Friday, 25 April 2014

Pfaff 4.2 Second impression

I have had the new machine now since January and I thought it was timely to give a bit of an update.

Since January, I have worked on three different projects. I gave that machine a hell of a workout on my Wholecloth quilt, micro stippling the entire background. Then I pieced and FMQ  my recent baby quilt and lastly, I completed a Dresden Plate table runner. So, overall I would have worked with most of the basic functions ( and some more). If you read my first post, you would remember that I had promised myself to actually use some of the functions that I had abandoned on the Pfaff 4.0 because they just were too much hassle.

Let's look at the basic buttons

On the left from top to bottom, there is the Needle Down, the Stitch Restart, the Speed and the Thread Snip button. On the right, again from top to bottom, there is the Immediate Tie Off, the two Presser foot buttons (up and down) and the Start/ Stop button.

The most used one would have to be the Needle Down function. I use this all the means the machine stops in the Needle Down position, when you stop. This is ultra handy when FMQ and I would nowadays be lost without it.

I did use the Tie off button a lot on the last two projects. The Immediate Tie off button is for one off tie offs that you might want to do ( you can also program tie offs at beginning and end, as well as the snip off, but this would involve a different button). Yes, I have started to seriously use this again, particularly when I did the recent Dresden Plate project. I had a laugh though. Does the manufacturer not know that I need this to be flexible, depending on whether or not I make mistakes! So I used the tie off option on Stitch 52 (this gives you a very neat and tidy tie off which is especially designed for quilting) and off I went...I then made a mistake here and there and had to undo my stitching and I must say, the tie off was a bugger to get out...every single time. Like I stated before, that baby is tight and will not come out in a hurry.

The Stitch Restart button is a very useful one...when I stopped sewing, i.e. when I decided to undo part of my stitching, I then could use this function to start at the beginning again, in my case I had set the machine to start each stitching line with a tie off.

Presser foot up and extra lift toggle...I use this a lot when FMQ to have a look where my stitches are when I have stopped and want to restart in a consistent manner. The button below  is the Presser foot down and pivot toggle...this is obviously useful when changing direction, for example when I was echoing around my Dresden Plate using the walking foot.

Speed control...I use this depending on what I am working on. I learnt FMQ on a machine that did not have a speed control button, so I am fairly used to regulating the speed by myself. However, this is handy when I want to make sure that I do not  inadvertently go faster, for example when quilting feathers I run the machine at a very slow speed. In contrast, when stippling or swirling around over an entire quilt I will set it to the maximum speed, so that I can slow down and speed up as needed for the design.

Start/stop I have had some fun with this when chain piecing. If you are not stitching an accurate 1/4" seam allowance and are just doing some straight sewing, this could be quite useful. I was stitching a lot of HST and as I was feeding them through the machine I tried this button. With a little bit of concentration and coordination of your hands you can have the machine running while you just feed the pieces through...I did about 40 of them in one hit.

Thread snip...this is the only one I do not use that often ...I did however use it in the construction of the Dresden Plate wedges to see whether it would behave for me...I had set the machine to tie off the thread at the beginning as well and I was did the tie off very neatly and the short cut threads did not cause any thread nests.

Overall, the new feed definitely delivers...I have now sewn a few bindings on and in comparison to the Pfaff 4.0 I have had no more issue with the irregularity of stitches or the machine veering off when attaching the binding. I also noticed that when I stitched my baby quilt that the machine had far less trouble than the previous version to stitch over bulky seams (my baby quilt was a pinwheel quilt where eight seams meet in the middle). In fact initially I went over them with some trepidation as I was used to the bulk causing the machine to struggle and then causing irregularities in the stitch length...this did not happen on the Pfaff 4.2. It rattled effortlessly over the bulk.

I also experimented with the different FMQ modes and the different feet, but I will leave that for another day to talk about.

Happy quilting


1 comment:

  1. I should use more of the features on my sewing machine. I just use the basic ones. You're reminding me to learn them and use them!


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