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How to use quilting stitches to showcase your patchwork

How to use quilting stitches to showcase your patchwork

by Sarah Vanderburgh

Thanks for joining me this week as I sewed with PFAFF’s Performance 5.2 to make a quilted table runner – just in time for Thanksgiving! In yesterday’s post we finished constructing the knife quilt block and assembled the runner for quilting. Today I’m adding quilting stitches to highlight the fun patchwork utensil quilt blocks.

quilted table runner patchwork utensil quilt blocks

Quilted table runner

To quilt with the PFAFF Performance 5.2 we’ll keep it set up with the straight stitch needle plate and the quilting foot. I also started the quilting with the same white thread that I used for piecing.

Performance 5.2

Performance 5.2

The bold fabrics and larger than life cutlery give this runner an informal, contemporary look. To keep the theme going I chose to quilt the runner with straight lines. At first, I was going to simply quilt straight lines ½” apart across the entire runner, but then I started to think about using the quilting to emphasize the utensils and platter. Quilting ¼” away from a patchwork feature raises the patchwork which helps to emphasize it visually.

quilting the middle of the runner Performance 5.2 PFAFF sewing machine

Quilting the middle of the runner

I started quilting ¼” away from the platter’s inner blue frame. Using the ¼” quilting foot I could easily go all the way around the churn dash frame. The red ¼” markings on the foot helped me to stop accurately at the corners. Quilting with the needle down I can stop stitching and the presser foot lifts just enough off of the fabric so that I can pivot the runner under the needle. This way I can keep my hands on the runner and my mind on the quilting as I make my way around the middle block.

quilting foot straight line quilting PFAFF Performance 5.2 sewing machine

Quilting foot

quilting foot guide lines accurate quilting consistent distance

Using guide lines to turn corner

When I finished going around the platter I thought about what to quilt inside of it. I think that when the runner is in use this section will be covered so I decided to have some fun and be creative with the quilting. I’m still pretty unsure of my free motion quilting skills, but I wanted to try making a flower pattern like in the background fabric. I did it first using the white thread. It turned out pretty cute, but hard to see!

I switched to a grey thread that blends into the background fabric. I decided that I would go over the flower design with the gray thread and really liked how it turned out. You can see the quilting better on some of the photos near the end of the post 😉

I continued quilting with the gray thread ¼” away from each utensil. I went around each one twice using the red markings on the quilting foot to guide me once again around the corners.

Then I quilted in the ditch – right on the seam – of the blocks in each utensil. The LED lights and the quilting foot make it easy to sew in the ditch with the PFAFF Performance 5.2.

in the ditch quilting quilting foot PFAFF Performance 5.2

Quilting in the ditch around Shoo Fly

Ready for binding

Once all the quilting was complete I trimmed the batting and backing even with the top of the runner. Then I prepared my binding strip and sewed it to the back of the runner. I share a few more details of how I add binding in this post.

With the binding sewn to the back, it’s time to get the machine ready to sew the binding to the front of the runner. For this we’ll use a decorative stitch that requires changing to the standard needle plate. This’s easy to do on the Performance 5.2 as the needle plate will pop out with a little nudge from the mini screw driver included with the machine. Now’s a good time to clean out the bobbin area too!

changing the needle plate PFAFF sewing machine

Needle plate removed

It’s also a good time to make sure you have a full bobbin of thread for binding. I used the same color thread as for top stitching – gray – but you might want a color that will blend in and disappear on your backing fabric. If you’d like, you can read all the way to the end and see the results of my binding stitches before you decide;)

bobbin winding popup PFAFF sewing machine

Bobbin winding popup

The stitch I chose for adding the binding to the front of the machine is stitch 2.2.2 on the Performance 5.2. It’s categorized as an antique quilt stitch. One of the reasons I chose it is because the middle of the stitch can line up right on the edge of the binding and still have some of the stitch go onto the background of the runner.

It’s important to pick a decorative stitch that will do a good job of securing the binding to the runner because you’ll probably need to launder it more than once.

stitch 2.2.2 antique stitch machine stitch touch screen Performance 5.2

Stitch 2.2.2

The Color Touch Screen gives lots of details about setting up your machine for successful stitching. One detail is which presser foot to use, in this case, presser foot 1A. You can see by the space at the back of the foot that it will engage with the IDT System to help ensure even feed of the layers – another important feature when adding binding by machine.

presser foot 1A binding with decorative stitches PFAFF sewing machine

Presser foot 1A

I lined up the middle red “tick” on the presser foot with the edge of the binding to sew it down securely all the way around the runner.

attaching binding by machine presser foot 1A

Attaching the binding with presser foot 1A.

The wide harp space of the Performance 5.2 makes it easy to keep the runner out of the way while stitching. This photo gives you a better look at the flower pattern in the middle of the runner:)

machine binding Performance 5.2

Attaching binding by machine.

In no time I finished the binding – this felt like the easiest part of the process!

reverse side quilted table runner

Reverse side of quilted table runner.

The reverse side of the quilted table runner makes its own modern statement with the quilting visible and adding some eye candy for table guests. In this photo, you can see the double outline of the utensils created by quilting twice around each of them and how the in the ditch quilting defines the traditional blocks inside of them.

You can also see how using the decorative stitch has added another visual element to the reverse side of the runner. This element could have been hidden by using a bobbin thread that blended with the backing fabric or by choosing a different stitch, one that didn’t extend into the background.

Performance 5.2

Performance 5.2

I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to try out the new PFAFF Performance 5.2.

quilted table runner patchwork utensil quilt blocks

Quilted table runner

Thanks for quilting along with me! I hope you enjoy entertaining and eating around your quilted table runner.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4:  No waste fast flying geese quilt block method



lorna November 19, 2016 - 8:42 am

Great tips. Really lusting after this machine! Puts my run of the mill machine to shame. But I know I can use some of your tips even with a vastly inferior machine!

Cathie Scanlon November 8, 2016 - 11:00 pm

Great idea! Great way to use all those stitches on my machine!

Lori Morton November 8, 2016 - 10:29 pm

Thank you for all these helpful tips/ideas! Love the Runner too! 🙂

Nancy D November 8, 2016 - 7:59 pm

I have a quilt top that I am almost done with. Love the idea of using the decorative stitches to finish the binding!

Gail Collins/ LaughingRain November 6, 2016 - 9:51 pm

The comment block should be marked better. For awhile i could not figure out where to type my comment. I only have a pfaff 7550 and can’t get it to communicate with my machine to transfer embroidery patterns to use on quilting my projects but I do enjoy using the decorative stitches in quilting. I quite agree with you about sewing down the binding well with the machine. I did not do that on a quilt I made for my mother. She loved it to death and I wound up having to replace several inches of batting and binding. A lot of work later and as my mother passed away in January and now the quilt is on my bed and my husband said,”This is a nice quilt to sleep under.” High praise indeed and made tears spring to my eyes as he is not very vocal with praise.

Carla A. Canonico November 7, 2016 - 10:11 am

Thank you Gail, my heart is warm after reading your comments. I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying QUILTsocial.

Gabrielle Kinman November 3, 2016 - 1:35 am

That’s a great idea.

Summer November 1, 2016 - 7:07 am

Very nice tips ♥

Nicole Sender October 31, 2016 - 9:47 pm

Great tips! I’d love to have this sewing machine!

Kathy E. October 29, 2016 - 9:47 pm

Lots of great tips shared here and is easily adaptable to my machine too. I love using colored bobbin thread when quilting!

Patricia Hersl October 29, 2016 - 9:37 am

Didn’t have to go far to find something near and dear to me. I’m a Pfaff girl too.Love using all my stitches on quilts.

Janet Naumann October 28, 2016 - 3:48 pm

Love the tips, thank you!

Sarah Vanderburgh October 28, 2016 - 4:16 pm

Your welcome, Janet! Thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy putting the tips to work;)


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