Piecing blocks are quick and accurate with the PFAFF performance icon

Time to start sewing! In yesterday’s post we collected fabrics and cut out the pieces to make a Double T runner. Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a treat to sew with the PFAFF performance icon. Today we’ll use the Patchwork Program to speed up the process of piecing similar blocks.

Sewing half square triangles with the PFAFF performance icon

Patchwork Program

The PFAFF performance icon comes with many built in features to make sewing accurately easy and enjoyable. It’s been a while since I used the Patchwork Program but I realized that sewing together all of the half square triangles (HSTs) needed for this project was a great opportunity to use it again. I touched the program at the bottom of the Multi-Touch Screen then the question mark at the top right. A pop-up came up where I selected the program again and was brought right to the page in the User’s Guide to reread how to use it. The built-in guide makes it so easy to look things up in the moment – no leaving the machine and getting distracted. The Multi-Touch Screen is about the size of a small tablet so it’s easy to read too.

User’s Guide on the Multi-Touch Screen open to the Patchwork Program

To stitch with the Patchwork Program, you simply press the Start/Stop button which is located right above the Reverse button close to the needle. The program will stitch out the length of stitches you program into it and stop when it’s done. Then you get your next set of fabrics ready and press the button again. It’s a great feature to use when a large number of same-sized units is needed.

Start/Stop button close to needle and just above the Reverse button

Today we’re sewing together the larger units needed for the blocks, half square triangles and some flying geese units.

Making half square triangles

  1. Draw 1 diagonal line on the back of each Double T orange and blue print fabrics 6″ squares.
  2. Sew an orange print 6″ square to a black background square, right sides together, by sewing ¼” away from each side of the drawn line.
  3. Cut on the drawn line to create 2 HSTs. Press the seam to the background fabric.
  4. Repeat these steps with the remaining 2 orange squares.
  5. Sew 1 blue square to 1 black background square, right sides together, by sewing ¼” away from each side of the drawn line.
  6. Cut on the drawn line to create 2 HSTs. Press the seam to the blue fabric.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the remaining blue square.
  8. Trim each HST to 5½”. You should have 8 orange and black HSTs and 4 blue and black HSTs.

One other feature that I use consistently when piecing is the Needle Up/Down button. When engaged the needle stays in the fabric when you stop sewing and the presser foot lifts off of the fabric so you can pivot or manipulate it. You’ll know when any of the button features across the face of the performance icon are active because they will be lit up. I finally got a good photo of the Needle Up/Down button engaged so I can show you.

Needle Up/Down button lit up while engaged and sewing HSTs

Making flying geese blocks using the no-waste method

  1. Using the light orange 6¼” square, place one orange print 3⅜” square on the corner, right side down with the diagonal line in the corner of the light square. Place a second orange print 3⅜” square on the corner diagonal to it with the drawn line in the same direction.
  2. Sew ¼” away on each side of the drawn line.

To make sure my stitching line is a ¼” away from the line, I use the ¼ inch Quilting Foot for IDT System. The IDT System is built into the performance icon and connects to the presser foot to guide the layers of fabric evenly under the needle. Here’s a video that shows the IDT System in action: What makes it so perfect? PFAFF original IDT System?

The ¼ inch Quilting Foot ensures I’m right on the mark!

3. Cut on the drawn line and press seams to the added triangles.

4.On one unit, position 1 orange print 3⅜” square on the corner, right side down with the diagonal line at the corner of the unit.

I use the Straight Needle Plate when sewing which prevents my beginning fabric points from getting pulled into the plate hole. The performance icon comes with 2 needle plates, including the Straight Needle Plate.

Sewing a square to one half of a no-waste flying geese unit

5. Sew ¼” away on each side of the drawn line.

6. Cut on the drawn line and press seams to the added triangle.

7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the second unit.

8. Trim to make each of the flying geese units 3″ tall and 5½” wide.

9. Make a second set of 4 geese with the remaining light orange 6¼” square and 4 orange print 3⅜” squares by repeating steps 1 to 8.

10. Make 2 sets of geese with 2 – 6¼” squares of background fabric and 8 orange print 3⅜” squares, using steps 1 to 8.

11. Make 1 set of geese with the remaining 6¼” square of background fabric and 4 blue print 3⅜” squares, using steps 1 to 8.

12. Make the final set of geese using 1 light blue 6¼” square and 4 light blueprint 3⅜” squares, following steps 1 to 8.

Here’s a sneak peek at the double T block layout so you can see the half square triangles and flying geese units in position. This is one of the orange double T blocks; you will have enough units for one more orange block and one blue block.

Layout of the Double T block showing HST and flying geese units

The Patchwork Program made quick work of stitching the half square triangles and the IDT System helped with accurate piecing of the flying geese units. The built-in features of the PFAFF performance icon are quick to locate and easy to use. We’ll keep making with this great machine tomorrow!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: The Double T block makes this Halloween table runner a real treat

Go to part 3: 2 ways to make square in a square quilt blocks

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