The Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 – Out Of The Box & Into The Studio

A new toy was delivered to me the other day and I couldn’t wait to get the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 – out of the box & into the studio. I was just like a kid at Christmas, all wide eyed and excited.

Only a sewing machine could make me this excited, well maybe not only but pretty close.

The box with my new toy

The machine comes with a hard case for storage and keeping it safe during transport. The carrying handle on the machine is fairly wide with a good grip to make carrying the machine easier. I was pleasantly surprised how light the machine is in comparison to the other machines that I own but still not sure it is light enough to take back and forth to class, retreats, etc. Definitely a machine perfect for the studio and today is a great day to stay in the studio as the rain pours down outside.

Hard case on sewing machine

Ta Da – here it is!

The Quilt Expression 4.2 from Pfaff all shiny and new sitting on my table just waiting to be used. Love the colour and it will fit right in with all the other wonderful colours in my studio.

The Expression 4.2 sewing machine from Pfaff

What else was in the box?

A few more goodies to ensure a great sewing experience – a bag of accessories, the foot control pedal, a power cord and a knee lift.


All kinds of great things in this little pouch – bobbins, many different feet for many different stitches and functions, needles, spool holders, a screw driver, a multi-tool and of course the dreaded seam ripper for reverse sewing to name a few.

There will be more info about the different feet later in the week and what they are all used for.

The accessories

Foot Control

I have to say the foot control is huge in size and provides lots of space for your foot, in fact room for both feet but I think I’ll stick to sewing with one foot so as not to confuse myself.

Which foot do you sew with? I sew with my right foot and I have often thought that I should learn to sew with my left foot just in case something were to happen to my right foot and put it temporarily out of commission. Not being able to sew would not be a good thing. Although now a days there are so many machines that have a stop/go button and no foot control is needed. This machine is no exception.

The foot control

Knee Lift

The knee lift is a great tool to have especially when the presser foot needs to be lifted frequently from your work to turn and pivot to get those stitches aligned just perfectly.

I know a lot of people who use a knee lift will sew with their left foot so that they do not have to keep taking their foot off the foot control to use the knee lift. Makes sense to me and much better for a continuous work flow.

Now I have 2 reasons to learn how to sew with my left foot. Is anyone going to join me in this learning venture? I am sure it would take some time to switch over to the left foot but eventually the brain can be trained to adapt to something new.

The knee lift

Work Space

The machine itself has a detachable accessory box which does double duty as an added sewing space around the pressure foot area. The space is large enough to work on small pieces and not have any drag while sewing.

If there’s drag on the pieces that are being sewn together the tension and stitch length can be altered resulting in small, tight stitches which aren’t wanted. Having a smooth work space for the fabric to move across is needed to maintain perfect even stitches.

Work space with accessory box attached

Throat Space

An added bonus is that the space from the needle to the body of the machine is a full 10 inches providing lots of room to maneuver projects when sewing and quilting. This area is called the ‘throat space’. This large space is one of my favourite features of this machine as it helps to reduce stress on my neck, shoulders and arms when maneuvering the quilt through the machine as I quilt it.

Large 10 inch throat space

The Accessory Box

The accessory box is fabulous in that it has a place to store all the little bits that came with the machines, i.e. bobbins, feet, the dreaded seam ripper, etc. The box opens both at the front and back. The front section has a removable tray to reveal storage space underneath for larger items.

Area under tray to store larger items

The tray itself has lots of room for feet and bobbins. The bobbin holder is made of rubber and it moulds around the bobbins keeping them in place – no rolling out of control bobbins with this design.

Accessory tray loaded with bobbins and feet

The back part of the accessory tray also opens up for even more storage. It’s so nice to have everything right there and organised at your fingertips and not have to be hunting and searching for what you need.

Added Work Space

Would you like a little extra work space for those larger projects? No problem, an extension table can be added to the left of the needle extending the work space another 7½ inches. It just slides onto either side of the presser foot. Just remove the accessory tray and slip in the extension table. Easy as 1 – 2 – 3. This is another feature that I just cannot do without when I am sewing.

Extension table in place


I don’t know about you but my eyes are not as good as they use to be and I can use all the light I can get when I’m sewing. The Expression 4.2 has an LED light at the presser foot as well as in the throat space. These lights are nice and bright making it easy to see what you are working on. The more light the better and this machine has great lighting.

Two LED lights brighten the work space

As you can see from the picture above I’ve finally turned the machine on after checking out all of the external features. Tomorrow I will take the machine for a road test and see what it can do in terms of stitching.

Until then, Happy Quilting

Related posts

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Making a house a home out of the improv quilting wonky house block


Karen Belford April 17, 2018 - 8:06 am
I need a replacement accessory tray for my pfaff quilt expression 4.2, can any one tell me where I can purchase one, I have accidently broken my one and need it to be replaced Thank you
Rachel August 30, 2015 - 2:03 pm
I make a lot of quilted bags. Right now I have the Singer HD 110 and it is not powerful enough to get through the multiple layers of fabric -- skips stitches, etc -- especially when attaching handles. I am looking to upgrade my machine and considering this one. How powerful is the machine? Most reviews I have find online do not discuss horsepower of the machines.
Preethi Rao June 27, 2015 - 10:01 am
Hi Miss Jennifer, I have a small question.. The extension table that you mentioned in this post.. Did it come included with the machine or would you have to buy it separately? I'm buying the QE 4.2 soon and I'm planning on making lots and lots of quilts with it.. XD In the meantime, I'm trying to decide whether to buy this table or the clear extension table.. Which would you suggest? Thanks for such an informative post!! The pictures are very helpful. :)
Jennifer Houlden July 13, 2015 - 11:37 am
Hi Preethi Thanks for you questions. The extension table in the post is an additional accessory for the machine. Personally I would purchase the clear extension table as you get more work space with it and have a space to put things underneath and be able to see what is underneath. Happy Quilting and sewing machine buying. Jen
Prudence June 23, 2015 - 4:50 am
Hi Jennifer, Following your wonderful review I am strongly considering investing in this machine before moving to West Africa. Besides extra Pfaff bobbins would you recommend buying any other additional parts or accessories? I'm guessing it comes with the extension table. I mainly quilt. I'm in Norway now so I don't have as many places to buy like in the US. Thanks for your time. Prudence
Jennifer Houlden July 13, 2015 - 11:45 am
Hi Prudence Certainly extra bobbins are a great idea as you can never have too many of them. I would also recommend an open toed decorative foot especially if you like to do applique as it is much easier to see the stitching area with this nice wide open foot. Also great for doing decorative stitching. The extension table does not come with the machine - it is an add on but I would suggest purchasing the acrylic table which is larger and has more work area. Best of luck on your move. Jen
Cindy hug October 26, 2014 - 10:02 pm
Jen, I also have the quilt expression and 4.2. I need to get more bobbins but can not find the model number of the bobbins. This is my first Pfaff sewing machine. Are the bobbins interchangeable from machine to machine? Thanks for your help.
Jennifer Houlden October 30, 2014 - 7:08 am
Hi Cindy The Pfaff bobbins are interchangeable between machines. Happy Quilting Jen
Carla A. Canonico November 3, 2014 - 1:34 pm
Hi Cindy, just adding to Jennifer's comment: The bobbins that will fit your Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 are part #820921096. You can also use the Monet coloured bobbins part #821037096 or #820905096 for your machine. You will find them at your local Pfaff dealer. Your machine falls into Machine Category J and you can find all the accessories that will fit your machine at Select the Accessories tab and you can either search online or download the Accessory guide. Your local Pfaff dealer will also be able to assist you with any accessories you need for your Quilt Expression 4.2.
Diane July 12, 2014 - 11:54 am
Thanks. I definitely will Also curious if you know how much it weighs? Diane
Jennifer Houlden July 28, 2014 - 9:51 am
Diane, I am not sure what it weighs exactly but certainly under 30 pounds.
Diane July 10, 2014 - 5:44 pm
Would love to know more about your experience with this machine. My 7550 is in for repair and I wasn't sure how much it would cost so I started looking around to see what I would buy. I have a lot of feet for my 7550 (which I am getting fixed after all) but this might be a machine I'd like to invest in the near future. How long is the entire bed? I can't find dimensions on that and I want to make sure it will fit the opening on my Horn table. Also would love to hear how you like working on it. Thanks Diane in NYC
Jennifer Houlden July 11, 2014 - 9:25 am
Hi Diane, thank you for your comment. This was my first week using this machine and I have to say it was very nice to use. Everything is straight forward, the machine is user friendly and the stitching is great. The built in walking foot is a bonus and the sensormatic free motion works beautifully. I have been very pleased with the overall performance of this machine. The machine has a 10 inch throat so lots of room and the lighting is great on it. The entire bed is 13 x 8 ¾ inches with the accessory box on, without it on it is 12 ½ x 8 ¾ near the body of the machine and then the free arm is 3 ¾ inches. I will be doing another week of posts with this machine starting on the 21st. I hope you will tune in. Jen
Avril June 18, 2014 - 2:52 am
So excited and keen to follow you on this discovery of Pfaff 4.2 as this is the one I sew on. It is one wonderful machine and I know it can do so much more than I have tried. As a beginner quilter I am like a sponge soaking up all tips out there so can't wait for tomorrow to hear from you again. All the best Jen.
Jennifer Houlden June 18, 2014 - 7:05 pm
Avril, so wonderful for you to join me. I hope that you enjoy this week of reviewing the Quilt Expression 4.2.
Nancy June 16, 2014 - 3:41 pm
I learned to sew with my left foot because of the knee lift on my old Bernina. Then, I sprained my right foot and had to sew with my left foot on my other machine too. Now, I can't switch back. This machine looks like a lot of fun. I am looking forward to seeing what it does this week.
Jennifer Houlden June 17, 2014 - 10:20 am
Nancy, I really should do the same because on my old machine I use the knee lift a lot and have to keep interrupting my work flow to use the knee lift. I am sure it would only take me a couple of hours to get my brain trained. Yes, the Pfaff machine is a lot of fun and has lots of great features.
Diane March 15, 2015 - 7:01 am
I just wanted to drop a note to you to thank you. Last summer I started looking for a new sewing machine and happened up your site where you had just tested the PFAFF Quilt Expression 4.2. I finally got the machine and went back to your blog and found a few pointers on using my new machine. I love all the features. The only criticism I have is that I would like a more friendly user manual with step by step instructions for some of the more complicated functions. There are some wonderful videos on line but since I have a PFAFF 7550 I expected the manual to be more complete, as that one was. I'm sure I'll get the hang of everything as I use it and am looking forward to learn to free motion quilt with it since I no longer will have to control the speed of the machine. Thanks again Diane
Jennifer Houlden March 19, 2015 - 7:59 am
That's great Diane that you are able to get some pointers from my posts on the Expression 4.2. Have fun learning the free motion. Jen
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