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Utility Stitches vs Character/Decorative Stitches, what’s the difference?

 

Yesterday I explored faux applique stitching to embellish the seams of a table runner project, giving it the look of an entirely appliqued project. I used a couple of the 26 stitches found on the Utility Stitch menu. Although these stitches are primarily used for practical purposes, some can be used for embellishing, if they appeal to you. Here are a few:

  • Straight Stitch
  • Dart Seam
  • Gathering
  • Flat Fell Seam
  • Zigzag Stitch and Zigzag Couching
  • Quilting and Crazy Quilting
  • Heirloom

…to name a few.

Today, I’ll expand on the many pre-programmed stitches on THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother and search the Character/Decorative Stitch menu for more stitching inspiration. These stitches appear to me to have a richer design (almost like a variation of some of the Utility Stitches), appear to be embossed (as in the extensive selection of Satin Stitches) and the alphabet character fonts.

This menu has 11 categories:

  • Decorative Stitch Patterns
  • 7mm Decorative Stitch Patterns
  • Satin Stitch Patterns
  • 7mm Satin Stitch Patterns
  • Cross Stitch
  • Utility Decorative Stitch Patterns
  • Alphabet Characters: Gothic, Handwriting (lovely script), Outline, Cyrillic, and Japanese
Within each category there are pages of stitch options.
I know, just amazing. But my table runner is already on my machine and ready to go. Let’s have some fun.
My table runner is back on the machine and ready to go
My table runner is back on the machine and ready to go

 

The 11 categories of Character/Decorative Stitch menu.

Click on the Character Stitch Button at the top of the display screen to open the page to select a stitch
Click on the Character Stitch Button at the top of the display screen to open the page to select a stitch

 

From this page I chose the stitch file #6 to look for a decorative stitch for the next seam embellishment. This one page has so many cool selections!

Pushing the 6 button will open up this page of stitches
Pushing the 6 button will open up this page of stitches

 

It’s important to remember that once you open the file 6, the stitches on the screen are not the only ones available in this file. To the right of the screen you’ll see the up and down arrows. These arrows allow you to navigate within the stitch file to be able to see all of the stitches available in this particular file. It’s the ‘pages’ I mentioned earlier.

The arrows will help you move up and down within the file by simply sliding the arrow in either direction
The arrows will help you move up and down within the file by simply sliding the arrow in either direction

 

In moving the arrow down, I discovered another stitch that I fell in love with, stitch 6-079.

Stitch 6-079
Stitch 6-079

 

I love this stitch because of the leaf motif, and sure enough there’s the notice to use the N foot for the stitch on the top left corner. It’s great how the screen display gives so much info with regards to the stitch, sizing, the machine foot, etc. I do have to say that it’s a feature that I’m really enjoying as I get to know THE Dream Machine 2.

I’m just barely scratching the surface of what this machine can do. I think it’s important to start with the basics of what THE Dream Machine has offer, and work our way from there, as I want everyone to know that it’s not just for the die hard machine embroiderers. Wait until we get to the quilting features, but I’m jumping ahead.

Now that I’m ready to stitch, I’m once again placing my project under my needle with the needle lined up with the seam that I want to embellish. With the needle in the down position, the needle will be directly in the seam.

My needle is aligned with my seam and in the down position, the needle is directly in the seam. This is where I want to start my stitching.
My needle is aligned with my seam and in the down position, the needle is directly in the seam. This is where I want to start my stitching.

 

Again, I need to stress that because this particular stitch features a lot of detailing; it means that the needle is going to move a little more than normal. Because of the movement, I decided to lower the speed of the machine for this stitch because I wanted to be sure that the seam that I was embellishing remained aligned with my needle so that the stitching would be evenly across and along my seam. This is one of those times when slow and steady is best. So, now I’ll stitch directly along the seam once again with this beautiful stitch; adding another wonderful faux applique embellishment to my table runner.

Embellishment stitch 6-079 has been added to one of the seams on my table runner
Embellishment stitch 6-079 has been added to one of the seams on my table runner

 

I’m loving my project and playing with this machine more and more with every new embellishment stitch I add to my project. Join me tomorrow for one last embellishment to add…Happy Stitching!

Click on the link to discover more about THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Use built-in decorative stitches to create faux applique on your quilt

Go to part 5: 8 ways built-in decorative stitches add a lot of charm to your sewing

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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