This week, I get to explore the PFAFF powerquilter 1600 Long Arm Quilting Machine, which is pretty impressive, and you’ll see some of the exciting reasons today.
The powerquilter 1600 is a dedicated sit-down quilting machine, and until you quilt on one, you have no idea what you’re missing.
I’ve not had much chance to quilt with a sit-down quilting machine in all my years of quilting. As much as I love quilting on a domestic sewing machine, I find dealing with the bulk of the quilt to be physically exhausting and stressful for my body, especially for extended periods of quilting. While my domestic machine has a larger throat space, and I use a large extension table, there’s no comparison between quilting on the domestic sewing and the sit-down quilting machines.
Don’t get me wrong, the domestic sewing machine is a great quilting machine, but the dedicated sit-down quilting machine is so much easier to quilt on, and I could quilt all day on it and not get tired.
So when I had the chance to give the powerquilter 1600 a try, I said yes.
About five minutes into my first project, I said this is the way to go for sit-down quilting. And I’m not the only one! When the powerquilter 1600 was at my house, someone else came to try it. They’ve done a lot of quilting on a domestic sewing machine, but they also struggled with the same issues as I did. Within five minutes, she was working out her budget to buy one! Oh yes – it makes so much difference, you won’t believe it!
So what’s the big deal? Well, have a look at this.
First, look at the throat space on the powerquilter 1600. There is 16” of throat space from the needle to the tower, which is pretty substantial and beats any domestic sewing machine on the market. Not only do you have the distance from the needle to the tower, but you have the height of the throat space, which is 8”! That’s more than enough to put any sized quilt under the needle.
Second, look at the table that comes with the powerquilt 1600! The table is 36” x 30”, so it’s pretty substantial, and the best part is the entire surface is flat. There’s no danger of your quilt getting caught on the edge of an extension table.
Third, did you notice how the quilting machine sits on the table? Yes – you sit at the head of the quilting machine (don’t worry, all the controls are on the panel directly in front of you). But this means there’s wide open space to the left and right of the needle, giving you so much freedom of movement.
OK – sign me up! I want this!
Now let’s just back up for one minute. The powerquilter 1600 comes in two boxes; one for the quilting machine and one for the table. Assembling the table is easy, and with a few screws and a couple of Allen Keys, I had the table together in no time. Once the table is together, connecting all the cables is easy, and you can be quilting in no time. You’ll find the tools and hardware in the box; both boxes are heavy, so it’s a job for two people, although one person can do it if they’re strong!
Now here’s something super exciting about the powerquilter 1600. See those two spots near the needle. Do you know what they are?’
Those are the sensors for the stitch regulator! Yes – the powerquilter 1600 has built-in stitch regulation. OK – does this machine get any better? Trust me – it does!
Notice the transition from the machine to the built-in stitch regulator insert, and the table is smooth. You have a beautifully flat, smooth surface upon which to move your quilt.
If you’re constantly quilting huge quilts and feel the 36” x 30” table isn’t large enough, there’s an optional table extension. It measures 18” x 30”, and you can add one or two to the existing table. They’re easy to install and fold down when you don’t need them. If you add one to both sides of the current table, you’ll have a workspace of 72” x 30”, which is huge.
The PFAFF powerquilter 1600 is an industrial quilting machine, and since I’ll be quilting a lot, I don’t want to deal with small spools of thread and external thread stands. No worries, as there’s a beautiful four-spool thread stand. Now even though it’s called a ‘spool’ stand, it’s meant for cones of thread, although you can use any size spool of thread on it.
We may not be using multiple strands of thread in the quilting process, but if I’m changing thread colors, the other colors are handy on the thread stand and not falling on the floor if they sit on the table.
The last two features I will mention today are the motor and the lighting. The motor is powerful and can stitch up to 2,100 stitches per minute. OK – I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could keep up with it. But that’s OK, as it means I’ll never outgrow the speed and stitching capabilities of the powerquilter 1600.
The other feature I love is the lighting. The LED lights are intense, which is excellent for seeing what you are quilting, especially if you’re quilting on dark fabric with a dark thread. The glare of the light on the table is very intense, but the moment I place my quilt on the table, the glare disappears.
There are two sets of lights; one set surrounds the needle, and the second is in the middle of the throat space, providing more than ample light for all your projects.
Well? What do you think? I can’t wait to quilt something! Be sure to come back tomorrow when I finish listing all the features and benefits of the PFAFF powerquilter 1600! You won’t want to miss it! In the meantime, start looking for a space in your sewing studio for this fantastic sit-down quilting machine.
Have a super day!!