9 ways to use a serger for your quilting and sewing projects by Elaine Theriault May 24, 2023 written by Elaine Theriault May 24, 2023 189 Yesterday, we saw how easy it is to piece a quilt top together with the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600. The auto tensions are fantastic, and the computerized settings take all the guesswork out of serging. I love it! Today, I’ll share more reasons why you, as a quilter, will want a serger. And I’m throwing in a few extras, just because! No more fraying Do you prewash your fabric? Aren’t you tired of the frayed mess when you open the dryer? If you serge the raw edges of your yardage, the pieces will come out of the dryer with no fraying. I tried several different fabric types, and it worked beautifully on all of them. Since I was only finishing the raw edge, I didn’t need a construction stitch, so I chose the two-thread overlock. Switching from one stitch to another used to be scary, but if you select the stitch on the drop-down menu on the screen and follow the steps, you’ll have no issues moving from stitch to stitch. The two-thread overlock Notice the serged edge on the quilter’s cotton didn’t fray, while the unserged edge is a mess. The serged seam didn’t fray. Here’s a rayon/linen blend that I also washed, and look at all the fraying. The fraying probably isn’t a big deal, but wash several pieces of fabric together, and it becomes one big thread ball. The results of washing a rayon/linen blend 2. Piece and trim in one step If you need to make a backing for a quilt, you likely have to piece large pieces of fabric together, and you likely have to trim off the selvages. Guess what? You can do both in one step on the serger. Serging a quilt back I love how fast this is. I’ll use a four-thread overlock for this seam as the seam will get more wear and tear, and the two needle threads will provide a stronger seam. Look at that beautiful four-thread overlock! A four-thread overlock 3. Tidy edges Another great way to use your serger is to tidy up the edges of your quilt project. If you quilt your project on a domestic machine, chances are you haven’t quilted right to the edge, and it’s three distinct layers, which makes it difficult to attach the binding. The unquilted corner of a project It’s easy to serge around the outer edges, securing the three loose layers so they’re one. Attaching the binding will be easy, with no danger of tucks. I used a four-thread overlock, but I could’ve used a two or three-thread overlock, as this is not a construction seam. When I attach my binding (cut 2½” strips), I use a slightly wider than ¼” seam allowance so this serged seam disappears inside the binding. Serge the edge to secure the layers. You can even use the serger to attach the binding to the quilt, as you do with your sewing machine. I haven’t tried that yet, but why not? 4. Easy tote bags Quilters love to make tote bags. Let’s say you’re constructing a tote bag from a preprinted panel. Sometimes, the fabric doesn’t behave quite how it should, and if you decide not to put a lining in, those seams will fray. A preprinted panel for a tote bag The weave is relatively loose, and you can see along the edge that this fabric will fray if the edges are left unfinished. The edges are fraying. I fused my interlining to the panel to give the bag body, and then I serged around all the edges. Those threads aren’t going anywhere now! I used a four-thread overlock, but I could’ve used a two-thread overlock for this part and then used the four-thread overlock to sew them together. Or, I could’ve left the edges unfinished and used the four-thread to construct the tote bag. In this instance, someone else used the sewing machine to assemble the tote bag, so I only finished the edges for them. Lots of options! The finished edge 5. Piecing a fleece blanket You can also use the Amber Air S600 to use up your fleece scraps. If you make fleece garments or use fleece for the backing of a quilt, you’ll end up with leftovers. I cut the pieces into squares (you can piece sections together to get the square size you need). Then serge them together. I used a decorative thread (30wt variegated) in the upper looper to give a decorative edge to the stitch. Flatlock seam on fleece with variegated thread The other side of the flatlock stitch is the ladder stitch. Experiment with different stitches to see which one you prefer. The ladder side of the flatlock stitch It’s so fast and easy to make, and the variegated thread puts a pop of color in those solids squares of color. Scrap pieces of fleece make a fleece blanket. The back of the fleece blanket These blankets are perfect for donating to your favorite charity for young children or make them a bit smaller and donate them to the pet shelter. Either way, it’s a great way to use up scraps and get more practice with your serger. 6. Create fancy trims Another use for the flatlock stitch is to create a fancy trim along each seam. In this instance, I made a log cabin block and used a flatlock stitch. One side looks like a serged seam, while the other looks like a ladder stitch. You can weave a narrow ribbon through the ‘rungs’ to get a completely different look. How about using contrasting threads and ribbons to jazz up the blocks? I’m using the same flatlock stitch I used for the fleece blanket, but now the ladder stitch has become the right side. It’s a very versatile stitch! A ribbon woven into the ‘rungs’ of the flatlock stitch It takes a bit of time, and I use a weaving needle to help keep the ribbon from twisting, but the effect is beautiful and worth the time. A wonky log cabin block with ribbon along each seam 7. Easy quilt-as-you-go Here’s one more thing you can do with the Amber Air S600. Why not make a quilt-as-you-go? Horizontal or vertical strips or a log cabin style are perfect for this quick quilt. Don’t make the strips too small or too wide; somewhere between 2″ and 6″ is good, and choose the strip’s width depending on the project size. So the larger the quilt, the wider the strip. You’re serging the project together in sections, and it’s critical to layer them in the correct order. The top section (left) consists of two strips of the quilt top, with the right sides together, and a batting strip. The bottom section consists of two strips of the backing, the right sides together, and a batting strip. Serge the seam. Open it up and press, and add another strip of backing (right sides to the backing); the top strip should be right sides to the top, and the batting can be on the top or the bottom. Continue until the project is as large as you want, and bind the edges. Preparing the first seam in a quilt-as-you-go project The Amber Air S600 had no problem going through all those layers. Stitching through four layers of fabric and two layers of batting Again, this type of project is great for using up scraps. Make the project small enough for a placemat or a pet mat. The front of the quilt-as-you-go placemat And here’s the back. The back of the quilt-as-you-go placemat 8. Create piping Dress up your quilts with piping you can create with your serger. What’s the advantage of making piping on the serger over the sewing machine? The seam allowance gets trimmed as you make the piping! It’s super easy to make piping using the optional piping foot. Be sure to check with your dealer to discuss the options for the cord diameter you’ll use and compatibility with your serger. A sample of piping with the piping foot Piping can add a beautiful finish to the edge of a quilt, and it’s so fast using the Amber Air S600. Piping inside the binding 9. Insert a zipper And one more thing you can do with your serger, which doesn’t have anything to do with quilts, but did you know you can insert a zipper with a serger? Use a zipper that is longer than you need and serge on and off, and the zipper will be in with a beautifully finished edge on the inside. A zipper inserted with a serger You can’t beat the finished seam look with the zipper. The finished seams on the zipper And there you have it – 9 things you can do with your serger. Yes, you have to change the stitches, which means switching needles or threading loopers, but with the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600, switching from one stitch to another is a breeze. I joyfully cut all my threads and start over each time I switch. I was not a fan of serging and primarily used a four-thread overlock. The ease of use of the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600 was a game changer for my serging! The Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600 Tomorrow, I’m taking a look at the capabilities of the coverstitch features. I’ve never used a coverstitch machine before, and let’s say that I’m so excited about all the possibilities! Have a great day! Ciao! This is part 3 of 5 in this series Go back to part 2: Piecing a quilt top with the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600 [Serger] Go to part 4: Why a coverstitch machine is a valuable tool Print this page or save as a PDF 0qs469Amber Air S600free patternsfree quilt patternsfree quilt tutorialshusqvarna vikingjelly roll quiltsquilting tutorialsquiltssergerssewing machine reviewssewing machine unboxing FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinRedditWhatsappTelegramEmail Elaine Theriault Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com. previous post Piecing a quilt top with the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600 [Serger] next post Why a coverstitch machine is a valuable tool YOU MAY ALSO LIKE... 8 things to check if things go wrong... Why a coverstitch machine is a valuable tool Piecing a quilt top with the Husqvarna Viking... Getting to know the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air... Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.