Friday, September 18, 2009

A Big Change in How I Will Do Machine Applique From Now On

I've been a charter subscriber to The Quilt since Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms started the online show. There is a newsletter that comes in my e-mail every few days and today's had a real eye opener.

There was a segment in the newsletter entitled "Bernina: Temporary Altered Memory" that had the following description: Okay, we thought this was a video on being over 50, but it's actually a way to get the applique stitch exactly where you want it. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

I have always been aware of the feature that let me alter stitches to my heart's content and then the machine would remember them until I turned the power switch off. This has been a consistent feature on all Bernina computerized machines since at least the first one that I bought, a 1230 model in 1991.

I use this feature mainly to toggle between two stitches when I do my straight stitch machine quilting, such as "in the ditch" or when stitching a diagonal grid, but didn't know that it could get my applique technique more precise.

Here's the link to the video: Bernina: Temporary Altered Memory

So I took a look at the video and then went directly to the machine to try it out. Nina was using a Bernina 440 and stitch #7. Since I am using the 830, I tried out a couple of stitches and decided on stitch 1331 which is in the "quilting" folder.

Since this applique stitch takes five straight stitches between "bites" into the applique piece, I adjusted the stitch length to .8mm rather than the 1.0 that Nina used for stitch #7 so that the bites would be closer together.

Using Nina's easy method enabled me to "nail" the corner exactly. This is a much more precise way to applique -- hooray!


  1. Very interesting. I agree this is a nice stitch. I'll give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing your insights!


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Brilliant!! Simple... and effective... it doesn't get better than that! Thanks for sharing this Paula!

    Shiisa Quilts
    Bloomington IN 47404


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