Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: PFAFF quilt expression 4.0, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of my PFAFF Tutorial Tuesday. Each week, I'll be showing new features of my PFAFF quilt expression 4.0 sewing machine. The purpose of these tutorials is to familiarize ourselves (self-included!) with the numerous features of this machine.

This week, we're reviewing the remaining buttons in the first section of the sewing machine's face plate. I thought I'd have enough time to also cover the various presser feet and how to achieve a perfect 1/4" seam. However, I'm thinking it may be a bit too much information to share with all we're covering today.

There are five button options to the left of the graphic display screen that we didn't cover in last week's tutorial.

Stitch Restart Button
The first of these last five options is the stitch restart button, shown here (2nd button down on left with  image of arrow pointing left):

If you are working on a project and have to stop in the middle of a stitch, simply press the stitch restart button and you will start sewing at the beginning of the stitch again without having to reset any special settings you've made. This button is a must-have if, for example, you are using a decorative stitch and need to replace your thread in the middle of sewing a motif. The built in stitch restart feature makes it easy to resume right where you left off.

Let's say that you are sewing a decorative stitch and see that you only need one more motif for your project. While sewing the last motif, press this same stitch restart button. The stitch will finish and the machine will then stop after your motif is finished!

Speed Control
The third button down on the left is the speed control button:

The speed control button can come in handy for a variety of reasons. Here are a few for you to consider:

1) If you are a beginning sewer, what better way to learn than to take it slow? Simply press this button until you are comfortable with the given speed and you will learn at a pace that is comfortable for you!

2) Another reason to use this great feature is if you are a beginner when it comes to machine quilting. Using this slow-down feature will allow you to build your confidence without worrying you may accidentally "put the pedal-to-the-metal" and mess up a planned quilting motif.

3) How about this . . . you've just discovered how much you love a quilt block with a curve (i.e., New York Beauty, Drunkard's Path, or a simple circle patch you'd like to sew to your quilt top). If you've never sewn an arc or circle before, slowing your machine down to a comfortable pace will take away your fears and allow you to finish your task with finesse.

Immediate Tie-off
The button on the top right is the immediate tie-off button.

When pressed while sewing, the immediate tie-off button will sew a few tie-off stitches, then automatically stop. What a great feature to have, right? Gosh, I sure wish I had this feature when I was making Amy Butler's Alchemy sample quilt for her booth for Fall Market last year. Making all of those triangles would have gone so much smoother! :)

Presser Foot Up and Extra Lift Toggle
Press the second button down on the right for the presser foot to raise:

Once pressed, the presser foot raises up, like so, to a comfortable height . . . (note: needle is down in this image because I had the 'needle down' button engaged from last week's tutorial. This shows you how the presser foot up button still works, whether your needle is up or down!).

Press the button a second time, and your presser foot will raise to an extra height . . .

This second, higher position will allow you to easily insert and remove bulky projects, such as a sandwiched quilt top. Isn't that fantastic? :)

Presser Foot Down and Pivot Toggle
The final button we're covering this week is the third button down on the right . . .

Since my images on how this button works would simply show the presser foot in the "down" position, I'll share with you that if you press this button a second time, the presser foot will raise to a height where you can pivot your work when needed, then lower automatically when you start sewing again.

Thanks so much for learning these buttons right along with me! Next week, we'll be covering the presser feet, as well as how to achieve a perfect quarter-inch seam!

Please be sure to ask any questions you may have and I'll address them in an upcoming blog.


Gramma Quilter said...

Thank you so much for doing these tutorials. I have had my 4.0 since June 2011. I have never had any instructions from dealer just went ahead so am going to be tuning in each week. I use it mainly for piecing and FMQ. I was wondering how often do you recommend servicing. My dealer is no longer in business so have to take it farther a field. The machine is working well and i clean bobbin area often. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

My Expression 4.0 is being delivered today! I'm looking forward to getting to know it with your tutorials. Thanks for the information.

Anjileigh said...

I am eagerly awaiting your next post on the 4.0.

Debbie said...

Thanks for your tutorials. I'm learning a lot, but I have a problem with my automatic thread snips. First it stopped cutting the bobbin thread, then I found it was loose. Now I cannot remember how it goes back together. I can't find a diagram or photo anywhere in my manual or the web. Could you take a photo of your blade holder by the bobbin case and email it to me? I hate to make a trip into the City just for a quick fix. I know it is probably easy and I am making it difficult. Thanks for your time and talents. Keep posting pfaff tutes. Debbie in Oklahoma dzjohnson at gmail dot com

Janice B said...

Thanks for this tutorial. I have not had my Expression 4.0 very long and this tutorial is just what I needed to be able to better utilize the machine features.

Keep the instructions coming

ersilia said...

mi chiamo Ersilia e ti segue dall'Italia. Grazie per questo tutorial. Io posseggo un'
Expression 4.0, ma trovo difficile il quilting a mano libera, si rompe spesso il filo superiore! spero tu possa aiutarmi: grazie

Kathie Gore said...

I am really looking forward to this tutorial. I have owned this machine for 2 years and have a love hate relationship with it. Please continue with your fantastic lessons!

Anonymous said...

Really appreciated the two tutorials, but wondering why you stopped? I'm sure there is much more to this machine...

Susan Guzman said...

Dear Anonymous of May 15, 2013, 12:04 PM:

I'm so glad you wrote to me. I scheduled a post for yesterday that never posted, explaining why I've been away from the Tutorial Tuesday posts. I just now posted it, so you can read my blog about this subject, here:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tutorials. I have tried to find tutorials, as I'm new to a computerized sewing machine. With all the options available these days, internet, Cd's, DVDs, blogs like the one you do, I'm amazed that Pfaff has not put something out for their machine(s). I would have no problem paying for the service - I was so frustrated with my machine at first, I wanted to return it! Thanks to a friend who knew what she was doing, I learned the basics, and I love it now. I'd love to learn more. Thank you. Jane

Jude said...

Hi Suz,
I am struggling with programming features of my machine, particularly the alphabet sequencing. Any chance of a tutorial on this sometime soon?
Jude - New Zealand