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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Issue Winner Announced!

To all who participated in my Giveaway of 1 issue of "Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks", thank you! I thank you for sharing the projects you're working on! I always enjoy hearing what you all are sewing!

The winner of my extra issue of the magazine is . . .

. . . using an online random number generator:

Congratulations to Dee!