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Pfaff problems and free motion quilting

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Cindy posted on Fri, Jan 4 2013 7:28 AM

I have a Pfaff Expressions 2.0 and have been having problems with it skipping stitches when doing FMQ. I have had it to the shop several times and tried various needle sizes and types of thead and varying the speed at which I sew.

I was wondering if others have had the same type of problem, especially with their Pfaff?  Would like to know as I may opt to buy a new machine for FMQ.  However, it does piecing just wonderfully.

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L Kohl replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 6:08 PM

I have 2 Pfaff machines I inhereted from my mother.  1 is a 130 - the old all mechanical parts metal head workhorse.  It mends jeans without blinking.  The other is a model 1170 - one of the last electronic models made by the original german company.  I have drooled over the embroidery machines and had thought I would want a Pfaff.  I was talking to owner/repair person at a local shop and he said the Pfaffs were a piece of junk.  He used to be an authorized Pfaff repairman but he gave up his authentication.  Since Viking bought Pfaff the quality was no longer there.  His opinion Babylock is the best.  Having the most bells and whistles does not make the most reliable.

As for the skipped stitches, broken needles,etc.  According to everything I've read about FMQ some machines have more problems than others.  In some cases certain brands can be fussy about the threads used and generally there can be problems when changing direction especially at speed.  Changing from forward to backward is when the most problems can occur - broken needles and/or thread, tangles on the bottom.  The recommendations I have read are to slow down when you change from forward to backward, and avoid making abrupt changes of direction.

I have only done one small piece and being my first experience I was rather nervous.  But I only had a couple of days to get it done in.  I had problems at first - broken thread, lots of thread tangles - but as I got the feel of it the problems went away.  I think for me it was just a matter of getting over the learning curve.  I was doing a lot changing direction - quilting star shapes and quilting around printed forms.  In the end I think I did a pretty good job.  The flaws didn't matter - the piece was for a toddler, who didn't know the difference and loved it for what it was.

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Kris replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 6:24 PM

Annie:
I have  4.0 and have trouble only sometimes.  I swear, I can't figure out a common denominator.  My final conclusion:  walk away and come back to it after a day.  

Annie,

I get that with my Pfaffs and my Babylock (not computerised). Coming back another day usually works. Maybe they just need a rest every now and then.

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Cindy replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 10:22 PM

Well,

I decided I just could not tolerate the problems anymore and traded in my Pfaff 2.0 for a Bernina 750 with a stitch regulator.  What a dream of a machine.  I had started stitching in the ditch with the Pfaff prior to trading it in.  Once I got the Bernina I was able to reduce the pressure foot pressure (which I could not do with the Pfaff 2.0) and with the built in walking foot on the Bernina was able to stitch in the ditch and not get those annoying puckers when crossing over another seam. also did lots of free motion quilting using the stitch regulator and loved it.  The only time I had problems was right after winding a new full bobbin, the thread would get hung up on the bottom, but it was easily cleared. Since then I try to stop winding the bobbin before it gets completely full. Only time had thread break was when the spool was down very low and the thread got stuck on the spool!  Even using the 'poor quality' thread (which the Pfaff repair man had told me was causing the problems with my Pfaff) I did not have any problems and no skipped stitches.  Even my husband realized I was much happier and he did not hear any swearing coming from the sewing room!

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ls2116 replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 11:23 PM

Thanks for the heads up on these machines as I'm looking for a new addition to my sewing family. Has anyoone used a sashiko?

Quilting My Rainbow

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Kris replied on Fri, Feb 15 2013 12:40 PM

Is,

Sashiko is a Japanese stitch traditionally done by hand. The Sashiko machine is used to make this stitch only. I think it's expensive for what it does. Not very versatile. I've also heard complaints about the appearance of the stitches on the back side of the work.

I live near a Babylock dealer and this has not been a popular machine.

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Singer, Viking and Husquvarna are all the same company now.  The german made machines are still in high demand and their prices reflect it.  I have several Pfaffs, including the 2170 and they all do a good job.  The 7570 is still the workhorse of them all though. 

Having a pfaff dealer that is customer friendly and willing to work with you is a must.  One that doesn't care where you bought your machine but is willing to do service is like platinum, rare and precious.  I have to say that if I ever decide to get a new machine I will be switching brands for the want of someone to service.  Right now I don't need that from a dealer, but to upgrade I would.

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I bought a Pfaff Performance 5.0 about 6 weeks ago.  I've been sewing on a Pfaff of one kind or another for decades.  I loved my 7570 but it started having mother board problems. So I didn't hesitate to buy this machine.  It makes beautiful easy buttonholes and the other basic stitches.  But mainly I bought it because of the ease of working on the display models free motion set up.  That is 80% of my sewing is. And I've been doing it for over ten years on the 7570.  I bring the machine home from the dealer-over 100 miles away after running though the hour and half new owners training.  As soon as I am working on my latest project -a landscape piece which I had thought I might be able to enter in my first show ever, the nightmares start.  Straight free motion is fine-not great but I think I'll figure out why soon enough.  The more free motion I do, the more curves, the more seams the more problems arise.  I'm sending emails with pictures to the dealer. End up taking another overnight trip. The suggestion is there is something wrong with the bobbins I purchased at the dealers. So I get more bobbins and as long as I sew slow and straight -my mistake for not taking the actual layered quilt top with me-things seem fine.  Of course, I continue to have problems.  The dealer has spoken with Pfaff and they have agreed to send me another machine. Another overnight trip.  

The dealer, who has been nice strongly suggests that the real problem is with me-my thread, my needles, me, me, me.  I've changed needles to every possible one, none of my thread-all above average brands-nothing from a chain fabric store could possible be old enough to shred, break and loop.  I've said I've been doing this type of work for a decade on my other Pfaff.

I've missed the show deadline and the piece which is a commission won't be ready on time.  So much frustration.  I just wonder how many people didn't document their problems before Pfaff's 30 day open box expired.  The Performance 5 had everything I ever wanted but I hate to admit I wouldn't recommend it.

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Ginny replied on Thu, Sep 3 2015 6:44 PM

StichenSue,  I am so sorry that you are having problems with your new machine.  I remember a few years back when some other of the ladies on here had a problem with their new model machines and also had to have theirs replaced.  The replacement ones were better.  Maybe there is a problem with this new model also.  I am not saying all of them- it just seemed to be a random one here and there.  My Pfaff very old one that I never had problems with, but wanted to do more than it offered.  I went with another brand and although it is good, it doesn't have some of the fancy stitches that I want.   I hope that your new machine does well for you.    Ginny

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