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Make quick work of piecing with PFAFF’s Patchwork Program

Make quick work of piecing with PFAFF’s Patchwork Program

by Sarah Vanderburgh

Sometimes in order to make a quilt you need to sew together a lot of pieces. In yesterday’s post, I unboxed the new PFAFF Performance 5.2 and got it ready to start sewing. One of the built in features included on Performance 5.2 is the Patchwork Program. This post will show you how the program works and maybe inspire you to start a scrap quilt!

Squares ready to sew

288 Patches ready for piecing

288 patches ready for piecing, 288 patches – can you hear me singing? So glad I can use the Patchwork Program on the Performance 5.2 for this step!

This program is on other PFAFF models as well and honestly, I didn’t really get what the big deal was before. It’s rare for me to sit down and sew a lot of pieces at once so I tried the program before and wondered why it was a feature. Until now. Enter the Patchwork Olympics put on by the Temecula Quilt Company during this summer’s Olympic games. They featured this beautiful patchwork quilt made of four patches that decrease in size across the quilt. A lot of four patches!

I was completely smitten and hooked. I knew I was going to somehow keep up and make this quilt happen. I cut out and finished the first set of patches with no difficulty. But this step – 288  2½” squares to make 72 four patches – this step overwhelmed me. I realized this was the perfect opportunity to try out the Patchwork Program.

Straight stitch needle plate and quilting foot

Straight stitch needle plate and ¼” quilting foot

When I unboxed the Performance5.2, I switched to the straight stitch needle plate and the ¼” quilting foot. I also made sure to engage the IDT system with the presser foot – this will help your pieces move under the needle together.

Patchwork program icon

Patchwork Program icon engaged

Press the second icon in the sidebar inside the Color Touch Screen. This will open up the programs menu. Touch the middle icon in the opened screen to engage the Patchwork Program. The Patchwork Program icon will have the green light around it lit up when engaged.

Two pieces ready to be stitched

Two pieces ready to be stitched

Stitch together two pieces to start the Patchwork Program. Be sure to stitch the full length and not stop and start again as you get near the end – the length you sew at this point will get programmed into the machine by pressing the reverse button after you sew it. Then press down on the presser foot to set the program – the machine will transfer the length you just sewed into a single stitch.

Stitch program engaged

Stitch program engaged

You’ll know if you did it right when you see the Stitch Program icon is now engaged! Notice the “x28” between the plus and minus icons? That’s the number of stitches you just made – add one or take one away to adjust the programmed length.

One more step before you press the “Start” button and start sewing all the patches together: change the machine speed.

Machine speed pop up

Machine speed pop up

Long touch the Speed control button to open it on the Touch Screen and adjust the machine’s speed. I like to turn it down for the piecing so that I can keep my fingers moving at a comfortable speed and see what the machine is doing – maybe you can work a little faster than me!

Start Stitch button location on Performance 5.2

Start Stitch button location on Performance 5.2

Now I’m ready to start piecing all those patches! Would you believe that it took me less than an hour to sew them all using the Patchwork Program; it probably could have been quicker if I wasn’t taking the time to match the fabrics!

I’m pretty sure it took me longer to iron them all 🙂

Two patches finished

Two patches finished

The next step was to sew these together into four patches which I did using the Patchwork Program; I simply programmed a new stitch length. You can see the results in a progress photo on my blog. Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this I’ll have finished the next step of making lots and lots of four patches with 1½” pieces!

headshot of performance 5.2

PFAFF Performance 5.2

I’m feeling confident that the PFAFF Performance 5.2 can handle any piecing challenge I give it. The Patchwork Program has convinced me that I can start making more scrap quilts – quickly and precisely too!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1:  Unboxing PFAFF’s Performance 5.2

Go to part 3: Machine stitch a crazy patch potholder



Ms November 15, 2017 - 2:21 pm

What if I want to lock the stitches at beginning and end? Will the patchwork program accommodate this into its programming?

Sarah Vanderburgh November 15, 2017 - 7:53 pm

Hi and thanks for your question. If I’m understanding you correctly and by “locking the stitches” you are referring to using a backstitch to secure them, then no, the program will not accomodate this as the length of your programmed stitch is created by using the reverse button. When you use the reverse button you will actually make a new program. I benefited the most from the patchwork program when I was piecing several units of the same seam length – think making a whole quilt out of four patch blocks! It is a really great feature for this purpose.


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