Oct 11, 2013
Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 review
Kristin of Sew Mama sew asked for sewing machine reviews to update the great list of sewing machines you can find right here and I happily complied because it is such a pain to find the right sewing machine and nobody wrote about my model yet. So here goes:
What brand and model do you have and how long have you had it?
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I have a Pfaff Quilt-Expression 4.0 which i bought in 2009 and which costs around 1.300,-€ these days (2013).
What types of things do you sew?
I use this machine mostly for patchwork piecing and quilting. I recently started working with knits which works very well with this machine, too.
My other sewing like laminated pouches, bags and home dec stuff I do mostly on another machine.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew several hours per week, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I really like my Pfaff machine! It is sturdy and heavy and does wonderful topstiching/quilting lines.
She is a bit of a diva, though, because with too many fabric layers she sometimes gets slightly annoyed and reports an "overwhelmed motor". Poor thing. But after a few seconds she´s good to go again.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
The knee lift/lever is awesome and really addictive once you get used to it. The very wide throat of this machine is so helpful with quilting bigger quilts! There´s much less wrangling going on.. And I really appreciate the integrated thread cutter as well: it safes a lot of thread, especially when quilting the middle part of big quilt. And of course the built in walking foot is great for quilting, too, but also for very thin fabrics or laminates. The bobbin thread sensor is very helpful, too, as it warns you soon enough when your bobbin case gets empty.
I don´t use the integrated needle threader very much, but that´s a nice feature. As are the over 200 stiches, which I honestly don´t use, too.
And I don´t use the machine for free motion quilting (yet), so there´s something I really can´t vouch for.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
There actually are two things I really don´t get:
When you press the backstich button the next stich will still go forward before then going backwards. This annoyed me to no end in the beginning and I still don´t understand why the "German innovative Design"ers (quoted directly from the brochure) invented it like this.
However, you get used to it pretty fast and just learn to press that button soon enough :-)
The manual really is a joke: it does get you going, but just the very basics are covered, it is definitely nothing to live up to the possibilities of this machine. That´s a real pity!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes, I would recommend this machine because the points on the plus side do outweigh the few negative things. I never had any real problems with this machine although I use it often and frequently, it works like clockwork and is very reliable.
For piecing and especially straight line quilting the Quilt Expression is such a wonderful machine!
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I don´t believe you can have just one machine for all your sewing needs if you are a very versatile sewist with sometimes kind of difficult materials like silk, laminates, tarp or leather.
You have to decide what you mostly want to use it for. I do have another, much cheaper machine as a "workhorse" for sewing over zippers or through very thick layers of laminates and lining.
Do you have a dream machine?
No, I am quite happy with what I have, it works for me.
From time to time i toy with the idea of getting a serger, too, but then that´s not really necessary or affordable right now so I try to keep my impulses in check..
I am sorry I don´t have any cute or funny story to tell you about my machine (it doesn´t even have a name!): I bought it online after comparing features and prices of different companies for the amount of money I could spend at that time - really boring :-)
But I believe I got a reliable, good quality tool/machine for a reasonable price and until now it totally payed off!
If you have any more questions: please do ask, I am happy to help :-)
And if you want to submit your own machine/story, you should do so right here.