quilt is shifting under the pressure foot. Also try to feed the quilt straight, the extra in your lap directly in front of the foot and not to the side.

Your topper is very festive, and I like your quilting and use of the stars.

Rosa, very pretty stitching. I should use my decorative stitches more. I think I am too impatient.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:27AM
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