PFAFF performance icon brings vintage fabrics to life

I’ve been keeping my spirits bright this summer by working ahead on my quilting projects. I decided this year – in these times – to start using up some of my cherished stash. This week I’m using the PFAFF performance icon to make a holiday bed runner using vintage fabric.

PFAFF performance icon

In the process of making this runner, I’ll talk about the features on the PFAFF performance icon that make it easy to just grab some fabrics and sew. The results are always precise, and the quilted project looks superb!

Let’s get the machine ready to sew.

Wind a bobbin

The binding mechanism is a very easy setup on the top of the performance icon machine. It’ll stop automatically when the bobbin is completely full, or you can stop to partially fill a bobbin. Use the front spool peg to place the spool of thread being used for the bobbin. A Bobbin Winding popup appears on the Multi-touch Screen when you push the slider against the bobbin. At this point, you can adjust the speed of the winding on the screen. Press the arrow on the screen to start and stop the winding. There’s a cutter to the left of where the bobbin sits to cut the thread.

Bobbin winding on the PFAFF performance icon

Change the needle plate

The performance icon comes with two-needle plates; the standard one for sewing and a straight stitch needle plate. The big difference is that there’s a single round hole where the needle goes through on the straight stitch plate which prevents your piecing from being pulled in and potentially ruined.

The feature I like best – in addition to the straight stitch needle plate being a standard accessory and not an additional thing to buy – is the built-in storage compartment in the accessory tray. It makes it so convenient to change the needle plate because the second one is right there and not packed away or tucked ‘somewhere safe’ never to be found!

Needle plate storage PFAFF performance icon

Changing the needle plate isn’t that tricky either; in fact, the built-in User’s Guide is available to guide you through the steps – with words and diagrams!

User’s Guide for changing needle plate displayed on Multi-touch Screen.

User’s Guide performance icon built-in guide changing needle plate

The built-in User’s Guide is accessible right on the PFAFF performance icon Multi-touch Screen to guide you through the process of changing the needle plate.

Automatic needle threader

The automatic needle threader is a feature I use all the time. I never did on my previous machine because it just seemed like more of a hassle than putting the thread through the needle myself. Well, I’m pretty sure a few years have gone by since I had that opinion AND the threader on this machine works great every time. It’s so easy – you push a button! In fact, I’ve come to rely on it letting me know if my new needle is not in all the way as the threader won’t work in that case. This is definitely a feature that I appreciate every time I change threads – it makes it a convenient, easy thing. In this project, I change thread several times and this is something new for me in my creating – I used to settle on one thread just to avoid changing it. Not anymore!

Automatic needle threader

Fabric Requirements

I used some vintage fabrics I inherited several years ago. You can use something in your stash in these colors or a different color palette. Blues and whites would look like snowflakes! I think this runner could be for any occasion so use what you would like and let’s make something together.

Vintage Holiday Bed Runner has a lot of sparkle to it, thanks to the churn dash blocks holiday bed runner patchwork runner to make using PFAFF performance icon.

This Vintage Holiday Bed Runner has a lot of sparkle it, and would look great in a variety of color palettes; sewn and quilted on PFAFF performance icon



  • fabric A background (green) ¾ yd
  • fabric B star (red) 1 yd
  • fabric C churn dash (white) ½ yd
  • backing 1½ yds


Gütermann 100% natural cotton thread is made with the finest, long-staple cotton and is strong with a silk-like lustre. Suitable for both hand and machine sewing. Ideal for piecing and embroidery work with the finest cotton fabrics.

Vintage fabrics holiday bed runner sewn and quilted on PFAFF performance icon

I’m looking forward to using the features on the PFAFF performance icon to create this holiday bed runner. Join me tomorrow, I’ll start the Vintage Holiday Runner!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Cutting and piecing the Vintage Holiday quilted runner

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