Time and time again I get asked this question from readers and random people who Google questions about their Pfaff Grand Quilter. My blog comes up in the search and they typically end up asking the following question….always in reference to thread breakage on their Pfaff Grand Quilter.
From Ruth Wooten: “I have the 1200 pfaff grand quilter on the Inspira frame. It will sew fine and then acts like the thread in the bobbin catches or snags. There does not seem to be a burr on the bobbin case, no lint or threads hung up inside that I can find. I can tug on the machine and it will come loose and sew again. It has been oiled, cleaned, adjusted, took off and checked but I still have the problem. Any suggestions to solve the problem.”
I used to have a Pfaff Grand Quilter.
For the first year I liked it and had few problems with it.
Along came year two, three and four. YUCK..pooh….awful. It was horrible. Thread breakage plagued me…and not just a little bit. IT WAS AWFUL!! I can honestly say now that I developed anxiety over using the machine. I would have a quilt that needed to be done on a specific date and I would do everything I could to not have to do it. I HATED it. Sometimes the machine would work…other times not. There were times when I would sew five inches and the thread would break time and time and time again. Hubby would be trying to help me and a would be bawling…not just crying…BAWLING. Here is a post from the really bad days.
I tried and tried and tried things. I got a new plate-a new bobbin case-I replaced every part I could think of. Sometimes it would work…sometimes not. I tried different thread-different batting-I maintained that machine to the max. It was totally unpredictable.
Finally, Hubby could not stand it any longer and said enough is enough. You are buying a new machine. I can’t stand you being upset all the time.
In comes my APQS Millennium.
I chose an APQS for several reasons…
1-Judy at Patchwork Times had one and Bonnie at Quiltville had one. Both of them are helpful bloggers that I knew if I had questions I could ask.
2-A friend and two of the quilt shops in our area have APQS macines…again another resource if I need help.
3-There is an APQS dealer o2b Quilting in Spring Valley, MN a little over an hour away from me…another resource.
4-They are an Iowa company…again a closer resource-they come and set the machine up!!
5-They sell refurbished machines so that’s more affordable.
I ended up getting a refurbished APQS Millennium. They are honestly MUCH-MUCH cheaper than new. So much cheaper that they are comparable to domestic machine companies that come out with a mid arms.
I am not going to lie and say I never had problems with my APQS but so far, no problem that I couldn’t solve by changing thread, cleaning the machine or changing the needle…all typical problems. I am also quilting quadruple the amount of quilts that I was before….and the best part, I have never cried.
Many companies, Baby Lock, Pfaff, and Bernina and I am sure others make mid arm machines and many quilt shops sell them. BUT take note. Does the quilt shop use those machines for their custom quilting…NO. They used APQS or other machines that are long arm machines. That should have told me something from the time I originally purchased the Pfaff Grand Quilter.
The bottom line is this….I never did figure out the problems I had with my Pfaff Grand Quilter. To be honest, I just think there is no fixing the problems. I TRIED EVERYTHING…it would sometimes work for a bit and it might not work at all. Figuring how to prevent thread breakage on my Pfaff Grand Quilt was a mystery that I could not solve. That is why I moved on and bought a different machine.
I do have to say this…
I thought about selling my Grand Quilter and frame when I got my APQS but Hubby and I decided no…that wasn’t right to saddle someone else with those problems. So I took the machine off the frame (trashed the frame) and started using the machine for piecing. I am completely and totally love my Grand Quilter for piecing. For that, it can’t be beat. I have a Bernina 165E. I no long use it. I would MUCH rather piece with this machine. It is a work horse. It has speed. It is an amazing machine and honestly, if I come across another, I just might buy it as Kelli and I fight over this machine when she comes home to sew with me.
I am so sorry that so many people have had the same problems with their Pfaff Grand Quilters…I can’t solve your problems and to those of you who are in the market for a long arm machine, pay a little more and skip the mid arm machines…that’s the best advice I can give. If you must keep your problem machine, keep a diary of each quilt, what thread, what backing, what batting. Note everything you can and maybe, just maybe you will be luckier than I was a figure your problem out. With all machines, sometimes slowing down does help.
I am sorry, I can’t help more. I know the problems are completely frustrating and I honestly understand how frustrating the problems are.
Each day leading to Thanksgiving I write about something that I am thankful for.
Today I am thankful the in-laws that are coming into the family fold. Several years ago when our children were in confirmation class the pastor who was teaching class, Milton Johnson, who we dearly loved and miss, suggested to his confirmation class of 13 and 14 year olds that they should start praying that God provide their perfect mate. The kids came home and told me about that. I thought-dah…of course they should be…why didn’t I think of that?? From then on I periodically asked that our children be blessed with the perfect mate.
Well…the perfect mates are lining up. Last year Kayla married Spencer. In August Buck married Jen. In March Kelli will marry Jason. Kalissa has a pretty special guy, Craig, waiting in the wings. Each of these people honestly seem perfect for my kids. They each compliment them in ways that I never imagined until I met them. I think all of them will be in the family for years and years to come and I can’t wait to see how their relationships expand and grow.
Today I am so very thankful for Spencer, Jen, Jason and Craig…and for the girl that is out there somewhere for our son Karl.