It’s the end of the week, which flew by, and I’ve had so much fun getting to know the PFAFF powerquilter 1600. Yesterday we took a look at the stitch regulation on the powerquilter 1600. Today, I want to mention the optional accessory feet and take a quick look at the Tools Menu on the Color Touch Screen.
Four different feet or sets of optional feet are available for the powerquilter 1600. I’ll start with the Ruler Foot, used for straight-line or stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.
You’ll notice that it’s round like the hopping foot that comes with the powerquilter 1600. However, it’s substantially higher to accommodate the thickness of the ruler and provide more stability for the ruler. Using a ruler with the hopping foot can cause problems with needle or ruler damage.
While you can stitch in the ditch without the ruler, the lines will be wobbly – ask me how I know! The ruler is the way to go, but be sure you use a ¼” thick ruler, typically sold as long-arm rulers.
The next foot is the Glide Foot, which looks like a shallow bowl. It’s large but clear, so you can easily see your work through it. The opening for the needle is also significant to help see the detail if necessary.
The best place to use this foot is quilting applique or a quilt with many embellishments or dimensional areas. The curved edges will skim over your quilt without catching on any errant stitches or damaging the trims.
The Echo Feet Set is a set of three feet in different sizes – 3/8″, ½”, and ¾”, representing the distance from the needle to the outer edge of the foot.
The rings extend the diameter of the original hopping foot and are helpful to echo around applique shapes in various widths. The feet are perfectly round, meaning they will work as a ruler foot giving you great options when echoing around shapes, along seam lines, or creating motifs with straight lines.
The last set of feet is the Square Feet Set. These feet are for piecing. Yes – you can piece on the powerquilter 1600. Since everything is free motion, I wouldn’t be piecing an intricate quilt, but if you wanted to attach your binding on the powerquilter 1600, either of these two feet would be a great option. They come in a width of ½” or ¼”.
So it won’t matter which style of free-motion quilting or piecing you want to do; there’s a foot for each category! I love having all those options to quilt ANYTHING on PFAFF powerquilter 1600.
Before we close this week, I wanted to share the options in the Tools Menu on the screen.
I don’t have time to go into all the functions, but here are a couple that I think you’ll find interesting. I alluded earlier that there is a low bobbin sensor on the powerquilter 1600, which you’ll find in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
The sensor uses the amount of thread the bobbin can hold as its guide, which differs depending on the thread weight. To determine the yardage, load a full bobbin into the powerquilter 1600, hit the record button (red), and stitch until the bobbin runs out. Stop recording and back up the number by a bit to give you the estimate. You decrease the number to get the notification before the bobbin runs out. Save the number in one of the presets in the lower section of the screen.
Set the alarm to alert you that the bobbin is running low based on your preset estimate. Be sure to note which of the three presets applies to your current thread in the bobbin. Multiple variables are involved in this process, so it takes some trial and error to get it right. I didn’t bother as I could see the moment when the bobbin ran out.
The timer and stitch count allows you to track your time for each quilt. Press the reset button each time you start a new project, which is excellent if you’re quilting for a customer. You’ll know how many hours or stitches you’ve spent on their quilt.
You can activate two alarms. One indicates if you’re going too fast in regulation mode, throwing the consistent stitch length out of whack. It’s a super easy way to ‘learn’ how to use the stitch regulation mode.
You can also set a timer. If you want to take a break every 45 minutes, set the timer and activate the alarm, and you’ll get notified when you need to take a break.
There’s also a handy calculator if you need some quick calculations.
While I love the lighting on the powerquilter 1600, there are times when it may be too intense for specific fabric colors. On this screen, you can turn off each of the two lights or use the slider to dim them.
There’s also a diagnostics screen. When you open the diagnostic screen, there are several tests you can run if you are experiencing issues with the powerquilter 1600. Here’s the screen for running the Motor Sensor Test. Having these basic diagnostics is good because if we can fix the problem at home without taking it to the service center, that’s awesome.
You’ll also find a System Information Screen, which provides helpful information. You’ll see the lifetime stitches on the machine and whether the powerqulter 1600 can ‘see’ the two sensors and the foot pedal. In this case, there is no red X on either, so they’re correctly installed.
The other numbers indicate the versions of the various components of the powerquilter 1600, which is helpful if you need servicing or to identify if you need an upgrade.
That’s a lot of helpful information, and it’s all convenient on the function panel in the Tools Menu at the top right of the screen.
The PFAFF powerquilter 1600 is an excellent sit-down quilting machine with many advantages over quilting on a domestic sewing machine. To fully appreciate what you can do, pop into your local PFAFF dealer for a test drive. Be sure to take a quilt sandwich or two so you can play around, and don’t be afraid to take a larger quilt to see how easily it fits on the large work table.
Well, what do you think? I think it’s time to get busy and get quilting!
Have a super day, and HAPPY QUILTING!