Z is for Zigzag

Z is for ZigzagI’ve seen so many comments and received so many emails from people saying “I’m going to be so sad when the A to Z ends.” Thank you for joining in and thank you for all your comments! I’ve had so much fun creating the A to Z, and to answer the question, “Will you be making this into book form?” the answer is most definitely “Yes!”.

Now to Z is for… Zigzag!

In the “olden days,” sewing machines had two stitches on them. Of course there was the straight stitch. And then there was the zigzag stitch.

ZigzagTo create a zigzag stitch:

  • the needle goes down on the left
  • the needle comes up and the machine moves forward
  • the needle goes down on the right
  • the needle comes up and the machine moves forward

The zigzag stitch used to be the decorative stitch of choice!

It’s also a very useful stitch:

  • Use a zigzag stitch instead of a straight stitch when you’re working with knits and stretchy fabrics. The zigzag allows the seam to stretch with the fabric.
  • Use a zigzag stitch to neaten the raw edge of a seam allowance. It will help to minimize fraying.
  • Use a zigzag stitch to baste. When it’s wide enough, you can run a seam ripper through all the stitches to make really fast work of removing them.
  • Use a zigzag stitch around your appliqué shapes when doing machine appliqué.
  • Use a zigzag stitch around a button hole.
  • Use a zigzag stitch for couching some chunky decorative threads.
  • Use a zigzag stitch underneath a satin stitch to give the satin stitch a good foundation (also called underlay). A satin stitch is a zigzag stitch that has a very short stitch length!

In the world of machine embroidered appliqué, a zigzag stitch is very useful for joining pieces of stabilizer together. If you need a piece of stabilizer that is wider than what you have on the roll, cut two pieces the correct length needed. Then overlap the edges by about 1/2″. Now stitch down the center of the overlap to join the pieces together. You won’t have any bulk (which you would get if you pieced the stabilizer together) and you won’t have to deal with the stickiness from using sticky tape.

Zigzag stitches can make a gorgeous fill stitch. I had a ton of fun playing with zigzag fills when creating the designs in the Petal Power 8i collection. (I’m sure someone will ask where they can find the zigzag fill in the BERNINA Embroidery Software… It’s a stitch that I created. That needs a whole other tutorial on how to do it!)

Closeup of the Petal Power 8i 5 Petal design

For the Petal Power 8i 5 Petal design, I used two overlapping zigzag stitch fills. The green zigzag stitches first, with even spacing and offset of 0. The purple zigzag stitches second, also with even spacing but with an offset of half the stitch width. The offset helps to create the secondary design where the green and purple zigzags overlap.

Closeup of the Petal Power 8i 8 Petal design

For the Petal Power 8i 8 Petal design, I used two overlapping zigzag stitch fills. They are both evenly spaced. I then applied a wave fill effect.

Closeup of the Petal Power 8i 9 Petal design

For the Petal Power 8i 9 Petal design, I used a single zigzag stitch fill with a wave effect applied to it.

Closeup of the Petal Power 8i 10 Petal design

For the Petal Power 8i 10 Petal design, I used a single zigzag stitch fill with the vertical spacing less than the size of the zigzag.

Zigzags can also be pieced into quilts. The Jelly Roll Zig Zag Quilt can be created using a jelly roll (precut strips, each 2.5″ wide). So many possibilities for fun with color!

Jelly Roll Zig Zag Quilt by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Stitched on a BERNINA 830
featuring AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 weight thread
and fabric from the Transformation collection by Sarah Vedeler for Benartex

Click here to download the free pattern to make this quilt!

Daily Deal

From 12:01am on July 18, 2017 until 11:59pm on July 20, 2017 enjoy 20% off everything from Sarah Vedeler Designs!

Enter code “A2Z-Z” at the checkout


If there’s a design collection you’ve fallen in love with, but you missed it in the daily deals, this is your chance to add the design collection to your library of gorgeous embroidery designs. Click on Design Collections in the menu bar at the top of the page to browse the list of available collections. Be sure to also click on Fresh Ideas in the menu bar at the top of the page to browse some projects which use various designs in new ways.


Thanks so much for joining me on this A to Z through the world of machine embroidery and appliqué!


  1. Hi Sarah this was a lot of fun it really gets your brain working, thankyou for the teaser’s enjoyed it ???

  2. Hi Sarah, Thank you so much for the A to Z tutorials. I have immensely enjoyed each one.

  3. Cecilia Arnqvist

    Thank you so much for the whole serie A2Z. I have learn a lot that I didn’t know before. I have also checked out your YouTube videos, incredible good tutorials. So now I’m headed to the embrodiery machine./ Cecilia

  4. Thank you Sarah for this wonderful series. I looked forward to your email every day and have learned such a lot. Thank you too for the lovely free gift at the end of Z is for zigzag – it is much appreciated!

  5. This has been fun and interesting – MANY THANKS!

  6. I have really enjoyed A to Z . Thank you so much for all the wonderful information and tips.

  7. Hi Sarah, thank you so much for this series of tutorials, I learnt a lot. Looking forward to seeing it in book format!

  8. Thank you Sarah for all the information in this A to Z series. I have learnt a lot and my memory has had a refresh. I’ve really enjoyed it and look forward to your next newsletter. Regards Marillyn Wale. U. K.

  9. Hi Sara, thank you for the fun and all of the information! I learned a ton!

  10. Thank you Sarah, I love your designs and already had many, now I have more ?. I even took my iPad with me our our trip to Italy?Which we are currently on so I wouldn’t miss any of the wonderful information you have been giving us.

  11. Thank you so much for creating this daily tutorial. I have enjoyed – looked forward to opening – my e-mails from you. What a great idea!!!

  12. Again, you gave great information. Thanks, Sarah.

  13. I immensely enjoyed the A-Z agenda and looked forward to it every day. THanks so much, Sarah.

  14. Good Morning Sarah and Thank You for all the information you packed into each day’s letter. Like many others I have really enjoyed receiving it in my mailbox daily. I will definitely use the information to improve my embroidery and applique projects! I am looking forward to making one of your many beautiful applique projects as you have also inspired me and for this I am grateful. 🙂

  15. “Z” Zillion of thanks Sarah, for all these very informatives lessons given every day, I enjoyed all of them, I am going to keep it preciously. I love love your work.

  16. Please let us know when the “book” comes out.

  17. Thank you for all the work you did in putting this together. I enjoyed each days letter

  18. I have enjoyed your A – Z, thank you and thank you for the tremendous effort you have put into it…..I have followed each day and looked forward to what you will come up next and so love the detail in your designs.

  19. I’m sad about reaching the end of the alphabet but happy you shared the entire alphabet with us! Thanks so much, Linda

  20. Thank you for a great series! So much good information.

  21. Sarah, thank you so much for this series! I looked forward to your emails each day! And I would love a tutorial explaining the way you made the zigzag stitches!

  22. Sarah, Thank you for sharing! Your designs are beautiful and your love of Bernina 830 is obvious. It makes me wish I had one!

  23. This has been a lot of fun! Thank you so much

  24. Thank you, I really enjoyed the A-Z tips. I looked forward every morning to your lessons. I currently have many of your designs and look forward to future designs. Your lessons are invaluable. Possibly you will consider adding them to you Web Site.

  25. Sign me up for the book. I’ve enjoyed this immensely!

  26. Yes, this was fun. I was on vacation for 2 weeks and missed several of them (trying not to take technology with me on vacations), so I will hold on to this last one to try to access the archive – hope it’s all there on your website.

    • Hi Janet,
      My daughters and I went on a “no technology” vacation – I enjoyed it so much we’re going to do it much more often!
      Up in the top right corner of every page you will see a heading for “Categories”. Click on “A to Z” right under this heading and you’ll be able to access all the days 🙂

  27. Hi Sarah! I’m surely going to miss the A-Z everyday! Thank you for all the tutorials. I’ve learned so much! I really appreciate all that went into this series. Now that I have all these wonderful designs, it’s time to get busy!

  28. When do you think the book will come out? Will it be downloadable?
    Thank you for all the information, can’t wait to have it all in one place for reference!

  29. Thank you Sarah. I’ve really enjoyed these and will miss looking forward to your daily alphabet series.

  30. Just awesome!

  31. Thank you Sarah for A2Z! This is absolutely brilliant! I have learned so much and can’t wait for the book and stitch out more of your designs! I have tried to guess at the next letter of alphabet will be, so much fun!

  32. Thanks for all the valuable info. Can’t wait for the book!!

  33. This has been fantastic. I have saved the entire collection and going to put it in a binder so that I can refer back to all of your great ideas and helpful instructions. Thanks so very much for all you have done.

  34. Love all the tips…thank you for taking the time to do so!

  35. Enjoyed it all Informative for sure. In some I even learned something. Thankyou.

  36. Wonderful info on the zigzag stitch.. truly versatile. Huge thank you for this wonderful series. I willl miss the daily emails. Kudos Sarah this was well done. Your designs are gorgeous..

  37. Thank you Sarah for all these helpful hints and beautiful designs.
    Yes, I also am sad we have reached Z.
    This was so much fun.

  38. Many many thanks Sarah, This was very informative. I’m going to miss this.

  39. This was the best seminar ever. It touched base on some things I haven’t gotten to yet but I did learn so much!!!
    Thank you…

  40. Thank you so much for this informative series, Sarah, not to mention the discounts! I enjoyed all 26 days.

  41. Thank you much Sarah for all the useful information you have provided for us -so much appreciated!!

  42. Thank you Sarah for all this information .I will miss these daily emails I looked forward to and enjoyed so much.

  43. WOW! Fabulous series! I so looked forward to receiving daily emails from you. Please continue to inspire!!
    Thank you Sarah!

  44. Thank you Sarah! This was an awesome series ever! You are the best!

  45. Thanks for daily tips and inspiration. ?

  46. You did a WONDERFUL job! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  47. Thank you for sharing a wealth of knowledge with us, your designs are beautiful and I am excited to work with them.

  48. What a great presentation. You shared so much information. You truly are an expert. Your writings are so well expressed. Information is accurate, clear. Photos added so much. Well done, Sarah.

  49. Shirley R. Moore

    Very interesting and enjoyable. A great idea!

  50. Lee Ann Gilbert

    Thank you for sharing your A to Z series! You imparted so much detailed information within each topic– always supported by pictures of your fabulous quilts. I enjoyed seeing the variety of ways that your tips and comments applied to the quilts, and especially enjoyed the eye-candy of your quilts and the close-up shots of the endlessly creative stitchery that adorns your designs! This has motivated me to finish my current quilt so that I can get on to the one that has been whispering to me for more than a year.

    Thank you again! I look forward to your A to Z book, as well as your hinted lessons on designing decorative stitches!

  51. Great job, Sarah! You are such an inspiration and all your designs are beautiful. I am really going to miss this series. Thank you for all you do.

  52. Thank you for sharing all of these tips, tricks, and ideas. Great job! Appreciate the help you have given me.

  53. Thanks for the information, will miss checking email to see what new ideas Sarah sent every morning.

  54. Thank you, again, for such a fun and informative series! LOVED it!

  55. Sarah,
    Thank you so much for all the effort you put into A-Z. It was amazing all of the tips and techniques you provided. I will wait patiently for the book.

  56. Wish I didn’t need to sleep! So many great projects. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.

  57. And a great big THANKS to you, too! I had fun trying to guess what the next day’s alphabet letter would stand for. Sometimes I was right, other times I was WAY off! Like today! I figured it would be Zipper, like the wonderful zippers that you sewed into the sides of your tote, for embellishment purposes only. Super clever!

  58. I have loved every minute of this. I am so excited that you are putting this in book form! Love everything you do!

  59. Sarah, thank you for this delicious series. I learned so much! I look forward to the book when it’s released. I am in love with your color choices. They are all so happy and make my heart sing. Always looking to see what more you will be designing!

  60. Enjoyed the A-Z Embroidery Series very much. So sorry it’s ending. Looking forward to more good stuff from Sarah. Thanks so much.

  61. Caroline Carnathan

    Sarah your the Best, your Love for your work benefits us all.
    I have purchased several of your designs and plan to continue.
    With all the information you have given use followers, you make our expensive craft easier and more fun to try different techniques.
    Thank you for being the giving person you are ❤️

  62. Thank you Sarah for all the time you gave to provide us with this great information. I look forward to checking it out each morning. I will miss it.

  63. Wow! What fun this has been. Such an amazing idea you had. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Your designs are fabulous. I have several favourites, but the Sedona Star is magnificent. Thank you for all your hard work. Looking forward to the ebook.

  64. I enjoyed the run with this A toZ. Guessing where you were going with each letter. I caught most of them. i just wanted to say thank you for the reminder on some things.

  65. Thanks you for such a fabulous idea. I have enjoyed everyday and have gains so much knowledge to a whole new world of machine embroidery. I am going to miss my daily info.
    Such a wonderful idea and I hope there are more to come
    Much appreciated

  66. Sarah, this was a GREAT ride! WOW! Really amazing and wonderful ideas. I know this had to be ton of hard work. I appreciate every one of these, and THANK YOU very much! I loved each and every delivery, and I am working on Petal Power right now. The Aurifil threads I did not have, just came in from OESD! They are so beautiful. I looked forward to the emails everyday. I now have to brace myself for withdrawal pains tomorrow. One Love!

  67. Sarah, this has been such a wonderful gift of your time and knowledge. Informative and inspirational, your emails in this series have been a highlight in each day. Thanks!!

  68. Sarah, Thank you very much for the A-Z tutorials. I have looked forward to the daily information and am sorry it has come to the letter Z and most likely the end. Also thank you for the discount on your wonderful designs. I have bought several.

  69. Enjoyed the chalenge of trying to figure out what the letter of the day stood for. Thank you very much for all the tips. I learned a lot.

  70. Thanks for all the great information

  71. Sarah, thank you so much. I couldn’t wait your email each morning!

  72. What a good idea. Thank you for all your tips. Wish I was rich enough to buy more. Now how do I make more time to sew everything. You must be so organised. Oh yes, what we’re the points for? When I learn how to send photos, I will. I did a version of Sedona star when it was a NOM(missed out a round) as my house is not big enough for it all thanks .

  73. Thank you for all the great tips and freebies. Really enjoyed the daily surprises and ability to purchase designs and patterns at a discount. I know it will be fun to complete projects using your wonderful designs.
    I better get started…

  74. Thank you, Sarah, for the A to Z. I love reading them all. I am also glad to know that you are planning a book of them.

  75. Thank you for the A-Z! So much GOOD information. I have always used Poly or Rayon emb thread but have finally found a source for the Aurifil. Can’t wait – we always need more embroidery thread, right (grin) Thanks also for the free transformation quilt patterns – they look so fun to do.

  76. Thank you Sarah for posting your knowledge. I have learned so much.

  77. Thank you so much for this wonderful A-Z series. So much information, and I especially appreciate the time involved in putting together the details.

  78. Sarah have thoroughly enjoyed this series. So sad it is over. Some topics were a good review and others new information. Thank you so much for putting this together.

  79. This was a great series Sarah… so informative! I love your designs and Transformations fabric. I will go back to these emails again and again!

  80. Joining everyone else to say thank you…really enjoyed each letter and have learned from your sharing.

  81. Thank You !!!

  82. Sonna Lea Hunsley

    Thank you so much for all your tips in A-Z. You definitely need to publish this! I forgot what the points are for.

  83. Creative, educational, informative, and FUN! Best email in my inbox this past month! Thank you for sharing your tips and for discounting your beautiful designs.

  84. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and experience in the A to Z series. I looked forward to your tips every day! I’m interested in knowing what can be done with all the points I’ve been collecting!

  85. Janet Hintermeister

    Thank you very much for all the sewing and embroidery information!!! Great series.

  86. Sarah….this has been such a great experience! The tutorials have been so informative and the anticipation of finding out what each letter would be made it extra fun. And to end with the almighty Zigzag…..just think if we had never gotten beyond having just a straight stitch on our machines. Oh, how far we have come!! And to see all of your beautiful designs further explained and examples shown has been such a treat! Thank you for all the hard work you put in to bring this all together for us. I, too, am sad to see it come to an end and know that I will refer back often. I now have added many more of your designs to MY Collection……if only there were more hours to sew!! But I will find the time I’m sure. Thank you so much again. It has been a “one-of-a-kind” enjoyable experience!

  87. Thank you Sarah! Learned a lot and am looking forward to the ebook!

  88. A is for Awesome! Thx again for all the hard work you do to inspire and help us to create!

  89. Is there a way to save to a pdf file all of the great information you have posted? I want to be able to look at your notes without having to go to the computer all the time.

  90. Thank you so much for all this great info. I really enjoyed getting these every day!

  91. Thanks for all the tips. I will miss them.

  92. Giuliana Nakashima

    This was great. Appreciate the work you put into it.

  93. Enjoyed your expertise and creative embroideries right to Zee End! I have never done appliques to any great extent, but have purchased a Cameo and am eager to learn. Would have purchased so many of your incredible designs, but have to hold off until by business is up and profitable again.

  94. I love this series! Wonderful information. Thank you Sarah

  95. Sarah, You are the best sharing this great series with us and trying to make us think what will the next letter mean.I got so much out of this. Thank you, Cathy I love all your quilts and don’t know what to buy. I have about 5 of them and still working on splash of color.

  96. I have really enjoyed opening your page every day, I shall miss it. So much information, thank you so much.

  97. Thank you sew much for all your wonderful tips and information, Sarah! You’ve put a lot of work into this and it was greatly appreciated! I love all your designs!!

  98. I am going to miss my morning coffee in front of my computer reading your A – Z blog Sarah. Thank you so much for so many lovely mornings! You are a fabulous teacher.

  99. Thank you so much for the A to Z it has been wonderful of you to pass on so much usefull information to all of us. I will look forward to the book.

  100. Thanks once again Sarah. What a mammoth series. Look forward to the book coming out

  101. Thank you for the awesome information. I learned something each day, be it new or review.

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