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Machine quilting improv houses makes for a very pretty quilt


Yesterday I showed you how I used the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2 to add some decorative stitching to my improv house block. I decided to use three of my house blocks to make a small quilt which could be used as either a wall hanging or a table runner.


Pfaff Expression™ 4.2
Pfaff Expression™ 4.2


Because my house blocks were three different sizes, I trimmed them so they would all be the same height. I added a 1″ (cut size) black border and then a 4″ striped border with black corner squares. Sew your houses together then measure the width and height of your joined blocks to determine the size of your borders.


A 1" inner border and 4" outer border are sewn to the house blocks to complete the top of the quilt.
Borders added to the house blocks


I pin-basted the top, batting and backing and then I was ready to quilt.


The top, batting and backing are layered and then pin basted so that they are ready to be machine quilted with the PFAFF Expression 4.2.
Top, batting and backing pin basted


Engaging the integrated walking foot

It’s so nice to have the integrated walking foot on the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2. You just pull it down until it clicks onto the foot and you’re ready to quilt.

Here’s the foot before engaging it:


The IDT™ integrated dual feed foot on the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2
The IDT™ integrated dual feed foot on the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2


Here’s how the foot looks when it has been clicked into place.


Just the pull The IDT™ integrated dual feed foot down until it clicks in place.
Just pull The IDT™ integrated dual feed foot down until it clicks in place.


I used “in the ditch” quilting for the black border and around the houses. Then I used stitch 76 with a variegated thread in the grass areas.


Quilting "in the ditch"
Quilting “in the ditch”


Now it’s time to add the binding. I cut the binding strips 3″ wide for a ½” finished binding. You can see my detailed instructions for sewing on binding in my August 11, 2016 post on QUILTsocial.

The binding was sewn using the IDT™ integrated dual feed foot and a scant ½” seam. It’s a good idea to do a test run first on some scraps to get the right seam allowance for your fabric. You want to make sure that the binding folds neatly to the back. Finish sewing the binding by hand on the back.

But I still have a pile of scraps left! How did that happen? Now I have to make more houses!

Leftover scraps from my wonky, improv houses. Time to make more houses!
Leftover scraps. Time for more houses!


Here are a few of my quilts using improv houses. As you can see, these little houses make great borders in quilts too.


Haunted Houses pattern by Jean Boyd
Haunted Houses pattern by Jean Boyd


Winter Village pattern by Jean Boyd
Winter Village pattern by Jean Boyd


Hip Hop Houses pattern by Jean Boyd
Hip Hop Houses pattern by Jean Boyd


It’s been a pleasure working on the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2 this week. What did I like best about this machine?

There are many great features, but these are my favorites:

  • the integrated dual feed foot
  • the bobbin that stops the machine when it’s almost empty
  • the needle threader
  • the wide harp space
  • and the great LED lighting

There are many more wonderful features on this machine – one week was just not enough time to try them all!

Many thanks to Donna and Paul Taylor of Taylor Sewing Centre in Brockville for lending me this machine. Be sure to check out Taylor’s web site to see all their PFAFF machines and quilting supplies.

PFAFF Quilt Expression™ 4.2

Realize how exciting modern quilting can be. Exceptional quilting features are just waiting to be discovered.



This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Using decorative stitches effectively to enhance a quilt block

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past 10 years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

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