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Precise patchwork with the PFAFF creative sensation pro

by Sarah Vanderburgh

The PFAFF creative sensation pro has an amazing array of features which help make any kind of sewer improve the professional look of their finished pieces. In this post we’ll look at some of the features and accessories that PFAFF has included for quilters to make the most basic process of sewing together block pieces – patchwork – precise and efficient. And more fun too!

PFAFF creative sensation pro

PFAFF creative sensation pro

Accessory Feet

Accessory Feet included with PFAFF creative sensation pro

Accessory Feet included with PFAFF creative sensation pro

The creative sensation pro comes with 11 accessory feet! In this photo you can also see the included edge guide and straight stitch needle plate – which will get its own shout out 🙂
When you select a stitch an icon will appear at the top of the screen with the recommended foot. Many of the feet use the IDT System to evenly feed the fabric layers under the needle.

Straight Stitch Plate

Straight Stitch Plate

Straight Stitch Plate

This piece is golden – I feel like special music should play when I put this on the machine! It makes starting and stopping patchwork easier as fabric can’t get shoved down that tiny needle hole. This plate, combined with other features, greatly enhances the patchwork piecing experience!

The machine will tell me when I have it on and it’s not the recommended plate. It makes a sound for this so I’m sure I could write and ask for special music when it gets placed – right? 😉

¼ʺ Quilting Foot for IDT System

¼ʺ Quilting Foot

¼ʺ Quilting Foot

This foot combined with the straight stitch plate is awesome – together they help get that ¼ʺ seam allowance. The red markings give you visual quarter inch marks to see while you are sewing. Connected to the IDT System, and using the next feature too – you feel like you could piece precisely all day!

Start/Stop button

Start/Stop Stitch button

Start/Stop Stitch button

I’ll admit that at first I thought this button was only for embroidery – even though I read the manual! I decided to try it just to see what would happen. Now it’s one of my favorite features!

I didn’t realize how much physical strain I feel after a long session of quilting until I started using this button consistently – and didn’t feel sore after a half hour piecing marathon. Why? There’s so much tension in my body usually when I’m at the machine – holding fabrics, pressing the pedal with one foot, keeping track of what’s coming next, changing speed – which takes a toll. Using the start/stop stitch button has taken a lot of that physical tension away. You can press the button to stop, but you can also simply tap on the foot pedal to stop the needle. Combine this with using the needle down button and experience the ease of piecing, for a really long time even  😉

Speed Control

Speed Control Icon

Speed Control Icon

This machine can go! I like a bit more control and tend to slow it way down; partly because I like to watch what’s happening, mostly because my table is not that sturdy and I’m a little afraid when the machine starts dancing on it!

For those of you who like to go fast – this machine goes faster than the Creative 4.5. Embroiderers go!

Whatever your preference, it’s easy to adjust the speed – by holding down longer on the little triangle in the bottom right of the icon it opens up to reveal several speed options.

Speed Icon with Options

Speed Icon with Options

Touch the stylus to your selected speed, then the check mark and you’re ready. Even a slower set speed is faster and more consistent than what I can do with the foot pedal.

Just remember that the speed resets to *fast* when it turns back on! (don’t ask!)

Patchwork Checkerboard Block

Patchwork Checkerboard Block

To demonstrate the results you can get with the creative sensation pro I thought I’d show you how I used some of the accessories and features combined with the quilting programs to do patchwork.

I’m making the Splendid Sampler blocks – with approximately 25,000 other online quilters! The blocks finish at 6″. There will be 100 blocks – and I may not be caught up! Anyway, I thought the checkerboard block would be a great test block for the Patchwork Program.

The Patchwork Program

The Patchwork Program

The Patchwork Program lets you program a length of stitches that the machine will then repeat when using the Start/Stop button.
In combination with the Patchwork Program I also used the straight stitch plate, the ¼ʺ quilting foot, needle down button, and adjusted my speed.

First select the Patchwork Program by selecting the icon in the side menu.

Pairs of 1½ʺ blocks

Pairs of 1½ʺ blocks

I paired up the required number of 1½ʺ blocks and put the first pair through. Then I reversed over the length I just stitched – this is where the program gets the length of the patchwork sequence from.

Small pairs chain pieced

Small pairs chain pieced

Then I used the Start/Stitch button and fed the rest of my pairs through the machine.

Pairs matched up into four patches

Pairs matched up into four patches

At this point the Stitch program is engaged – which lets you adjust the number of stitches programmed.

I matched up the pairs into four patches. . .

Programmed stitch length doubled

Programmed stitch length doubled

and doubled the length of the programmed stitch – by touching the plus sign icon with the stylus – because the length of the patchwork is now twice as long.

Then I used the Start/Stop button to feed the four patch pieces through. If the stitching came up short I simply added a stitch or two to the program. I could also take them away.

Sewing four patches into rows

Sewing four patches into rows

To sew the four patches together I left the stitch length the same as the length of the seam didn’t change.

Again I used the Start/Stop button to feed the pieces through.

Pieced block

Pieced block

The final longer seams I sewed in the traditional way with the foot pedal.

I didn’t have to pin thanks to the IDT System! The even feeding really saves time and ensures precise matching of seams too.

I was very impressed that even with my small pieces I was able to use the program and the features of the machine to get an accurately pieced block.

PFAFF creative sensation pro

PFAFF creative sensation pro

The  PFAFF creative sensation pro is an excellent patchwork partner. It offers many features to the quilter to make the entire process of making a quilt precise and enjoyable and leads to professional results.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1:  10 top features of the PFAFF creative sensation pro
Go to part 3:  Playing with stitches on the PFAFF creative sensation pro

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