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!

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.

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

Marking pencil

Since I began quilting 16 years ago I have always used a water erasable blue marking pen with no problems with removal. The biggest problem being pens drying out, it can become quite costly when you are marking a large quilt. While out shopping earlier this week I came across the Clover water erasable blue chalk pencil which I thought I would try. Below you can see a picture of my marked sample ready to stitch. The feather pattern is from Anita Shacklefords book Infinite Feathers.


I stitched the feather using Mettler Polysheen in the machine using a 70/10 embroidery needle and the Bottom Line thread in the bobbin. See photo of completed sample below.

photo of completed quilting

I was amazed at the amount of chalk dust that collected on my darning foot!

chalk collection on darning footAnd below we have the finished piece after soaking in cold water, unfortunately there is still evidence of the blue chalk …..has anyone else used this pencil who could offer ideas for its’ complete removal? I will stick with the old faithful, the water erasable blue marking pen!

finished quilting

Quilting Again

Silk finish quilting sample

The freehand feather sample above has been quilted using Mettler Silk Finish Thread

At last my sewing machine is back home. I spent a fabulous morning last Thursday with the technician working with various threads, needles and tensions to get the best stitch formation possible. He also taught me some neat little hints and tips so I can get the best out of my sewing machine. I learnt so much and just couldn’t wait to start playing with all the fabulous threads I have been collecting. It is the first time I’ve done any machine quilting since my hand surgery last September. All seemed to go well once I got warmed up, I got stuck in and started doodling with the needle. Here are some of the results, each of the pieces of fabric is about 12″ square. I really like to do a thorough test of threads I will be working on in a quilt on a good size test piece before I start quilting on the quilt proper. I file all my test pieces in a journal for reference when I use the thread again. It makes life so much easier!

KingTut quilting sample

This sample is a using King Tut thread, I must admit that the feathers were drawn look a bit unusual!

Robison Metallic quilted sample

FreeHand feather using Robison Anton metallic gold.

Polysheen freehand quilting

This sample has been made using Polysheen, the heart is a Sharon Schamber pattern.