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by : Shannon Hicks


The I/S Turbo has a unique basting stitch capability of both 1" and 1/2" "firing stitch". What this means is that if you have the stitch set to one stitch per inch for basting, a stitch will be fired and then the needle will return to the up position and wait there until you have moved the machine for 1" in any direction. Compare this to a speed controlled machine where your needle is in the fabric for half of the time, and out of the fabric for half of the time. When basting in a speed controlled situation you risk needle deflection and actually tearing of the fabric if you move too quickly and the needle is still down in the fabric while you move. I guess the easiest way to explain is would be to have you machine baste using your single stitch button-move an inch, single stitch, move an inch. Your needle is up while you are moving. Now turn your machine WAY down and baste by moving your machine rather quickly across the fabric aiming for a 1/2"+ stitch--do you see the difference? Before the I/S I did my basting with the single stitch button. It works fine! But I love that I can now baste quilts, even just the edges on a normal quilt, and they are basted at nearly perfect 1/2" or 1" intervals. When basting a quilt for a hand quilter, these perfect stitches are even more impressive.

The I/S stitch regulated side of the dial has settings for 1,2,6,8,10,12 stitches per inch, and Stipple, which is approximately 16 stitches per inch. The stipple is designed for microstippling. These stitches are also made using I/S's trademark firing stitch. When running the machine at slow to moderate speeds, it is recommended you use the Minimal Effort method of moving your machine. No need to manhandle your machine! Holding the machine with thumb and finger of each hand, and moving gently around your designs and in and out of points will result in the best quality stitches. When you are accustomed to running your machine at higher speeds, the Turbo portion of I/S kicks into gear. When moving your machine faster than 2" per second in stitch regulated mode, the machine hits a "coasting mode" that allows you to ping-pong in and out of points without experiencing a long stitch. I can do feathers, leaves, stars and spikes in Turbo as easily as I was able to do them in Constant Speed prior to my I/S Turbo installation.

IntelliStitch also offers Precision Quilting Mode, in which the stitches are fired with only 60% of the motor's capacity, resulting in a gentler firing stitch for slower detail work such as SID and outline stitching.

Perhaps you want to baste a quilt at even longer intervals than the 1" or 1/2" basting stitch.. I/S also offers the No Drag Constant Speed. In this mode, your machine will fire 1 stitch per second to 10 stitches per second with a firing stitch (with the needle resting in the up position), virtually eliminating needle deflection. This means that if you move your machine 2" per second your basting would be that distance. On the other hand, if you only moved it a minimal distance, you would have very short stitches (and on up to 10 stitches per second.)

Another feature of I/S is a setting for Motion Detection Constant Speed. In this mode, you have the same constant speed capabilities you currently have with your machine, only with the added bonus of your machine stitching only when it is being moved. Once the machine is armed, your machine will not fire a stitch until the sensors detect movement. When you come to a stop, the machine will stop stitching until it again detects motion. If you fail to move the machine in 8 seconds, the machine will time-out and disarm. This feature is easily enabled and disabled with a toggle at the time of turning your machine on.