Monday, June 2, 2014

Starting Dawna's Quilt on the BERNINA 780

Pretty much all of the machine quilting I do starts with straight stitching to nail down everything and get the quilt stable. I do all of my ditch stitching with monofilament thread so that it can't be seen -- that's the whole point of stitching in the ditch, right? So you can't see it? If I wanted those stitches to be seen, I would be stitching a few threads away from the ditch, not right in it.

The monofilament that I'm using for this quilt is Transfil by Mettler. It comes in clear and smoke. I use clear probably 90% of the time, but once in a while I'll be working on a predominantly dark quilt and I'll pull out the smoke.

First change that I make to the machine is to change the throat plate from a 9mm (zigzag) plate to a 0mm (straight stitch) plate. This is easy on this machine. All I have to do is press both thumbs down on that round circle at the upper right hand corner of the plate and it pops right off.

And the new one snaps right on!

Second order of business is to tell the machine that I have changed the plate. Once I have selected the 0mm plate, the machine will not allow me to stitch in anything but a straight line -- no zigzag, no decorative stitches, no broken needles because I forgot what plate I had on! Very very helpful for this kind of stitching!

I have already tested out the stitch lengths and tensions that I want to use for my ditch stitching. The easiest way for me to access these is to choose the stitch library. That will show me the last 15 stitches I have used. The stitch library is accessed by touching the bottom icon, the one that looks like a stack of books.

And there are the two stitches I am going to use, #1 and #2, complete with the tension settings appropriate for the Transfil in the top of the machine and the Mettler silk finish (100% cotton) in the bobbin. My top tension setting for these two threads is 3.0 -- so now I'm ready to sew!

The reason I use two stitches is so that I can toggle between #2, which is set at stitch length .8mm, and #1, which is set at 2.5mm. I do small securing stitches at the shorter length and the rest of the stitching using the longer stitch length. Setting it up this way and toggling between the two means that I don't have to constantly adjust the stitch length to start and stop each line of stitching.

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Location:Palmdale CA

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