I get questions about my machine quilting and what machine I have all the time so I thought I would answer a few of the questions.
I have a Pfaff Grand Quilter along with a Next Generation Quilt Frame.
For the most part, I like it. For the first year, I hated it. It was like everything else….getting used to something new is hard. I had to read the directions every time I put a quilt in the frame.
The next two years…I loved and used it like a workhorse.
This last year…I’ve been back to not liking it so much. I have had problems with the frame….the ratchets have broken and all but one have been replaced. I’ve been plagued with issues regarding thread breakage and shredding. These were all SUPER frustrating.
Since my last issue with Kelli’s quilt, things are all better. I have replaced the thread plate, the feed dog covers on the machine and now I have all new track on the frame. Cheap…no. Expensive. I’ve invested about $200 to get it working properly again. Keep in mind, I personally have done about 60 projects using it, my girlfriends 6 projects and my daughters, 15 projects. Totaling about 81 projects in the four years I’ve had it. Most of this was in the last 2.5 years…I didn’t use it much at first.
I paid about $3200 for it. With the repair costs and the original price it has cost about $42 per item quilted, some of these have been baby quilts and some king size quilts…that cost doesn’t include thread. Thread can be expensive.
Here’s a little picture of my daughter Kelli and the machine it in action…
That gives you a little idea of what it’s like if you are thinking of purchasing a machine of your own.
Here’s a few other things to think about if you are considering purchasing something like this….When I purchased mine, I thought I would be able to do pantograph designs. I can’t. The machine comes with beautiful pattern for them but they really don’t work. As the finished area of the quilt rolls on the take up bar, it uses available area. As I quilt along and get to the end of the quilt, the area is less and less. The designs no longer fit in the allotted area. I am told this is something that has improved with the newer models…but with that comes a larger cost.
I have gotten email and suggestions from people to take the quilt out and work from the opposite end…not me. I don’t care for that.
I have gotten email and offers from others to send me their personally designed pantograph designs that are narrower…I appreciate the offers, but that isn’t for me either. I just like “winging it”. I free hand or free motion everything. I like that. I like watching the thread go into the fabric, not a laser going along the paper.
I don’t have a stitch regulator and I don’t have a Q-bot. These make your stitches more uniform and can even make it stitch a design on it’s own.
This machine is not for everyone. Some want bigger and more beautiful…some don’t want to touch anything to do with machine quilting. I like it and now that I figured out why the thread is shredding I like it ever better.
The shredding thread issue was resolved by bypassing the thread guide.
Here’s a photo of the thread guide I am bypassing.
Since I started bypassing that thread guide I have had ZERO problems with shredded thread. If you own a machine like this and are having trouble with shredding thread, try it. It might work for you too.
I’ve thought about getting a bigger better machine but I asked about trade in value…I was told they wouldn’t take my frame and the machine was worth about $800. Well, that means I’ll be keeping mine. There is one on ebay with an updated frame, $2200. That’s a great deal.
I am not a professional quilter and have no want or need to quilt for others so this is what works for me. Hopefully it will hold together for another 80 quilts.
P.S. If you missed my giveaway, you can check it out here.