Decorative Stitch Tips

Welcome to our 125 years celebration of the BERNINA company! We’re celebrating by bringing you lots of inspiration and focusing on the technique of decorative stitches this month, and giving you the chance to win a fun prize package! Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the giveaway.

Decorative stitch tips

The decorative stitches included in your sewing machine can be grouped into two main categories: open stitches and dense or satin stitches. Both open and dense styles of decorative stitches can add decoration to any project you are stitching, but each type of stitch has different needs to create the perfect looking finished stitch. Follow these tips and tricks to make the most out of your open style and dense style sewing machine decorative stitches.

Decorative stitch tips

Open Decorative Stitches

Stitches that are categorized as open are made of single stitches repeating to make a design or letters. Open decorative stitch patterns often work by moving back-and-forth under the needle to create the finished stitch pattern.

Decorative stitch tips

Decorative stitch tips

The Reverse pattern foot #1/#1C/#1D is specially designed to help the sewing machine form perfect open stitches. Creating perfectly sewn open decorative stitches is this foot’s special superpower! The Reverse pattern foot is engineered with a special indentation under the foot both in front of and behind the needle, to allow the stitching of thread patterns that move forward and backward. The foot is marked with a clearly indented center line to help you align stitches as you sew. While this is the perfect foot for sewing open decorative stitches, it’s not ideal for the thicker build-up of threads created with dense or satin style decorative stitches.

BERNINA presser foot #20C

The Open embroidery foot #20/#20C/#20D is perfect for sewing decorative stitches when you really need to see exactly where your stitches are going, such as on a border or around an appliqué shape. The wide open area in front of the needle gives you maximum visibility while the smooth indentation under the foot allows the stitches room to form properly.

Other favorite feet to use when creating open decorative stitches include the Reverse pattern foot with clear sole #34/#34C/#34D, Clear embroidery foot #39/#39C and the Non-stick zigzag foot #52/#52C/#52D for sewing oilcloth or tacky fabrics.

Open Decorative Stitch Tips

  • Remember to prepare your project for decorative stitching by using the right kind of stabilizer for your project. The stabilizer will help to support the stitches and keep the fabric from pulling together with the stitches to form tucks or tunneling.
  • Your sewing machine needle greatly affects your stitches, make sure to use a new needle type and size for the fabric you are sewing.
  • Since open stitches do not create a dense or thick bunch of thread on your project, you can use the same thread in the bobbin as you are using in the top thread.
  • Always run a test stitch first. Use a scrap of fabric from your project with stabilizer to make sure your thread tension is set correctly. Adjust the thread tension if necessary.
  • Changing the stitch length or width will affect what the final decorative stitch looks like. If you decide to make any changes, write down your sewing machine settings in case you need to duplicate the stitch at a later time.
  • If you stitch doesn’t look quite like it should, some sewing machine models have the ability to adjust the fine balance of your decorative stitches. Check your sewing machine manual to learn how to balance decorative stitches if your machine offers this feature, or ask for help from your local BERNINA store.

Lettering Stitch Tips

One of the most popular type of built-in decorative stitches are the lettering stitches. Not all models have lettering stitches available, but this feature is a fun way to personalize your sewing projects. Read up in your sewing machine manual to find directions for adding individual letters to your memory in order to stitch out complete words, names, or phrases. You can follow all of the same tips above to make the most of your lettering stitches. Use lettering to stitch a name on grosgrain ribbon to create simple name tape, great for tagging your sewing supplies at class or retreat, or for sewing names into clothing.

Quilt binding with words tutorial

Use lettering stitches in the binding of your quilt to add your name, a date, or a personal message.

Decorative stitch tips

Dense Decorative Stitches

Stitches that are categorized as dense or satin style decorative stitches are made of stitches formed very close together with a narrow zigzag stitch. Dense or satin style decorative stitches form behind the needle as the machine sews to create the finished stitch pattern.

Decorative stitch tips

The Embroidery foot #6 has a wide indentation on the sole to allow the dense stitches to form when coming off the needle. The indentation is wider at the back of the foot to allow for turning smoothly around corners and curves. There is a small metal bridge in front of the needle which provides extra stabilization for fabrics to help prevent tunneling or puckering while sewing. This is the perfect foot to help you create the best dense decorative stitches up to 5mm wide.

Decorative stitch tips

The Open embroidery foot #20/#20C/#20D is perfect for sewing dense decorative and satin stitches up to 9mm in width. It is very similar to Embroidery foot #6 with a wide, smooth indentation behind the needle, but the area in front of the needle is completely open to offer maximum visibility. This foot is a favorite for sewing dense or satin stitches on the edges of appliqué shapes, or any project that demands precise placement of your decorative stitches.

Other feet that work well with dense decorative stitches are the Clear appliqué foot #23 and Embroidery foot with clear sole #39/#39C.

Dense Decorative Stitch Tips

  • Remember to prepare your project for decorative stitching by using the right kind of stabilizer for your project. The stabilizer will help to support the tight, dense stitches and keep the fabric from puckering or tunneling with the stitch.
  • Your sewing machine needle greatly affects your stitches, make sure to use a new needle type and size for the fabric you are sewing.
  • Dense and satin stitches create a lot of bulk with thread. To help avoid a build-up of thick thread, use a lighter weight thread in the bobbin and decrease the top tension so that the upper thread will show along the edges of the stitch on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Always run a test stitch first. Use a scrap of fabric from your project with stabilizer to make sure your thread tension is set correctly. Adjust the thread tension if necessary.
  • Changing the stitch length or width will affect what the final decorative stitch looks like. Write down your sewing machine settings if you make any changes, even little ones, in case you need to repeat the stitch at a later time.

Fun With Decorative Stitches

Here are some fun things you can do with decorative stitches!

BERNINA stitch recipe

Pair several decorative stitches together to create a new look! Learn how to make your own Stitch Recipe in this post at WeAllSew.

Golden reverse pattern foot #1D

Add a fun embellishment to a pair of jeans or any existing garment with this tip! Learn about Adding Decorative Stitches to Jeans in this post.

How to make a stitch sample book

Want to see what all of those decorative stitches look like when sewn out? Learn how to Make a Stitch Sampler Book as a quick and handy guide!

Your Chance to Win!

One lucky WeAllSew reader will win this decorative stitch prize package including a set of 6 assorted bright Isacord embroidery thread, one thread storage box, and one Tula Pink Hardware thread snips!

Decorative thread prize package

All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question, “What is your favorite way to use decorative machine stitches?” The the giveaway is open through Friday, May 18, 2018!

The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the blog by Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.

430 thoughts on “Decorative Stitch Tips

        1. I love to use Bernina’s decorative stitches on bindings that I use on my quilts and also on cuffs and the purses that I make.

          It also dresses up some of the napkins that I make.

          So, you could just say I love using them in many different ways!

    1. I am just starting out. So i hope to learn a lot about decorative stitches. I want to work on small items that i can handle. I am in a wheelchair and want to start small

    2. I use the decorative stitches when I make crazy quilted items and wall hangings. Very often I add hand embroidery with floss or ribbon to the simpler stitches.

    3. I add a “Made by Grandma” in an inconspicuous place on the items I make my grandchildren. I also add my name and dare to the binding on all quilts I make.

  1. My favorite way to use decorative stitches is to add a little “oomph” to quilt blocks…amazing how a line of decorative stitching can make just a little more extra special.

  2. I love to use decorative stitches when I hem a garment. It makes it like my trademark. I don’t think I’d be using them to do that if I didn’t own a Bernina. Mine is a 1230 and as the saying goes, I love my Bernina.

  3. My favorite way to use decorative stitches is when I am quilting. I like to add these stitches to create interest and to fill areas that seem too “empty” once I’ve quilted a project.

  4. I’ve used them on quilts (quilting), on table toppers/runners, placemats, and on garments. They are fun to do and can add just the right touch to an item.

  5. I love using the stitches along the quilt bindings to add a touch of character on the edges of the quilts. Also, like to use on topstitching when making purses or zippered clutches.

  6. I love using decoratie stitches to enhance stitching on a garment or bag. I create custom prayer shawls and headcoverings- I love to ceate a ribbon effect, using rows of stitches to create a band.

  7. I’m so inspired to use my embroidery stitches! I’ve rarely used them but they do look good on woven things I make my girls. I really want to get a circle attachment and use it with that.

  8. I love to use my decorative stitches on my 830 LE to embellish table runners and to quilt small objects like mug rugs and potholders.

  9. I love to make zippered pouches and add a special personal quote with the lettering stitches on the front of the pouch for the receiver of the gift!

  10. I use decorative stitches for quilting, monogramming quilts I give away as gifts, name tags on ribbons, and embelishments on pillow cases. However, I must say I love the scissors and sewing machine decorative stitches! My Bernina does not have them…but I still love my Beenina (all three of them!)!

  11. I am working on using the circular embroidery attachment to make my own “fabric..boy is that fun! So many different stitches to play with. Thanks for the great tips.

  12. I’ve made quite a few I Spy lap quilts and companion pillow cases for many 2 year olds. Co-ordinating decorative stitching adds beautiful touches to each pair. That’s what their moms tell me!

  13. Decorative stitches add a little bit of happiness to any project. The more creative you are with the stitches the more awe & smiles you will get. And then add in colored thread & WOW!!!! Decorative stitches always give a great “first impression” to any project. ?

  14. I love to use decorative stitces with home decor items. They are great on placemats, napkins and on the back of pillows for added interest

  15. I have a Sew Steady table that allows me to stitch in circles. I recently mde a cushion cover using this technique. I also like to use decorative stitches in my quilting.

  16. I like to use decorative stitches in terms, cuffs, collars and as stay stitching on tight curves (like baby and children’s necklines.)

  17. I have so much fun using my 20D foot with all the different combinations of decorative stitches, creating customize background material for various projects

  18. I’ve enjoyed using the decorative stitches in creating a nature scene with leaves, flower petals, ferns, and tree bark in various sizes. The decorative stitches make a 3D picture.

  19. I love to use the alphabet in my binding on quilts or projects that I can’t put a label on. That way I’ll know when it was made and any other details necessary,

  20. I love using the decorative stitches on anything and everything that I possibly can, especially dresses for baby girls. The idea for jeans is great, gonna do that soon! What number stitch is that flower in the first picture?

  21. I love using decorative stitches to embelish the bottoms and sleeves of my grandaughters clothing. She always tells me that i make her clothes beautiful!! I also followed a previous recommendation and use the lettering function to sign and date my quilt binding!! Thanks Bernina for putting such lovely functions on my machines!

  22. My favorite way to use decorative stitches is to add texture, interest and color to an otherwise visually neutral fabric. What do I use the fabric for? That is another comment waiting in the wings!

  23. Dibble Dabble here and there, I recently created 3 stitches in the stitch designer program, LOVE IT!!! A lot of fun and excited to use on a self made sewing machine cover. Love my Bernina’s 🙂

  24. I love all the great stitches on my 790 and add lots of decorative stitches to my quilt blocks. Especailly Row by Row. It really makes those blocks pop

  25. I love to make Rag Dolls…I use decorative stitches to embellish, aprons and clothing on dolls. And on some of my own clothing. I have 4 BERNINA’s 1090, 440, 830, and now the 700. I Love all the stitches on all the machines.

  26. I like using the decorative stitches for quilt labels. I’ve used the letters, and I also like to do decorative stitches around the outer edges of the label as trim. A second use I like is to finish off bindings, especially on baby quilts that will get lots of wear and washing.

  27. I use the lettering to add my name in a small corner on my quilts. I am a new Bernina owner but am loving all the possibilities of what I can do!

  28. I like to use decorative stitches on my quilt labels. Thanks for all of the great tips. I am printing this tutorial for future reference.

  29. I use decorative stitches on my quilt labels, on applique, and quilts. I think they really had class to projects that just need a little more interest.

  30. I love using decorative stitches to “make” my own fabric. My pouch panels end up being personalized to to receiver of said pouches.

  31. So far my favorite way to use decorative stitches on my new Bernina has been with sewing a small zippered handbag. The vinyl used was brown and I used a contrasting brownish/peach thread for the decorative stitching on both sides of the handbag. It turned out so nicely that the first person who saw it after I made it, asked if they could have it lol! Best compliment ever! Thanks for making my life fun Bernina!

  32. I like to use decorative stitching on my Bernina on labels that I make for my quilts and garment sewing. They add interest and a personal touch. The hardest thing is selecting which ones.

  33. I like to use decorative stitches to create my own fabric then turn it into beautiful things. Clothing, pillows or beautiful Art. My Bernina 830, 580 and quilt frame make this easy.

  34. I love to give borders of a quilt a little pizzaz by adding decorative stitches. I love my 790 that makes it look professionally done easily.

  35. There are so many ways to use decorative stitching, but a few of my favorites are stitching around a collar, a hem and sleeve. I have made quilt blocks with decorative stitching. Purses and cosmetic pouches are another great way to add personalization.

  36. I am making a huge effort to finish quilts and have been successful. Binding is not my favorite thing to do but since I have begun machine stitching them on….wow!!! I seam the binding on the back and then bring the fold edge to the top (or front) of the quilt. I then run the decorative stitch along the fold edge making sure to carefully & evenly position it so as to catch the back of the binding as well. Works so great and is so much faster than hand stitching it!!!!

  37. Just got my new machine as well and have tried decorative stitches on the baby items I sew. Love this machine but I have alot to learn and many feet to purchase

  38. I love the ability to take a decorative stitch and move it to my embroidery module where I can incorporate it into a design. Bernina 765. I love this machine.

  39. I use decorative stitches to make a “necklace” around the bias neckline of aprons. I’ve made over 150 of them, almost all given away!

  40. I just recently discovered the joy of using decorative stitches while binding the edges of clear vinyl pockets with fabric. It adds a sweet touch to the pocket edge and looks great. Love my 770!

  41. I use a decorative stitch to sew the quilt binding to the front of the quilt (I stitch it to the back first). It is much faster than hand stitching and quite durable for quilts that are going to be loved and washed a lot.

  42. I like to use decorative stitches as a top-stitch around the bibs I make for for my Granddaughter who has CP and needs bigger bibs that don’t look babyish. I am still learning my machine and this tip sheet really helped. Thank you 🙂

  43. The decorative stitches are perfect along the hemmed edge of a pillowcase, especially when used in combination with each other!!

  44. I stitch about three repeats of a decorative stitch in a tonal color of thread to mark the centers on the hems at the top and bottom of my sheets and blankets. The effect is similar to a monogram, and it helps me get the bedding centered on the bed when I change the sheets. That’s one chore finished better and faster!

  45. I volunteer in the sewing room of a local hospital where I make colorful pillowcases for the patients. The decorative stitches enable me to make each pillowcase one of a kind.

  46. I use decorative stitches around the collar, neckline and sleeves of my grand daughters dresses. I also use them to stitch around baby blankets and burp cloths.

  47. My favorite way to use the decorative stitches is to enhance the doll clothes I make for my granddaughter. I love how just using a fancy stitch can make them look so beautiful. I also like enhancing quilt blocks with decorative stitches. Beauty from a needle. Looks like you spent hours on it ?

  48. I use them for decorative quilt blocks and recently starting experimenting with machine sewing the binding on and using a decorative stitch on the front of the quilt to secure the binding. Fun and fast.

  49. I love to use decorative stitches on quilt blocks to mimic hand embroidery, and also when making labels, where I use the lettering features.

  50. I use them on bindings and when I make aprons. When I was prego with my first son….long time ago, I made all the cloth diapers and layette and used the stitches and colored thread when sewing them. Used them on all 4 of my boys!!!!

  51. I love my 9mm decorative stitches. I use decorative stitches on purses, shirts and jean jackets. I also free motion decorative stitches on Christmas decorations.

  52. I like to add a row of decorative stitches to the binding on Linus quilts. Often the added texture of the stitches become a “fidget” for very sick children.

  53. Decorative stitches are wonderful when making an easy baby blanket, the back side flips to the front and sew around the blanket “binding” with decorative stitches make a beautiful final touch.

  54. My favorite way to use the decorative stitches is on appliqués. For instance on a pattern that has a valance, the decorative stitching looks like a crochet edge on the valance

  55. I am just discovering the beauty of decorative stitches and plan to use them on my young daughters’ dresses and on tops for myself. They are so fun and pretty and a great way to customize a piece!

  56. I use decorative stitches on receiving blankets that I make for my grandchildren and friend’s grandchildren. Just started applique and cannot wait to try some other stitches!

  57. I love making gifts for family and friends.all kinds of pouches and bags. Perhaps a table runner or mug rugs. My deco stitches adds unique touches for each person and/or project. Ideas are endless

  58. I lie to use decorative stitches on everything. I love to all that special touch of embellishing to towels, tea towels, and anything create. It is fun to make our own choices and combinations of stitches to make it “your own”.
    My Bernina has so many, many choices it is unending !

  59. I have used some of the decorative stitches on my 440QE to sew hems in children’s and doll clothes, to add interest to quilt blocks, in place of topstitching on clothing, bags and other items. I keep a stitch sampler pinned to the board above my machine for reference, and use it constantly.

  60. My favorite place to use decorative stitches is on the hems and seams of garments. I just finished a pair of Thai fisherman pants and ran decorative stitches down the hems on the edges. As it is such a simple garment it is a great way to make it a little less plain without going overboard. I am starting to quilt more so I hope to find more uses!!!

  61. I love using decorative stitches as a special trim on the small premie burial clothes I make for my local hospital. Since the majority of premies are male and most purchased trims tend to be feminine, it really helps to have the variety of stitches found on my Bernina.

  62. I use decorative stitches whenever I can, on purses, garments, and in quilt blocks. It is so much fun and easy to do. Love my Bernina 880 Plus.

  63. I love to use decorative stitches on clothing and on quilts! I love my Bernina’s. I quilt and embroider with the 880, sew clothes with my 530 an 460. I’d love to win these treats!

  64. I make fabric hats and sell them. On one style that is like a beret, I use the 5 rows of decorative stitching around the bias cut of the side and. I love my Bernie!!

  65. I love to stitch decorative stitches on the gifts I make, most famous is tea bag holders, cross body bags, purses and quilts! I recently upgraded from Bernina 830 to 880 Plus and I love it!

  66. I use decorative stitches on edges, hems, bindings, as a trim on the bottom of towels. I started with a 180 and enjoyed and still have many of the “stitch recipe” cards from then. It’s a little different process on newer machines but same beautiful stitch-outs!

  67. i like to use decorative stitches on jeans, capris, grandkids dresses, pillowcases, quilts, purses, in the hoop projects. so much fun.

  68. My favorite way too use decorative stitches is on the items I make my little granddaughter. I have made her quilts incorporating various stitches and, of course, cute overalls, tops, and dresses.

  69. I have use decorative stitching on bags. The stitching really stands out and gives the bag that special look. I have used the stitches on quilted items and clothing. Love my 830.


  70. i love the decorative stitches. I use them mostly on my grandkids clothes (jeans pockets), towels. pillowcases, just about anything that needs a border.

  71. I sometimes like to use either decorative stitching or lettering in the borders of a quilt. Once I used “Hugs and Kisses” continuously all the way around the border of a quilt made with a Hugs & Kisses block. It was so cute and different!

  72. I like to add decorative stitches on the binding of small quilt projects. On small patchwork projects I use a different stitch for each row of quilting for a sampler effect. I I also just made an Easter Egg Garland and used lots of decorative stitches for that. I used a variegated thread for more effect when needed.

  73. I love using the Bernina Circular Embroider Attachment and a variety of decorative stitches and lettering to make everything from mini quilts to hot pads. Love, LOVE, L-O-V-E!!!

  74. I don’t have one particular item that I put decorative stitches on, as I like to put them on as many things as I can. They add such a special touch to anything.

  75. I like to use the decorative stitches to embroider small sections of plain fabric that I then use to make a coordinating yoke,collar or cuffs. Really makes a high end look on the garment.

  76. I use the decorative stitches in a variety of ways. To accent garments always adds a nice touch, but when I used some to accent the “story” of the quilt I received so many compliments! Try them using metallic threads for some super impact. Yes, they can be tricky, but the results are just so much fun!

  77. I love all my Berninas! I also used the decorative stitches every chance I get on most
    Everything. Really like making my quilt labels also.

  78. I like to make denim tote bags made from strips of denim cut from used jeans. I use many difference decorative stickers for each vertical row of the bag. Using various colors of Jean Thread makes the stitches stand out!

  79. I like to use a decorative stitch to sew in a zipper. I use the #46C foot which is a pintuck foot. I use one of the grooves under the foot to ride over the coils of the zipper – this lets me get close the zipper coils with the stitch. I do this for zippered pockets in bag/tote – it gives the pockets a little jazz!

  80. I like to use decorative stitches anywhere instructions tell me to top stitch. A single line seams so boring when our machines have this wonderful library of stitches that we can decorate with. Usually the area is already stabilized or can be adapted.

  81. I love using decorative stitches in my quilt labels! My hope is that someday I will find the perfect combination that depicts something about me! Kind of like my signature!

  82. I mostly use the decorative stitches on Quilts I’ve done. I have done a couple baby blankets and taggies as well. I like the idea on quilt binding.

  83. I think decorative stitches used with the circular attachment are really cool! I love the Ipad holder we made in Chicago a few years ago at an 830 event!

  84. I love the Bernina decorative stitches for applique and for stitching down bindings – a great way to add another element to my quilts.

  85. I’ve made grandchildren tote bags and used decorative stitching at top and bottom of tote on each side and around appliques. I am still trying to learn what all my Bernina can do.

  86. I love my decorative stitches. I use them on my applique and my granddaughters dresses. I have figured plans for Christmas decorations.

  87. I use decorative stitches in stead of straight “stitch-in-the-ditch” to anchor the front and back of a quilt. Thanks for all the tips.

  88. I love using all of the decorative stitches on my Bernina sewing machine, lovingly referred to as Betsy ☺️. Lately, I use them for decorative edging on baby items I make a lot of: receiving blankets, burp cloths, double gauze swaddlers, and window valances.

  89. Love my Bermina 880 and especially the decorative stitches that I use on my granddaughters outfits that I make for them. They just add something special.

  90. The myriad of choices coupled with the ability to vustomize each is one of the features I love on my 880. Id like more ideas from Bernina ambassadors to embellish tailored, classic clothing. Im a “senior” and want a tailored/sophisticated look in stitches.

  91. Wow, choose one way! Guess it would have to be on crazy quilts. However, decorating clothing is fun. On other hand, decorating quilt binding is also fun. Hum, very undecided

  92. When I make pillowcases for children in the hospital, I do a decorative stitch to hold the flange flat against the pillow. If I don’t do that, the flange wrinkles and looks terrible as soon as the pillowcase is washed.

  93. I have used them when fmq on seams when that is all the fmq I choose to do. I have also used them on sashings and borders. This information was very informative, thanks for the info.

  94. Have used combinations of stitch patterns and thread colors to create the perfect match for hard to coordinate fabrics on some of my quilt blocks and garments.

  95. I use decorative stitching a lot in my quilts. I make a lot of donation quilts that decorative stitching is my main quilting. I also use a lot of decorative stitching in my applique work.

  96. I have used decorative stitches on a dress I made for my granddaughter and other items for my grandchildren such as little zip pouches for small toys for travel and often they like to sew with me as they are fascinated with just creating the decorative stitches on scraps.

  97. I’m just learning about decorative stitches, but I love to use them with my Applique projects, quilt labels and crazy quilting!
    Thank you!

  98. Using decorative stitches is a fun way to make your own fabric by adding the stitches to you fabric before using it in your project; quilt, purse, garment or anything…

  99. I love them on Christmas gift bags. I have also used them on a color blocked jacket, edging the different colors with a combination of stitches.

  100. My most favorite way to use decorative stitches is in my stitch library. I love seeing what all designs I can create when combining stitches 🙂

  101. I have an older Bernina, but I still enjoy making burb clothes for friends and family for new babies. It simple: purchase the white burb clothes, then simply give them a decorative stitch around the outside in the stitch and color you like. You can coordinate with bedroom colors, baby quilt or create your own palette. In no time you have some handy clothes to be used in so many ways.

  102. i love my Berninas – I have an 1130 Special Edition and an 830. I like to use the decorative stitches
    around applique and when I am quilting a simple baby quilt in the ditch. Adds interest and keeps the
    layers together.

  103. I love Vogue pattern designer Sandra Betzina’s Today’s Fit patterns. One pattern she calls the “puzzle” pant, made out of Ponte, has a lot of intricate seaming and I use decorative stitching on the right side to highlight and embellish those seams. It is also fun on purses, pillows, and table runners, as well as christmas stockings.

  104. I love using my decorative stitches to turn plain patchwork into a Crazy Quilt. I also have made a pillow with woven strips decorated with assorted stitches and then woven oven the pillow top.

  105. One of my favorite ways to used decorative stitches is to create stitch patterns for the spine of portfolio covers or for the inside flaps of portfolio covers.

  106. Love to use colorful decorative stitches on my granddaughter’s clothes. Even one row can transform a plain piece. Being able to combine and save a group of stitches is a fantastic benefit of a Bernina.

  107. I like them best as borders where I also want to give a little structural support, like to keep multiple layers together. I’ve used them for extra stitches on a quilt border and a purse made from old pants.

  108. I have used them for hemming robes–around the bottom and sleeves. Love having a sew-out of all the stitches-it’s amazing how much better they look than just in pictures!

  109. I love to use the decorative stitches to attach the binding on smaller quilts, mug rugs and so on. It does add an interest to my gift items.
    By the way ‘“love”❤️ Tula Pink’s fabrics.

  110. I’ve used them as decorative accents to quilt blocks, for quilting itself, around pants and shirt cuffs, on the edge of pillowcases…I’m planning to expand my repertoire after reading this post!

  111. My favorite us is to embellish my granddaughter’s clothing. Her mother has gotten lots of compliments on her ‘home-made outfits’ from Gamay with lots of fun stitching. She’s now 7 and is learning from Gamay how to sew herself. She can’t wait to choose her own stitches!

  112. I use decorative stitches to hide repairs to garments. It’s a win win. I can continue to wear a favorite garment and I get lot of compliments.

  113. When adding a bit of being to zip bags/pouches,top stitch zip in. Also with quilting a small lap quilt. Rows of decorative stitches really adds to quilt. Glide thread works really well for this application. Very durable.

  114. I like to use decorative stitching on top stitching, pockets and bindings. I have also used them on applicate and quilting. When you lengthen or widen or both the designs can be great for quilting with a walking foot. Although I have many of the presser feet mentioned, I also find the walking foot is very good for the decorative stitching. Another foot I like is the circle foot, I have put decorative stitches on place mats/mugs rugs using this attachment with great success.

  115. I love to use decorative stitches on my projects. I haven’t explored all the stitches on my new machines as I have been embroidering instead–I love that too.

  116. I’ve been using the built-in alphabets on my machines to add my name, date and any other details I’d like to the bindings of my quilts for years. I do this in addition to a regular label on the back. This way, even if the label is one day removed for some reason, they will always be able to tell who created that quilt should they take the time to examine it.

  117. Have thought of making one of those decorative stitches sample books, with notes for ease when I want to include on a project, but haven’t made the time! Do love my Bernina!!!

  118. I like to use the decorative stitches and alphabet around the edge of baby blankets with the baby’s name and Birthday along with little pictures and Bible verses.

  119. i use the alphabet on my machine with variagated thread to make all my labels.the letters look very nice stated in variegated thread and add some interest to the label

  120. I have used my decorative stitches in so many ways. One of my favorite ways is to combine machine embroidery with these stitches. I had embroidered a row of flowers for several pillows in my guest room. Above and below the flowers, I added rows of decorative stitches. I just loved the way the pillows turned out.

  121. I like to use decorative stitches when applying binding to a quilt (instead of a straight stitch) or when applying bias strips to a child’s garment (around the armhole or nick for instance) again rater than a straight stitch.

  122. I haven’t used my decorative stitches very much. I must say this post has motivated me to make a sampler.
    I have most of the feet mentioned. I also have fabric and thread so what am I waiting for?
    I especially like the idea of signing my quilt on the border. I don’t really like the idea of adding the info on the back on a label.
    Thank you for the tips.

  123. I use my decorative stitches for Christening gowns, baby clothes, and doll clothes. My Bernina Dealer hosted a class with Libby Lehman and I learned so much about using and changing the stitches from her!

  124. I like to put decorative stitches on my purses and pouches. I also put them on the bindings of my mug rugs and table runners. Having so much fun learning how all the stitches work. I will be making me a stitch book, that will be so handy.

  125. I love using the wonderful Bernina stitches to “create” my own fabric. With a combination of stitches one can elevate a plain fabric from adequate to fabulous.

  126. I love using decorative stitches! I look for ways to add them into a project whether it’s a garment, quilt, bag or collage. Makes you really use all of your machine ?

  127. I have used open decorative stitches to embellish around the edges of my placemats. The use of gold metallic thread gave extra Bernina has some great designs built in.

  128. Since purchasing my 530 I have discovered the use of the decorative stitches is endless. I knew that if I didn’t try out each stitch I probably would never use them. So, my first task with my machine was to make a stitch sample book. I followed the exact guidelines and directions here on the blog. I even used red thread and a red binder! Now I can easily look at the samples I made to choose one or lay them side by side to determine which go together best for an heirloom effect. I have used the decorative stitches as a bar-tack on a pleated skirt (one little triangle), along hemlines, valances, decorative pillows, and on the yokes of tops. Super fun to use and easy to be creative! Thanks Bernina!

  129. I use decorative stitches for table runner edging, on crazy quilt blocks with beautiful threads and also on doll clothes. So many opportunities to embellish sewing creations.

  130. My most frequent use of the decorative stitches is to make labels for my quilts. If I am sewing clothing or projects for my grandchildren, I use decorative stitches for topstitching and along hemlines.

  131. My favorite way to use the decorative stitches is to create a personalized quilt label. I use the alphabet function to “write” name, date, dedication, etc. and then I use a decorative stitch to finish it off. Flowers, hearts, whatever the person is fond of. My new Bernina 770Q makes it easy.

  132. I love using the blanket stitch on appliques. I also use decorative stitches on sashing strips . I also love using my circular attachment with decorative stitches.

  133. I like to use decorative stitches around the hem of cover cloths I make for my lace pillows. and to make quilt labels for things I make for my grandkids.

  134. I love to use decorative stitches on raw edge appliqué blocks, on cuffs collars and pockets of clothing garment sew projects. I also use then in crazy quilts and anytime to update a piece or cover a mistake or fix a tear. love the stitches and ability I have with widths and all on my 790QE Bernina.

  135. I love decorative stitches. One of my favorite techniques is to sew these stitches between rows of couching. I usually do not sew them in a straight line but in gentle meandering curves. I have done this on purses and wall hangings.

  136. I love the decorative stitching! It works so nicely on little girls clothing, napkins and other table linens, bed sheets and pillowcases, decorative pillows for the home, quilting and I could go on and on. I love this stuff!

  137. I love to use original stitch recipes down the front of little girls dresses! It is much less expensive than ribbon and can be completely your own. I made dresses for two little junior bridesmaids and put lovely decorative stitches down the yokes of their dresses. They were really a hit! Couldn’t do it without my Bernina!

  138. Love to use decorative stitches in many ways – purses, craft projects, baby blankets, crazy quilting and ‘sew’ much more. Sometimes they’re purely for fun decorative touches and sometimes instead of a plain topstitch to secure seams for extra wear and tear. They are ‘sew’ much fun!

  139. I have used decorative stitches to quilt “in the ditch.” It’s better for me than doing a straight line as I never stay in the ditch anyway! I’m hoping to branch out and use decorative stitches more. Thanks for the postings!

  140. I make project bags for knitters and crocheters. Enjoy using the decorative stitches to enhance the look of the bags I make. I also love using decorative stitches when quilting as you go. I’m starting to make garments so can’t wait to try it out on garments.

  141. The decorative stitches are such a wonderful way to add a personal or designer touch to just about anything I sew. Whether it’s a fun element for a child’s item or rows of combined stitches for an elegant touch, I love using them every chance I get.

  142. I started to use decorative stitches on my knit tops that I make. I make stitch recipes using my Bernina software applying them in a half circle at the top neckline which turns an ordinary knit top into a dressy and custom top that no one else can have. Not only are the combinations endless but the threads and colors you use changes the whole look.

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