Decorative Stitches

Best Tips for Adding Monograms or Letters to a Project

In a previous YouTube video, I showed you how to use the Monogram feature on the Janome MC9400 to create words or phrases. Since then I’ve been thinking about projects to which I could apply these. I thought that it would be fun to create inspirational phrases or personal sayings and then stitch these onto a project, such as a purse or tote bag. Since I’ve recently been making easy pouches, I thought that stitching phrases on them would be a perfect way to personalize them. I discovered that there are several tips that you need to be aware of when you are using the monogram feature on projects.

1.     Create Your Phrases

Decide what phrases or words you want to add to your project and create these in advance. If you don’t know how to use the Monogram feature on the Janome MC9400, check out this video. If you have another brand of sewing machine, check your manual for instructions on how to create and save phrases. Creating your words first saves time and ensures that you have already made any adjustments to size or spacing that you need to do so it will be perfect on your project. I always like to stitch the words or phrases out on the same type of fabric or material that you will be using in your project. Once you make sure that everything is looking good, you can store these words in your Janome MC9400 internal storage or on a separate USB.

2.     Use fabric stabilizer, if necessary

When I made my pouch I was actually stitching on a quilt sandwich – top, batting and backing – so I didn’t need to use any stabilizer as this was thick enough to support my stitches. If you are sewing on one layer of fabric, you will definitely need fabric stabilizer. Don’t skip this step - it makes all the difference in the finished result.

3.     Decide where you want to add the phrases

When creating my pouch, I realized that there was no point in adding phrases to the bottom of it as this wouldn’t normally be seen. You could, of course, continue your stitching all around your project, but I didn’t think that this would be necessary in this particular case. By not stitching all the way around the pouch, I saved thread - and time!

4.     Remember the seam allowance

When you are making a project there will be seam allowances, so you need to take this into account when stitching. You want to ensure that your stitches will be on the project and not in the seam allowance.

5.     Determine the width between your lines of stitching

Decide the optimal spacing between your lines of stitching so you can ensure that your stitching will be seen on your project. Once you’ve determined this, mark your project with an erasable marker and ruler so you will have the same distance between each line of stitching. I like to use a Frixion pen for this, but any type of erasable pen will do. If your machine has a quilting guide bar, like the Janome MC9400 does, you could use this instead. For my pouch I used ¾” between each line of stitching.

6.     Use your walking foot

I found that using the walking foot and the AcuFeed Flex system on the Janome MC9400 worked very well for this application. It moved all the layers along evenly and ensured a smooth finish to the phrases. For more information on using the AcuFeed Flex system on the Janome MC9400, click here.

7.     Measure your monograms

Measure and record this for each of the phrases or words being used. You will need to know this when stitching onto your project. When I created my first pouch, I found that I could stitch some of the phrases more than once while others would only fit once across the pouch.

8.     Determine Your Starting Point

If you are making a pouch, you will want the stitching to start on either side of the zipper and then go down the sides of the pouch parallel to the zipper. This will ensure an even look to the stitching on the project. This may not be necessary, depending on the project on which you are stitching, but consider it before you start stitching.

Regardless of the project, you will need to make a mark on it as to where each line of stitching should start. You will want the lines of stitching to be centred width-wise on your project, so use an erasable marker to mark where you will start your stitching.

Click on the image below to watch a video on how I added monograms to a simple pouch project.

 It was really fun to use the Monogram feature on the Janome MC9400 to create personal phrases and then to stitch them on my own pouch. I think this would be perfect gift for your quilting friends. Stitch up a pouch, add some personalized monograms or phrases to it, and fill it with quilty goodness - which would include chocolate, of course!

Creatively,

Print
 

P.S. Do you want to enhance your quilting and become the best quilter you can be?  If you answered “yes” to this question, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

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Create New Fabric with Decorative Stitches

If you have a Janome MC9400 or other type of modern sewing machine, you probably have a lot of decorative stitches on it. As quilters we don’t often get to take advantage of these decorative stitches, which is a shame. There are so many decorative stitches to choose from on most machines, and, on some machines, you can also change the orientation of the stitch and adjust the width and length of it. This makes for an almost limitless number of decorative stitches and, if you want to design your own stitches on the Janome MC9400, you can use the included Stitch Composer to do that. Not sure what the Stitch Composer is and how to use it? Not to worry, I’m working on a course to show you all about it and you’ll be the first to be notified when it’s released if you belong to my Chatterbox Quilts’ Facebook group (click here to join if you aren’t already a member). 

I really wanted to be able to use some of the decorative stitches on the Janome MC9400 in my quilting and I’ve found a way to do so by creating my own fabric with them.

You can make your own personalized fabric too using the decorative stitches on your sewing machine. You’ll need a few things:

Fabric – a solid colour fabric works best

Fabric Stabilizer – you’ll need one or two sheets of lightweight tearaway or other type of fabric stabilizer

Thread – I used Aurifil Mako 50/2 cotton thread in a colour close to my fabric colour

Sewing machine with decorative stitches, of course 

The first thing you need to do is to choose which decorative stitches you want to use on your fabric. I chose ones that were similar in that they stitched out in bars. I didn’t choose any wavy or long stitches, but you can choose any that you like.

Next, you should always stitch out a sample of your chosen stitches on the same fabric, ensuring that you have a fabric stabilizer behind your fabric. This is when you can decide if you want to use the stitch’s default settings or want to make some changes. Be sure to write down the stitch number and any changes that you have made to it on your sample fabric so you’ll easily find these stitches on your sewing machine when you want to create your fabric.

 
Decorative Stitches with samples 2.jpg
 

Now comes the fun part! You’re going to make your own fabric! I like to use my walking foot when I stitch, ensuring that the zigzag needle plate is on the sewing machine. With my Janome MC9400, I can either use the standard walking foot (AD Dual Feed foot) that came with the machine or I can use the optional narrow walking foot [VD or AcuFeed Foot with Foot Holder (Single)]. I like to use my walking or even feed foot because it keeps everything stitching along nicely and I can use the edge of my walking foot when I want to stitch the next row. I move my fabric over and align the edge of my walking foot with the line of previous stitches. This gives me the same distance between each row of stitching.

 
 

I stitched my decorative stitches on a diagonal for an interesting effect, but you could certainly stitch them in straight rows if you’d like.

 
 

For more information on how to use decorative stitches on the Janome MC9400 to create your own fabric, click on the image below.

Wondering when you’d use this created fabric? Why not try it as fabric in your pieced quilt blocks or in tote bags, purses or pouches? The fact that you can personalize this fabric makes it so versatile and so you.

 
 

Do you have any ideas on how you might use this fabric created using the decorative stitches on your sewing machine? Post them in the Comments below.

Creatively,

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Print
 

P.S. Do you want to enhance your quilting and become the best quilter you can be?  If you answered “yes” to this question, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!