Pieces of Pye

A machine quilters' passion

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Bernina 820 using stitch 4


Recently I made a few journal covers and  used many of the fancy stitches on my 820 for the quilting. Not all the stitches on the machine are suitable for quilting. I thought I would try to feature a stitch  suitable for quilting with the dual feed every week on my blog. Not everyone is confident with free motion quilting so these stitches are can be used by those sewers who prefer to work with there walking foot.

Below are samples of variations of stitch 4 and how I stitched them. You can get your stitches to look like this by changing the stitch width and stitch length. These stitches are all 9mm wide.

Draw up either a horizontal or diagonal grid of your preferred  size. I used a 1″ grid for the sake of demonstration but you can use a 2″ or 3″ grid etc on your quilt.

  • Put the 20D open toe applique on and engage the dual feed.
  • The top row of stitching is the default setting for stitch 4 so no changes have been made.
  • The setting for the stitches on the horizontal grid are Width = 9mm and Length is 3.90
  • This grid can be sewn either as parallel lines or cross hatched, both variations are shown on the Sample.
  • Diagonal grid settings are:- Width 9mm and Length 3, you can see that by decreasing the stitch length the curves have become more wavy.
  • This grid can also be stitched out as parallel lines or cross hatched. The choice is yours!

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Missing my Bernina 820


I had hoped to do some quilting last weekend but managed to bend my sewing machine needle. This knocked the machine out of alignment resulting in skipped stitches as well as the needle threader not working. A service and repairs is going to be $115. As you can see I did a good job of the needle which is titanium!

I had wanted to play with the fancy stitches on the sewing machine as they have a lot of potential for quilting and could be useful for quilters who are not confident with free motion quilting. I recently used some of these stitches on journal covers I have been making and was really pleased with the results.

Instead I have had to content myself with drooling over the 820 stitch manual which I made last year (Can you believe I stitched all the stitches out). Nevertheless this did give me time to me select a few stitches that would be suitable for use instead of using a straight stitching or cross hatching when quilting.




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Fun with Fillers

Close-up-fillers-with-bordersDuring the holiday I signed up for a Craftsy class with Leah Day as I really enjoy machine quilting and I am always ready to learn more.

Many of the fillers Leah teaches are very different to the type of fillers I have normally used on my quilts over the years. I have started work on my sample, but couldn’t resist adding some of the fillers I have come to love.

I am using Silk Finish thread through the needle which is a Superior titanium 70/10 topstitch needle with bottom line in the bobbin. I work on the much maligned Bernina 820 which I have now grown to love. I must admit I thought I had made a big mistake when I first got the machine 5 years ago and could quite easily have thrown it out the window! Good job it is a heavy machine. It has been a matter of coming to terms with a different way of operating a sewing machine. I now love using a wide variety of various threads on this machine and look forward to the challenge of using different threads on it. I am amazed at some of the machine’s capabilities for quilts with using fancy stitches instead of straight stitch only and will show some of the possibilities in a later post.

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Having Fun!

Close of quilted sample Sample for march workshopHappy New Year everyone! I hope this year brings you all health and happiness and plenty of opportunities to sew. Have you made any New Year resolutions? I have only made one and that is to find more time to sew. Our guild activities have kept me so busy during the last couple years so I intend to make time to do what I enjoy most… machine quilting. At the moment I am having way too much fun, working on a few samples for my workshop in March. My friend Phil Thomas has let me use some of the beautiful fabrics she bought in Bali and they are a delight to work on. I am experimenting and playing around with different thread combinations to see what suits my machine best. On this small sample I am working with I have used Mettler Polysheen and Aurifil cotton 50wt thread with a size 70/10 Superior Titanium needle. The quilt is reversible and I am working on the burgundy side, but must say I prefer the back of the quilt at this stage though I could change my mind once the quilt is completed!  The images above are of the front of the quilt. Below is the reverse of the little quilt. As you can see it is a work in progress which I hope to complete by the end of the week! Close_up-reverseReverse of quilt