Free Motion Zigzag and Satin Stitching

Posted by Susan Brittingham on 16 February 2015 | 0 Comments

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midsummer an applique quilt

Midsummer uses my Upside Down Applique method

Did you know that zigzag stitching and satin stitching can be done in free motion mode? Most often these stitches are executed using regular stitching mode with feed dogs engaged, but they don't have to be. My Upside Down Applique class gives you a chance to try free motion zigzag stitching.

When free motion satin stitching, the stitch LENGTH is controlled by the speed at which you move the fabric under the needle combined with the speed of the machine.  Move the fabric slowly to make a short stitch length, move the fabric faster to make the stitch longer.

On the right side of the photo below, notice the different stitch lengths.  The arrows point at alternating short and long stitch lengths.  The only difference is the speed at which I pushed the fabric through the machine. 

zigzag stitching

Left: Fabric is rotated as the satin stitch is sewn
Center: Fabric is not rotated
Right: Stitch length depends on how fast you move the fabric

The swirls in the center of the photo are made WITHOUT ROTATING the fabric as you sew.  The stitch WIDTH appears to change as you move the fabric sideways, but actually remains constant.

On the left the fabric is ROTATED WHILE YOU SEW to keep the appearance of the stitch WIDTH constant.

...Susan Brittingham


About Upside Down Applique: Achieve perfect shapes and accurate placement of all your appliqué elements, no matter how small or complex. Susan will help you to add a new machine appliqué technique to your repertoire of quilting skills. Use this method to create multi-layered appliqué motifs by machine when you cannot or do not want to fuse. You will be making a small sample project, which you can later incorporate as a block into a larger project or add borders and binding to complete as a small quilt. Read more...

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting


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