Decorative Stitches for Quilting

Getting bored of quilting straight lines? Want to quilt something else, but also don’t want it to be too complicated or difficult? Well, let me introduce you to decorative stitches! In this post I’ll cover three different decorative stitches I use on my Janome machine that add such a fun quilted touch! I’ll show you the stitch length I use so that you can replicate the results. If you don’t have a Janome, check your sewing machine manual for a comparable stitch. Scroll down to the end of the post to watch the video demo of these stitches in action!

Tips for all three stitches:

  • Make a practice sandwich to practice the stitches and see what your machine can do
  • Go slowly, set a speed regulator on your machine if you have one and find yourself trying to go too fast
  • Don’t try to force the machine, let it do the work and gently guide the quilt straight through
  • If creating guide lines for your stitching, use those for the edge of your foot, don’t try to follow them with your needle. Plan accordingly as your lines will need to be 1/4″ to 1/2″ away from where you want your actual stitching to be (depending on the width of your walking foot)
  • Use a walking foot!

The Three Step Zig-Zag Stitch:

Stitch: 011
Stitch Width: 7.0
Stitch Length: 2.5

Vary the stitch length if you prefer a wider zig-zag stitch. This will produce angular texture to your quilt and amazing quilt crinkles when washed.

Quilts pictured below:

The Serpentine Stitch:

Stitch: 096
Stitch Width: 9.0
Stitch Length: 3.0

Produces a nice wavy line of quilting. Vary the stitch width if you prefer a wider serpentine or narrower one. Great for overall texture, can also mimic gentle ocean waves.

Quilt pictured below:

The Scallop Stitch:

Stitch: 111
Stitch Width: 9.0
Stitch Length: 2.5

Produces a scalloped effect. You can create the scallops right side up, which look like waves or lace, or upside-down to mimic clouds.

Quilt pictured below:

Watch the Demo!

I hope you enjoy trying these fun decorative stitches on your own quilt! They are a great way of mixing it up!

4 thoughts on “Decorative Stitches for Quilting

  1. Eliane, your demo was great! They definitely add “another” texture. I’ve only done 2 quilts so far, and only straight lines, but I will be sure to try one of these for my next quilt. (I’ll make sure to tag you! 😉)
    Thanks!
    Jeanne
    (TravelingDyeCo) 😁

  2. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I am a straight line stitcher. I have used the serpentine many times and love it. Not sure I will use the zig zag, but will definitely be trying out the scallop!!!

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