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The beauty of vacationing and quilting with the PFAFF creative icon

by Claire Haillot

Hello everyone! Hope you’ve enjoyed your summer and have found some time to keep on track of your quilting projects. With the heat waves that we have had, I have been keeping cool indoors with my fantastic PFAFF creative icon and I must admit that it has changed my perspective on quilting and vacationing.

PFAFF creative icon comes with a carrying case for the embroidery unit and accessories. Making it that much easier to bring it to the cottage!

PFAFF creative icon comes with a carrying case for the embroidery unit and accessories. Making it that much easier to bring it to the cottage!

If you’ve been following along since February 2018, I’ve had fun making quick and easy quilt projects while testing out the creative icon. However I have fallen short on the quilting part in the last two projects. I continuously ran out of time to finish them and be ready for the blog posts. It’s one thing quilting for the fun of it, but there’s added pressure when you have deadlines to meet to post blogs.

But you know me, I love challenges and have been trying to keep up with the program. So for the summer I decided not to start any new project but to simply learn how to use the embroidery side of the creative icon. Cause let’s face it… so far I have really LOVED working with it, but haven’t used it to its full potential.

If you’ve been reading all my blogs so far and have been thinking about purchasing a PFAFF machine, all of the features I have presented are available on the PFAFF performance icon as well. What makes the creative icon so special is that it also comes loaded with the embroidery tray and hoops as well as many designs and apps to help you create more.

So this week it’s all about quilting projects using the embroidery tray and a few other tricks along the way to help you have a nice clean finish.

My April posts featuring a baby quilt finally quilted!

My April posts featuring a baby quilt finally quilted!

To start off, let’s go back to my April posts featuring a baby quilt featuring the lovely Sleepy Sloth fabrics from Northcott. All that was left was to quilt some hearts in the main blocks. I had my design in mind but I fell in love with the heart border design that was already programmed into the creative icon. So I decided that could be an easy introduction to the embroidery.

I finally mustered up the courage to open the lovely PFAFF Embroidery Carrying Case that protects the embroidery unit with all the hoops. It’s all very well secured and It made me realize that I could easily travel with the case should I need to bring it up to the cottage.

Embroidering the heart border design on my quilt using the PFAFF creative icon was nice and easy once I had secured the quilt in the hoop.

Embroidering the heart border design on my quilt using the PFAFF creative icon was nice and easy once I had secured the quilt in the hoop.

Due to the thickness of the quilt, I had to work my quilt onto the hoop. I was able to unscrew the clip of the hoop to ensure that it fits into it no problem.

So the trick is to position the first hoop with the hook underneath your quilt, ensuring that the hook is located on the bottom right.

Position the quilt and add the second hoop.

Ensure that you see the writing so that you know it’s in the correct position. Then clip to close. I used the biggest size hoop which allowed me to embroider up to 13.11″ x 13.78″. I duplicated the design 4 times and aligned it perfectly to my block. It really does help to have the biggest screen possible on the machine. I was able to play with the precision positioning on the screen to ensure that the embroidery would fall exactly where I wanted on the quilt.

I found it easy to embroider using the single hole plate and the 6D embroidery foot. When the straight stitch plate is attached, the machine automatically sets to straight stitch mode, preventing damage to the needle and plate. The large workspace really helped out as I was positioning the hoop in the middle of the quilt and had at least 10″ of the quilt hanging out on the right hand side.

I also picked up some Sulky rayon 40wt thread in the midnight blue color to ensure that the thread wouldn’t break while embroidering. I love the look it gives to my quilt. It blends well with all the rest of my quilting made with my Blue Heaven blendable 12wt 100% cotton Sulky thread. Another thing I learned while making this project was that the bobbins on the creative icon are 30% larger! I kept on wondering when I would run out of thread but I was able to embroider my three blocks without having to make a new bobbin!

Embroidery stitch out on PFAFF creative icon

Embroidery stitch out on PFAFF creative icon

The first main block took no more than 20 minutes to figure out and embroider. The other 2 blocks, on the left side, gave me a bit of a workout as I decided to reduce the size of the hearts and make several more duplicates to cover the complete area. And the good news is that I was able to save both block quilting designs: I simply had to touch the heart on the bottom left of my screen for the creative icon to save the embroidery design. I gave each a distinctive name so that I can simply go into my sewnet and touch the cloud to retrieve the design should I want to use it again on another block.

Finished baby quilt while vacationing at the cottage.

Finished baby quilt while vacationing at the cottage.

As this is my first quilt made using an embroidery system, I have to say that I’m really thrilled. It was a great project to do while on vacation. And I couldn’t have made it without the PFAFF creative icon. Tomorrow I’ll show you how I cheated to make a quick and cute binding.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: PFAFF creative icon stitch creator lets you add oomph to a simple binding

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Beverly Branch May 12, 2020 - 12:09 pm

I do a lot of quilting smaller size quilts on my Icon, but have managed a queen size too. You just have to make sure the quilt is bundled up around the machine and support the area in front of the hoop on your lap. Can get a little warm in summer.

As my Icon is currently in the shop I am quilting an 83” square quilt on my Creative Sensation Pro II backup machine. Having some stitch (tension?) issues. Maybe you have suggestions. It stitches perfectly until it gets to a curve. Then the thread just on top lays on top with the bobbin loops showing. But after continuing maybe a inch or so, still curving, it stitches perfectly again. Overall, maybe 10-20% of the stitching has the problem within the hoop. I have cleaned the bobbin area and rethreaded the machine. I am using a new quilting needle. What is the likely cause and solution?

Peggy L August 21, 2019 - 9:31 am

I saw this machine at a show as it was first released to the public. Of course I fell in love with it. First, I am a Pfaff owner which makes a huge difference. There are alot of things you do not have to explain when the stitches are always perfect, there are NEVER tension issues & you can just sew with absolute joy! In the real world, we are a one salary family, putting kids through college & I can’t imagine how many people have this kind of money for a sewing machine. I have no problems with my priorities, my family has always come first. For a short minute on the exhibit floor, I felt like the young millenials who want every new version of every new phone, gadget etc. It left me wondering how much is too much & how much is enough. I still love Pfaff, the perfection they put into their machines, I feel lucky to own one!

Alice Newman August 7, 2019 - 5:52 pm

I don’t understand why you hooped the quilt. I would have used a very light water soluble stabilizer, maybe a VERY light tear away, hooped that and adhered the quilt to the stabilizer with the baste around the hoop function. I hate hooping and haven’t done it for years!

Judith Newman August 6, 2019 - 9:25 pm

A quick tip – I use double sided 3-M tape on the underside of the inner part of the hoop (the one on top of the fabric) to position the hoop – it sticks to the fabric and makes it MUCH easier to hoop the quilt block.

Lois September 7, 2018 - 7:02 pm


Great quilt. I have done quilting on smaller (6 inch) blocks before, but not since I bought my Icon.

I am a bit confused by some of your process (sorry!!) Which size hoop did you use? Not the Grand hoop ??? I am also a bit unclear what you mean by unscrewing the grip ……. Did you take the screw right out, and leave it out? You also mentioned “seeing the writing”. – is that the markings on the top hoop, because I can’t work out why you wouldn’t be able to see them . Was this an external design amended after loading ? Also, was the weight of the quilt an issue?

Sorry. Your description was great but I was just trying to imagine the process in practice. Love my Icon – about my 5th Pfaff, but the best so far …..


Claire Haillot September 10, 2018 - 5:18 pm

Hi Lois,
Those are all great questions. Let me try to answer them all 🙂
I used the creative Supreme Hoop which is the 360×260, it’s the biggest hoop that comes with the PFAFF creative icon.
Now on the hoop there is a quick release clip, but that clip is actually screwed to a bolt so you can loosen the screw in order to allow thicker pieces inside the hoop. I accidently did unscrew it but put it back into place easily. It’s better to simply not clip the quick release.
Seeing the writing was my trick to ensure that I was placing everything right on the hoop. I had the first hoop on the table, than my quilt, and I aded the indder hoop firmly. If I could read PFAFF on top and 360mmx260 mm on the bottom of that inner hoop, I knew it was set properly. You wouldn’t be able to read it if your innerhoop was up-side down or if you placed the inner hoop first on table and than the outer hoop on top. Being dyslexic is challenging and this was my trick to ensure I was going along fine.
This was not an external design! I was able to find it in the border section on the embroidery selection in the machine.
Once I had figured out how to place the quilt in the hoop, I didn’t have any problems getting it quilted. I was about 40×60 and I had set up the icon in the middle of my dining room table to ensure that the quilt wouldn’t fall and get stuck somewhere around the sewing machine. The weight wasn’t a problem.
Let me know if you need more detail! I understand what you mean! I really love the icon too and was afraid to use the embroidery… no longer an issue. I am hooked!

Glenda August 27, 2018 - 10:05 am

Beautiful quilt and embroidery design! I just have a couple quick questions. Are you loading just the quilt top or the quilt top, batting and backing in the hoop? Also, I’ve never done embroidery without a stabilizer, but you didn’t mention using any.

Thank you.

Claire Haillot August 27, 2018 - 10:37 am

Hi Glenda,
Thanks you! I didn’t use stabilizer as this quilt was sandwiched and already quilted as per my April post
Because it was all sandwiched, I just had to place the quilt in the hoop to embroider. The trick is to unscrew the grip to loosen up the hoop as much as possible.



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