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Using charm squares to sew a lucky table topper

by Sarah Vanderburgh

With spring buried deep beneath my snowbanks, I’m still stitching away indoors with PFAFF’s passport 3.0. In yesterday’s post, I created a lucky pincushion using PFAFF’s passport 3.0. Today I thought I’d keep the luck rolling and add a table topper to my decor – decorated with a lucky four leaf clover, of course!

The PFAFF passport 3.0 is a portable sewing machine that makes it possible to create projects anywhere.

PFAFF passport 3.0

I wanted to make this table topper the easiest way I could think of, so of course, precut fabrics came right to mind. I didn’t have a charm pack on hand, so I decided to make my own charms from my stash. But instead of using lots of different fabrics for the background, I chose to cut my charms from two fabrics. Then I picked a fun, bright green to make my four-leaf clover look happy and lucky!

The lucky charm square table topper made with the PFAFF passport 3.0.

Lucky table topper


  • four 5″ charms of one fabric
  • three 5″ charms of a second fabric
  • four 5″ charms from green fabric
  • one fat quarter for backing – choose a backing fabric with a different theme to make it reversible for use on several occasions.
  • one 14 x 14″ square of batting

The fabrics required to make the lucky table topper with the PFAFF passport 3.0.

Materials required for table topper

Making the applique shapes

To make my hearts I cut out a heart template from a 5″ square of paper. I folded the paper on the diagonal and cut out my shape. Then I folded one 5″ green charm in half on the diagonal and tucked it inside the paper template and cut it out.

I repeated these steps with the three remaining charms to make a total of 4 green heart.

The green applique hearts are cut using the paper template.

Making the applique hearts

If you don’t want to make your own heart templates, follow these directions:

  • Print and cut out the template (below)
  • Trace the template onto wrong side of fabric – or simply pin the fabric and paper template together
  • Cut out on the line to make one fabric heart
  • Repeat with the three remaining charms to make a total of four green

Lucky table topper template, click on the picture to download PDF

Lucky table topper template, click on the picture to download PDF

Assembling the top

Cut two of the charm squares in half on the diagonal once – they’ll be the diagonal sides of the topper.

If you’re using two different fabrics, alternate them in your layout. See the photo below for the layout that I used for my topper. If you’re using a variety of charms, move them around until you’re happy with the arrangement remembering that the middle one won’t really be seen.

The fabric charms are arranged as desired before sewing them together with the PFAFF passport 3.0.

Table topper charm square layout

Sew the charms together into rows, pressing the diagonal ends towards the center square on the top and bottom rows. On the middle row, press the seams away from the middle charm.

Next, sew the rows together. This is where I really appreciate the PFAFF passport 3.0. I use the needle down button so the needle is always in my fabric when I stop sewing and since I can trust it and the IDT system to feed my fabric evenly under the needle, I don’t use pins!  I find myself only pinning now on long sides of projects – like sewing the rows of a quilt together – and that’s it!

No pinning is needed when doing precise piecing with the passport 3.0.

Sewing without pins

Press the seams away from the center row.

Pin the hearts to the center of the topper. As you can see in the following pictures, there are two different options here – either line up the centers of the hearts with the centers of the side squares or line them up with the center of the triangle sides.

The centers of the hearts are lined up with the centers of the squares on the sides of the table topper.

Center of the hearts lined up with the squares

I lined mine up with the diagonal corners.

The clover leaf is placed on the center of the table topper so that the centers of the hearts are lined up with the triangles on the sides.

The centers of the hearts lined up with the triangles on the sides

I used one pin in each heart to keep them in place for machine blanket stitching. When you’re pinning the applique pieces in place, make sure they are secure but that there is enough room to move the presser foot easily around the pieces while stitching.

The green hearts are pinned in position prior to machine appliqueing them in place with the passport 3.0.

Hearts pinned in position

Then I changed my top thread to a shade of green and chose stitch 27 on the passport 3.0 – the blanket stitch – to applique the hearts to the topper. By choosing the blanket stitch I know I need to change my presser foot too. When I pushed the “i” icon under the LED display, the display changed to show that the recommended presser foot for the blanket stitch is 1A.

Presser foot 1A on the passport 3.0 is the recommended foot for sewing with a blanket stitch.

Presser foot 1A

I attached the 1A presser foot and the IDT system was engaged! I love using the IDT system – it reassures me that my stitches will come out evenly which is really important to me when I’m using decorative stitches.
I started stitching around the edge of the cloverleaf, lining up the red guide on the foot with the edge of the green fabric.

The center red guide lines up on the edge of the fabric to start machine blanket stitching on the passport 3.0.

Red guide on the presser foot lined up with edge of fabric

Using charm squares made quick work of putting together this table topper and the passport 3.0 helped me securely stitch the cloverleaf in place. Come back tomorrow and we’ll finish the table topper together!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Create your own luck with a four leaf clover pincushion

Go to part 5: Using PFAFF’s passport 3.0 stitches to add charming details to a table topper



Deb M March 7, 2017 - 7:05 am

Cute table topper! The instructions look great!

Dana MATTHEWS February 26, 2017 - 7:51 pm

Great instructions. I’ve not worked with charm squares. I’d love to try this out.

Sarah Vanderburgh February 26, 2017 - 8:34 pm

Thanks, Dana! Go for it – charm squares are fun and versatile. You can even make your own 😉


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