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Little things make a big impression on the PFAFF performance icon

by Sarah Vanderburgh

The PFAFF performance icon is a large sewing machine. It takes up a lot of space! And yet it’s all the little things that make this machine a dream to use. Today I’m taking you through several of the little things that immediately made me want to quilt! I think you’ll be impressed too. Let’s take a closer look at the PFAFF performance icon.

PFAFF performance icon

More Space

The first thing I noticed when unboxing the PFAFF performance icon was its size. It’s much bigger than any other sewing machine I’ve tried. In fact, I still had the PFAFF quilt expression 720 sitting on my desk and I took the opportunity to take pictures of the two machines beside each other.

Not only is the PFAFF performance icon larger, you can also see the front of the machine has been redesigned which also feels very comfortable when using the machine. Also, check out the size of the Multi-touch screen! It’s close to the size of a mini tablet.

PFAFF performance icon beside the PFAFF quilt expression 720

Not only is the space to the right of the needle wider, the height is too. You can see this in the photo below where the quilt expression 720 is peeking through the throat space. More room for quilting your own quilts!

PFAFF quilt expression 720 behind the PFAFF performance icon

Automatic needle threader!

Okay. I might have squealed just a little when I used the automatic needle threader for the first time. Maybe even the second time too! The manual needle threader has become a necessity for me and now having the machine do all of the steps is just awesome. It takes away that little bit of resistance of changing thread color when working on a project; now it’s just a push of a button to thread the needle.

It should be noted that specialty threads will still need to be done manually, but for me that’s rare and honestly, it makes sense – I want the automatic needle threader to work on my regular thread for the majority of my sewing.

Automatic needle threader button

Function buttons all in a row

It never really bothered me on other machines that the buttons were on top of each other, but now that they are in a line I really like it! It’s much easier to pick the right button the first time.

The presser foot up and down buttons are still first and followed by the new automatic needle threader. Next are the cut function, immediate tie-off, and stitch restart. The button on the far end is the Needle stop up/down button which I use all the time – it’s really handy it’s last in the row. You can see the row of buttons in the photo above.

Tucked under closer to the needle are the Start/Stop button and the Reverse button. I like these buttons lower too – closer to where I’m looking when I need them as I’m stitching.

Thread spool options

Something new for me is how the PFAFF performance icon is threaded. The machine accommodates large spools and has a Telescopic Thread Guide that extends and retracts which is used to thread everything. The main spool pin is used for threading when sewing and when winding the bobbin from the needle – you don’t have to unthread the machine! You can sew with the spool horizontal or vertical. The auxiliary spool pin is used to wind a bobbin most of the time and when sewing with a twin needle.

I’ve found it really easy to thread the machine so far and to wind the bobbin too.

Telescopic thread guide

Guidelines on bobbin case cover

Another little thing I didn’t know I was missing is the guidelines on the top of the bobbin case. It’s so easy to keep an eye on my seam allowance! I find myself using it when sewing half square triangles too. The lines give me just a bit more confidence and joy when using this machine.

Guidelines on the bobbin case cover

Built-in User’s Guide

The User’s Guide is available at the touch of a button on the Multi-touch screen. It has different sections to go through for tips and guidance, from garment sewing to quilting. There’s a section about stabilizers and even projects! With the ability to connect to wifi and access mySewnet, the PFAFF performance icon offers even more possibilities! But the User’s Guide is a great place to start. You can also find the full User Guide here.

User Guide on Multi-Touch Screen

IDT system

A reliable feature of any PFAFF is the Integrated Dual Feed, IDT System. This system attaches to specific presser feet to feed fabric layers evenly under the needle.

The PFAFF performance icon has an IDT sensor that prevents you from sewing when the IDT system should be engaged and gives you a popup on the screen. This sensor has saved my sewing several times already!

IDT system engaged

All the little things add up

While one or two of these features might be nice, when they’re all together on one machine, it’s a luxury experience! Sewing with the PFAFF performance icon just gets better and better. I’m still early into my time with this machine and look forward to sharing even more little things with you.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.



Robin Goethals March 27, 2021 - 9:32 pm

I am so excited that I am getting the performance ICON. I was going to get creative quilt 720, but my husband knew I had my heart set on the performance icon. I always seem to have problems threading the machine & loading the bobbin. So this will be perfect for me. I can’t wait to get it two more weeks and it is mine.

Carla A. Canonico March 28, 2021 - 11:42 am

Hi Robin, thank you for sharing your excitement about your new PFAFF performance icon machine, I’m so happy for you! Enjoy!


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