Place front and back fabrics, right sides together, on work surface (front fabric on the bottom); top with batting. For larger pieces, pin edges.
Using a sewing machine, sew around edges of the 3 layers with a 1/4- to 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving an opening on 1 side. Clip corners on the diagonal. Turn the piece right side out. Use a point turner or other blunt tool to push corners into shape from the inside.
Stitch the opening closed by hand. If you like, insert a loop of ribbon first for projects such as pot holders.
For topstitching, we use a method known as "stitch in the ditch." This involves stitching along the piecework seams. Make a running stitch along the seams, stitching through all the layers of fabric. Or use a sewing machine. With either technique, you can use a contrasting color or one that blends in.
Start with a 3 1/2-inch square and continue by adding 1 1/2-inch-wide strips. Sew your three layers together using the inside-out method, and add a grosgrain ribbon tab when you stitch the square closed. Quilt through all three layers along the seams, with contrasting thread.