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« Small glass bowl | Main | Design Wall Monday »

February 24, 2014



Be sure to test Babylock. They really stand behind their machines and they rarely need maintenance. I have a small one (Grace) that I bought to carry to sew-ins and I'm really happy with the way the fabric feeds through. After having dual feed, us Pfaff owners are really fussy about that.


I switched from Pfaff to Babylock 2 years ago, and while I enjoy the Babylock most of the time, the one feature I absolutely miss is the dual feed. Having to use a walking foot again really feels like I went backward. My model also does embroidery but I think some of their quilting only models have the dual feed feature. I think your list of things to test is pretty comprehensive. Good idea and good luck!


In the specialty threads section, be sure to include the monofilament threads or equivalents. Some machines have trouble tensioning them because they are so fine.

Check out the Free motion feet. Do you have good visibility of your thread path with them? How well do they hold your fabric down to make the stitches?

Becky inn VA

Be sure to check the quality of the straight stitch - I was surprised one year when I tested machines and found they didn't stitch a very straight stitch.

Linda Evans

Check how easy is it to change from standard feet to walking foot to free-motion quilting foot. On my machine it is easy to change feet as long as they go on the standard shank, but going back and forth from free-motion/walking/all-the-rest-of-the-feet requires a screwdriver.
Also requires a screwdriver to remove the throatplate and is not easy to turn the screwdriver where they placed the screw.
See if the knee lift is in the right spot for you. Mine is located so far to the right, so it is not functional (I guess I need wider thighs!)
Lastly, how easy to go back and forth between different stitches, do you have to reset all the parameters each time? takes 10-15 seconds, but when you are going back and forth frequently, is annoying.
These seem like tiny things, but they add up.
Definitely get the wide throat space, automatic needle threader/cutter, and good lights. You will love them!

Debbie St. Germain

That is a great idea for testing machine and good idea to see what you like. I had no idea what I really wanted when I got mine and got more than I needed. I use a creative vision and have not used the embroidery part yet.


Mary Anne

Denim - I would definitely test with that...possibly multiple layers of it too. Of course that suggestion could stem from the fact that it's what I love to work with!


Perhaps you could check how easy or difficult it is to adjust thread tension. Something that is imprtant to me is the sound of the sewing machine. Does it purr like a kitten?

Gene Black

Change feet several times to be sure it is easy and intuitive. Some machines have "bits" that interfere with your hand position when changing feet.


Are you testing other brands or just different Pfaff models?

You list is already more comprehensive than mine. So I don't have anything to add. Jacob is excited about going to the Quilt Show - wonder how he will feel when we get to the convention center.


I am just now catching up. Sorry to hear about your leg. I use to have horrible problems with eczema on my hands. Since I started using Mango butter goat milk cream from Rose of Sharon Acres I have had no issues at all. I don't know if you could use it because of your allergies. The glass dish is so bright and colorful! As far as sewing machines go I am a Pfaff person. When I worked at a place that made custom clothes for people who showed Western horses, they had Bernina machines. I did not like the Berninas so I use to bring my own Pfaff to work every day.

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