Sunday, March 17, 2013

Meet: My Machine! Blog Hop Day 1

  The Tilted Quilt meet My Machine Linky Party
Today is officially day one of the Meet My Machine Blog Hop, so it’s time to Meet: My Pfaff!
Taking over the dining room!
I have owned my Pfaff Quilt Expressions 4.0 for almost 2 years now.  For many years I mooched off my various roommates who all happened to have sewing machines.  I was then given an old singer from a coworker who knew I would appreciate it.  I used that little workhorse until two years ago when I decided I wanted to try free motion quilting.
My friend John had purchased a Pfaff for his mother as a gift and then got the same machine for himself.  I had been in the market for a Bernina based solely on their reputation but not ever having tried one, but when I went to the store with John in tow, he convinced me to get the same machine as him – the Pfaff QE 4.0.
Fancy digital display screen!
Some of the features that I was drawn to and still love are:
·      The multitude of fancy stitches including 3 alphabets (which I have yet to use)
·      Pull down needle threader – how did I live without this before?
·      Automatic thread cutter (another how did I live without this?!)
·      Large throat space
·      I can just tap my foot on the foot pedal to control the presser foot! 
·      The beep to let me know my bobbin is almost empty.  How considerate!
Some things I'm not so fond of... well, that convenient beep that tells you when you are almost out of bobbin thread?  It beeps occasionally when there is still plenty of thread left sometimes due to the manner in which the bobbin was wound.  It also automatically STOPS your sewing (Grr..!!!) when it beeps to "help" you out.  But for someone like me who likes to sew right to the end of the bobbin thread so as not to waste any... it's rather annoying.  
Stinky on her perch on the hutch watching me sew
Grandma Kelley's old White sewing machine
Also, I originally bought this machine in order to do some free motion quilting, but didn’t attempt anything until this year.  I ran into lots of issues – skipped stitches, thread breakage, etc.. – and was on the phone several times with the store.  They tried to trouble shoot with me over the phone, but I realized I needed to bring it in.  Turns out I was using the wrong foot with the wrong setting.  That’s what I get for having a high falootin’ machine with two different free motion feet and settings.  At the store, it worked perfectly of course, and then when I had it home this week, I was still experiencing some issues with tension and skipping.  I changed threads and it improved slightly, but I’m still having some issues (see previous post!).   

My second machine was my grandmother’s White table-mounted machine.  It’s cute and blue and I’ve never officially used it although I hear my cousin used it a few times before it came to me a few years ago.  Right now I don’t have the proper space for displaying it so it sits unused.  

I also have a third machine that is packed away somewhere inaccessible.  It is a Hello Kitty Janome from Target I bought just for it's cuteness factor.  I've tried to sew with it a few times, but it has a front loading bobbin which is foreign to me and I quickly defaulted back to my Pfaff. 
My downstairs space
My current space is a small but functional.  We are living in a rental unit so I can't fully adopt the space as my own, but this is one of the few times I have had a dedicated sewing space.  It's on the first floor of our building and it gets rather cold this time of year, so I have taken over the dining room table as well.  I can watch TV while working on a project and the cat keeps me company!


Julie C. said...

Thanks for sharing all of the ups and downs of your machine! I own the Pfaff Quilt Expression 2.0, and I love it. I haven't had any issues with FMQ, but I did have trouble chain piecing with it. It doesn't want to stitch onto the next piece without a lot of pushing and shoving from me. I heard that a straight stitch throat plate will solve my problem. Also, you might want to check out this post by Don't Call Me Betsy for FMQ Tips:

Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy said...

Hey girl!
Thanks for sharing all of your machines! That Pfaff looks pretty darn nice, but I have to say, when I saw the White my heart jumped. What an awesome machine!
My old Brother is a front-load bobbin, and I have to admit, it can be downright finicky. I think I've finally gotten the hang of it after all of these
Thank you so much for joining in the hop - and if you get a sec, could you link up with Stacey's link-up? not necessary, but if you have the time, I'd love ya for it!
See you today?

heart of charnwood said...

Hi Shannon, thx for telling us about your machines- i love the bloue one, it looks really cool. I used one of those pfaffs at a few courses and it was a great machine, but i too had a few issues with the beeping bobbin and the fmq breaking threads, I have to say my older non computerised pfaff is pretty good at FMQ except every so often, she gets grumpy with how the threads wound! I tried to reply to your comment on my blog, and it says you're a no reply blogger! :o).

Jennifer Lowe said...

Your Pfaff looks soooo nice - and probably easier to bring to the Quilt Guild meeting today than any of the others.
My second machine (a Singer0 is also front-loading and I find it really picky at times as well.

Sewing Mom said...

I loved reading about your machines! I thought about buying one of those little Janome's, but ended up getting a juki instead. Now I wish I hadn't. =) Thanks for joining in the hop.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Very nice post....I love the idea of the automatic thread cutter. And I love your downstairs space!!!

PegD said...

Thanks so much for sharing.Nice to see someone else with a QE 4.0. I bought mine solely based on the fact that I had a Pfaff before and loved it. I was disappointed at first because I had some of the same issues with my machine when FMQ, thread breaking etc until I emailed someone else has one. She passed on some really helpful tips and I have been having great luck now. The biggest thing that helped me was lowering my pivot height to -3 when I FMQ. I use sharps for my needles and they are the ticket. She messes with her tension but I don't seem to need to. It's picky so clean it out often. I use Superior Sew Fine or Aurifil thread. I am enjoying my quilting now!

Mara said...

Thank you for sharing it was great seeing all of your machines, front loading bobbing isn't that hard, you should try the old girl out.

Crafty Turtle said...

Thanks for the input everyone! I'm still tweaking my Pfaff for FMQ and it has been slowly improving... I'm pretty determined so I know I will finally find just the right settings and thread, etc...

And with all the pretty vintage machines I'm seeing on other folks' blogs, I'm finding my inspiration..., I'm going to try out my grandma's White machine this weekend! Yay!

Sylvia said...

Thanks for sharing your machines and sew space. It was fun to read!

CitricSugar said...

Thanks for the inside scoop! It's funny because I lament all the time that there isn't a beep letting me know when my bobbin's empty, though I could imagine how annoying it would get if it decides it's "almost" empty...

Joy N said...

Enjoyed reading about your machines. Love the quilt on the right side of the photo in taking over the dining room. It really caught my eye, the colors and pattern, looks beautiful!

harada57 said...
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