Practice Specialty Stitches on Your Project Fabric

Mini-Stitch Sampler

Once you’ve created your general mini-stitch samplers, you should be well-prepared for any type of quilting you want to do with your machine. I still, however, create a small sampler before I quilt on a project. I need to see how those stitches will look on the fabric I’m using.

My generic mini-stitch samplers were on mostly solid-colored fabrics, but few of my quilts are that serene. They are alive with print and texture, and I don’t want my quilting competing with it. So I make a mini-quilt sandwich with leftover project fabric and I test my stitches.

The photo above was for a quilted purse I made – the Annabelle bag (click on the link to see the resulting bag and my post on how I made it). On the pattern photo the designer included specialty stitches, and I practiced those on my mini-sandwich. But I decided the stitches competed too much with the fabrics and I did freemotion quilting instead.

I couldn’t have made that decision without experimenting, and that resulted in a better-looking bag.

Last installment: the ultimate stitch sampler.