FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

Sewing the Applique Shapes to the Quilt

I spent a couple days going through the different decorative stitches on the PFAFF Creative 4.5 sewing machine and have finally made a decision on which stitch to use when sewing the applique shapes to the quilt. The What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy quilt challenge is definitely making progress.

I’m sure you are all waiting with anticipation on my stitch decision – almost as good as the Oscars…..

And the winner is……..

The Satin Stitch! Please give the winner a standing ovation and round of applause.

I decided it’s the most manly of all the stitches I auditioned and also very versatile in that it can be washed and it wears well. This is a quilt that is going to be used and taken to university so it needs to stand up to daily wear and tear.

The satin stitch
The satin stitch

 

 

Sewing around the shapes

The next decision was choosing a color of thread to use for stitching around each applique shape. I decided on a taupe color, which blends with some of the Eclectic Elements fabric and stands out on others. All in all, I do believe it’s a good balance. The applique shapes can be seen, but don’t jump off the quilt saying: “look at me, here I am!”

The stitch width was set at 3.0 and the length at 1.0 to create a fairly dense stitch.

Satin stitch with taupe thread
Satin stitch with taupe thread

 

 

Tip: When sewing a dense satin stitch do not try to push or pull the fabric along as this causes gaps in the stitching. Just let the machine feed the fabric along and the stitching will be nice and even. 

To help create a great looking stitch, I used an open toed foot with the IDT system engaged. I also added a leave-in fusible fleece stabilizer behind the applique shapes on the back of the quilt. These three elements allow the stitches to look their best.

Stabilizer applied to back of applique shapes
Stabilizer applied to back of applique shapes

 

Once the sewing was complete on the shapes, the next step is to sew the quilt top together. I sewed the sections together row-by-row. As the rows were sewn together, other hexagons needed to be added. But, with the large throat space on the PFAFF Creative 4.5, it was easy to maneuver the quilt to stitch around those few shapes.

Just because I like to tease, I’m only going to show part of the quilt sewn together.

Applique in place and quilt top complete
Applique in place and quilt top complete

 

 

Some more interesting features

And, now, just a little bit more I’ve learned about using the decorative stitches and the attached features on the PFAFF Creative 4.5.

Stitch density

Most of the stitches that I highlighted yesterday and last month can have the stitch length and/or width changed, but I also discovered that some stitches can also have the density changed. These stitches – many of them are a variation of the satin stitch – will have this icon on the screen – see photo below. To change the density of the stitching just click on the + and – arrows to decrease or increase the density respectively. When a change from the default has been made, the number above the icon will be in green.

Unfortunately, this density feature is not available for the zigzag utility stitches I featured last month.

Density icon
Density icon

 

 

Mirroring stitches

I personally have never mirrored a stitch as I have had no reason to do so because I don’t use many stitches that work well with the mirroring tool. It’s so easy to use! All you have to do is click on the mirror icons to mirror the stitch either side-to-side or end-to-end. The icon with the stylus pointing at it and the arrows pointing side-to-side mirrors a stitch-to-side. Whereas, the icon beside it with the arrows pointing up and down mirrors the stitch from end-to-end.

Stylet pointing to the mirror icons
Stylet pointing to the mirror icons

 

 

Below is a photo of a stitch pattern that I mirrored side-to-side so that the circles are on top instead of on the bottom of the stitch pattern.

Mirrored stitch pattern
Mirrored stitch pattern

 

 

Needle/Stitch position

If the needle position can be changed for the stitch being stitched, then an icon with a triangle and arrows on either side of it will show on the home screen – see photo below. As with all the other icons, the + and – will move the needle to the right and left respectively. For the straight stitch, this machine has 37 different needle positions. Wow! That is a lot.

All stitches that are less than 9mm wide have this needle position feature as well. To activate the feature, you have to touch the stitch width icon, which will switch to the needle position icon.

Stylet pointing to needle/stitch position icon highlighted in green
Stylet pointing to needle/stitch position icon highlighted in green

 

Wow, so much to learn and so much at our fingertips on this PFAFF Creative 4.5 to augment our creative processes and help us create wonderful quilting and sewing projects. Now that I’m finished sewing the applique shapes to the quilt on this What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy quilt challenge, I can move on to some free motion quilting.

Happy Quilting

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

4 Comments

  1. Vivian Smereka

    My machine does not these great options, but I will use any info on appliqué I can get. Great to see comparisons on samples rather than just words. Thanks for the idea of stablizer. will look into that.

    • You are most welcome Vivian. Have fun with your machine and applique. Jen

  2. Linda Webster

    Great post! Thanks for the great information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.