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Free motion quilting with the PFAFF quilt expression 720

There’s always something new to learn! I’ve been quilting for a few decades and am just feeling finally ready to learn how to free motion quilt. The PFAFF quilt expression 720 is a big part of that reason. This machine not only makes sewing together a quilt top precise and easy, it’s also set up for finishing quilts too. What a concept! In today’s post I’m doing a quick overview of the features on the quilt expression 720 that made me a confident free motion beginner.

 

PFAFF quilt expression 720

 

User’s Guide

The manual for the quilt expression 720 is an invaluable resource of the machine’s capabilities when it comes to free motion quilting. It goes over several of the features I mention below and includes illustrations and tips for best practices. While it’s always a good idea to read through a machine’s manual to make sure you’re doing things right, it’s also a way to discover what else your machine can do. You can peruse the user guide by scrolling down this page and clicking on it on the bottom right under documents and charts.

Machine Buttons

I love the buttons on this machine! Not only what they do, but also the fact that they are right in front of me above the needle when I’m sewing. You’ll notice as I work through a project I’m constantly using the buttons – I can hardly imagine not using them now. For free motion quilting specifically, I rely on being able to adjust the sewing machine’s speed with the speed slider and using the Start/Stop button to let the machine do the work of keeping the needle speed constant while I focus on moving my hands.

 

Buttons on quilt expression 720

 

Stippling Stitches

The stippling stitches are what convinced me to give free motion quilting a go. There’s a whole menu of stitches to choose from! I’ve never been a fan of meandering, so seeing all of these different options – several I would never have thought of on my own – makes me feel like I can add personality to my quilting. I like to have choice and have tried out several of these stitches. The quilt expression 720 makes it easy to know what to do once you’ve picked a stitch, too. The stitch screen tells you which foot to use, if you require a stabilizer, and where the needle will start in the stitch so you can position the quilt top where you want to start stitching. And – you don’t have to use the free motion mode to use these stitches!

 

Stippling stitches menu on quilt expression 720

 

Free motion mode

Almost every stitch – there are over 400! – on the quilt expression 720 can be used in the free motion mode. When you touch this icon in the Color Touch Screen, a pop up comes giving you even more options. You can select one of the three different types of feet that can be used to free motion quilt with this machine. Once you select an option, the feed dogs automatically lower. Then you touch OK and you’re ready to go!

Remember you can preview all the stitches through the menus built into the quilt expression 720. You can also view a stitch guide through the PFAFF website here.

 

Free motion mode pop up

 

Presser feet

The quilt expression 720 comes with 10 presser feet, one to use with the free motion mode. There are several optional feet you can also get that work with this machine to perfect your free motion quilting. The embroidery/sensormatic free motion foot 6A comes with the machine and is the third option in the free motion pop up window. I like how this foot frames the area I’m working in to help focus my attention on what the machine is stitching.

 

Sensormatic free motion foot 6A

 

Have I convinced you yet? The PFAFF quilt expression 720 is really set up to let you successfully create a quilt from the block assembly to quilting. The features are there ready and waiting with tips and guidance along the way. Join me this week as I make a project to practice my free motion quilting using the quilt expression 720.

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Making a quilted banner for your sewing space

I love to play with color and *quilts* are my playground! A self-taught quilter, I've been designing quilts for almost 20 years. I'm inspired by happy fabrics, selvages, traditional blocks and nature. I'm also a wife, mother, and elementary school teacher, and enjoy drinking coffee on my front porch in northern Ontario.

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