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Built-in decorative stitches add a lot of punch to seamed strips of fabric


In yesterday’s post, I reviewed the basics of machine applique using a built-in decorative stitch, choosing one from the very many, to applique whimsical flowers to the table runner I started back in April this year.

Even though the stitch was a basic one, it was fun to play with the sizing of the stitch to get an applique stitch that married well to the applique piece on my project. Today I want to dive a little more into machine applique in a different way, and experiment with a couple of decorative stitches that perhaps we wouldn’t normally use for this purpose. But, remember that there’s no quilting police so we can stitch outside of the box and have some real fun. Actually, today’s stitching will be more of a faux applique since we’re going to use stitches to give regular pieced strips that ‘appliqued’ appearance.

THE Dream Machine 2 has an astonishing 726 built-in stitches including 15 styles of one-step auto-size buttonholes 1 style of four-step buttonhole and 5 sewing lettering fonts, do you think you can find a decorative stitch you’ll like to use from this extensive selection?? I mean, I’m not even talking about the 939 built-in embroidery designs including 166 designs featuring Disney characters 140 frame pattern combinations and 22 embroidery lettering fonts. The latter of which will be explored in our upcoming posts. But the built-in stitches on THE Dream Machine provides you with so much variety you won’t get bored of your stitches, whether you’re appliqueing, embellishing or quilting. And again, I’m not even talking about the embroidery designs…

But back to dressing up the table runner I was working on, I selected some stitches to embellish it in a way that even pieced strips will appear appliqued. I started with the turquoise strips I pieced to make the center of the table runner.

Embellishing the center pieced strips of my table runner
Embellishing the center pieced strips of my table runner


The beauty of faux applique is that it adds depth and contrast to the center strips without adding more fabric to the project. I’m achieving that extra dimension by simply using the decorative stitches built-in THE Dream Machine and using these on the seams of the strips gives the strips so much more punch!

The first stitch I selected from the display screen is from the Utility Stitch file. There’s a stitch there that I refer to often as the ‘snowflake/floral’ stitch. This stitch is from file 3, stitch 3-06. Before I start stitching, I want to be sure that my needle is lined up with the seam that I’m wanting to stitch over. When the needle is in the down position it will be directly in the seam, at the beginning of my row.


My needle is in the down position directly in the seam at the beginning of the row
My needle is in the down position directly in the seam at the beginning of the row


Stitch 3-06 on THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother
Stitch 3-06


I chose a width of 5 and a length of 3 and stitched directly across the seam of the strip.


The snowflake/floral stitch now embellishes the complete length of this seam
The snowflake/floral stitch now embellishes the complete length of this seam


One of my favorite stitches that I love so much is the feather stitch. I often include it in hand embroidery projects; but I’m thrilled to have found a version on THE Dream Machine 2 that I can add to this project. It’s going to be my 2nd decorative stitch to add to the 2nd seam on the table runner. This stitch is in file 2 on the display screen, stitch 2-11.


Feather stitch 2-11 on THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother
Feather stitch 2-11


I decided to use a width of 5 and a length of 3 for this stitch too. As I did for the first stitched row with the snowflake/floral stitch, I’ll start at the beginning of the next seam and stitch completed across to the other side using this beautiful stitch.


Feather stitch 2-11 on THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother
Feather stitch 2-11


Using built-in decorative stitches is a very simple concept, especially when working on THE Dream Machine 2, but it really enhances the look of the center strips making these ‘become’ a part of the overall applique look of this table runner. The major applique portion of the table runner is in the flowers on the ends of the runner but these stitches really bring the idea of applique throughout.

Join me tomorrow as I continue to discover decorative stitches to embellish quilting projects. Happy Stitching!


This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Machine applique 101 on THE Dream Machine 2

Go to part 3: Use built-in decorative stitches to create faux applique on your quilt

Quilter/Stitcher, Designer, Teacher, Blogger.

With a passion for all that is “stitchy”, my goal is to share that passion with you though fun designs, informative and exciting lectures, trunk shows and workshops.

Growing up next door to my paternal grandparents, I had the fantastic opportunity of sitting day after day watching my grandmother stitching away on her vintage White machine. She would often give me scraps and encourage me to be creative. Her creative spirit is the one that comes alive in me every day.

My designs offer various techniques including regular piecing, foundation piecing, hand and machine applique as well as wool applique; catering to all levels.

I create and have fun in my Montreal Studio-Quilt Shop, where I aim to bring you fun designs, exciting fabrics, notions and all kinds of stitching goodies.

At Bill Locke Designs, stitching is definitely a passion where my goal is to keep you in stitches by unlocking your creativity and inspire you to stitch.

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