5 time saving sewing features on the PFAFF Performance 5.2

Try saying THAT five times fast! In yesterday’s post PFAFF Performance 5.2 makes quick work of piecing a table runner in which we picked out fabrics and started cutting to make the quilted table runner. In today’s post we’ll start sewing parts of the runner together while I point out some of the features the Performance 5.2 has that makes this an enjoyable experience for me, even when the only time I have to quilt is after dinner.

PFAFF Performance 5.2

Utensil handle units

Quilted table runner

Today’s sewing starts with making some strip units for the utensil handles.
You’ll need the following pieces from your background fabric:

1 strip – 3″ x 14″
1 strip – 5″ x 14″
1 strip – 3½” x 14″
1 strip – 2½” x 14″

From the utensil fabric you’ll need the 3 – 1½” x 14″ strips.

Sew together the 3” background strip with one utensil fabric strip; press the seam to the utensil fabric strip.

First unit of handle section

Time-saving feature 1: IDT System

IDT system engaged

It’s easy to sew the strips precisely thanks to the Integrated Dual Feed System, or IDT System for short. This feature, combined with using the needle down feature, saves me time because I don’t have to pin my pieces together to ensure they’ll match up.

Add the 5” background strip to the utensil fabric and press the seam to the new background strip.

Time-saving feature 2: LED lights

LED lights on Performance 5.2

The bright LED lights mean I can sew accurately even after supper during the week. Being able to sew a few stitches each night saves my daylight quilting time for things like cutting and selecting fabrics for another project 😉

The next strip unit is made up of four strips.

Start with two utensil strips and sew one to each side of the 3½” background strip.To keep your strip unit from going wonky, sew with the first utensil fabric on the bottom and the second one on the top. Alternating which end you start sewing from will also help decrease distortion.

Press both seams of utensil strips.

Time-saving feature 3: Speed!

Speed control button and popup

The PFAFF Performance 5.2 is speedy quick, but you still have control 🙂 The speed can be adjusted with the icon located on the front. Use the Color Touch screen and the stylus to adjust the speed quickly and easily. I always forget how much quicker I can sew with this machine until I sit down to do it. Then I realize how precise my stitches remain even with the speed and I try to get even more quilting in before bedtime!

Next, add the 2½” background strip to the second utensil strip; press the seam to the background. Your strip should measure 7½” wide – see photo.

Second unit of handle section.

Sew the first unit along the edge of the 5″ wide background strip to the edge of the 1½” utensil strip of the second unit; press the seam to the background.

Time-saving feature 4: Wide harp space

Harp space of Performance 5.2

The wide harp space makes it easy to sew large units together without pinning – another time-saving feature for late-night sewing! Less tugging and pulling at the machine makes it easier on the body too, especially a tired one. I like to use it to set out piecing units too!

Cut strip into two units, each 6½” high.

Cut into two handle sections.

Time-saving feature 5: Precision equals more Production

Performance 5.2

All of the time-saving features already mentioned work together to make sewing with Performance 5.2 easy on the mind and body. This enjoyment leads to the desire to sew even more – so let’s keep going!

Make the Churn Dash Platter Block

The middle of the quilted table runner features a large open churn dash – a platter, if you will. This section will most likely be covered with other table decor or, at meal time, the actual platter of food!

Churn Dash Platter Block

You’ll need the following already cut background pieces:

2 – 3″ squares
2 strips – 1½” x 15½”
2 strips – 1½” x 10½”

From the platter fabric cut

1 – 6½” x 9½” rectangle
2 strips – 1½” x 9½”
2 strips – 1½” x 6½”

From the platter churn dash frame fabric cut

2 – 3″ squares
2 strips – 1½” x 9½”
2 strips – 1½” x 6½”

Make hsts

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 3″ background squares.
Pair with the 3″ churn dash frame squares right sides together and sew ¼” away from each side of the drawn line.

Cut on the line and press the seam to the darker fabric.
Trim each to 2½” square.

Platter block strips sets laid out.

Sew strip sets

Sew one platter 1½” x 6½”strip to one churn dash 1½” x 6½” strip. Press the seam to the churn dash fabric. Repeat to make a second set.
Sew one platter 1½” x 9½” strip to one churn dash 1½” x 9½” strip. Press the seam to the churn dash fabric. Repeat to make a second set.

Full platter block layout

Sew into rows

Layout the platter block units as shown. Sew the platter into rows. Press the top and bottom row seams to the strip units and the middle row seams to the rectangle.
Sew the rows together, pressing the seams to the middle row.

Sew background borders to platter block.

Attach borders

Sew one background 1½” x 10½” strip to each end of the platter. Press the seams to the background strips.

To complete the platter block, sew one background 1½” x 15½” strip to the top and one to the bottom of the block; press both seams to the background strips.

The platter block should measure 12½ x 15½”.

Handle units, Performance 5.2, and platter block

Thanks to the time-saving sewing features of the PFAFF Performance 5.2 we were able to make the handle units and complete the platter block all in one night! Stay tuned for some more piecing fun tomorrow.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1:  PFAFF Performance 5.2 makes quick work of piecing a table runner

Go to part 3: How to make precise points on your shoo fly and star quilt blocks

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How to make precise points on your shoo fly and star quilt blocks


Linda November 29, 2016 - 10:59 pm
I just bought a Pfaff Performance 5.2 yesterday and am learning the differences between it and my older HV Designer SE. I could not find a lot of real life reviews of the 5.2. Your articles here on QS were appreciated!
Sandy A in St. Louis October 26, 2016 - 10:18 pm
I just got a Pfaff Ambition Essential and I love it! It isn't near as neat as this, but is an awesome machine for piecing. Love the Churn Dash platter block, too. It is so different from other blocks I have seen lately. Thanks for sharing!
Sarah Vanderburgh October 26, 2016 - 10:44 pm
Thanks for commenting, Sandy - and congrats on getting your very own PFAFF! Enjoy!
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