We’ve been talking a lot lately within our Education Team about how to use some of the built in features of our machines with quilting. In fact, one of the new Fall Janome Event classes is all about different quilting techniques in our QUILTING BUFFET class. (Ask your local Janome Canada dealer if they will be hosting an Educator Event this Fall) Whether you are quilting a panel, pieced blocks, placemats or even garments, decorative stitching can add quite a bit of interest and flair to your project. Ready for some tips and tricks? Follow me!
Many Janome machines have multiple stitches available for decorative stitching. Even our mid range models, like the Janome M100 (that many of you used during classes at Quilt Canada), have decorative stitches built in. When looking at your available options, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- When using your AcuFeed Flex or walking foot to help with the bulk of all the layers, avoid stitches that change sewing direction. If the machine has to reverse stitch too quickly, you may end up with uneven quilting. The serpentine stitch is one of the good options.
- Using your Blue Dot Bobbin case will help the threads to nest better in your quilt sandwich, which makes your quilting look beautiful on the back too. You can also turn off your thread cutter and bury the threads into your quilt sandwich later if you prefer.
- If your quilt sandwich is thinner, like for placemats or table runners, consider using the Border Guide Foot. It has markings on it to line up your rows of stitching easily and effectively. See our janomelife post about this popular foot here.
- Consider adding embellishment with the Beading Foot, the Fringe Foot or the 3 Way Cording Foot. (You can read all about how to use each foot in the Janome Presser Foot Workbook, available from your local dealer.)
- Go slow. Quilting with decorative stitches isn’t a race. If you find it easier to maneuver your fabric with both hands, consider setting your speed to a slower setting to maintain a consistent rhythm. (It’s weird, but when you don’t have to think with your foot as well, it becomes easier.
Ready to see some examples of this technique?
The above picture shows how using a loopy stitch can add movement to your block. Consider using this one on pinwheels or other triangular blocks.
I used the Border Guide Foot for this section. It allowed me to place my stitches exactly where I wanted them. You can also use the mirror function (if your machine is equipped with it) to flip the stitches the other direction. This is useful for around curves and circles.
Some machines have a category of stitches called ‘Play’. This section includes words stitched out, like “handmade”, “sweet” and “love”. Adding some text is an easy way to add a ‘hidden quilt label’ into your quilting.
Line the base of your stitch pattern along a seam or color change in your block. The ‘Heirloom’ section of stitches has lots of simple stitch patterns to highlight your piecing.
You can also use stitches from the Applique section (pictured above) to add interest and texture to your piecing.
I hope you enjoyed learning about quilting with your decorative stitches! We have a whole class on Quilting Techniques this fall (as mentioned above) so do ask your local dealer to find out when an Educator will be in store!
Until next time,