Today we decorate with stitches! In yesterday’s post we created the modern Log Cabin cushion cover using scraps. In this post we’ll explore some of the decorative stitches on the PFAFF Performance 5.2 to embellish the cushion.
For the stitching on the Modern Log Cabin cushion cover I decided to use navy blue thread because it’s a color that would show up on all of the fabrics.
So far I only wound neutral thread bobbins which meant I had to wind a blue one before I could sew.
Winding the bobbin while the Performance 5.2 is still threaded is a great feature. I’m happy to report that my second time trying this went more smoothly than the first! I gave a bit more of an explanation in my first post at the beginning of the week if you want to check it out;)
Now to pick my first stitch!
To embellish the pillow top we’ll start in category 4 – decorative stitches. I pressed 4.3 to check out the art stitches first.
When you select a stitch the machine brings up the blue sewing screen with the information for the stitch. This stitch looks like it could be used for crazy patch stitching as it has a stitch that goes down the middle. However for embellishing with a modern look I plan to put the stitches in the spaces of the fabric and not on the seams.
The Color Touch Screen is very easy to read – the icons make sense and I really like how the colors of the screens for different purposes – sewing blue, sequencing green, stitches pink – are consistent from one PFAFF model to another.
In this case, the screen also tells us to use presser foot 2A and stabilizer – I’m going to cheat and use batting as my second layer;)
For the decorative stitches we’ll be using two different presser feet. Most of the stitches will use presser foot 2A. The maxi stitches which are wider and tend to require the machine to stitch sideways, use the bigger presser foot 8A. Notice that both of these feet are closed in at the back so they don’t use the IDT system – again it’s because of the changing directions while stitching out these stitches.
It’s really important to use the right foot so the stitches come out correctly and to not damage the machine!
There’s a built in cat stitch that I had to try! I did change the size of it both in width and length – that’s what the yellow numbers indicate on the screen.
I did one repeat of the cat stitch on the modern log cabin cushion top.
I used the Start/Stop button on the Performance 5.2 to stitch out these designs – it’s easier than guessing which direction the machine is going to go next. I lowered the machine speed with the Speed control button so I could keep my hands working at a reasonable speed on the cushion top. I found that the designs look better when the machine does all the work compared to me stopping and starting all the time.
I started to use the Scissors button which ties off both the top and bottom threads and then cuts them. I found I wasn’t liking the results from backstitching at the end of some of the designs; the tie offs made it easier and quicker to sew all the different stitches too.
I used the Restart Stitch button several times – it’s up there to the left of the Speed button (the triangle with the lines through it is the Restart) When I ripped out a stitch to try again – I pressed the Restart button to move the needle, you guessed it, back to the beginning of the stitch. A pretty handy feature!
This photo shows some of the decorative stitches available on the Performance 5.2. You can also see how I put the stitches inside the fabric strips or used the seam line as an edge for the stitch.
The Performance 5.2 has a sequence feature where you can create your own combination of stitches, usually making words.
The Performance 5.2 has 4 built in fonts. I chose the Comic alphabet.
I added a pincushion after the word “Stitch” in my sequence. Select the stop sign icon to literally stop your sequence. I knew that I would only have space for one repeat of my sequence and found out after doing a test stitch out, that this is what the stop sign is for!
It’s always a good idea to test out a design to see if it will fit in the space where you plan to use it. In this case I really like the pincushion, and it turned out better on this practice piece than on my cushion 🙁 I think it was because the cushion had more drag through the machine as I used the same batting on both. This practice piece also led me to change the capital “I” to a lowercase one and to discover the stop sign feature I mentioned above – notice how there’s another “S” starting on the practice piece?
The pincushion is perfect though!;)
Here’s another close up photo of a few more of the stitches. The large hearts are a maxi stitch and required the use of presser foot 8 – see how they dance down the cushion? I really like them. Don’t look too closely at my sewing machine. Definitely operator error there – the needle moves around a lot and I’m sure I didn’t keep the cusion top straight.
There’s a sub category of stitches called Fun Stitches on the Performance 5.2 which includes lots of little animals. I had to add those turtles to the green strip!
I couldn’t resist trying out this string of tiny elephants – too cute!
Okay, it’s time to decide if it’s enough stitches yet or not. For me, it’s enough. I started to fill in most of the light color fabrics with stitches, but didn’t want to overfill the top.
To make sure the cushion top felt quilted, I stitched in the ditch of each log cabin block.
Prepare Cushion Panels
Make a ½” hem on the top 13½” x 16½” back panel – change to thread that blends into the fabric – by first folding over and pressing a ¼“seam on one long edge. Fold over another ¼” from the sewn seam and press. Sew the hem in place by sewing ¼” from each edge.
On the bottom 9½” x 16½” panel, fold over and press a ¼” seam along one long edge, then stitch in place.
Layer the Cushion Pieces for Sewing
Stack the layers of your cushion in this order:
on the bottom have the cushion top backing, right side down;
next place the quilted cushion top, right side up.
On top of the cushion top place the top backing panel, right side down,
followed by the bottom backing panel, right side down.
Pin all the way around the layers – I put extra pins where the two back panels overlap.
I used the blind hem foot to sew an overlock stitch at the same time as sewing the layers together. As you can see in the photo, the foot is used with the IDT system and did a great job of moving all the layers together under the needle.
The overlock stitch gives a finished look to the inside of the cushion top cover. I was really impressed when I saw this! Unfortunately when I turned my cushion cover right side out several of the seams were not caught in the edge. As my first time trying out the foot I can tell I need more practice. I simply turned the cover wrong side out again and did some fix up stitching with the quilting foot. It’s always a good idea when doing this type of “envelope” quilting to doublecheck your seams before considering the job done;)
The Performance 5.2 made it fun to sew and embellish the modern Log Cabin cushion cover. With so many decorative stitches to choose from, it’s clear this won’t be my last embellished project!