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Using decorative stitches on the new Brother NQ900 sewing machine

Yesterday I introduced you to the new Brother NQ900 sewing machine and got started on my small table runner.

Brother NQ900 sewing machine from the Q Series line-up
Brother NQ900 sewing machine

After placing my fabric rectangles on the design wall to determine color placement, it was time to sew the rectangles together. I pressed all the seams open because I’m going to use decorative stitches on every seam line. The opened seam allowances make it easier to have a nice, smooth finish to the stitches.

Because of the high polyester content in many of these fabrics, I used a very low setting on my iron and didn’t use steam. It’s always a good idea to test the heat of the iron on some sample pieces first to make sure it’s not too hot.

The seams are pressed open using a low heat setting on the iron.
Seams pressed open

I sewed 8 rows with 5 rectangles in each row. I didn’t sew the rows together because it’s easier to do the decorative stitching first and then sew the rows together later.

Now comes the fun part – adding the decorative stitching! There are 240 decorative stitches on the NQ900 machine and many of them can be adjusted and/or combined to make your own unique stitches.

Here’s a video that gives a great overview of the decorative stitches on the NQ900.

How To Sew Decorative Stitches On A Brother Sewing Machine – YouTube

If you have a Brother sewing machine, here’s how to select, adjust, and sew decorative stitches. I’m using a Brother NQ900 sewing machine, which is part of B…

I did some sample stitching first, using both the open toe embroidery foot and the monogramming foot (both worked well) and regular sewing-weight polyester thread. I used a light-weight stabilizer under some of the stitching and found that it did make the stitches flatter and more attractive. My “stabilizer” was actually a page from an old telephone book. The paper is light-weight and tears away easily after stitching.

The monogramming foot (L) and open-toe embroidery foot (R) for the Brother NQ900 work well for doing decorative stitches.
Monogramming foot (L) and open-toe embroidery foot (R)

Then I started stitching on the seam line in each row. I tried many different stitches as you can see in the picture below. I was very happy with the finished result of every stitch.

The Brother NQ900 is used to stitch a variety of decorative stitches on the seams of the fabric rectangles.
A variety of decorative stitches on the seams

Next I sewed the rows of rectangles together and stitched over each joining seam with a decorative stitch.

Sewing decorative stitches with the open-toe embroidery foot on the Brother NQ900
Sewing decorative stitches with the open-toe embroidery foot
Here are just a few of the decorative stitches that are available on the Brother NQ900 sewing machine.
Just a few of the decorative stitches that are available on the Brother NQ900

Here’s one of the many stitches I used. You can see on the LCD screen that this is one of the stitches that cannot be adjusted because the width and length indicators are a solid blue.

The LCD screen on the front of the machine shows that the feather stitch has been selected. Width and length of this stitch are not adjustable as indicated by the solid blue width/length icons.
LCD screen on the front of the machine showing the feather stitch

When you select the blanket stitch, you can see that the width and length numbers (3.5 and 2.5) are visible. This means that you can adjust the width and length of the stitch. To make the stitch wider, you push the “+” button. To make it narrower, you push the “–” button. The stitch length button works in the same way. I changed the width to 4.0 and the length to 3.5 as you can see in the second picture below.

The number on the far right of the screen (4.0 for this stitch) is the thread tension setting. This setting has already been adjusted for each individual stitch, so it rarely needs to be changed.

The blanket stitch on the NQ900 sewing machine shown with the default settings - 3.5 width and 2.5 length.
Blanket stitch with the default settings
The Brother NQ900 blanket stitch shown with an adjusted width and length. Just press the "+" or "-" button to make these changes.
The blanket stitch with adjusted width and length. Just press the “+” or “-” button to make these changes.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used the decorative stitches on the new  Brother NQ900 sewing machine. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I quilted my table runner using this great machine!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: More fun with the new Brother NQ900 sewing machine

Go to part 3: Machine quilting with the Brother NQ900

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past 10 years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

2 Comments

  1. Shirley Jobson

    I love “quilting” fabric for tote bags/cases with decorative stitches! Makes for a very interesting project when done!

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