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Using Handlook Stitches on the quilt expression 720 for quilting patchwork

The rain is on its way and I’m starting to get in the mood to enjoy a few rainy days. After all, it means a little more time to spend quilting before the garden needs tending and the outdoor summer adventures begin! This week I’ve been creating an ode to spring with a quilted umbrella cushion. In yesterday’s post, I sewed together a patchwork panel made of scrap fabrics, honoring Earth Day. I continue the adventure stitching out several decorative stitches using the PFAFF quilt expression 720.

I started by using the regular straight stitch and quilting diagonal lines through the four patches. The large harp space to the right of the needle is nearly 10”, great for sewing large amounts of fabric or batting made it easy to smoothly guide the panel under the needle. This makes for comfort sewing and quilting. In the meantime, you’ll find more reasons to sew and quilt with the PFAFF quilt expression 720 on their site.

Straight stitch quilting with PFAFF quilt expression 720.
Straight stitch quilting with PFAFF quilt expression 720.

Selecting a decorative stitch

There are many choices when it comes to selecting a decorative stitch on the PFAFF quilt expression 720 – over 400! The stitches are listed in the manual and sorted in the same categories that you use to locate them on the machine. Using the Color Touch Screen on the machine you can easily move between the categories and select a stitch.

Once selected the information about the stitch is displayed in the screen including the size of the stitch, which presser foot to use, whether to engage the IDT system or not, and if the stitch requires use of a stabilizer, as well as free-motion options. You can also adjust the stitch width or position, the stitch length or density, and the thread tension. But you don’t have too!

The great thing about this machine is that the options are there for you to make customizing decisions and not necessary to adjust to get great stitches. You can simply select a stitch and go! The options are great and work well for when you have a particular idea you want to create. For this project I wanted to try out some of the stitches to add texture to the quilted cushion.

I used several of the different ‘Handlook Stitches’ you can see on the menu below.

Handlook Stitches menu on Color Touch screen.
Handlook Stitches menu on Color Touch screen.

In particular, I was looking for stitches that would all use the same presser foot so I wouldn’t have to change it each time. I was also looking for stitches that would have symmetry along a middle line that I could position over the seams.

In the screen below you’ll also see an icon in the top left corner of the Color Touch Screen; that’s for the speed of the machine which I adjust to the lowest for stitching out decorative stitches. I like to use the start/stop stitch button and not the foot pedal to sew stitches that are stitched out in different directions. I keep my hands loosely on the material and focus on keeping the needle lined up on my seam. I use the foot pedal to stop the stitching at the end of each line.

Details for stitch selected.
Details for stitch selected.

This is what else I like about the Color Touch Screen’s information – what you see is what you get! My stitch looks exactly like I was expecting it to look on my project. Knowing this makes it easier for me to select a stitch with confidence that it will look the way I want it to on my project.

Stitch 2.1.4 stitched on patchwork.
Stitch 2.1.4 stitched on patchwork.

Stitch 2.1.12
Stitch 2.1.12

In all, I selected six different decorative stitches to quilt over the horizontal and vertical seams of the patchwork cushion. The decorative stitches and diagonal stitching add texture and cohesion to the scrappy patchwork design.

Come back for the final post tomorrow where the panels will turn into a zippered cushion cover using the PFAFF creative expression 720.

The quilting on the patchwork side of quilted cushion
The quilting on the patchwork side of quilted cushion

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Honoring Earth Day: use your stash to make a quilted patchwork cushion

Go to part 5: Finishing the quilted umbrella cushion with a zipper

I love to play with color and *quilts* are my playground! A self-taught quilter, I've been designing quilts for almost 20 years. I'm inspired by happy fabrics, selvages, traditional blocks and nature. I'm also a wife, mother, and elementary school teacher, and enjoy drinking coffee on my front porch in northern Ontario.

2 Comments

  1. Rebecca K

    I need to check my machine for the hand-look stitches and use them if I have them!

  2. Sandra Allen

    One thing I wish my machine has is the speed control. Thanks for explaining why you use it for decorative stitching.

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