How to use decorative stitches for a perfect quilted finish

The quilting is just getting started! This week I’m using the PFAFF performance icon to make a new set of placemats. In yesterday’s post, I quilted one placemat using straight stitch quilting. Today’s quilting is more of a sampler approach; I decided to combine several of the built-in decorative stitches on the machine to quilt a placemat.

Decorative stitches menu on the Multi-touch screen

Before adding quilting stitches to the placemat, I secured the three layers with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting around the focus fabric and green squares. The Stitch-in-Ditch Foot does a great job of keeping the line of stitches right on the seam.

Stitch-in-Ditch Foot

I looked through the built-in stitches menu to find a stitch that looked similar to the flowers in my focus fabric and decided on a curvy floral – stitch 5.1.32 – to repeat down the sashing between the focus fabric and the green squares. When I use wide stitches, I also like to use the Start/Stop button to let the machine stitch automatically without me having to press the foot pedal. I focused on feeding the placemat straight and used the presser foot to stop the machine as the stitching came to the end of the gray inner border.

Decorative stitch 5.1.32

I was happy with the stitch but realized it really blends in, so I decided to look for larger stitches to fill in the long borders across the top and bottom of the placemat. I settled on a large loop stitch after checking its width in the Stitch Edit menu.

Stitch 2.2.9 on Multi-touch Screen with Stitch Edit selected.

Stitch 2.2.9 quilted on placemat

I really like this stitch and think it would look great on a baby quilt! The myriad of built-in stitches included with the PFAFF performance icon meant I could find several stitches to fit the floral theme, but also add modern elements to the quilting. For reference, you can view the stitch chart for the performance icon on the PFAFF website. For the green squares, I selected another small floral stitch with a curve and decided to use the light blue thread so the stitching would show. I also chose a single curve stippling stitch with a smaller width for the two side borders.

Placemat with sampler of quilting stitches.

Up to this point, all the stitches I quilted on this placemat were stitched with the feed dogs up. I knew I wanted to try some free motion quilting in the focus fabric square. I’ve used the Embroidery/Sensormatic Free-Motion Foot before and I like how it hovers over the fabric. I made a simple plan to quilt lines from top to bottom around the flowers in the square.

Free motion presser foot 6A

The free-motion quilting was the finishing touch! I’m having more fun than I thought I would quilting these placemats with the PFAFF performance icon. It was easy to find just the right built-in stitches to give my placemat a modern sampler look.

Quilting stitches sampler placemat

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Straight line quilting with the PFAFF performance icon

Go to part 4: Quilting made easy with a stipple stitch

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1 comment

Mary V June 23, 2021 - 7:48 pm
Very informative!
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