This post was created in partnership with Baby Lock.
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Earlier this year I shared how I continued by partnership with Baby Lock and have been using a Ballad sewing machine. After using it for a few months, I’ve discovered some unique features that I now can’t sew without and I’d love to share them with you today.
Wide Throat Space
When I unboxed the Ballad, the first thing that I noticed was just the scale of this machine. Not only is the entire unit significantly larger than my Soprano, but the throat space, or the distance of the needle from the right of the machine, is huge. It’s actually 11.25″ wide which makes is ideal for sewing large, unwieldy projects like quilts, bedding, and curtains. I also found this super handy when topstitching jeans since denim pant legs can be bulky and bit hard to maneuver around smaller machines.
Auxiliary Spool Pin
I have loved having a built-in auxiliary spool pin. When sewing denim, I load it with my topstitching thread, which makes switching back and forth between two thread colors super quick. Yet one of my favorite uses for this spool pin is using it to wind a bobbin while I’m in the middle of a sewing project. No need to take the thread out of your needle. Just load the auxiliary spool pin with another spool of thread and quickly wind a bobbin. And if you’re already using both spool pins, the Ballad includes an extra spool stand so you could have up to 4 different threads queued up and ready to go.
771 Built-In Stitches
I’ve had so much fun exploring all the different stitches that are included with this machine. There really is something for everyone! My favorites are the myriad of buttonholes for every type of project, the satin stitches (which you can adjust the thread density of in just a few taps of a button), and the fun decorative stitches. This is a fun way to add a unique detail to a pocket, collar, or even to embellish a thrifted garment. While these stitches are great for garment sewing, they have an entire group of stitches for quilting, including piecing at 1/4″ and a stippling pattern.
Sews elastic like a serger
I sewed up swimsuits for both myself and my kid this summer and it was a breeze with this machine. The included J presser foot works perfectly to attach 1/4″ elastic to knit fabrics. Insert the elastic through the hole in the presser foot and sew with a zig zig stitch. I didn’t have to fiddle with the elastic placement, or even pin/clip it. It sewed through all layers quickly and just as well as a serger—but with way less of a learning curve. This is now my go-to way to sew elastic onto knits.
Compact Digital Dual-Feed
This is like an amped up walking foot but really so much more. This included foot has a belt on it so it feeds your fabric through with ease. And it’s not just for quilts—I use it when sewing multiple layers of thick denim too. It also works great on thick, sticky fabrics like vinyl. Plus, unlike a walking foot, you can use it with a ton of different stitches which means you can sew just about anything you want any way you want!
Quick Change to Free Motion
I’m new to quilting and have been having so much fun learning more about it. One of the things that really excites me about this machine is the ability to do free motion quilting, something I’ve been curious about for quite some time. I’ve previously felt a bit too intimidated to try it out but the Ballad makes it so easy. All you do is tap one button on the touch screen and the machine is ready to go. Then you use the included tool to remove the presser foot holder and attach the desired free motion foot. And in just about a minute you’re ready to free motion sew in any direction.
If you have any questions about this machine, please comment below. I cannot wait to share more about the Ballad as I continue to sew with it this year.