Stitch in the ditch – it’s what you use, not what you know

This week has gone by quickly! It’s time to start putting the pieces together to make a heart wall quilt. In yesterday’s post we used ribbon stitching and floating stitches to add some texture to the project. Today we’ll use the PFAFF performance icon to assemble the quilt top and start quilting.

Sew rows together

The top row of this wall quilt is made up of 4 HST selvage blocks. I alternated the featured fabric print and the coordinating print fabric. I wasn’t overly concerned about the direction of my selvage strips; I think they add movement to the background and I’m happy with the look. Press the seams toward each end; the middle one can go whichever direction it wants.

The bottom row is made up of the two HSTs with one of the diagonal selvage blocks on each end. Press the seams towards the diagonal blocks and the middle seam to the right. Look at the photo below for placement:

Top and bottom rows of heart wall quilt.

Sew the middle row together

First we have to sew the two side units made in yesterday’s post to each side of the 12½” center square. Press the seams to the center square.

When I was planning this project, I knew I wanted to add layers of texture, and joining the top and middle rows is another opportunity to do this. Here I layered a mini pompom ribbon between them so the pompoms would run across the heart. The IDT System and ActivStitch Technology work together to make sewing these rows together painless. If you haven’t tried a PFAFF sewing machine, this video – What makes it so perfect? PFAFF original IDT System – will give you a peek at the IDT System and how it works. Using it is game changing.

And I get pompoms on my quilt top too!

Mini pompom ribbon stitched between top and middle row.

I pressed the seam toward the top row carefully – instead of a pressing cloth, I laid a piece of fabric over the pompoms so they weren’t in direct contact with the iron (even though I was pretty sure nothing would happen, I didn’t want to risk it!)

The bottom layer needs to be sewn on next; this time I pressed the seam toward the middle row. The wall quilt top should measure approximately 24½” square.

Layer and quilt

The wall quilt is quite thick in the selvage sections, but I still wanted to layer it with batting for the quilting. I found some batting in my stash and layered it with the backing fabric on my cutting surface. I placed the wall quilt top in the center of the layer surface so there was batting and backing extended on all sides. I pinned through all three layers, leaving the seams on the HSTs free of pins because I planned to stitch in the ditch around the heart to start the quilting.

I used the Clear Stitch-in-Ditch foot for IDT System to stitch in the seam between the selvage HSTs.

Clear Stitch-in-Ditch foot for IDT System

This was just the beginning of the quilting! The next step to adding texture was to include some serpentine stitches across the heart. I started with Presser Foot 1A to stitch decorative stitch 2.2.1 on each side of the stitched ribbon. Only after stitching the ribbon stitch did I realize the first step in having the machine do the stitching (instead of using the foot pedal) was to activate the Needle Up/Down button before starting the stitches. So, I did that 🙂 The buttons along the front of the performance icon are extremely useful while quilting the decorative stitches – I used the Restart button to start the stitch line in the same place each time I used the stitch. To complete the stitching line, I used the Tie Off button to secure the threads to the back, tie and cut them – all by machine!

The heart wall quilt before trimming.

There’s more quilting to do to finish the heart wall quilt. After having used many features of the PFAFF performance icon to assemble and start quilting it today, we’ll leave it here for now. Join me tomorrow for the finish!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: 2 beautiful stitches and ribbon to embellish your wall quilt

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