Review Pfaff Quilt Expression 720 - Quilter´s delight
I owned many sewing machines in my life. Then in 2012 I got my first Pfaff and since then I have been a Pfaff person. For me it means quality and reliability. So when I had to say unexpected good bye to my Pfaff Quilt expression 4.2 I decided to upgrade to a new Pfaff 720. I have had it for 1,5 months now and we got to know each other really well. I am happy to have a machine that I can use for quilt making from start to finish. Here I would like to share what I love about my new Pfaff Quilt Expression 720 compared to my old machine Quilt expression 4.2.
As the name implies, this sewing machine is designed for quilters.
1. Large throat space and light
Even though it is the same 10 inches to the right from the needle as in the expression 4.2, it is so much better lit that it feels bigger. It allows you to handle big projects with ease. I am currently quilting a 105" (265 cm) square quilt with rulers and it is not difficult to move it if you have the right set up (extension table and large surface under machine, so the quilt doesn´t hang down). I don´t need to use my Daylight lamp for quilting either (which was a must for quilting with my old machine).
2. Straight stitch needle plate and sensor
The machine comes with 2 needle plates.
Straight stitch needle plate is great for piecing. It helps to prevent the fabric from being pulled down into the bobbin area, especially at the beginning and/or end of a seam. With Pfaff expression 4.2 I had to use a small piece of fabric to start stitching (especially with thin fabrics) otherwise it was quite often pulled into the bobbin.
Also on 4.2 model you had to activate the stitch width safety button as not to accidentally use zig zag stitch or cut off thread option while you use a 1/4 inch foot. On 720 that function auto activates once you put the straight needle plate because the machine has a sensor that recognizes the type of needle plate.
3. Free-motion modes and auto drop of feed dogs
There are 4 free-motion modes on Pfaff 720 - Dynamic spring foot 6D free-motion, Spring foot free-motion, Sensormatic free-motion and Free motion ruler foot.
Once you attach straight needle plate and choose one of these modes, the feed dogs auto drop.
On my old Pfaff expression 4.2 I used mainly Dynamic spring foot 6D free motion mode with that particular foot or with the Westalee ruler foot because I was unable to get good results with the sensormatic foot that came with the machine. The sensormatic foot for the new 720 model is different and I tried it several times for fmq and it worked just fine.
4. Ruler foot option
Another exciting feature is the possibility of ruler work as the new Pfaff ruler foot is designed for this particular model (you need to order the foot separately).
It is possible to use this foot with older Pfaff models. I tested it for Quilt expression 4.2 (see my previous blog post ) and it worked well with pivot height adjustment.
I like to use the ruler foot both for ruler work and fmq.
5. IDT system
Integrated dual feed allows to precisely feed all types of fabric from both top and bottom, prevents shifting of the layers and helps to achieve perfect stitching.
Both models have it - all you need to do is to lower the lever and place it under the foot for certain types of stitching.
6. Patchwork program
It is a new feature for the 720 model that allows you to have an exact seam length that can be sewn repeatedly. It is great for chain piecing or piecing large amounts of quilt blocks.
7. Needle positions and variety of stitches
The 720 model has 37 built-in needle positions for an exact placement of your straight stitch for top stitching and 428 decorative and embroidery stitches.
8. Automatic Self-Adjusting Thread tension
On 720 model the best tension is set automatically for all sewing techniques and fabrics. Although I found that I need to adjust it especially for straight stitch and fmq. But of course, it depends on the type of fabric you use and in fmq on the type of thread. For example, in ruler work mode while working with Aurifil thread 40 wt I had to decrease the upper thread tension from 4.6 /standard/ to 2.8 to avoid thread breaking. Just don´t be afraid to try and find what works the best for you.
I also noticed that the new Pfaff 720 has much more power to the needle compared to 4.2 model. I sewed through 8-10 layers of denim fabric while finishing my denim rug /see the blog post/ and didn´t get any motor overload message.
Machine also comes with a very good User manual (especially the quilting section is much more detailed than for quilt expression 4.2). It is also possible to purchase software updates.
It is a mid range price machine and a great value for the money. As a quilter I have been very pleased that Pfaff made major improvements to the design and features of the new model without large increase in price.
If you are thinking of upgrading your machine or buying a new one I definitely recommend new Pfaff quilt expression 720.