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More ways to customize your sewing machine stitches

 

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how easy it is to enter a custom designed machine stitch into the NQ900 sewing machine. Many of the Brother sewing machines come with the My Custom StitchTM Feature which enables you to sew with a stitch that you designed yourself.

 

The NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.
The NQ900

 

Here’s the stitch that I designed using the grid sheets that came with the machine. Yesterday we went through the steps to enter and save it in one of the “pockets” in the machine.

 

The basic machine settings for our custom stitch on the Brother NQ900.
The basic settings

 

Here’s what the stitch looks like with the standard settings for width and length that were already in the machine. As you can see, the width is set at 7.0mm and the length is set at 3.0mm. The stitch looks a bit elongated to me, so I’m going to change those settings a bit.

 

The first sample of our My Custom Stitch design on the NQ900.
The basic sample

 

For my next stitch sample I used the +/- buttons underneath the width on the LCD screen to reduce the width to 5.5mm. I left the length as it was, 3.0mm.

 

The height of the stitch is adjusted using the +/- buttons on the LCD screen of the NQ900.
Adjust the height

 

Here it is with the narrower width. The little blocks do look more square! I think it’s pretty cute!

 

The second stitch sample of the My Custom Stitch design on the NQ900.
Stitch sample two

 

I decided to try entering another design with smaller stitches to make up the design. And then changed up the width and length of the design to see what it looked like.

 

Another design made with My Custom Stitch on the NQ900 sewing machine.
Another custom design

 

Step stitching

The NQ900 is also equipped with step stitching patterns. With this feature decorative stitches can be shifted to the left or right by half the width of the pattern, allowing you to create a step-shaped pattern. Each of the groups of decorative stitches on the machine have stitches 98 and 99 which set the step pattern.

 

The stitch selection on the NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.
Stitch selection

 

Here’s how you do this: first select a decorative stitch such as the one pictured below then press “9” “9” and the upward arrow shows on the LCD display.

 

The LCD screen on the NQ900 showing that the selected stitch will be "stepped".
LCD screen showing step stitch

 

When the machine stitches, it will stitch one full repeat of the pattern, then shift to the right one-half width of the pattern and sew another repeat. As long as you keep sewing, the machine will keep shifting over after every repeat of the design. The machine stitches reinforcement stitches at the beginning and end of the design, so the threads in between could be clipped if desired.

 

The step stitch sample stitched with the NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.
Step stitch sample

 

If you want the machine to stitch one repeat shifted to the right and then one repeat shifted to the left repeatedly, then you enter the first stitch and shifting stitch as shown above, but select the stitch again and then select “9” “8” which tells the machine to shift one-half width to the right. The LCD screen will look like this:

 

The settings to shift stitches left and right are shown on the LCD screen of the NQ900 sewing machine.
Settings on LCD screen

 

Here’s what the stitches will look like now:

 

The stitches are shifted from left to right on the NQ900 sewing machine.
Shifted stitches

 

As you can see there are an amazing number of ways that you can customize your sewing with the NQ900 from Brother. I can’t wait to try these stitches out on a project!

Tomorrow we’re going to try using a twin needle on the machine. I’ve NEVER used one before, so make sure to come back to see how it goes – see you then!

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Step by step, entering custom stitch patterns on the NQ900

Go to part 4: The ins and outs of using a twin needle in the NQ900

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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