Appliqueing a heart on a cushion cover using a decorative stitch

One can never have too much love – or cushions, right! In yesterday’s post, I practiced free-motion quilting on a panel and turned it into a cushion. Today I thought I would try making my own design and add free-motion quilting to it. I’m putting to good use all of the practice I’ve had using the features on the PFAFF performance icon to make it.

PFAFF performance icon

Fabric for a heart cushion cover

I used some leftover fabric I had from making my last project. Here I cut the Fabric Creations 100% cotton blue fabric for the front of the cushion at 19″ square, and a piece of the Fabric Creations 100% cotton green fabric the same size for the backing of the cushion front. I used a bright floral fat quarter from my stash for the heart.

Fabrics for the cushion cover

Make heart applique with template

To make the heart template I took a piece of printer paper and drew half a heart. I cut out the template and placed the center of the heart (the left edge of the template) on a folded piece of the bright floral fabric. The fabric was a fat quarter print from my stash I cut a piece from, approximately 11″ x 14″. You could leave your piece larger like I did originally and then cut the extra to use on another project. I folded the fabric wrong sides together.

I pinned the template in place then cut around the edge with my rotary cutter; you could use scissors instead.

Heart template on folded print fabric

Make cushion top sandwich

To make the top of the cushion I layered the green backing fabric on my cutting mat, put a piece of batting cut the same size on top, and then put the blue fabric on top. To center the heart in the middle of the cushion, I folded the blue fabric in half one way pressing the seam with my finger and then in half the opposite way.

Using the faint pressing lines I positioned the bottom point and the middle between the heart’s top curves on the lines until they looked centered. Then I used my basting pins to secure all of the layers together. I kept my pins away from the edge of the heart so I could stitch there first.

Cushion cover sandwich pinned with heart pinned in place

Choose thread for embroidery

To embroider around the heart I tested out several colors of thread against the blue background fabric, keeping in mind I didn’t want the thread to disappear into the print of my heart fabric. I ended up choosing a green thread that matches pretty closely with the backing fabric.

Different threads laid out to choose from for the project

Select embroidery stitch

After making my thread decision, I had to make a stitch decision! The performance icon definitely has more stitches than I have thread 🙂 You can check out the six-page stitch chart.

I already knew I wanted to use the machine to make embroidery stitches so I touched the Selection Menu icon located in the top right of the Multi-Touch Screen beside the question mark. From there I chose to look in the Needle Art stitches and went to menu 3: Antique Hand Embroidery Stitches.

Still, a lot to choose from!

Antique Hand Embroidery Stitches menu

I looked for a stitch that had a centerline so I would be sure the edge of the heart fabric would be stitched over. And I wanted something that wouldn’t leave large spaces unstitched, again to secure the heart. I ended up selecting stitch 9. When I touched the large LOAD icon at the bottom of the screen, the screen switched to Sewing Mode with my stitch showing.

Stitch 3.3.9 in Multi-Touch Screen

I realized I would like this stitch even more if it was going in the opposite direction. No problem! I touched the Stitch Edit icon at the bottom of the screen which opened up a menu with different options. One option is to mirror the stitch – in this case vertically. In the photo below you can see the Stitch Edit icon is highlighted green as well as the mirror one in the top right of the menu. Stitch 9 is highlighted too – and the screen shows the stitch in the mirrored direction.

Stitch Edit and mirror highlighted

Embroider around heart applique

With the stitch ready, I now look to the top left menu on the Multi-Touch Screen of Recommendations; here it lists the presser foot to use with the stitch. In this case, it’s foot 2A – the Fancy Foot stitch.

Fancy Stitch foot 2A

The photo above gave you a sneak peek at my happy stitches! I love the green! You can see I needed to line up the center of the Fancy Foot stitch over the edge of the heart fabric. The red guidelines are what I keep my eye on as I use the stitch. Using the Needle stop up/down button I’m able to pivot the fabric to always be lined up under the red guide as I stitched around the heart.

Red guideline used to position stitch line

I stitched starting at the curve of the heart and stopped at the bottom tip. Then I started at the top again so the stitch lines meet at the top. I decided I liked this idea instead of having the stitch go down and around the heart. I’m pretty happy with this decision!

The heart is embroidered on. There’s still the free-motion quilting to add, but for today let’s enjoy how much we created with the PFAFF performance icon.

Stitch 3.3.9 mirrored at top of heart

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Oh! Free motion quilting! Oh! PFAFF performance icon!

Go to part 5: Free-motion quilting adds creative accent to heart cushion cover

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