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How and when to use 4 PFAFF presser feet: topstitch, embroidery, 0A and 1A

by Sarah Vanderburgh

For the best results it’s always a good idea to use the right tools. In yesterday’s post I started creating the different parts of the quilted book bag. In today’s post we’ll finish up a few stitching details to enhance the finished bag.

PFAFF creative 3.0

PFAFF creative 3.0

We’ve already used several different presser feet on the PFAFF creative 3.0 to create the bag parts. I don’t know about you, but sometimes on my regular machine, I’ll cheat and not change my presser foot and make do with the sloppy, uneven stitching because it takes too long to change the foot! Silly I know, but I really don’t like the inconvenience of having to get out and use the mini screwdriver to change the foot. I have definitely been spoiled with my use of the PFAFF machines!

No screwdriver required to change the feet because there’s no screw!

It’s simple to change a foot by pulling down on it to remove it and pushing a new one into place.
The simplicity of changing the feet has made me more creative – I find myself more willing to try out different decorative stitches or to take on projects that require different feet more often.
Let’s do a quick review of the feet I’ve used so far:

Pushing down to release presser foot from machine.

Pushing down to release presser foot from machine.

Embroidery foot

The embroidery foot can also be used for free-motion quilting. This foot is included with the creative 3.0 and is the main one for embroidery.

Embroidery foot

Embroidery foot

0A presser foot

This is the foot that comes attached to the machine and is the standard, everyday foot. I like it because of the grooved marking that helps me keep a consistent ¼” seam!

The standard presser foot 0A has red marks and indented grooves to help line up seam allowances while you sew.

Presser foot 0A

1A presser foot

This presser foot is used for several of the built-in decorative stitches. For the quilted bag project this week, I used it to stitch in the ditch when quilting. PFAFF has done a good job of including guide marks on their presser feet to make it easier to get consistent, precise stitching.

Using presser foot 1A to stitch in the ditch on the quilted pineapple pocket.

Presser foot 1A

Topstitch foot

This is the foot we’ll be using in today’s post to add some finishing details.

The topstitch presser foot was the perfect foot for keeping my topstitches neat and in a row on my bag handles.

Topstitch presser foot

Before we get to stitching I need to mention the IDT system on PFAFF machines. The Integrated Dual Feed system works with several of the different presser feet to guide the layers of the fabric evenly through the machine.

The Color Touch Screen will indicate if the stitch you’ve selected uses the IDT system, but you can also tell by looking at the presser foot: a foot with an opening at the back uses the system and it easily pulls down and clicks into place.

If a foot doesn’t have an opening – don’t use the system! It’s also worth noting here not to engage the IDT system when free motion quilting (that makes sense, right?)

Presser foot that doesn't use the IDT system.

Presser foot that doesn’t use the IDT system.

Let’s start with the pineapple pocket since we already pinned it in place in the last post. I decided to use a turquoise thread because it contrasts with the background fabric – sometimes when you add details you want them to be obvious!

I did a few backstitches at both the beginning and end of the pocket as well as at each corner – it’s hard to imagine what might get put in the pocket and how much use it might get!

Closeup of topstitching on pocket

Closeup of topstitching on pocket

Make the handles

I actually cut and pressed my handles at the very beginning of making my bag and left them on my ironing board until my machine was loaded with my topstitching thread. Here’s what you need to do to make handles to topstitch:

Cut a 3″ wide strip of fabric. I was lucky to have enough of the same fabric that I could cut my strip the width of the fabric, approximately 42″ long.
If I could do it again, I would leave my strip in one long piece until it was stitched and then cut it into two. For this bag I made my handles 21″ long – if you’re making a bag for a young child you might want shorter handles – likewise, you might want longer ones for yourself! Use your judgment for the project your making.

To make my handle I press with an iron ¼” of fabric to the wrong side along each long edge. Then I fold the strip in half and press. Now it’s ready to topstitch.

Pressing 1/4" seams to make bag handles

Pressing 1/4″ seams to make bag handles

I used the topstitch presser foot to make two rows of topstitching along each side of the handles. I didn’t use any stabilizer or batting inside and the two rows of topstitching give the handles enough body without making them stiff.

Adding second row of topstitching to handle.

Adding second row of topstitching to handle.

Now we’ve done all the topstitching until the very end of the bag construction so you can switch back to the regular 0A foot.

Using the many different PFAFF presser feet makes it easy to keep adding details to this personalized bag. Next post we’ll finish the quilted book bag!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: How initials and decorative stitches personalize a simple quilted bag

Go to part 4: Reinforcing a quilted bag to hold books



Karen September 15, 2017 - 3:26 pm

In case others are looking for a “topstitch” foot for their Pfaff, the presser foot you identified as a topstitch foot in the photos above is actually the 1/4″ Right Guide Foot. Another option is the Narrow Edge Foot which allows the needle to be moved to the left or right. Both of these feet do not come with the machine but are an optional accessory.

Carla A. Canonico September 21, 2017 - 10:19 pm

Thank you Clyde.

Carla A. Canonico September 21, 2017 - 10:19 pm

Thank you Karen.


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