This week I’m feeling the spring vibes. It helps that my Modern Blooms wall quilt is made with such bright fabrics. In yesterday’s post, I used the Patchwork Program to quickly sew together the purple flower blocks – I even started piecing the bright blocks too. I’ll add extra details to the purple blocks when I quilt the top. But for the rest of the colorful blocks, I want to add decorative details while I piece the block units together. How? It’s easy with the hundreds of built-in stitches on the PFAFF performance icon.
I decided quite early in this project that the delight would be in the details. Keeping all the block construction the same meant I could spend more time playing with the performance icon’s menus of stitches. To take a peek, check out the stitch chart: PFAFF performance icon stitch chart (opens as a pdf).
With the first two strips of light fabric added to the remaining blocks, there’s only one more strip of light fabric to add.
Sew the final light strip
Sew the light fabric 2½” x 4½” strip to the right side of the unit. Press the seam to the strip.
Repeat with each of the 8 bright blocks.
Now to the decorating! With my white thread ready, I started my search through the decorative stitch menus to find something that would work in a playful garden. When a non-straight stitch is selected, a pop up shows up on the Multi-Touch screen to prevent damage to the machine; the standard needle plate needs to be on the machine for these stitches.
You can easily remove the needle plate after lifting the front right edge with the small screwdriver included with the machine.
The extra needle plate is stored in the base of the performance icon so it’s always with the machine. I love this feature!
The standard needle plate has a wider opening for the needle to accommodate stitches that move the needle across the fabric.
Now we’re ready to start scrolling and choosing stitches to use on the wall quilt. Some of my favorites to include while sewing block units together are the floating stitches. I decided to select floating stitches to complement the pattern designs in my fabrics.
Use Floating Stitches to sew dark fabric strips
Start with pink.
For the pink batik, I picked the dots or circles, and used white thread so they would show on the fabric. The floating stitches can be sewn two different ways depending on if you’re using one fabric or two. In this case, I’m sewing two pieces together and using the 1A presser foot. The instructions are in the User’s Guide too! For best results, use a piece of INSPIRA Fast & Easy Tear-A-Way Light Stabilizer on the bottom of the fabric set.
Sew the dark fabric 2½” x 4½” strip to the top edge of the unit. Before opening the seam, all of the floating stitches are on the wrong side of the fabric. Here’s what the floating stitches look like when you’re finished sewing.
Now gently pull the fabrics apart to reveal the stitches on the right side of the block. The batik fabric made it easy to pull the stitches up fully; you can also iron this seam to get it flat.
Gently tear away the excess stabilizer from the back around the stitches. Repeat this step using the same floating stitch with the 2½” x 4½” strips on the remaining pink units. Then sew the dark pink 2½” x 6½” strips to the right side of each unit with the same floating stitch to complete these units. Press the seam to the strip and remove the excess stabilizer.
Finish with orange and red
I chose a different floating stitch for the orange and another one for the red blocks and changed thread colors for each too. I used green thread on the orange and yellow on the red.
Sew each set of blocks with the selected floating stitch, first adding the 2½” x 4½” strips to the top and then the 2½” x 6½” strips to the right.
Add a stitched surprise.
I added a fun stitched surprise to the center of the orange blocks. There are just too many cute stitches to not include a few on this project. Continuing with the garden theme, I went through and selected a few different stitches to compare their sizes. To do this, I opened the Sequence Creator to compare the stitches with each other right on the Multi-Touch screen.
I had to pick the frog! Using the Sequence Creator program lets me insert commands like Stop, so only one frog stitches out. I can add commands to tie and cut the threads too.
I put a piece of stabilizer under the center of the block as recommended on the Multi-Touch screen. I used the green thread because I used the green thread on the orange blocks already. Using the Start/Stop button, the machine stitched while I kept the block straight, and the performance icon accurately stitched out the frog stitch.
I selected and stitched a different critter for each of the orange blocks.
Today’s post was a busy creative one, but now all of the blocks are stitched. We did a lot of embellishing to the blocks using the floating stitches as we constructed them and then added a fun detail of garden critters to the orange blocks. The variety of stitches on the PFAFF performance icon means you can create a themed wall quilt for any occasion.
This is part 3 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 2: PFAFF Patchwork Program: makes chain sewing fast and easy