Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chubby Welt Cord: Another Reason to Love the Dual Feed on the Bernina 750 QE

Half Inch Welt on Window Seat Cushion
In true Gemini fashion, I've been vacillating wildly between hand sewn invisible applique, my vintage Singer Featherweights, and my shiny new Bernina 750 QE over the past few months.  When I decided to purchase my new  'Nina  machine over a year ago, no one at the store did a very good job of explaining the integrated dual feed feature to me and it didn't factor into my purchasing decision at all.  However, I've found that the little Dual Feed footsie that scoots along behind my presser foot really DOES improve all kinds of sewing, from piecing quilt tops to matching prints on drapery panels.  I recently discovered another situation where the dual feed is a huge help: covering welt cord.

Lars's Window Seat Cushion
Most of the time, if I'm making a project that requires fabric-covered cording, I'll use a 5/32" or smaller diameter cord so I can whip it up on my serger with the raw edges perfectly even and overcast, all in one operation.  However, for this bench cushion for Lars's bedroom window seat, I preferred the look of chubby 1/2" diameter welt covered in orange chenille upholstery fabric.  Now, when covering cord on a regular sewing machine, the biggest problem to watch out for is uneven feeding of the two fabric layers, which can create a twisting, spiraling effect to your cord and make it pucker unattractively on your finished project.  Normally this effect is more pronounced and more difficult to avoid with the larger diameter cord, so I gritted my teeth and prepared for the worst.

I used my #4D (the D denotes that it's a foot with a special cutout at the back to accommodate the Dual Feed mechanism) Zipper foot with dual feed engaged, and I was delighted with how well my machine handled this task.  Since I will be using this cording on an upholstered cornice as well as on the boxed cushion for the window seat, I had to make 12 yards of cording.  With Dual Feed engaged on my 750, I was able to sew this cord accurately with no twisting or shifting of the fabric layers, and at FULL SPEED, 1000 stitches per minute, with my pedal to the floor.  It was almost as fast as covering skinny cording on the serger (except for having to go back and overcast the edges in a separate step with Foot #2A). 

Overcasting Raw Edges with a Zigzag Stitch Using Foot #2A

Here's a Bernina video that better explains how and why to use the Dual Feed feature, demonstrated on a 780 sewing machine:

Now that Lars's window seat cushion is done, I need to upholster his cornice (a job I loathe) and make a few throw pillows for him to snuggle into with a good book.  Then I can get back to my quilting!

Happy Thursday, everyone!


Jenny K. Lyon said...

STOP! I can't afford it and most of what those huge Berninas offer me does not appeal. The dual feed definitely appeals to me and now that you made such a big deal of it I want it more! If they made a regular sized machine with dual feed built in I would probably run down and buy it immediately. So STOP! (giggle)

Carrie P. said...

WOW! what a great cushion you made.
My new machine has the dual feed which I love.