“Something Cool”

My Designer Diamond Royale machine is now about 4 years old.  I have always liked the stitches that came on the machine, including ones I had never heard of nor thought of with my past machines.  One of those stitches is the special basting stitch that can be found at the end of my Utility stitch menu.  This stitch changes the machine to a loose basting zig-zag and drops the feed teeth so only one zig-zag stitch is made before the machine automatically stops allowing the material to be manually advanced as far as you need.

Stitch #43 is the zig-zag basting stitch. Do you have this one on your machine? Notice how the top tension has dropped from the normal 4.6 to 2.4 (look in the upper left of the picture).

Think of it as free motion basting.  This is especially helpful when keeping layers of fabric together without taking out rows and rows of regular straight stitch basting.  I use it when putting quilt layers together.  By using this stitch I am able to pin the quilt layers together with fewer pins, then use the special basting stitch in between the pins to securely hold everything together.  This allows me to take the pins out before the quilting is finished so they’re not in the way of my stitch in the ditch, quilting stitches or embroidered quilting.  Since the feed teeth are not involved with the basting stitch, there is no stress on the fabric and no shifting. 

The horizontal stitch is the zig-zag and the vertical thread is how far I moved the fabric in between stitches. Once you start basting this way you tend to fall into a rhythm so all your basting stitches become pretty regular in their distance apart.

If you don’t have this stitch on your machine, it is easily replicated by dropping the feed teeth, choosing a zig-zag stitch and decreasing the top tension by about half (If your tension is normally about 4, change it to about 2).  This should create a loose zig-zag that is easily removed when you are finished with the final stitching.  Sew only one zig-zag stitch then move the material and sew one zig-zag stitch, and so on and so on.  With the feed teeth disengaged you are able to advance the material over distances long or short, depending upon what is needed.  Any machine that has feed teeth that can be lowered and a zig-zag stitch can perform this basting technique.