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The finish! Using the blanket stitch and binding the spring table topper

by Sarah Vanderburgh

It’s a beautiful day to applique! I know I don’t do it very often, but my spring table topper needs a little something special. I’m happy to report that the PFAFF passport 2.0 has a great selection of stitches including a blanket stitch – the basic applique stitch that I like to use. In yesterday’s post, I used several different stitches to get the spring table topper sandwiched and quilted. Now that the quilting is done it’s time to stitch around the flowers to secure the edges.

Wind your bobbin

To sew with different color thread, first I’ll need to wind bobbins in matching thread colors. Bobbin winding takes place on the top of the passport 2.0 and is easy to do following the guidelines for threading. When you push the bobbin lever to the right to start the process the display changes to show SP. It will flash while in place and will stop when the lever is pushed back over to the left. This is good to know because the lever can get pushed over while travelling with the machine – so when you see SP flashing you know how to fix it and you won’t need to run to your manual! The machine will also beep at you to let you know you can’t sew and then maybe you’ll check the bobbin lever 🙂

Display on passport 2.0 closeup to show the SP letters

SP in the display when the bobbin lever is engaged

Stitch the applique

I like to use a blanket stitch and the passport 2.0 has two options – stitches 26 and 27. They are the same but mirror each other. I’m using yellow thread to stitch around the bright purple section of the flower and stitch 26. This stitch requires presser foot 1A which has a red guide mark right in the middle. I turn the quilt top as I stitch so that the raw edge of the applique is always lined up with the red guide mark. Then I know my stitch will sew on the edge of the flower fabric. It takes some patience on tight curves, but I know the edge will be covered.

Overhead view of red guide mark on the presser foot lined up on the edge of the flower applique

Keeping the red guide mark lined up with the raw edge of the applique fabric

I’m using yellow thread around the yellow dot and stitch 27 so that the little lines radiate away from the dot. I think this will give the center of the flower some visual interest.

Overhead view of blanket stitches on the edge of the flower applique

Opposite blanket stitches on the center and the petals of the applique flower

With the yellow stitching done on both flowers, it’s time to switch to purple. I won’t need very much in the bobbin and I’m already thinking of ways to use up these bits of colorful threads I’m winding for this project.

Then some green for the leaves and the applique is done. I like how this stitch looks.

Closeup of blanket stitching in different colored threads on applique fabrics

Applique pansy completely stitched down

Binding by machine

With the applique done it’s time to trim the excess sandwich layers from around the table topper and then add the binding. I’m sewing the binding on by machine starting on the back. My binding is scrappy using a 2½” strip of each background fabric that we cut and set aside in the first post. After I make my binding, I check that it will be long enough by laying it out around the edges of the table topper. If it doesn’t go all the way around with a few inches extra I sew on another strip before starting. One of my fabrics was a little bigger than a fat quarter so I’m okay but you might need one more strip. Laying it out also helps me plan where to start sewing the binding to avoid having my joining seams land at a corner.

Overhead shot of binding laid out on the back of table topper for fit measurement

Lay out binding to check for amount and to avoid seams on corners

I pin my binding in place one side at a time. You’ll see in the next photo that the LED lights make it easy to keep track of what’s going on directly at the presser foot, so I keep my eye on the pins and the corner coming up.

Binding pinned to the back of the table topper being sewn on the passport 2.0

Sewing binding to the back of the topper first.

Here’s a closer view showing how I keep the ¼” groove lined up with the outside edge of the layers. The layers move smoothly together under the needle thanks to the IDT System.

Closeup of fabric layers at the edge of presser foot groove for sewing binding to the back of topper

Fabric layers lined up with presser foot groove.

With the binding sewn onto the back, it’s time to fold it over and pin it in place on the front. I double fold for a fuller binding, since I use such a wide binding, and start pinning where my ends joined. Usually, I only pin the first bit and then stop when binding to the front, but because of the small size of the topper, it was easy to pin around the whole top, folding each corner into a mitered point as I went.

I almost used the blanket stitch to sew the binding to the front and you could too. I decided I wanted a quicker finish and that the stitching detail wouldn’t add to the overall look of the piece. Maybe another time. This time I used the regular sewing stitch 01.

Closeup of binding pinned to the front of the spring table topper

Binding folded and pinned over to the front of the topper.

I lined up the inner folded edge of the binding with the left red marking on the presser foot. The mark is ⅛” away from the needle and works as a perfect top stitch guide. Using the needle up/down button I easily turned the corners and finished sewing the binding onto the table topper.

Overhead view of spring table topper with a yellow pitcher in the center.

Completed spring table topper

Of course, I tried the table topper out under the machine too. It looks cute!

PFAFF passport 2.0 on a sewing table with the spring table topper underneath

Spring table topper under the passport 2.0

I really enjoyed sharing so many features of the PFAFF passport 2.0  with you this week. I’m very happy with the choice of quilting stitch, the blanket stitch on my applique and having a beautiful table topper ready for spring.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: PFAFF passport 2.0 stitches for quilting and applique


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