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Tidy topstitching makes the Sew Joy quilted banner sparkle!

by Sarah Vanderburgh

This has been such a fun week for me! I enjoy learning something new and trying free motion quilting with the PFAFF quilt expression 720 has been a rewarding experience. In yesterday’s post, I tried free motion quilting with the quilt expression 720. Today I’m finishing the quilted banner.

Quilted banner

To finish the banner we first need to sew the backing fabric to each of the sections. If you haven’t already, cut a backing for each fabric using the banner template.

To sew the backing fabric to each section I used my neutral thread.

The quilt expression 720 will need a few accessory changes to get ready too.

PFAFF quilt expression 720

The machine comes with a straight stitch plate and I inserted it now to do the rest of the stitching. I also switched to the ¼″ quilting foot that is included with the machine.

Straight stitch plate and ¼″ quilting foot

With right sides facing, sew the backing fabric to a quilted front banner section leaving the top edge open. The outer edge of the ¼″ quilting foot is a ¼″ away from the needle and can be used to make consistent seam allowance; press the Needle Up/Down button and sew guiding the foot around the edge.

Sewing on backing with ¼″ quilting foot.

Turn the banner section right sight out through the top edge then smooth the section flat with your fingers. At this point I topstitched around each section using the same color thread that I used for the free motion quilting.

Here you can see my free motion quilting on the yellow section. I’m still using the ¼″ quilting foot for the topstitching because the inner edge is ⅛″ from the needle which is the typical distance for topstitching. Again using the Needle Up/Down button I’m able to guide the edge of the section smoothly under the needle.

I did the yellow and light purple sections first, then switched the thread and bobbin for each banner section and topstitched them.

Topstitching with inner edge of ¼″ quilting foot.

The banner sections are ready and now we just need the binding. I cut one strip of the backing fabric 1½″ x the width of the fabric which was 42″. I pressed a ¼″ hem to the wrong side of the binding.

Next lay out the letters in reverse order but with letters still in the correct orientation and then turn them over so the backing side is up. Fold the binding in half and mark with a pin, then pin the center of the middle section with the pin marking the center of the binding on the non folded edge. Pin the sections to the binding leaving approximately 2″ space between them – I used the lines on my cutting mat to help with this step. See the photo below!

Pinning the binding to the back of banner sections

Using the neutral thread and a ¼″ seam, sew the binding to the sections. I also sewed over the binding in the spaces to secure the turned edge. Fold the remaining binding in half then turn to front and sew the binding to the front to complete the banner. I folded the binding edges inside the end and stitched over it to secure the cut edge – I may sew ric rac to the ends if I want the banner longer at a later date 🙂

Completed sewing room banner with PFAFF quilt expression 720

It’s not even time for school yet and I’ve learned something new! It was so satisfying to see my completed banner. I love looking at the texture created by the free motion quilting. I know that it was the features on the quilt expression 720 that gave me the confidence to finally create this for myself. You can be sure it’ll boost your confidence too to free motion quilt. I wonder what I’ll create next!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: User-friendly free motion quilting with PFAFF quilt expression 720

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Brenda West November 3, 2019 - 9:43 am

Love your tutorials – learn a lot from your page. This is something I definitely will have to try. Thanks

Anna brown September 6, 2019 - 6:46 pm

I so love this ty for sharing I am as sharing with my daughter too.


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