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Insert a zipper the easy way!

by Elaine Theriault

I can’t believe it’s the end of the week! Where has the time gone? Well, we’ve had so much fun exploring the outstanding features of the Husqvarna Viking Opal 670, and the time just flew by.

It’s time to finish up the projects we worked on this week. The hearts we appliqued yesterday were so easy, and today, it’s time to finish the pillow by inserting a zipper and the final seam.

A white sewing machine with turquoise and black accents. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Husqvarna Viking Opal 670

But let’s start with the scrappy quilt I started at the beginning of the week. I make a lot of scrap quilts, and in this one, every second block is one piece of fabric, while the alternate blocks are strips of leftovers sewn together to make a 6½” unfinished block. Super easy to make, and it’s a great way to use up scraps.

A scrap quilt made with squares of pink fabric and strips of pink and multi-colors sewn together. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Scrappy flannel quilt

There are many ways to assemble a scrap quilt – some more random than others. I love making new fabric from the leftover bits. I sort my scraps by color and make each quilt a specific color to keep them somewhat cohesive. But since you are the maker, you can do anything you like. Sort your scraps and see what kind of quilt you can create!

As for the Valentine pillow, I find most pillow forms are not overstuffed, and if not careful, the beautiful covers we make end up being too large for the form. My rule of thumb is to cut the front and back the same size as the form. In this instance, my form is a 12″, so I’ll trim the front and back to 12″, and I don’t include a seam allowance.

I found some adorable fabric to complement the applique, so I ended up putting a wider border on than initially planned. I attempted to trim the applique background to 8½”, however, I goofed in centering the motif, so it ended up being 8″ square. It doesn’t matter what size you trim it to, but make sure to keep some of the pretty stitching you created in the background.

Two pink fabric hearts stitched to the center of a quilted white piece of fabric. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The center of the applique cushion cover

Isn’t this fabric just the cutest? The print is directional, so I need to be careful when cutting the four pieces as I want the words to be in the correct orientation. I cut my pieces 3″ wide and trimmed the cover to size.

Two pink fabric hearts stitched on a quilted white background with a pink fabric border on all four sides. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The borders added to the heart cushion cover

The back of the cushion cover is cut at 13″ wide by 15″ long; the extra length is for the zipper flap. This fabric is directional, and at first, I cut across the center without considering whether the print was straight or not. However, I didn’t like it, so I trimmed up the cut edges and made the words straighter.

There’s about 6″ on the bottom section of the cushion cover back, and the rest is at the top. It doesn’t matter where you make the cut, as long as it’s somewhere on the back.

Two pieces of pink fabric with red hearts and white lettering. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The backing of the cushion cover cut into two sections for the zipper insertion

Fold the raw edge of the upper piece under about 1″, as this creates the flap to hide the zipper.

Two pieces of pink fabric with one edge folded under. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Folding under the raw edge of the top part of the cushion cover

If you can find a zipper the right length, great. But most times you’ll need to add a zipper stop in the appropriate spot to shorten the zipper. For a cushion cover, I like to use a zipper that’s 2″ shorter than the form. Since my zipper is 12″ and my cushion form is 12″, I need to trim the zipper to 10″.

It’s super easy to create a new zipper stop with the Opal 670. I’m using the Utility Foot B, or you could use the Utility Foot A as shown on the screen below. Choose the zigzag stitch (1:05). Drop the stitch length to 0.0, and I set the width at 4.5 or 5.0 as it needs to reach over the zipper teeth. Test the width manually using the flywheel. You can see the stitch on the screen, which appears as a bar tack in front of the recommended presser foot.

I love this flexibility. The tack stitch isn’t a built-in stitch on the Opal 670, but I can make one, and if I want, I can save this in the Program Menu, so I don’t have to create it each time I need to shorten a zipper or use a tack stitch on any other project. Super handy!

The touch screen on a computerized sewing machine. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The settings for a bar tack stitch for the new zipper stop

This is what it looks like when I’m stitching it out. The bar tack (zigzag set to 0.0 length) is stitching in place and creating the new zipper stop. It’s so easy!!!!

A fuchsia-colored zipper under the metal presser foot of a sewing machine with fuchsia-colored thread in the machine needle creating a stitch in the zipper. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Stitching a new zipper stop, using a zigzag stitch

Here’s the new zipper stop. You’ll note I changed threads from one picture to another so you can see the new zipper stop. Once the new zipper stop was complete, I cut off the end of the zipper, leaving about ½” beyond the stop.

A fuchsia zipper with a zipper stop created using purple thread. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The new zipper stop with the end of the zipper cut

Now it’s time to sew the zipper to the bottom section of the cushion cover back. It’s tricky sometimes to get all the pictures needed for the steps. In this photo, the zipper placement is correct – the zipper is face down on the right side of the bottom section of the back of the cushion cover; however, I hadn’t made the new zipper stop and trimmed the zipper yet. The ends of the zipper should be about 1″ in from both ends.

Two pieces of pink fabric with red hearts and a fuchsia zipper. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Preparing to stitch the zipper to the lower section of the back of the cushion cover

Zipper Foot E is part of the accessories with the Opal 670. It has a left and a right side, so it’s easy to move the foot depending on which side of the zipper you need to sew on. Below, the needle is in the center position, but I need the needle much further to the left.

A closeup of a sewing machine metal zipper foot and machine needle in the center position. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The needle is in the center position with the Zipper Foot F on the sewing machine.

I’m using the straight stitch, and this is what the settings look like on the touch screen. Notice the two small arrows beside the needle symbol. Yes – I can move the needle to the left or right using the plus and minus signs. There are a total of 29 needle positions on the Opal 670.

A screen on a computerized sewing machine. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The settings for a straight seam

That means I can move the needle significantly to the left so my seam can run much closer to the edge of the foot. I love this flexibility!

A metal sewing machine zipper foot and a machine needle shown to the left of center position. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The needle is now out of center position.

Here’s what the stitch settings are now. Notice the needle is now at -2.0 to the left of center position.

A screen on a computerized sewing machine. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The needle is now at -2.0 to the left of the center position.

Center the zipper along the top edge of the bottom section of the back of the cushion cover. Notice the textured line along the length of the zipper tape – that’s the seam line and moving the needle to the left makes it easier to follow the seam line.

A fuchsia-colored zipper is sewn to a pink fabric using a sewing machine zipper foot. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Stitching the first side of the zipper in place

Now, we’re approaching the zipper pull, and you can try as hard as you want, but if you try to stitch past the zipper pull, your seam will get very crooked and wonky.

A metal zipper foot beside the zipper pull on a fuchsia zipper. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Approaching the zipper pull

Make sure you’re in the needle-down position to hold everything in place and carefully move the zipper pull behind the presser foot. Stitch the remainder of the seam to attach the zipper in place.

A metal zipper foot on a sewing machine and a fuchsia zipper on pink fabric. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Move the zipper pull out of the way to finish sewing the zipper to the cushion cover.

Press the seam toward the bottom of the cushion cover so the zipper and fabric are right sides up. Use the Zipper Foot F and position the needle to where you want the topstitching to be. Topstitch along the edge of the zipper to secure the seam allowance on the wrong side.

The metal zipper foot on a sewing machine with a fuchsia zipper and pink fabric. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Topstitching the zipper

Lay the top section of the cushion cover back on the work surface, so the folded part is facing up. Line up the long edge of the zipper tape with the raw edge of the folded piece. Make sure the side edges of the fabrics are lined up and pin the zipper in place through all layers.

Two pieces of pink fabric with a fuchsia zipper sewn to one of the pieces. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Positioning the second side of the zipper in place

Move the needle position as required and sew along the textured line through the zipper tape and the two layers of the fold. The bobbin thread will show on the right side of the cushion cover, so be sure to use a matching thread.

A fuchsia-colored zipper is attached to pink fabric with a pink pin, with a metal sewing machine zipper foot positioned on top. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Stitch the second seam to insert the zipper.

Secure the short ends of the zipper and stitch the ends of the flap in place with an L-shaped seam.

White stitching on pink fabric with red hearts and white lettering. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

An L-shaped seam secures the end of the zipper tape and flap.

Trim both the front and the back to the size of your pillow form. There’s no need to add seam allowances, so I’ve trimmed the front and the back to 12″. Next, sew the front and back together. Be sure to open the zipper halfway before you do this.

The wrong side of a heart-shaped appliqued fabric square on top of a pink and white printed fabric square with zipper attached. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The front and the back of the appliqued cushion

Before stitching all the way around, I like to round off the corners, to eliminate the dog ear that sticks up. I find most pillow forms don’t fill the corners nicely, and rounding the corners makes the cushion cover fit much better.

I create two diagonal lines in the corners by measuring down ½” and over about 3″. Cut on those drawn lines. Do this with the front and back pinned together so you can trim them at the same time.

The wrong side of pink fabric with two diagonal pencil lines drawn at one corner. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Rounding the corners on the cushion cover

Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch around the cushion cover.

Or you can use the Edging Foot J with the built-in Overcast Stitch (1:09) and seam and overcast simultaneously.

A metal presser foot on a sewing machine with pink fabric underneath. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

Using the Edging Foot J and the Overcast seam to seam and finish the outer edge

And here it is – the final cover. It looks fantastic and it’s easy to do with the Husqvarna Viking Opal 670!

A white and patterned pink cushion cover with two large pink appliqued hearts. Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 computerized sewing machine

The completed applique cushion cover

What a super week! I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts this week as I played with the Husqvarna Viking Opal 670. As I mentioned, I took this machine to a quilting retreat, and I sewed on it for six days straight. I was a bit leery – would it have enough bells and whistles to keep me happy? It did, and I was very happy sewing on it for those six days.

Best of all, when it was time to pack up, the Opal 670 is so light it was a breeze to put in the car. It’s a great sewing machine, so whether you’re just starting out or need a second machine, the Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 is worth a serious look.

Be sure to stop by your local dealer to check it out.

Thanks for following along this week.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Raw edge applique – it’s all in the way you move

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