Quick videos for the love of sewing.

A New Twist to Decorative Stitches

Give a new twist to decorative stitches. Wind decorative thread in the bobbin and sew on the wrong side of the fabric. Presto—you’ll have the look of hand-sewn embroidery, sewn with ease at your sewing machine. Our little girls’ outfit showcases this novel approach to working with decorative stitches’ it’s called Bobbin Work.

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47 Responses to “A New Twist to Decorative Stitches”

  1. nice} Says:

    December 5th, 2017 at 8:55 am


    [...]you made running a blog glance[...]…

  2. Diane Says:

    February 4th, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Thank you for a wonderful, clearly explained Video on decorative stitch bobbin work. I think it will be a perfect complement for machine stitched crazy quilting blocks.

  3. Nancy Says:

    January 28th, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Hi Shawn Marie, Thank you for asking about Bobbin Work. It is a decorative technique for embellishing. When doing bobbin work, the thread in the bobbin is a heavy decorative thread that cannot be threaded through the top machine threading/needle. Bobbin work makes it possible to use these heavier decorative threads in our sewing machines—in the bobbin only.

  4. Shawn Marie Says:

    January 26th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Nancy,
    I love all your instructional videos. Question, when would you want to use the bobbin works technique? Seems like you could use it threaded in the normal way to achieve the same decorative effect.

  5. Nancy Says:

    October 22nd, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Ann, Yes, embroidery designs can be loaded into the Ellegante 2. The machine accepts digitized embroidery designs on a flash drive (or thumb drive), and can also load from external floppy and CD drives when connected to the machines USB drive.

  6. Ann Says:

    October 14th, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Can I add my own decorative stitch or design into the Ellegante 2 BLG-NZ?

  7. Auth Says:

    September 24th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi JoanThank you for your lovely cnomemt.In answer to your question about choosing my Phaff, I have been a Bernina girl for a long time and still have my Aurora 440 QE that I still love, but the latest Bernina was way over my budget and this Phaff Quilt Expression 4.0 had alot of the features at less than half the price, I especially love the large harp space and the built in IDT, also the way it raises the foot up when you stop. Although I must warn you it has not been without its problems and has visited the mechanic twice now. I am hopeing everything is sorted out now and I must say it has been quilting like a hot knife through butter.I look forward to you visiting again.

  8. Irene Wilt Says:

    April 8th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    HI again,
    Just went and found it in another way, in a drop down. So disregard my last email, Irene

  9. Irene Wilt Says:

    April 8th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    HI Nancy,
    I wanted to show my friend your video on the dresden plate. When i click on it, it shows the bobbinwork video. I know I saw and now when I click on the page that is showing the Dresden plate, here comes the bobbin work. How can I see that video again???
    Thanks, and I appreciate all the free videos, Irene

  10. Claudia Says:

    March 24th, 2011 at 9:01 am


  11. Nancy Says:

    March 24th, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Dear Mary, Thanks for your interest in Sewing With Nancy. You’ll find the reference materials for the current series at this link. http://www.nancysnotions.com/category/sewing+with+nancy/current+tv+episodes.do?sortby=ourPicks&page=all
    If you need further assisatance, please contact the customer service department.

  12. Mary Amatulli Says:

    March 23rd, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Dear Nancy I’m looking for the pattern for the jacket that all the pattern pieces were stiched in rows about an
    inch apart {a form of quilting }. It was shown on your show on PBS. Thanks Mary—[ mamatulli@att.net ]

  13. Nancy Says:

    March 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Dear Anne, Each PBS station determines if and when they air Sewing With Nancy. Perhaps the information at this link will be helpful. http://www.nancysnotions.com/jump.do?itemID=5&itemType=LANDING&page=pbslisting
    At this link http://www.nancysnotions.com/jump.do?itemID=5&itemType=LANDING&page=tvshow, look for the box “Where to Watch.” Click on some of these options and you’ll be able to watch previous shows of Sewing With Nancy on your computer!
    Here’s another link to watch Nancy do short demonstrations. Go to http://www.nancysnotions.com and type video demo in the Search box. All sorts of products will appear. Click on anything that interests you. Then click on Watch Video Demo.

  14. Anne Davies Says:

    March 23rd, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I live in Guelph, Ont Canada. I have Bell. Would it be possible for me to find out what TV channels your TV show is on. I have tried to find out what channels, but to no avail. Sincerely appreciate any help you can give me, as I truly miss your shows.
    Anne Davies

  15. Edie Says:

    March 17th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Just got a Symphony, I’m still trying to find my way around. Your video was wonderful. I’m a novice at sewing and you made it very easy to understand. Can’t wait to try it out!

  16. Nancy Says:

    March 14th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Sharon, all the stitching was sewn from the wrong side of the fabric. You’re right, it is all bobbin work!

  17. ArtsySharon Says:

    March 13th, 2011 at 3:26 pm


    Thank you! When you created the straight-stitch border, did you use the bobbin work technique on the back of the fabric or sew the border on the right of the fabric with regular thread? The thread appears to be thick. So, it appears to be bobbin work.

  18. sue Says:

    March 10th, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Dear Nancy
    Thanks for a great video – I have the upgrade but hadnt really looked at the bobbinwork aspect of it. You make it look very easy and the results look really impressive – off to try it!

  19. Nancy Says:

    March 9th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Betty, the Bobbin Accessory Kit will definitely fit your Baby Lock, model BLQC2. Your Baby Lock Dealer will be able to help you!

  20. Nancy Says:

    March 9th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Patti, the Bobbin Work Stitches that are part of the upgrade feature already have the tension settings established for bobbin work. Just select and stitch!

  21. Patti V Says:

    March 9th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I just had my Ellisimo in for the annual service and opted for the new upgrade. First, let me say that having the capability to increase designs by 200% and reduce them by 60% is fabulous. Also, I can finally see the icons of the designs, I used to have to open most of them just to browse through a flash drive.

    I am so excited to try out this new Bobbin work accessory kit. The upgrade also included several new designs for this type of work, I was just wondering if you have tried the new designs out, they are individual designs (rather than a border or decorative design)? Do the tension adjustments (7.0-7.4) you used for the decorative stitches also apply for these designs?

    My local retailer was out of the BLT105 stabilizer, and suggested using Freezer Paper as a stabilizer. Will that work? Thank you for the video. I am looking forward to attending a class soon on this technique.

  22. Kay Says:

    March 9th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Dear Nancy,
    Thank you so much for featuring the Ellisimo on your show this month! I purchased mine in October of last year and I’ve had some difficulty finding time to learn all its bells and whistles! I hope to see more “features” in the future because it is truly the best machine I’ve ever worked with. Can’t wait to meet you in April for the Love of Sewing Retreat in Humble! Thanks again!

  23. Betty McKittrick Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I have a baby lock Quilter’s Choice (Model BLQC2). Will the decorative stitching work with this machine. If so, is a needle with a larger eye required?

  24. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Dolores, Bobbin Work is possible on almost every machine. It may be necessary to bypass the tension when placing the bobbin thread in the case or bobbin area. Testing is always important. Check with your dealer to see if there are any specific suggestions for bobbin work with your machine.

  25. Dolores Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 7:11 pm


    I have a Viking #1 Plus.. Will this work on my machine. Thank you.

  26. Jan Squires Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you, Judy Fenton, for the link to see Nancy’s video.
    I have the upgrade on my Ellisamo….in the box in the drawer of course.
    Nancy has inspired me to get it out and get busy. Love the buttons and now another way to use my button maker too.

  27. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Gail, your machine is comparable to the Baby Lock’s Ellisimo. I’m glad that you like the videos!

  28. Gail Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Nancy, I have just found your videos. Yahoo! You have the best teaching videos on the internet.
    One question: I have the Brother Quattro 6000D your BabyLock looks just like my machine. Are they the same?

  29. Vicki Page Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Nancy I would have liked to see how much the product would cost so I can be prepared to purchase it or wait till I had the money to do so. I love all your ideas to use my baby lock machine and the encouragement to get over my fear or messing the machine up. I am going to my store and check this new way to use my stitches and I am thinking how I can apply this idea to quilting. Thanks again Vicki Page

  30. Helen Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Very neat! I have an elegante 2 and would be interested in trying it.

  31. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Dear Andrea, Please check your browser to confirm if Javascript is enabled and download the latest flash player. You can get the Flash player here http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/. Hope that helps!

  32. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks for watching! Unfortunately, the decorative work bobbin case will not work with the ESE2. They are different bobbin cases as well as bobbins.

  33. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Hi, Louise,
    Yes, you certainly can do bobbin work on your machine. Either loosen the tension on your bobbin case, or bypass the bobbin tension. Please test first—I know you’ll like the results.

  34. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Sandy, sorry, I don’t know the answer. Please check with your local dealer.

  35. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Susan, the 12-weight thread is too thick to go through the eye of the needle. Using the heavy-weight serger thread gives the look of hand crewel work!

  36. Nancy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Sharon, we’ll send you a notification next time we have a new video!

  37. Kulerful Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Is the bobbin case for Decorative sewing available for other babylock machines? I have the Esante ESe2. Thank You

  38. Andrea Elliott Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    unable to view video. It loaded, started to play without any visual, then had a bit of visual, then a blank screen.

  39. Sharon Nielsen Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Please add me to your email notification list when something new is added. Thank you.

  40. Susan Warren Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 8:42 am

    What is the advantage of this method over sewing with the decorative thread through the needle?

  41. Sandy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Nancy, Do you know if Viking has a bobbin casing for decorative stitches like Baby Lock has? That sure simplifies the process! Thanks! S.

  42. Sandy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Thanks Nancy! This is an awesome technic and has endless possibilities! Can’t wait to try it out. S.

  43. Jacalyn Robinson Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Coupon for Bobbin Work/Decorative stitches special will not print!

  44. Louise Eischen Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 7:07 am

    I have a pfaff embroidery machine – can this be done on my machine? I have a 2140 and 7550

  45. Molly Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    I always enjoy your videos/tuteorials, but this one was so fun, Will have to try this one for sure. Thank you.

  46. sandy Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Thank you so much for the great explanation. I will certainly try bobbin work. I didn’t know what it was until now. And I had a hard time sewing those decorative stitches as the fabric always moved around. Now I know how to do that thanks to you.

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