Thursday 29 March 2018

Christmas Decorative Stitch Lotus with Deborah Louie

Last post I told you about the three day quilting retreat I was lucky enough to attend. Today's post is all about day one of the retreat - decorative stitch appliqué with Deborah Louie.

Prior to this workshop, I had done very little with the 180 decorative stitches on my machine. Adding stitching to the hems of denim skirts and denim shorts was about the extent of it. 

The workshop with Deb Louie has made me experiment with the stitches on my Bernina. I'm still a long way short of the elaborate stitching done by Daryl, from Patchouli Moon Studio, but I'm now on my way.

I was most thrilled with the stitching around the edges of the appliqué - not sure if they're stars or flowers, but it's stitch #155 on my Bernina Aurora 440. I had to practise for quite a while to get the stars at the end of each point.

The circle of flowers looks a bit wonky, doesn't it. Turns out my machine needs servicing - the timing is out, which is causing the stitches to be uneven. Hmmmm - it doesn't pay to ignore the service light when it appears. I'm taking it in for a service next week!!!

Deb was a fountain of knowledge on whatever make or model of machine each person was using. It's not surprising she knew all about the Berninas, as Deb is a Bernina Australia ambassador, but she seemed to know all the ins and outs of other makes, too.

No need to worry about the uneven stitching in the centre - it's going to be covered with a red candle.

I learnt a lot during the process of making my Christmas Decorative Stitch Lotus, but it wasn't just about the project...

Now I know there's a pattern start and pattern end button on my machine - a very cool feature. Deb told me, and reminded me throughout the day, to sit in front of the needle of the machine, not off to the side as I was want to do. I know, painfully obvious, but I needed to hear it to realise.

And the funniest thing of all... It's a walking foot, not a running foot. I wasn't the only one sewing at break neck speed.

I'm a happy little bunny if I come away from a workshop, having learned one thing. Not so this workshop. I learnt so much. 

As well as teaching face to face classes within Australia, Deborah Louie teaches online - an online classroom, of course with access world wide. I'm thinking of joining My Favourite BERNINA Features: Online Class

And I should mention, Deb's patterns are detailed and easy to follow. The Christmas Decorative Stitch Lotus pattern is 11 pages of step by step instructions with clear photos. Every single part of the process is included. There doesn't seem to be any assumed knowledge.

I think you can tell I was most impressed with workshop #1. I just need to quilt and bind, then I'm done. Stay tuned for more pics.

Have you experimented with the decorative stitches on your machine? 

... Pam


  1. So glad you are playing with your decorative stitches Pam! Love the stitches that you used. Hope you find more projects to use your stitches on. Thanks for the mention too. I may need to play some more now that I have seen your beautiful creation!

  2. Love your use of decorative stitches in this stitch lotus, Pam!

  3. I used to make handbags and pouches with different coloured strips of denim and then I used a multicoloured embroidery thread to decorate along the seams with the decorative stitches on my Pfaff sewing machine. I also use the decorative stitches to edge flannellette baby blankets, burp cloths and bibs, such fun and you don't have to use embroidery thread all the time, Guttermann sewing thread in upper and bobbin work very well too. Your lotus looks beautiful, Pam!

    1. Thanks for the heads up on using multicoloured thread, Sheila. I think it would look cool with decorative stitching.

  4. That looks amazing! I have never tried decorative stitches. Thanks for sharing the online classes link.

  5. Wonderful to hear you had a great time with a learning experience too Pam. I thought the 3 days were sensational. What I especially loved was the fact that with some ladies who would not normally come to my machine classes are now loving their machine That’s what I am all about educating quilters to love their sewing machines. Great to met you and thank you for such a lovely review. Deb LOUIE.

  6. What a great showcase for all of those fancy stitches Pam! I think we are all guilty of not using most of them.
    Thanks for linking up to New to Me too :)

  7. That is very cool! I want to use more of my stitches too... what a great class to attend! xx


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