As part of taking Carol Ann Waugh’s “Stupendous Stitching” class at Craftsy, I made what she calls a ‘Stitch Bible’ for my machine. Your stitch bible is a visual reference guide to all the stitches that your machine has available. When you make your stitch bible, not only should you show the stitch, but also you should adjust the length and width of the stitch, so you can see how the changes effect the look of the stitch. Sometimes you can get a completely different look with a stitch at different dimensions.

A page from my “Stitch Bible” for my Bernina 730 showing each row with
different settings for the length and width

Notes on each of the first three rows of stitches in above figure… if
the settings caused a problem, I notate that in Red

It’s important to notate the length/width for each of the stitches you try, as well as if any of the settings don’t work for that stitch.  My notes (I hand-write them when I’m sewing and then type them up afterwards) show the row number from left to right, the stitch number and description, the settings in order of how I changed on each stitch as I was sewing, and then any notes I made or thought of about the stitch.  For the settings, I always started with the default values for the stitch.  Notes might include how I think I could use a stitch.

Full sheet of the notes for the stitches above

I’ve placed all my Stitch Bible pages and samples within plastic sleeve protectors in a notebook, which I have within arm’s length of my sewing machine.  (Sorry about the glare on the photos… I probably should have taken them out of the plastic sleeves before I shot the picture!) That way, if I want to add some sort of decorative element, I can thumb through the pages and get ideas of what might work well for the space.

Another page of stitches

This is how I chose the decorative stitching that I used in the background of my Tomato piece.  The extra-heavy Zig-Zag, thick lines at the bottom and triangle patterning are all decorative stitching from my machine.

If you’re interested in playing around with the decorative stitching on your machine, I highly recommend Carol Ann Waugh’s Craftsy Class.

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2 replies
  1. chris
    chris says:

    Stitch Bibles are a great idea – I have mine hanging on the back of my studio door & I DO consult it from time to time – BTW – am enjoying your blog – will make it a regular read.

  2. Marie Auclair
    Marie Auclair says:

    This is super great! I made one with just defaults and it's totally lacking in creativity. Gonna add this project to my ever growing list of projects.

    P.S. I'm following your blog now. Love it!

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