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Free motion the easy way with the PFAFF quilt expression 720

Sometimes you need someone to hold your hand when trying something new. The PFAFF quilt expression 720 is definitely user-friendly when it comes to starting the free motion quilting journey.

In yesterday’s post, I prepared fabrics for quilting by fusing batting to them. Think of each color, or piece, as a sample for trying out a new stitch. To make things even easier, let’s try out a few stippling stitches with the feed dogs engaged!

That’s right, you can use the stippling stitches on the quilt expression 720 just like regular stitches. Select a stitch then attach the presser foot indicated on the Color Touch Screen. For example, I chose a closed looped stippling stitch, stitch 2.2.5, for the dark purple fabric. The recommended presser foot is Fancy stitch foot 1A for IDT system which is included with the machine. The IDT system engages with this foot and helps feed the fabrics evenly under the needle.

 

Stitch in Color Touch Screen

 

This is when I start to use some of those buttons I mentioned in my last post too. I slow the speed of the machine down by long touching on the speed button. I use the Needle Up/Down button to keep the needle in the fabric and use it like a third hand while guiding the fabric – the presser foot then hovers above the fabric to make it easy to pivot the fabric to check on my stitching. I also use the Start/Stop button and let the machine do all the work of moving the needle at an even speed.

For the light purple fabric I used my neutral thread and stippling stitch 2.2.11. I quilted the stitch up and down the short width of the fabric because I thought this stitch mimicked the shape of an “S” nicely which is the letter that will be appliqued on this piece later.

 

Stippling stitch 2.2.11

 

On the blue fabric I quilted with blue thread, again going up and down on the shorter side, stippling stitch 2.2.12 which reminded me of a “W”. Can you see how much fun I was having?!

This stitch required the Maxi-stitch foot 8, also included with the machine.

 

Stippling stitch 2.2.12 with presser foot

 

Here’s a photo showing the Color Touch Screen with my stitch selected for the red fabric. You can see in the upper left, I lowered the machine’s overall speed and beside that you can see what the stitch will look like. Not only that but the screen shows how the stitch is lined up with the presser foot so you know where a stitch will start.

For all of the stitches, each time I completed a row I tried to remember to press the Stitch Restart button so that each row started in the same place. This let me have a predictable repeat. Of course, I forgot once or twice, but no big deal! It would be hard for me to go back now and show you where I forgot. Actually, I caught myself on the red fabric and stopped and took out a few stitches then restarted that row.

You can also see on the Color Touch Screen that I could change the stitch density, stitch width and thread tension for the stitch as well. I didn’t, but it’s fun to know that I have options. If I had wanted to, I could fit this stitch into a smaller sashing or manipulate it for a design.

 

Stitch on Color Touch Screen

 

Here are the columns of stitch 2.2.10. I started this one on the left side of the fabric and moved right. This is another choice you can make!

 

Stitch 2.2.10 in red thread on red fabric

 

Quilting these fabrics didn’t take long at all. Actually, it was quite easy and fun to try out several of the stippling stitches that come with the PFAFF quilt expression 720. There are a few colors left in our rainbow to quilt, so come back tomorrow and see what happens when I let the feed dogs down!

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2:

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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