Making piping is a breeze with the Welt Cord Foot

Sewing a flat-felled seam was so easy with the Husqvarna VIKING Opal 690Q. And I was amazed that the seam wasn’t thick at the ends, which went into the seam allowances. Today, I’m making and adding piping to the placemats and finishing them. It’s patio season, and I want to use the placemats!

I cut the bias strips for my piping a couple of days ago. I opened the box of Gütermann thread to find a thread that matched the fabric. I love opening this box – looking at all those colors makes me happy. I’ve decided that as I use up a spool, I’ll replace it so the box is always intact. It was fabulous to open the box and have the right color handy.

I may switch up a color or two, especially in the neutrals, but it’s a fantastic thread collection and so easy to transport, and I get a good visual of all the threads simultaneously.

Easy to choose a thread color

The first step was to join all the binding strips, and I used blue thread in the bobbin and the top. Join these strips as you would your quilt binding. Cutting the bias strips from a rectangle meant they already had an angle on one end. I used the Quilter’s ¼” piecing foot for this task.

Join the strips for the piping.

Be sure to overlap the pointy ends a bit so the strip of fabric will be straight. Your seam should intersect the notches at the top and bottom of the seam.

Intersect the notches to get a straight strip

Press the seam open to reduce the bulk. Notice how the edges are straight on either side of the join. I used a synthetic setting on the iron and paid attention when I pressed these, as I did not want a reoccurrence of yesterday’s meltdown. There are multiple temperature settings on the iron for a reason!

Straight edges on the join of the fabric strip

I snapped on the Single Welt Foot onto the Opal 690Q as I was ready to insert the piping cord inside the fabric strips. Remember, “welt” is used in the home-dec world but is another form of piping.

The Welt Cord Foot (single)

It’s hard to see the piping cord in that previous photo, so here’s a better shot. The cord fits inside the fold of the fabric strip. The bulk of the cord fits into the groove on the underside of the Welt Cord Foot. I’m using a straight stitch with the needle in the center position. Match the raw edges of the fabric strip as you sew.

The piping cord inside the fabric strip

I started by making enough piping for one placemat to ensure everything was OK. I did not cut the piping, but I’ll continue adding blue fabric strips as needed.

Enough piping for one placemat

I’m using a ¼” seam allowance, and it’s a challenge to get that exact when making piping. I found a tool that allows me to trim the seam allowance to ¼” or ½.” What I trimmed off was minimal, so I could have used the existing raw edge if I didn’t have access to that tool.

A tool to trim the seam allowance

The problem was that the ruler’s edge was too thick for my 45 mm rotary cutter. I wasn’t home when I made that piping and couldn’t access my 60 mm rotary cutter. So creativity struck me the following day, and switching the screw on my 45 mm rotary cutter on the front with the one on the back, gave me enough room to trim along the thicker edge.

I don’t recommend this for regular use, but it worked like a charm in a pinch. Notice the minimal width of the trimmings.

Trimming the seam allowance on the piping

Then, it was time to sew the piping to the placemat. I left a small tail of the piping for an overlap at the join.

Sewing the piping to the placemat

I moved the needle to the left by one position, as I wanted the stitching closer to the piping. The needle positions to the left of the center are negative, while the positions on the right are positive.

The needle is to the left of the center needle position

It was so easy to go around the curved corners of the placemats—no worries about turning a square corner. The bias strips curved around the corners so easily! I might have pulled the corners a bit too tight, as there is some rippling in my final placemat. I’m making a note for future projects to give myself less tension (pulling the piping too tight) around the corners.

It’s easy to go around the curved corners

Within a very short time, I was back at the beginning. I carefully overlapped the two ends and sewed SLOWLY across the extra bulk.

Sewing the final join

I’m pretty impressed at how easy that join was, and it looks fantastic. The Opal 690Q sewed like a charm over that bulk. The trick is to sew slowly because the extra layers could cause a needle to break. I had also switched to a Size 12 Topstitch needle.

The overlap at the join

I tried to cut the excess away using the piping trimming ruler, but I found it easier and safer to cut freehand.

Using the ruler to trim the edge was unwieldy and unsafe

I took the second side of the placemat and carefully placed it over the side with the piping. It doesn’t matter which side you sew the piping on – the front or the back. The result will look the same.

I moved the needle one more position to the left.

Moving the needle one more position to the left

I also used the FIX function on the Opal 690Q at the seam’s beginning and end. Be careful when you sew around the placemat, as I had to manipulate the fabric to keep it lined up with the edges, but I didn’t find it necessary to pin it. I have a lot more flexibility by NOT pinning, and it was just as accurate.

Use the FIX function to secure the ends of the seam

Leave an opening on the flat side (not a curve) to turn the placemat inside out. I used the FIX function at the beginning and end of this seam, which prevents the stitching from coming undone. Ensure the opening is wide enough so you don’t struggle or rip open the seam ends.

Leave an opening to turn the placemat inside out

Because of the multiple thicknesses and the stiffer decorator fabric, it was a wee challenge to turn it inside out. But it didn’t take long, as I had left a nice-sized opening. The piping on the edges made it super easy to pull everything out, so the curves looked like curves, and the straight edges were straight.

Turning the placemat inside out

I tried using a fusible to close the opening, but it didn’t want to fuse well with the polyester fabric and the thickness. One side fused with no problem, but not the other. I hand-stitched the opening.

Fusing did not work with all the thicknesses

The last step is to use the 30-weight cotton thread in the contrasting blue to topstitch around the edges. I used the ¼” Edge Stitching Foot for that. It has a guide on the side, which I ran along the seam between the piping and the fabric.

Topstitching using the guide to get an accurate line of stitching

And here’s one of the placemats. It looks amazing! I’m thrilled with the results.

One side of the placemat

The second side of the plaemat, and I’m impressed at how flat those flat felled seams were in the seam allowance. I was worried about the flat felled seam, the piping, and the thicker fabric, but it turned out amazing!

The second side of the placemat

Then, I was off to make the piping and finish the three remaining placemats.

The piping for the remaining three placemats

I love it when you have the right tools to do the job. In this case, it was all about having the right presser feet to make the job easy! It took no time to make the piping and then apply it to the edges of the placemats. And let’s not forget the fantastic functions on the Husqvarna VIKING Opal 690Q, which also sewed through those thicker seams without any issues.

Be sure to come back tomorrow when I tackle the cushions.

Husqvarna VIKING Opal 690Q

Have a great day!


This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: How to sew a Flat Felled Seam

Go to part 5: Adding piping AND an invisible zipper to cushions

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Adding piping AND an invisible zipper to cushions

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam

Right tools make cutting large pieces for perfect patio cushions a snap