Getting a project finished in time to enjoy it in season – priceless! There are so many projects for fall sitting on the back burner and UFO pile in my house, but not this one. In yesterday’s post, I assembled the accent pillow cover top with accuracy using the PFAFF performance icon. Accurate seam allowances are what put a project together – and quilting finishes it. Let’s start finishing today!
The accent pillow cover top could be used as a table topper or even as a placemat – make a few more and you have a set. When you finish quilting today, you could decide to trim off the excess batting and backing and complete the project with binding. I’ll keep going with my original vision and finally have a fall-themed accent pillow for my bed. I already own the pillow form, which is what I based the dimensions of the cover on.
Prepare the quilt sandwich
To prepare the pillow top cover for quilting, lay out the backing fabric right side up; then put the batting on top of it and smooth out any bumps. This project is small enough that I’m working on my cutting mat – you may want to tape the backing to a pinning surface. Next, center the pillow top right side up on the batting and backing. Pin to secure the layers together without pinning over the seams of the black and white strips.
Start with Stitch in the Ditch
It’s a very basic first step when quilting to secure the layers with some in the ditch stitches. Most of us have quilted whole quilts this way! What I haven’t done before is actually have my stitches fall so accurately in that tight fold between fabrics – the ditch – that I would have to spread the fabrics apart with my fingers to see my stitches. I have another new favorite presser foot!
The Clear Stitch-in-Ditch Foot with IDT System makes it easy to do precise stitch in the ditch quilting. The clear body of the foot gives me an unobstructed view so I can guide the fabric and the foot to stay in the ditch. I chose black thread for this step, confident that it would be well hidden from view. I stitched first around the orange center patch between it and the inner black border.
I just may have gotten carried away and kept using this foot to stitch in the ditch on both sides of the white churn dash strips. I find this stitching still the most appealing on simple projects like this pillow cover.
Finish with the Clear Open Toe Foot
Next, decided how to quilt the center patch of squares. I’m not sure there’s a wrong way to do this – certainly the modern look of the fabrics led me to want to add contrast with diagonal lines. I did consider adding applique – maybe an acorn or a few leaves – and might have if my fabrics had been more traditional. I used white thread here and decided that quilting diagonal lines through the squares would bring them together visually as a group.
I switched to a different presser foot in hopes of getting a really clear view in front of the needle so I wouldn’t have to mark any lines. The Clear Open Toe Foot for IDT System makes it easy to keep your eye on a line of stitching going across a quilt. This is another optional foot from PFAFF and can be used in many applications. It also engages the IDT System, so I wasn’t worried about getting a bump at the end of my quilting line from the layers not feeding evenly under the needle.
I started my line of quilting in one corner square, going diagonally across squares to the bottom row. With the Needle Stop Up/Down button pressed, I pivoted the pillow top cover with the needle still in the project and kept quilting across the squares until I ended up where I started. You can see I quilted two rectangles across the center patch before I needed to stop my line of quilting.
I repeated this quilting of two rectangles from the opposite corner squares too. I completed the quilting in the center patch with a few more lines of quilting through the squares. In the end, I’m pretty happy with how the quilting lines move the eye across the squares and make the center patch come alive. I’m so close to a finish! I enjoyed quilting the pillow cover top thanks to the optional presser feet for the PFAFF performance icon.
This is part 4 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 3: Piecing perfection with the PFAFF performance icon