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Sewing Utility, Decorative and Font Stitches

Sewing Utility, Decorative & Font Stitches, it’s time to love them ALL!

The PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 sewing machine comes with 201 stitches, 4 fonts and endless possibilities for combining them. Utility, decorative and font stitches are in abundance on this machine and I’m making it my goal to use each and every one of them! Yep—your heard me. I’m going to use ALL of them.

 

Lots and lots of stitches, 201 of them!
Lots and lots of stitches, 201 of them!

 

 

All the stitches are shown on the ‘lid’ of my machine, you know the top of your machine that lifts up to reveal where you wind your bobbin and place your thread? I can see all my stitches there and it’s so easy to select a stitch on my machine with this great new touch pad screen.

A stylus is included for touching your screen so it won’t end up all gunky and fingerprint-covered like all of our reading tablets do. To choose a stitch just touch the screen, scroll to the stitch number you want and voila it’s there, ready for you to use.

 

The easy to use touch screen stitch selector! Just scroll down until you get to the stitch you want. With 201 to choose from there are bound to be a few that make you happy.
The easy to use touch screen stitch selector! Just scroll down until you get to the stitch you want. With 201 to choose from there are bound to be a few that make you happy.

 

 

My mission: to make 20 postcards (minimum) use ALL 201 stitches

This week I’m on a mission to make postcards a GREAT way to use those stitches, practice some techniques, use up some scraps and have quilted postcards ready for an exchange or to use as thank you notes.

In my case I have a series of thank you notes to write to many quilt guild members for their service to our guild this year so I have to get cracking on this project if I want to get 20 of them done!

Each postcard is going to be unique, some will use different construction techniques, different  colors and all will use some different stitches as their decoration. But a bit more on that later, first I have to do a few sample stitch outs to make sure my new machine is in running order.

First things first though—a test

I’ve wound a bobbin with some matching threads for the colors I want to use and also have a pre-wound bobbin ready to go for some of those stitches whose backside won’t be visible. I’m not going to bore you with how very easy it was to wind a bobbin, that paper manual I told you about yesterday has great instructions and illustrations.

I start with a piece of  fabric about 6″ wide and cut length of fabric. This is going to be my stitch out sample that I keep. I also have a few pieces of scrap cotton to do my first test on to make sure my tension is just right.

My first test stitch is always done on cotton and always uses a cotton 50 weight thread. This gives me something to gauge all future stitches on. I’ll start with a straight stitch and work my way up from there. Once I’m happy with my first test, and I’m very happy with my first test stitch, and I didn’t have to adjust my tension or anything, it’s time to start my stitch out sample that I’m going to keep for future reference.

 

The start of my stitch out sample that will act as my reference guide in the future.
The start of my stitch out sample that will act as my reference guide in the future.

 

 

In this case, since I’m going to use all of my decorative stitches on my postcards throughout the week, I start my stitch out samples with my utility stitches, I’m liking what I’m seeing so I’m going to pause here.

Throughout the week as I use the rest of the stitches I’m going to first stitch it out here on this stitch out sample then use it on a postcard. Why you ask? Why stitch it twice when time is always at such a premium? I’m going to give away my postcards, they are going to good homes and will be loved and appreciated. I’m going to keep my stitch out sample so that in the future when I’m looking for just the right stitch I’ll have an actual sample. It’s great that there’s a picture on the lid but sometimes things look a lot different stitched out, I’ll know what size it is, if it’s a good stitch for my current project etc. So a bit of duplication now and I’ll save time and frustration in the future.

I’m just about ready to make those postcards so it’s time to gather my supplies. I’ll need stabilizer cut to 4″ x 6″ size—the size of my post cards. I’m cutting batting the same size. I’m cutting some fabric a half inch larger and using some pretty plain fabrics since I’ll be covering these by sewing utility, decorative and font stitches and letting these be the star of the postcards.

 

Preparing fabric, batting and stabilizer for putting together the postcards
Preparing fabric, batting and stabilizer for putting together the postcards

 

 

I fell in love with the art of quilting in my late 40s and it opened a whole new world of creativity and friendships. Thanks to this extraordinary way of life, I met amazing women and men I've come to love and call friends. I'm a blogger, long arm quilter, machine embroiderer, and a freelance educator teaching across Canada.

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