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Step by step, entering custom stitch patterns on the NQ900

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how to set up the NQ900 sewing machine to use the My Custom Stitch feature. We put on the monogramming foot, set the My Custom Stitch screen on the LCD display and drew out a stitch diagram on the grid sheets that came with the machine.


The numbered stitch diagram will be used for entering the stitches into the My Custom Stitch screen on the NQ900.
The numbered stitch diagram


Today we’re going to input the design coordinates into the machine. To be honest with you, I thought this process would be VERY tedious but I was very pleasantly surprised by how fast and easy it was!

The beginning of our design is stitch 1 and as you can see on the diagram above, the coordinates of the point is ‘7’ high and ‘0’ along the bottom edge of the graph. So I simply used the up and down arrows below the display to change the first number to 7. When I was sure that the numbers were correct, I pressed the “OK” button.


Setting the position of the first stitch on the My Custom Stitch screen of the NQ900.
Setting the position of the first stitch.


Next you have to tell the machine if you want one line of stitching or three lines of stitching. I only want one for this design, so I kept that selection highlighted. If I had wanted a heavier stitching line, I would have used the +/- keys to select the area that has three lines of stitching. Next, you press “OK”.


Selecting the single stitch on the My Custom Stitch screen of the NQ900 sewing machine.
Select single stitch


Now you have to tell the machine if this is the end of the design or if you still want to keep editing the pattern. The icon on the left is “keep editing” the icon on the left is “finished editing”. Since I’m only just getting started, I select the left icon and then press “OK”.


The "continue editing" selection is made in order to keep adding segments of the custom stitch
Select continue editing


To enter the next point on my design I use the arrow buttons to set it at “14” and “0”. As you’re pushing the button, you can see the point moving on the screen so you can definitely see if you’re pressing the correct button. Once the numbers are correct, press “OK” and then follow the same steps above.


The second stitch is plotted on the My Custom Stitch screen of the NQ900.
Plotting the second stitch


I kept following my diagram, entering subsequent numbers into the machine and I can see my design taking shape on the LCD display!


The third stitch co-ordinates are entered onto the screen of the NQ900.
Adding the third stitch co-ordinates


The seventh stitch is plotted on the My Custom Stitch screen of the NQ900.
Entering stitch seven


After entering in 25 coordinates, my design is complete. I select “finish editing” at the correct screen and press “OK”.


The "finishing editing" selection is made at the end of the stitching pattern.
Select “finish editing”


Now, I know it seams like a lot of steps, but once you get the hang of it, it goes quite quickly. Now that I’ve got the design entered into the machine I want to save it so that I can use it again and again. To do this, I press the button with the picture of the pocket on it.


The custom stitch can be saved in a pocket for future use.
Save in a “pocket”


Up to 15 designs can be saved on the machine – each in its own pocket. When I pressed the pocket button, my other saved designs showed up on the screen, so I scrolled down until I found an empty pocket (8) and then pressed “OK”.


An empty "pocket" in which to save the custom stitch design on the NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.
Select empty “pocket”


If I didn’t have any empty pockets available, I could’ve selected a pocket that contained a design that I no longer wanted and that design would’ve been overwritten with the new design.

Now that my design is saved in the machine, I can turn the NQ900 off for the night and tomorrow we’ll see what my design looks like when it’s actually stitched with thread – see you then!


This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Make your own stitch using My Custom Stitch on the Brother NQ900

Go to part 3: More ways to customize your sewing machine stitches

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

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