Piecing on the Jazz

Continuing my evaluation of the Baby Lock Jazz – It’s time to piece a quilt! 

One of the first things I looked for is a straight stitch throat plate, as I have found that very helpful for sewing perfectly accurate, consistently straight seams on other machines, especially when strip piecing. I was initially disappointed to find that there is no straight stitch throat plate available for the Baby Lock Jazz. But I decided to give it a go before making up my mind as to whether or not this poses a significant problem.

Here is how it went:

Since the last stitching I had done was a zigzag stitch, the first thing was to switch the machine back to a straight stitch. No problem.  However, when I adjusted the stitch length to 0 (stitch width is not applicable for a straight stitch, right?) I immediately realized I had a problem:

I initially assumed I should set the stitch width to 0 for a straight stitch

Notice the problem – the needle hits the presser foot!

So I consulted the manual – which is terrific, by the way; very clear and well-illustrated.

Following the manual, I reset the stitch width to the dot marked on the dial.

This is the correct stitch width setting for a straight stitch

Perfectly lined up!

Note: I’m thinking that adjusting the stitch width may be a sneaky way to change the needle position, but I’ll explore that another day…

In summary, here is how I set up my Baby Lock Jazz for piecing:

  • Auriful thread, which is a 50 weight cotton, in both the top and bobbin
  • Schmetz Microtex needle, size 70
  • Quarter-Inch presser foot
  • Straight stitch
  • Stitch length: 2
  • Stitch width: at the marked dot or 3.5 (as shown above) 

I start by stitching on a scrap fabric, or “header”

I stitch across the scrap, take a stitch or two on air, and then slide my fabric under the presser foot without raising the presser foot – I find this helps prevent the corner of the fabric(s) from being “eaten” by the machine.

I like to chain-piece: stitch across the fabrics being joined, take a a few stitches on air, and then slide the next set of pieces into place without raising the presser foot

When I’ve sewn across the last of my pieces, I finish by stitching onto another piece of scrap fabric – I find this helps keep the stitches straight instead of veering off to the side when I come to the end of the final seam

I’m happy with how the seams turned out – no straight stitch throat plate needed, after all!

So my worries came to naught – I’m very happy with how the Jazz performs when piecing. 

And a final thought – the lighting is FANTASTIC!

Curious about the fabric I’m using? It’s from my shop at Spoonflower.com 🙂

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