Quilt Embellishing with Decorative Stitches

Embellishing Your Contemporary Quilts with the BERNINA Stitch Regulator and decorative stitches by Roxane Lessa.

When I first started using my BERNINA 750 QE, I was pretty much a free-motion kinda gal. I do all my own free-motion quilting on my art quilts. But lately, I discovered that there are so many cool decorative stitches on these machines for quilt embellishing. I wondered how can I use some of those stitches in a more modern way that fit my style? So I began to play….

Decorative Stitches Sample

I found a small curved pieced top that I wasn’t too fond of, so I wasn’t afraid to “wreck” it. I put a fine bobbin thread in my bobbin and chose a neutral white polyester thread for the needle. Mimicking the curves already found in the piece, I used a serpentine stitch—and I liked it! So I repeated it, but made it shorter and smaller by reducing the width and length of the stitch. Fun! Now I was opening up the stitch folders madly on my touch screen looking for more cool stitches. I found this geometric stitch that seemed to work well. Again, I played with the length, making it larger, then smaller, then larger again. This helped create a lot of rhythm and movement.

The trick is to choose stitches that aren’t fussy, flowery or cutesy. Simple and clean designs work with the modern quilt aesthetic.

Now to add a bit of bling! Again, keeping it simple, I echoed the lines in the piece, and couched down some Ricky Tims Razzle Dazzle thread. I put that thread in a cup next to my right hand. Using my BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) foot, Feed Dogs down and a small zig-zag stitch, I was able to couch down this thread easily by guiding it with my left index finger.

Quilt Embellishing Tip - Stitch Selection

Quilt Embellishing Tip

You can use invisible or any thread on the top for couching. Oh,  and one more thing—the BSR foot has 3 feet attachments and you can use any of them to couch with, but I found the clear circular foot holds the thread and gives you full visibility as your are couching.

Quilt Embellishing Tip - Couching

Quilt Embellishing Tip - Decorative Stitching

Get the most out of your machine’s capabilities, and have fun embellishing your work!

Quilt with decorative stitches

5 thoughts on “Quilt Embellishing with Decorative Stitches

  1. I love my BSR on my 440QE and never thought of trying out some of the decorative stitches for quilting. I, too have a quilt top that I made as part of a mystery quilt challenge with my quilt group back in January that I do not care for. This may be just what it needs to make it a quilt that I love.

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