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A Quilter’s Review of the PFAFF Creative 4.5

by Sarah Vanderburgh

This machine is a dream come true for machine embroiderers. No question it has a lot of features to let your creativity run wild. But what about for the intermediate quilter? How could I benefit from the PFAFF Creative 4.5? In today’s post I’m going to shine the light on some of the features that make quilting on this machine a joy.

PFAFF Creative 4.5 Sewing Machine

PFAFF Creative 4.5 Sewing Machine

Set up and Sew

Built-in Needle Threader in position

Built-in Needle Threader in position

This machine doesn’t just stitch for you, it does all the little things to make quilting easier too. Threading the machine is easy and threading the needle is even easier as the built in needle threader actually works well. I haven’t manually thread my needle yet which is really saying something. When I got my first machine many years ago I went to the department store for a get to know your machine class. I was shown how to use the automatic needle threader and did it approximately three times at home before I forgot how and gave up.

Needle threaded by built-in needle threader

Needle threaded by built-in needle threader

This time I taught myself with the excellent manual!

The manual is truly your best friend as you start to explore this machine. The labelled diagrams and explanations make it easy to figure out how to do things on the machine you expect to do – and things you may never have thought of! The manual is also available in the machine – touch “i” in the bottom task bar on the Color Touch Screen and it brings up an information menu.

Bobbin Winding is a Breeze

Winding bobbin with second spool of thread

Winding bobbin with second spool of thread

There’s a bobbin winder built in to the top of the machine – you use it with the top thread you have on the vertical spool holder just like normal, but you can also wind a bobbin with a second spool on a horizontal pin and keep your machine threaded. This is especially handy when you’re using two different color threads.

Bobbin winding pop up

Bobbin winding pop up

Maybe it’s just me but prepping bobbins feels like a chore – something you wish would just be done for you so you wouldn’t have to think about it. Well this machine comes close! The machine actually winds the bobbin for you – this graphic comes up on the large display screen once you lock the bobbin in place in the winder. You can adjust how fast the machine winds the thread – then just press the go button! It stops when the bobbin’s full or you can stop it by touching the stop button.

The pop-up warning to remedy bobbin angst

The pop-up warning to remedy bobbin angst

Of course I had to take a photo when I got the official sound and digital warning that my bobbin was running low. And it wasn’t so low that I had to panic! This was one of the features I have heard quilters praise in quilt shops and guild meetings. Again PFAFF has come to the rescue of bobbin angst 🙂

IDT System

IDT System waiting to be engaged

IDT System waiting to be engaged

Another feature I’ve heard about that sets PFAFF machines apart is the Integrated Dual Feed System – the IDT for short. The manual describes how the system works: “As on industrial machines, the IDT System feeds the fabric from the top and bottom at the same time. The material is fed precisely, eliminating puckering on seams. . . the system prevents layers from shifting while sewing, keeping quilt layers aligned.

I have been very impressed with my own experiences using it.

IDT system engaged for stitching in the ditch

IDT system engaged for stitching in the ditch

I really noticed the benefits of the IDT system when I was quilting in the ditch. I could feel that the machine had a stronger grip on my quilt than my regular machine and the results are visible too.

Stitches on back of mini quilt

Stitches on back of mini quilt

The stitching on the back of my quilt are just as even as on the front.

When I used the IDT System to quilt on a larger quilt I noticed that the *bump* that tends to show up as you near the end of a row of quilting – didn’t! What did show would be hard to find and was probably a result of me not pinning close enough.

Button Love

The buttons located front and center

The buttons located front and center

The more I use this machine the harder I fall for the ease these buttons add to my quilting.

The needle down button makes quilting so easy. It’s located the farthest to the right. Again, it lets me focus on the quilting and not operating the machine. When it’s engaged (it lights up!) the needle goes down and the presser foot lifts just a little off of the quilt so I can maneuver the quilt.

The scissors is the thread snips button. When touched it cuts both the top and bottom threads and brings them to the bottom of the quilt. This one has changed how I machine blanket stitch as I don’t have to think about saving thread by moving from one section to another before I cut the thread. This feature has made my quilting more efficient.

The presser foot has two buttons located in the same convenient place. The up one raises the foot the regular distance and touched one more time it lifts even more to put a quilt through the space without worrying about getting pins caught on it. The down one I engage while quilting because it automatically lifts just a little bit – with the needle down button engaged too – letting me keep both hands on the quilt to turn it to change directions. The manual calls this a pivot toggle 😉

The button beside the presser foot buttons is to start/stop embroidery.

Two buttons I haven’t used yet are the immediate tie-off – to the left of the snips – and the stitch restart – to the left of the needle down.

Lots of Room for Quilting

The PFAFF Creative 4.5 dwarfs my regular machine. That hard case is protecting a jewel of a machine!

The PFAFF Creative 4.5 dwarfs my regular machine. That hard case is protecting a jewel of a machine!

I guess this could have been number 1! There’s double the throat space compared to my usual machine – notice the machine itself is almost twice the size!

Twin size quilt in the larger throat space

Twin size quilt in the larger throat space

Quilting is more enjoyable without the anxiety producing rolling and pushing of the quilt through a smaller space. I also don’t have sections of stitches that are too tight because I was shoving the quilt through a small space.

The Creative 4.5 lets you focus on progress and not process which also makes for a happier time quilting.

LED lights improve quilting process

LED lights improve quilting process

The bright LED lights combine with the larger space to make it so easy to see and quilt!

It might seem like I’m focusing on a lot of little details, but the result of all the little things is that I’m quilting more and tending to the machine less. Plus the machine does these things really well – which results in quilts that are crafted beautifully.

I’ve enjoyed shining the light on the PFAFF Creative 4.5 sewing machine for you today.

What features peaked your curiosity about PFAFF?

As an intermediate quilter, I’m embracing the opportunities the PFAFF Creative 4.5 is giving me to create accurately pieced quilts with my personal creative touches – more on these later this week!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 2:  Using decorative stitches to make a selvage project

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9 comments

Christine Barnes August 3, 2017 - 3:40 am

Hi. Do you use the complimentary software that came with the machine? I could do with some help with it if you have time 🙂

Reply
Cindy June 5, 2016 - 3:26 pm

I have one but am experiencing trouble getting it to do free motion quilting without shredding the thread.

Reply
Sarah Vanderburgh June 5, 2016 - 4:49 pm

I’m sorry to hear that! You might want to try a different brand of thread and check with your dealer and see what kind of thread they recommend using. Try lowering the speed on the machine too. Hope this helps!

Reply
Shirley Jobson February 22, 2016 - 8:16 pm

Great review, Sarah!! Looks like a gem to sew on!

Reply
Sarah Vanderburgh February 22, 2016 - 8:25 pm

Thanks, Shirley – it is! It has made me more confident in my skills and I’m getting a lot of quilting done too;)

Reply
Marie Deuel February 22, 2016 - 11:59 am

What a great win for “70th” birthday gift! I need an embroidery machine to make pretty little dressed for my gorgeous granddaughter! Hope I can be lucky to do. It!

Reply
Sarah Vanderburgh February 22, 2016 - 1:49 pm

Marie this is an amazing embroidery machine equipped with beautiful designs – plus you can create your own! I hope your birthday wish comes true;)

Reply
Allison February 22, 2016 - 8:33 am

Would love one of these!

Reply
Sarah Vanderburgh February 22, 2016 - 9:46 am

🙂 It is a great machine to quilt with and it embroiders too! I hope you get one;)

Reply

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