Easily edit font and decorative stitches for a mini word-of-the-year quilt

This week of sewing challenges with the PFAFF performance icon has been fun! In yesterday’s post, I made a mug rug with floating stitches using Pantone colors of the year – 2021. Today the only 2½” squares left from my original package are those with a similar value – light! Now that’s a challenge for me, but I decided early on that I would make a word of the year mini quilt with these squares, and I’ve actually been looking forward to this challenge.


  • (10) 2½” squares of same value
  • 2½” x 4½” fabric rectangle – tone-on-tone complimentary color
  • batting 6½” x 8½”
  • backing fabric 6½” x 8½”
  • 3″ x 5″ piece of INSPIRA Fast and Easy Tear-A-Way Light Stabilizer
  • quilting thread that contrasts with chosen fabrics

Mini word of the year quilt

To make the mini quilt, lay out the squares in three rows; the top and bottom row will each have four squares. The middle row will have one square on each side of the 2½” x 4½” rectangle.

Sew the rows together using the Patchwork Program like I used on my first project, or simply use the ¼” Quilting Foot for IDT System and sew the squares together. Press the first seam in these two rows to the left and the last seam to the right – the middle seam can be pressed in whichever direction you like.

Layout for mini quilt top

Before I stitched the middle row together, I stitched out my word of the year on the fabric rectangle. The PFAFF performance icon has several built-in fonts and I picked the largest one to use for this mini quilt.

To access the fonts, select the Sequence Creator Program located in the bottom menu on the Multi-Touch screen. Touch the A on the right side of the screen to open the font menu.

Font menu in Sequence Creator Program

I wanted to make sure my word would fit on the rectangle of fabric for the mini quilt, so I checked the size of the stitches by selecting Stitch Edit. The PFAFF performance icon features a setting to change the measurements on the screen from millimeters to inches and since I cut my fabric in inches, I changed the screen measurement to help me visualize whether the stitched word would fit my fabric. In the photo below I could tell that stitched as is, the word would be too long for my 4½” rectangle.

Stitch Edit menu

I simply touched the minus button below the number I wanted to change, until I thought the word would fit – and I kept seam allowances in mind too. When you adjust a measurement from the machine’s presets, the number is highlighted on the screen.

Adjusted stitch highlighted

Place the INSPIRA Fast and Easy Tear-A-Way Light Stabilizer beneath the fabric rectangle and stitch out the word. I use the Stop/Start button for this kind of stitching and lightly guide the fabric under the needle. When the stitching is finished, gently tear the stabilizer away from the back of the rectangle and sew a square to each short end of the rectangle. Press the seams towards the rectangle.

Sew the three rows together to complete the mini quilt top and press each seam towards the row below. The mini quilt top should measure 6½” x 8½”.

Mini quilt top

Just in case I want to make another mini quilt, or reuse my word of the year at this specific size, I’ll save it in the built-in stitch menu. Touching the Heart Icon beneath the Multi-Touch Screen opens up the file menu where I saved the new stitch.

Saving custom word stitch

Quilting the mini quilt

In no time at all I have a customized mini quilt top to display my word of the year. I decided to add some decorative stitches as the quilting, and then I layered the quilt in preparing for sewing the layers together using the envelope method.

With the batting on the bottom, I placed the backing fabric right side up next. I usually just use pins to hang a small quilt like this on my sewing room wall, but if you want to add a small dowel instead, simply use two folded 2½” squares to make corner triangles on the mini quilt. I didn’t realize until after finishing the mini quilt that I could have used the last two 2½” squares from the package for the back tabs! Instead, I just used some leftover pink squares and pinned them in place with the folded edge towards the middle of the quilt.

Squares folded for hanging tabs

I placed the quilt top right side up and pinned through all three layers, leaving a 2″ opening. The turning gap will have a seam in it, but it would be a tight squeeze to pull the fabric right side out through a smaller opening.

I used the ¼” Quilting Foot for IDT System to stitch around the outside edge of the layers, using the front red guide marks on the foot to stop and turn the quilt at each corner.

Red guides on ¼” Quilting Foot for IDT System

Carefully turn the mini quilt right side out, pulling it through the gap. Finger press the opening closed and pin in place. Topstitch around the mini quilt to secure the gap closed. Now it’s time to add some finishing touches with some decorative stitches.

There’s such a variety of stitches available on the PFAFF performance icon that it can be hard to choose! I decided early on that I wanted to try some of the antique hand embroidery stitches to add a feminine look to the mini quilt. You can see the stitch chart for the PFAFF performance icon online and also right on the Multi-Touch Screen. I selected a couple of different embroidery stitches to use on the seams.

I wanted to share the screen for one of the stitches – Stitch 3.3.19. I used its mirror image to have it stitch out and mimic the raindrops in my fabric squares.

Mirror stitch 3.3.19

I’ve enjoyed this week of creative challenges using 2½” squares and the PFAFF performance icon. With my word of the year mini quilt complete, I feel inspired to keep creating!

Mini word of the year quilt

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Floating Stitches turn a nine-patch block into a pretty mug rug

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