Decorative stitches create a New Year’s party bow tie table runner

A quilter can never have enough quilted table decor, right? With the holidays in full swing making something small is a quick finish. In yesterday’s post, I made buttonholes for the first time to complete the quilted napkin rings. Today’s post starts creating the stitched fabric to use for a quilted bow tie table runner.

Quilted black bow tie runner

The table runner lets me explore the built-in stitches on the PFAFF quilt expression 720. There are over 400 stitches built-in, with the option to use them in free motion mode, as well as to modify them with the Stitch Creator program.

You can check out all the stitches in the PFAFF stitch overview chart.

PFAFF quilt expression 720

To make the stitched fabric for the bow tie blocks, I used a variety of decorative stitches. Before I go further though, I wanted to quickly mention the buttons I used while I worked on this creative part of the project. I use the buttons so naturally, I really don’t think about it while I’m working, but I thought it would be a good idea to review them for you to give you a feel of how easy it is to stitch out your ideas on the PFAFF quilt expression 720. It’s also a nice checklist for any holiday machine shopping you’re doing 😉

I numbered the photo below so you can see where each button is located and what it looks like:

  1. Speed control – I long press this button to decrease the overall speed of the machine one level when I use the decorative stitches. Mostly this is because my quilt expression 720 sits on my table, not in it, and I like to be able to watch the stitches coming out.
  2. Needle up/down – I use this button all of the time, not just when I’m doing decorative stitches. Having the needle stay in the fabric is like having another hand holding onto my project and, when the machine stops, the needle stays down and the presser foot lifts up just enough to let me pivot the project underneath.
  3. Start/stop – I use this button to let the quilt expression 720 stitch out the decorative stitches instead of using the foot pedal (I do use the pedal to stop.) The machine does a better job than I do of maintaining a consistent speed when changing directions in a decorative stitch so I’m left to focus on keeping the fabric straight as it goes under the needle.
  4. Reverse – located right in front of me so I don’t have to take my eyes off the project. I like how it lights up so I know when it’s activated too!
  5. Presser foot up and extra lift toggle – I use this button to help me accurately line up my fabric before starting a line of stitching. If I’m having trouble seeing the start of the fabric under the needle, the extra lift up is great for reassuring me or helping me line things up. I also use it at the end of stitching any line before cutting my thread.
  6. Stitch restart – I used this button a lot on this project. Each time I wanted to reuse a stitch to sew a new line of stitches, I pressed this button so the line starts at the beginning of the stitch. Using the Stitch restart button lets all of my lines of the same stitch look the same. I’ve also not used this button for the opposite effect of having the stitching lines not match.

There are more buttons, but these are the ones I used while creating the bow tie table runner. You can always refer to the user’s guide to discover the rest!

Buttons on PFAFF quilt expression 720 sewing machine

I made the bow tie fabric using black fabric from my stash. A 5″ square of black fabric and a strip of black fabric 1½” x 6″ long is enough for two bow tie blocks.

Before adding stitches, I also cut a piece of the Inspira Fast and Easy Tear-A-Way Light stabilizer to use under each of the black fabric pieces.

Now I’m ready to stitch! I decided to use one of the decorative stitches on all of the bow ties – stitch 6.3.12 is an open star. I lined up the edge of presser foot 2A to the right of the star stitches for the next stitch.

Guide marks on the presser foot

Once I had a row of star stitches, it was time to explore! I chose from the Decorative ornamental stitches – stitch menu 5 – noticing some stitches started in the center of the stitch area and others from a side. I could check this by selecting the stitch and seeing it in the Color Touch Screen.

The majority of stitches I used also required the same presser foot – 2A – so I didn’t have to change it very often. You’ll see on the square below I repeated the lines of stitching from each end because I know I’ll be cutting this square into 4 when I’m done. Repeating my rows twice means two bow ties will look alike.

Stitched black fabric for two bow tie blocks

After I stitched two sets of 5” squares and strips, I realized I needed to make two more sets of stitched fabric for 4 more bow tie blocks. This time I used two 2½” x 10” strips of black fabric instead of the squares. I used Inspira Fast and Easy Tear-A-Way Light stabilizer under these strips too.

I kept using the star stitch (stitch 6.3.12) and tried a few more stitches.

More stitched fabric pieces ready

Today’s post went through a lot of the buttons on the PFAFF quilt expression 720 and then used a variety of decorative stitches to make the stitched fabric for the bow tie blocks I’ll show you tomorrow. I hope you had as much fun as I did exploring the quilt expression 720.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Quilters can make buttonholes too with the PFAFF quilt expression 720

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