Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: PFAFF quilt expression 4.0, Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 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.

In this first tutorial, I will show you a few features of my machine that made my decision in choosing this model a no-brainer.

1. I wanted a machine with a large throat space for quilting because this year I plan to teach myself how to machine quilt.

The PFAFF quilt expression 4.0 has a throat space of approx. 10" between the needle on the left, and the wall on the right. Additionally, the space has a height of approx. 4 1/4". This offers an abundance of space compared to a standard sewing machine.

2. The next exciting benefit of this machine is the trademarked PFAFF IDT, or, Integrated Dual Feed. IDT is an optional feature that is extremely easy to use. See the black "arm" that sits behind the needle?

 Be sure to have your presser foot raised, then simply press the IDT arm down and forward toward your presser foot to engage:

To release the IDT, pull the shaft down . . .

 . . . and back to disengage:

The IDT is a feature commonly found on industrial machines. It allows an even feed of fabric from both the top and bottom. In other words, it is like a locking mechanism that allows your presser foot and top fabric to stay in simultaneous motion with your feed dogs and bottom fabric. Why is this so beneficial? Well, it allows you to sew two pieces of fabric together evenly and without shifting (using any type of fabric!) alleviating puckering, and allowing for a smooth, perfect seam.

3. The 3rd feature I'd like to point out is the amount of light provided at both the needle and on the sewing deck.

These lights are bright and illuminate the entire sewing area. You can even replace them yourself! Purchase bulbs from your authorized PFAFF dealer, then use the light bulb remover as instructed under the Maintenance section of your owner's manual to pull out the old and replace with the new.

4. Automatic thread snips are included with the touch of a button.

Directly to the left of the display screen on the front of the machine, you'll see an image of a pair of scissors. When you are finished sewing, press the scissors button to cut the top and bobbin threads. The presser foot and needle will automatically raise when finished so you can easily remove your project.

5. Needle down/up. Pressing the button with the image of a needle in the down-position will illuminate the light to the left of the button . . .

. . . and drop your needle and presser foot down onto your project.

I like using this feature because when you stop sewing, the needle will stop in the down position and holds your project in place while the presser foot automatically raises slightly in case you need to check something. I recently used this feature while adding binding. It came in handy when I got to the corners where I had to pivot the project to continue sewing the next side of the binding in place. Note: You can always tap the foot control to raise or lower the needle.

Tune-in next week when we tackle the rest of the buttons in this first section of the sewing machine face and talk about the presser feet and how to get the perfect quarter-inch seam!

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

Surprise Giveaway!

(Note: PFAFF Tutorial Tuesday will follow this post!)

Imagine my surprise as I opened the Priority Mail envelope to two issues of Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, the newest spin-off issue from the 100 Blocks issues. I was stumped as to why I received them.

 I opened the cover and there was my answer! My applique block, called Bertrand's Arrows, seen in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 3, was re-created into a quilting motif in Tutti-Frutti, a quilt designed by Jacquelynne Steves, shown on pages 18-21.

Jacquelynne combined her block, Neapolitan, from 100 Blocks, Vol. 4, with a solid white block where she included my block's outline as a quilting motif.

The Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks issue has 19 different quilt patterns and a bonus of 7 table runner patterns. It's packed full of great ideas.

So because I now have two issues, and really only need one for myself, I'm giving away the second issue to a lucky winner! Here's what you'll do to enter this giveaway . . .

If you have a Blogger ID: Simply leave a comment on this blog letting me know what sewing project you're currently working on or one you're interested to try. This can be any sewing project!

If you do not have a Blogger ID (and your comment will post as "Anonymous"): I would still love to hear what sewing project you're working on or interested in trying, but you'll have to copy your comment and paste it into an email. Send your message to me with your full name. If you win, I will know who the winner is and can easily email you for your mailing address. You can send your comment to: info at suzguzdesigns dot com.

This giveaway ends at midnight, Mountain Time, Monday, March 11th. I will announce the winner in next week's PFAFF Tutorial Tuesday, on Tuesday, March 12th.

I look forward to reading what everyone is up to!

Good luck!