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A FUN way to blanket stitch with the PFAFF performance icon: How original!

by Sarah Vanderburgh

Today’s the day our cushion cover comes to life! This week we’ve been welcoming Spring with the creation of a sunshine-filled cushion cover. In yesterday’s post, we used built-in stippling stitches on the PFAFF performance icon to quilt rays onto the top, then fused the letters in place. Today we’re using the PFAFF performance icon to machine applique the words.

I love the look of applique, but I rarely find the time to complete the many applique projects I’ve started. For one, the time and good lighting required to do a good job when I want to hand applique continue to elude me! When I designed this project, I knew I’d be using the performance icon to stitch down the letters and looked forward to once again exploring the decorative stitches on this machine. That way I could finish this project in a reasonable time and I wouldn’t get bored doing the same stitch. Was I in for a delightful surprise!

The words ‘Let the Sun Shine In’ in blue, yellow, and pink fabrics are fused to a cushion size light-colored fabric on a cutting mat.

Cushion top with letters fused and ready for machine applique

Machine applique with the blanket stitch

I’ve used several different sewing machines in the past and always tried out the blanket stitch to see how well it mimicked the look of hand stitching. So, I started with a blanket stitch, stitch 2.1.5, and used the orange thread to stitch the word ‘sun’. I used the recommended presser foot, Foot 1A, and the Needle Down button to keep the needle in the cushion when I stopped stitching to turn. It was then I realized how great it was that with the needle down, the machine lifts the presser foot off the fabric to make it easy to pivot. The red guide mark at the front of the presser foot also made it easy for me to keep the stitching line on the edge of the letters. When I finished a letter, I pressed the cut function button and the machine brought both threads to the back of the cover, tied and cut them. To start stitching a new letter, I first pressed the Stitch restart button for the stitching to start along the edge of the letter. This made it so quick to stitch around the letters that when I finished the three letters in the word ‘sun’, I thought I’d keep using this stitch!

Machine applique blanket stitch using the PFAFF performance icon

Red guide mark on Presser Foot 1

Clear Open Toe Foot for IDT System

So, I did! In fact, the more I used the stitch the more impressed I was with how it looked. I switched to a dark blue thread to stitch on the blue words and realized I had an additional foot in my accessory tray to help me stitch around the small circles accurately. The Clear Open Toe Foot for IDT System is an additional accessory that’s clear and open in the front to allow for a full view of the fabric. There’s a small red guide mark on it as well which I used when starting a new letter. This foot made it very easy to accurately pivot and stitch on the dot for the letter ‘i’, and I kept it on the machine to finish the rest of my words.

Clear Open Toe Foot for IDT System on the PFAFF performance icon

Clear Open Toe Foot for IDT System

Mirrored Stitch

When I finished all the blue words, it was time to decide if I wanted to choose a different stitch for the word ‘shine’ or not. Let’s face it, I really liked how the blanket stitch looked, but I wanted the word ‘shine’ to stand out from the rest. I wanted to make it look like it was shining, and so went through several menus of decorative stitches only to realize I didn’t leave extra room around these letters to accommodate a larger or more intricate stitch.

Then I thought about reversing the blanket stitch so the short little stitches are on the outside of the letter – Now, that would look different! I knew the performance icon had a mirror stitch option (actually it can mirror horizontally or vertically) so I touched the Stitch Edit menu and selected mirror horizontally. I know it’s activated on the bottom of the Multi Touch Screen because the icon is now lit up in green.

The Multi Touch Screen on the PFAFF performance icon

Horizontal mirror stitch activated

I switched to my pink thread to match these letters and went through the same process of using the performance icon buttons to my advantage. I liked it! It looks like the letters are shining and there is just enough space between my letters for the stitching. Look how close it is between the bottom of the ‘n’ and the blue dot for the ‘i’. What a relief!

Machine applique blanket stitch mirrored in the word ‘sunshine’

Blanket stitch mirrored

Machine applique quilted cushion cover with the words ‘Let the sunshine in’ in blue, yellow, and pink fabrics.

Cushion cover with machine applique complete

I had a lot of fun today! I loved how easy it was to blanket stitch all the letters. It was easy to see what I was doing thanks to the Clear Open Toe Foot for IDT System, and the function buttons on the PFAFF performance icon made it easy to pivot and keep my stitches even. I just might pull out an old applique and get some more stitching done!

PFAFF performance icon

PFAFF performance icon

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Stippling with different size stitches is OK [Defining space in a quilt]

Go to part 5: A two-panel backing completes the quilted ‘Sunshine’ cushion (Easy)


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