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Quilting made easy with a stipple stitch

by Sarah Vanderburgh

Let’s keep quilting! In yesterday’s post I used the built-in stitches on the PFAFF performance icon to quilt one of the placemats with a modern sampler look. Today I’ll quilt another placemat in a modern style using a curvy stippling stitch.

PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

PFAFF performance icon

Choosing a Stippling Stitch

There are many stippling stitches included in the PFAFF performance icon. Last year I made a quilt with my daughter, and she chose a large curvy stitch for quilting. When I told her I was quilting placemats in a modern style she reminded me of that curvy stitch – I wonder if it was a hint? You can see the results of using this same stitch on a lap quilt in the post on my blog, May Rainbow Quilt.

Stippling stitches menu on the screen of a computerized sewing machine. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Stippling Stitches menu

There’s a setting option to change from the automatic millimeters to inches in the Machine Settings menu of the performance icon. This let me check the large curvy stitch – stitch 2.2.10 – to make sure it fit inside the width of my 2½” borders.

Stitch Edit menu on a PFAFF computerized sewing machine. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Stitch Edit menu displays stitch size in inches.

Multi-Touch screen preview

With the stitch selected, it displayed on the Multi-Touch screen on the performance icon, which really helped me see the size of the stitch. Knowing the stitch was this large, I felt confident it would make a big impression when I repeated it across the placemat. I knew I wanted to go lengthwise across the quilt with my quilting this time, unlike in the first placemat when I went vertical with the straight-line quilting.

A stitch sample on the screen of a computerized sewing machine. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Stitch 2.2.10 in sewing mode on the Multi-Touch screen.

Function Buttons

The function buttons are what make sewing with the performance icon so enjoyable. The icons are self-explanatory, with the Automatic NeedleThreader being the one I use most consistently for its purpose. This is also where you’ll find the Needle Stop Up/Down button. I frequently use this feature to give me the extra security of having the needle stop in the fabric whenever I stop sewing.

The function I wanted to point out with quilting this placemat is the one called Stitch Restart. I pressed this button each time I finished quilting a line of the curvy stitch so each line of stitching would start in the same place. This helped to create the wavy effect across the placemat, but of course you could also not use this button so the curves aren’t in sync across the placemat.

Function buttons on a sewing machine. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Function buttons

Guidelines for evenly space quilting lines

Very often when I’m quilting with the performance icon, I don’t even notice how the machine has been set up to make it easy for me to have precise stitches. In this case, I realized I wanted to have the quilting lines spaced evenly apart but I wasn’t quite sure at first how to go about it. Then I remembered the guidelines on the needle plate and tried lining up the needle at the same spot each time I started a line. I’ve marked a pink ‘x’ on the photo below to indicate the 1¼” line I used to space the quilting.

Guidelines on the needle plate of a sewing machine. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Guideline used to space stitches on placemat.

Maxi Stitch foot

Of course, there’s also a presser foot for every stitch! The Maxi Stitch foot, presser foot 8, does just what its name suggests – it supports the stitching of wide stitches on the performance icon.

Stitches can be up to 9mm wide, and this foot makes stitching them smooth and precise. Notice it doesn’t have a notch in the back for the IDT System to hook onto. This makes sense when you think about the back and forth motion the needle and foot make to stitch out the wide designs. The large curvy lines created another modern looking quilted placemat. In the next photo you can also see how beautifully the stitches turned out!

A sewing machine presser foot on a quilted placemat. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Maxi Stitch Foot

There’s one more function button I use with these wide stippling stitches, and it’s located closer to the needle above the Reverse button. It’s called the Start/Stop button and when pressed, the machine will stitch without needing to press the foot pedal. I love using it for these stitches particularly because of the movement across the quilt top; it lets me focus on guiding the placemat and the stitches come out so consistent.

The PFAFF performance icon has made quilting these placemats so much fun. Each day the quilting inspires me to keep going and get even more projects quilted! This large curvy stippling stitch is so cheerful looking, it’s hard not to want to use it on every project!

A placemat quilted with curvy lines. PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

Placemat quilted with curvy stitch lines

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: How to use decorative stitches for a perfect quilted finish

Go to part 5: Fun with free-motion quilting on the PFAFF performance icon!


1 comment

carol thomas June 29, 2021 - 6:46 pm

Love the serpentine stitch on a quilt.


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