我可能有点意外bought a new sewing machine.


My Quilt Expression 4.2 was due (overdue, really) for her second service last month, so I dutifully packed her into the back of the car and took her on the road trip to Carmarthen. While there, I cast a wandering eye around the shop (which is usually packed to the rafters with assorted makes and models of sewing machine) and lit upon the dainty form of a Pfaff Passport 2.0. It’s a model I’d seen there before, and I had been intrigued by the notion of a portable sewing machine that still had the integrated IDT system and build quality of my larger Pfaff. Recently I have been battling with a lot of lower back pain, so a smaller, lighter machine to carry to Quilt Club and to have set up for piecing duties at home, while the 4.2 handles the larger piecing and quilting jobs, was not a new or unwelcome idea. I’ve also always slightly suspected that the QE4.2 does not really appreciate having her considerable personage lugged about hither and yon like a piece of cargo, although she bears it nobly.



I pottered around town while the QE4.2 had her service. I came back to the sewing machine shop. I had a bit more of a play. Mum met up with me and we went for tea to discuss the idea. One does不是在新的缝纫机上花几百个quidsomedeliberation first! Was it a sensible purchase? Would I get enough use from it? In the end, the fact that I had recently received a little more money from my great aunt’s estate, which happened to be about the same as the cost of the machine, was the clincher. Also the fact that, personally, 2017 has had a rough start and godsdammit it’d be nice to have某物漂亮而狡猾。所以,非常感谢你,阿姨希拉里!我现在有两个缝纫机来记住你。我想你可能会批准这一点。

Of course, with a large (and rather unplanned) purchase like this, there’s often a little nagging voice that says, “…Did I do the right thing? Was this the right use for that money?” I got my new machine home, but didn’t even manage to unbox her initially because work was busy and the little bit of sewing I did manage, I did on the QE4.2 because she was all set up and ready to go and I don’t want her to think I don’t love her anymore. In fact, I didn’t manage to pull out my Passport until last Thursday, so that I could take her on her maiden trip to Quilt Club and do some foundation piecing (more on that soon, I hope). I’m thrilled to say that it was a very comfortable experience (by which I mean that I was不是在第二天的痛苦中,她缝了beautifully。买家的悔恨,开始!


Thank goodness I have a big craft table!


…和这里是all quilted and bound:





因为这是挂墙挂,我在顶部添加了角袋以握住销钉,并且由于在Clover Wonder Clips的加载量的应用程序而言,首次获得了合理的机器绑定:

Corner pockets

所有绗缝都是通过使用Guettermann Sulky Rayon螺纹,80/12刺绣针,4.0的张力和-1的枢轴高度来完成所有绗缝。


它’s in the post to its new home now and I will be in a mild state of anxiety until I know that it’s arrived safely and that its new owner likes it – most Craftster swaps are done with a reasonable degree of secrecy so unless she’s checked out this blog, the recipient should have no idea what I’ve sent her. *bites nails nervously*

pfaff qe 4.2 - 两年

When I look at my site stats, one thing always grabs my attention – the number of views of my post “天堂或地狱?关于Pfaff QE 4.2的思考“. It is by far and away the most “popular” post on my blog! Even when I’m being lazy and not generating much new content, it’s the post that seems to attract clicks. I’m going to guess that it’s because many, like me, found their shiny,expensive, new sewing machine to be a bit of a challenge to get used to. Well, it does get better, I promise!


a finicky machine, to be sure, but I’ll repeat here that choosing a quality needle (Schmetz seems to have become my weapon of choice, even if I do have to order them online) and good thread (I love YLI’s range of variegated quilting cottons because of the vibrant colours and I’ve also used and enjoyed Aurifil and Superior products) and making sure the needle is right for both the thread and the fabric is very important. I stopped trying to use universal-type needles for anything a long time ago – in my experience, they just never give a nice result. Usually I use a 70/10 microtex needle with YLI’s Soft Touch in Natural for piecing – this combination gives me nice, accurate seams and the light beige colour blends well with most other colours.


Regular servicing is also a must for any sewing machine. My Pfaff is now due for its second service, I just need to be able to steal the car for the (now rather longer and more tedious!) drive to Carmarthen to the shop I bought it from. When I take it in I’ll be asking about the needle threader, which vexingly is no longer lining up with the needle eye. It’s a small thing, and a feature I never thought much of before I had one, but I really miss it now! At least Ican如果我必须,我自己的针头。

在服务之间,我尽力保持梭芯区域合理地没有绒毛。While I was making mum’s wall hanging, I found that the Solvy shredded little bits all over the place during sewing (as a film, it is noticeably more brittle than most fabrics), so I made sure I cleaned them out of my machine frequently – I’m not sure what it’d do if it dissolved inside the Pfaff, but I am very sure I don’t want to find out! At the same time, I managed to track down and evict an entireherdof dust bunnies that had wedged themselves into difficult niches and grown to monster size. I had to use tweezers to grab them and hoick them out of their nests, just poking them with the little brush really wasn’t doing it.

Speaking of tweezers, recently I found myself performing a little “minor” surgery on my machine and it’s something worth checking.


我是在这个过程中,得以让这个小lt top for Project Linus – a super-speedy, fun little thing – except that it wasn’t speedy at all because I found that my needle was refusing to stay in the needle-holding assembly, no matter how many times I tried to re-seat it and tighten the screw. It was deeply annoying. While fiddling about with it and cursing, I noticed the small screw at the back of the needle holder and observed that the whole assembly was very loose and rattly. It’s also part of the thread path (that silvery hook affair at the base), so it’s an important little bit of kit and it occurred to me that it really shouldn’t be as wobbly as it was.


,并没有真正考虑到这一点,我解开screw and the whole needle holder fell apart into a bewilderment of very tiny bits of metal. Whoops! Luckily, I didn’t lose any of it into the guts of the bobbin area, and after careful examination of the little bits and application of the afore-mentioned tweezers and a set of very small socket screwdrivers (I have a Thing about socket screwdrivers), I managed to reassemble it again and make sure that the rear screw holding it all together was tightened properly. To my vast relief, it would hold a needle again – PHEW! And in fact, the Pfaff is now sewing noticeably better since my impromptu tinkering. I definitely wouldn’t recommend randomly disassembling bits of your sewing machine without very good reason, but I would say that it’s worth checking that the needle-holder assembly isn’t really loose if your stitches are not looking as good as they might, given that it affects both the stability of your needle and the security of the thread path. If it’s hard to get at the screw, try moving the needle as far as possible to the right, so that the shaft is not right in line with the IDT system.

Pfaffing with Feet!

My collection of feet for the Pfaff keeps growing – it’s like a mechanical centipede!


I got these five (L-R: piping foot, couching foot, beading foot, cording foot and braid foot) as a set in a very good deal when I was wrestling with the piping on the闪闪发光的白人对于我的妹妹。它比没有衡量脚好,但我不相信这是由争吵的纯粹质量织物的任务,我试图穿过机器喂养。(you have to disable the IDT system to use it, unfortunately) So far, the only other foot I’ve used from this set has been the couching foot, and I’m keen to find an excuse to try the other three this year! I already have some beaded trim – I need to find an unsuspecting project to put it on.



As you can see, it’s a much heftier beast, and can be used with the IDT system. Making myself a Weekender is something I really want to do this year – I will report my findings with this foot when I do!






Sewing, Stashing

So, March eh? It felt like it flew by at a million miles an hour, but at the same time it felt like forever. What’s with that? Skimming back over my posts for March, it seems like I’ve managed a很多本月,包括制作生日礼物,finishing a major project,playing with triangles和我的进步Marsala Challenge quilt,所以我对这个月的努力感到非常满意。

令人沮丧的忙碌时,周末刚刚走了。它在周五开始了被子俱乐部,我用它用作更多的剪裁时间来破解更多Marsala Spice blocks。That project is finally taking shape and I now have a much better feel for where it’s going.

We’re also still house-hunting, so after Quilt Club I threw everything plus dog back in the car and scooted up the road to Aberystwyth (Mum had already gone up on the bus), where we planned to stay at my sister’s house for a weekend of re-visiting some possible properties with my uncle and aunt, who’d come down from north Wales to meet us there and offer fresh eyes and second (third, fourth…) opinions. My aunt and uncle are recently back from an anniversary trip to Oregon, and before they went I’d rolled my eyes, batted my eyelashes and begged them to maybe pop into a quilting shop while they were there to buy me some fabric. For the sake of simplicity, I asked them to pick me up some pre-cut strips. Their choice, I told them. And I would be happy to reimburse them.Fabric_0104_2他们没有做得好吗?他们把两个人带到了一个非常早的生日礼物,我将他们付回去给另外两个。我认为他们做了一些卓越的选择。

蜡染!如果它没有清楚,我喜欢蜡染!而且颜色是Fab - 那些紫色的珠宝色调和多汁的彩虹-Y效果很美味。

Fabric_0104_5.这是一个更加花卉的事情,但我仍然喜欢它 - 它有一个非常舒适,优雅的感觉。将为客厅提供可爱的投掷。


他们也挑选了一个很好的小明信片图案(返回的时候),我认为是紫色/珠宝的蜡染,尽管它也可以使用其他颜色:Fabric_0104_1.And that’s the shop’s card there, too. One thing that did surprise me was the fact that the prices of the strips were, mostly, pretty comparable to what we pay here (~$45/£30), which is why in the end I only asked for a couple of extras. However, locally we’re pretty starved for fabric shops and those we do have don’t usually have much of a range of jelly rolls/strip sets, so just having some surprise extras to play with is really nice.

The Friendly Pfaff

On Sunday evening, I and all my sewing stuff travelled up from Aberystwyth to Brimingham on the train. I’d booked myself onto a “Making Friends with your Pfaff” day throughThe Cotton Patch星期一,随时随地,我需要留在前一天晚上。值得庆幸的是,我为Pfaff购买的携带盒恰好适合它,所以我的机器对公共交通工具的滥用有一些不错的保护,我有一些车轮将其拖延。而且我发现了一个普瑞米尔在举行课程的路上,所以这一切都很好。

The course was very interesting, with a cosy group of six students including me, all of whom were really friendly and welcoming. It was run by Joy of牧场新绗缝她做了一个非常好的工作,介绍了机器(我们大多数人都有QE 4.2s),并通过我们可以做的事情以及如何正确使用脚和配件来践行我们。pfaff_day_0104_2These are the first samples we did, using fine chiffon and chunky denim to show off how the Pfaff handles such things and takes them in its stride, especially with the IDT system engaged. (Although in fairness mine did a pretty nice job on the chiffon even without IDT because I’d loaded it with a size 70 needle and some fine piecing thread.) We followed this up with an introduction to using the automatic buttonhole foot (OMG, awesome!) and trying out some machine applique and some of the nifty effects with the decorative stitches and sequences:


Finally, we tried quilting, first in a straight line with the IDT (no worries there) and then (le gasp!) with the sensormatic foot that comes as standard with the Pfaff QE 4.2 (and other models, I believe). I’ve had my reservations about this foot since I’ve had some serious arguments with it. However, with the settings Joy suggested (a pivot height of -2, a tension of 4.6, and a medium speed), it WORKED! (Though my improved choice of needle and thread probably helped, too.)

I found myself doing a version of my “cloud” stippling, mostly because I’ve just done loads of it on the Japan Fan Club door curtain and it’s still in my muscle memory, then I tried a bit of a meander and some leaves, plus some pebbling (I’m not great at pebbles yet). And it all worked great, and the back looks tidy too. Maybe I can learn to love (or perhaps even just like) the sensormatic foot after all. It would be fair to say that I’d discovered or looked up a fair bit of what we covered in the class because I’ve been using my machine a fair bit since I got it in December, but there were certainly plenty of things that I hadn’t found out about or needed to use yet and it was great to try things out and have someone to ask when things didn’t work out quite right.

After the course was over, I couldn’t resist nipping a couple of doors down the road to Cotton Patch’s shop. In any case, I had a shopping list from my Quilt Club friends, so I couldn’t disappoint them! The actual shop is smaller than I expected (I think they do more online), but very orderly and well laid out. I picked up stacks of wadding and some bobbin boxes for the Quilt Club, and some more crib-sized wadding and basting pins for me. Under the circumstances, I think I was VERY restrained! (In fairness I didn’t have that much time to browse, which was probably just as well.) One of the other ladies on the course very kindly offered me a lift to the station, which I was hugely grateful for given that I was laden down with all my sewing stuff AND all my purchases. All in all it was a tiring but fun trip, and I would certainly consider going back for another course there, especially if there’s something FMQ-related.

Looking Ahead

这就是我的周末(月)就走了。我这n’t believe it’s April already. As well as working on Marsala Spice and perhaps finally starting the quilting on my sister’s quilt, I have at least one baby quilt I’d like to get done this month, plus FrostByte needs some love. Oh, and we’re STILL looking for somewhere we’d like to live. April’s looking pretty busy already!

Linking up with the Fresh Sewing Day over atLily’s Quilts

More FMQ, More Fans


I decided to experiment with the tension some more, dropping it from 4.6 to 4.2 and then to 3.8. Based on how the last few blocks look at that tension, I’d say 3.8 is a winner. There seemed to be no adverse effects on the back, either; I hate it when my thread grows tension legs!

You can see (just about) that I’ve started doing some quilting on the red bits of the window frame. It’s essentially a squared off, slanted zig-zag between the two seam lines. I’m doing these free-motion and finding that straight lines and FMQ is an uneasy combination! They’re quite wibbly.Japan_Fans_1003_3.


尽管有摇摆不定,我不会开始使用尺子或步行脚 - 如果这一切都是摇晃和有机的,而不是摇晃和机器精确的混合。我假装它是木纹!



Linking up withFree Motion Mavericks, Let’s Bee Social atSew Fresh Quilts周三擦拭Freshly Pieced!!

日本粉丝俱乐部:Pfaff QE 4.2,金属线和FMQ

它sounds like the beginning of a dodgy pub joke, doesn’t it?

普法夫QE 4.2,金属线和FMQ走into a pub. The landlord looks up and says, “Sorry, I don’t serve mangled anecdotes.”

Ahem. Anyway. I am pleased to report that not only am I finally getting to grips with my FMQ demons, I’m doing so with metallic thread! And it is WORKING!Japan_Fans_0503_1


I’m trying to do a sort of stipple effect that replicates that swirly, stylised cloud look often seen on oriental drawings and prints, with mixed success. Sometimes it comes out quite well, other times I get lost, trapped in a corner or my hands decide to move in a direction other than the one I had in mind. And I definitely have quilting density issues.云漩涡关闭

However, at least I’m managing to do FMQ without lots of skipped stitches and broken thread, which is a MASSIVE win for me. I have had the odd skipped stitch, true, but on the rare occasion it’s happened I’ve felt it was my fault for moving the quilt at the wrong moment rather than weird Pfaff-diva strop behaviour over a wrong thread/needle combo.

日本_fans_0503_4Initially, I started off by using white cotton piecing thread in the bobbin and my metallic thread on top in a vague effort to be a bit thrifty with my pricey speciality thread. It worked, ish, but the white thread made its presence known, especially at any point where I made a sudden change in direction and it was pulled through to the front by the top thread. You can easily see the build-up of white thread on the pointy bits. :s Not great. Despite fidgeting with pivot height, tension and even balance, I couldn’t eliminate this effect, so after doing (and arguably making a mess of) six blocks I tucked the whole lot away until I was in a mood to tackle it afresh.

After I signed up this project as my goal for the March ALYoF challenge at缝制苦乐参半设计andFiber of All Sorts, I figured I’d better have another bash at it, so after polishing off some work this morning I pulled it all out, set up the Pfaff for FMQ, and got stuck in, this time with metallic thread in the bobbin as well as on top. For any interested Pfaff owners looking for settings and pointers, here are the settings I used:Pfaff metallic FMQ settings

Feed dogs dropped, IDT system disengaged, and I’ve set up a personal stitch based on stitch 1 with the length set to 0 (because I found that if I used a pre-programmed stitch then the dratted thing kept resetting itself while I wasn’t looking) and no auto thread tie-off or cutting. I’m using the new FMQ foot that Pfaff brought out recently, which feels like it’s doing a more competent job than the wider plastic one. The needle I’m using is a Schmetz 80/12 metallic needle.新的pfaff fmq脚

You can see that I’m also using a straight-stitch plate (and have the corresponding setting enabled in the tools menu on the machine), and a Supreme Slider. Oh, and I have a lil Teflon bobbin ring in there, too, that’s supposed to help stop thread nests. And my wonderful (and wonderfully cheap at a whole £1.50!) FMQ gloves, without which I cannot grip and move the fabric effectively.是的,他们只是轻便的园艺手套!


Basically, ALL of the FMQ gadget bases are covered! I love the straight-stitch plate and can’t see it coming off the machine much – the Pfaff’s great at piecing anyway but this just makes it even better. <3

Japan_Fans_0503_2.With metallic thread also in the bobbin, the look is better. I’m not convinced that the pull-through effect of the bobbin thread has been eliminated, though I think it is better with both threads the same. And at least it’s much harder to detect now everything’s the same colour!

My muscle memory for the quilting pattern is improving the more I do it, though I’m finding that it’s quite an intensive process both mentally and physically, so I take little breaks often to loosen up. I think my machine’s bed is a bit high relative to my seat height, but there isn’t a vast amount I can do about it at the moment.


This stuff is seriously sproingy. It honestly has a mind of its own, which makes it somewhat incompatible with the Pfaff’s built-in thread catching, tie-off and cutting features because of its irritating habit of coiling wilfully and never being in the right place at the right time. Metallic thread has taught me about the importance of bringing both threads to the top and securing them before starting to sew in earnest, since I’d already had trouble with the metallic straight-line quilting. It’s almost become second nature already.

将梭芯线程带到顶部To bring the bobbin thread to the top, I position the needle where I want to start and use the handwheel to lower the needle to just above the fabric. Making sure I have hold of the end of the needle thread, I give a couple of gentle taps on the pedal lower the needle and then raise it again, and a gentle pull brings up a loop of bobbin thread. This can be easily caught and brought all the way through with the point of a seam ripper. (Using my seam ripper for tasks other than seam ripping makes me very happy!)Japan_fans_0503_5.

Holding both threads, I sew slowly and do several very tiny stitches before setting off “properly”. At the end of my quilting, I reverse the process to end the thread. It’s a bit more wasteful of thread than the Pfaff’s own tie-off and cutting mechanisms, but more effective and neater. I did have an oops moment fairly early on, though, when I managed to break a precious needle at the end of a quilting line:Japan_Fans_0503_9.

I think I was pulling the needle thread too tightly and when I tapped the pedal to drop the needle, it hit the stitch plate and snapped. I was furious with myself! The second needle is faring better though, and I’ve completely done one curtain and am almost half-way through quilting the second. WOO!

Japan_Fans_0503_12After I’ve finished all the cloudy bits, I’ll need to decide what to do about the window frames (I think they will be quilted at least a bit, they look odd now next to the heavily quilted windows) and the back (attach next, or after more quilting?). Decisions, decisions!

Linking up toFree Motion Mavericks!!

Grounds for Cautious Optimism

在另一天在PFAFF上的悲惨努力之后,我躲过了进一步的绗缝冒险,代替为我的锦缎太阳被子做更多拼接,同时我等待我的FMQ位'n'鲍勃来表现出来。After Quilt Club on Friday, I popped into town to see what thread alternatives I could find at the haberdashery stall in the market, and plumped for some reels of polyester Guetermann thread to try, plus some plain white cotton for piecing because I’d almost finished my current reel (1000m of thread goes nowhere when you’re doing patchwork!). When I got home I found that my new open-toe FMQ had arrived, and Sunday evening I finally had a chance to try it out, along with the new thread:


Well. Although I think there’s still room for improvement, the very brief trial of new foot + Guetermann thread was very encouraging. With the same thread in both needle and bobbin and an 80/12 needle, I dropped the feed dogs, took off the IDT, set the machine to the spring foot setting and the stitch length to 0 and doodled a little on a charm-square quilt sandwich. Immediately, I was pleased to note that the thread did not break and no stitches were skipped. WOO! No, seriously. That’s a BIG THING for me. The tension seemed off, however, and decreasing the tension bizarrely seemed to make the problem worse, not better. I could see big loops of bobbin thread being pulled up through the fabric during sewing and on tighter curves it looks like the top thread is pulled too tight, yanking the bobbin thread through the layers. Hrmmm.

继续阅读Grounds for Cautious Optimism