Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 - Comparison

I am missing my sewing machine. Still at the sewing shop for repairs as I broke the needle threader.

So I have been surfing the net for most of the weekend and started to look at sewing machines.

I saw that there is a new machine, the Pfaff Performance 5.2, currently offered in US and Europe (I believe). I am a sucker for anything new so I started to read up on this and compare the various machines. No idea of whether this one is out in Australia already or not...

Watched an entire video on the Pfaff Performance 5.0 from the Village Sewing Center. That was hugely interesting...a beautiful machine with a slick black face. I then compared the three machines (4.2; 5.0 and 5.2) and was rather amazed at the differences (or lack thereof).

In terms of key features, in contrast to the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2,  both the Performance 5.0 and 5.2 have a very attractive Colour Touch Screen that is operated via a stylus. Both have 453 stitches including Maxi stitches and the Stitch Creator feature, Patchwork program, Sensor for Straight Stitch Needle Plate  and a Single Stitch program. There was very little difference between the Performance 5.0 and 5.2, in fact I think the only thing they added were some beautiful Stacking and Ribbon stitches to the 5.2. Obviously there were other little differences, including more memory and more inclusions, but overall it looked very similar.

What amazed me was the similarity to my Pfaff QE 4.2. I basically got all the same major features, dimensions are the same and the operation is basically the same. What was not the same was obviously the price tag. The Pfaff Performance 5.0 is thousands more and no doubt the 5.2 will be again dearer. I found that quite incredible and again was reminded on how confusing it is to go out there looking for a suitable machine. Very easy to get blinded by the bling...you really have to be super clear on what you are going to use your sewing machine for and compare the different machines to get the best value for money.

If I think about my use...as much as I get sucked into anything bling and new, if I look at my machine I must say, that it has more than enough features for quilting. I have 254 stitches which I rarely use. I would like a better alphabet font, however again...I would only use it to delight in the joy of having it! Stitch Creator would be lost on me as I am a quilter and not really into embellishing my blocks or quilts. Nice feature though, if you are regularly using all your stitches and you are bored with them. Patchwork program...I have been told that this is somewhat overrated, and this would not be a selling feature for me. I was confused about the sensor for the Straight Needle Stitch Plate. Not listed under the 4.2, but my machine definitely will not work with all stitches if I have the Straight Stitch Safety feature enabled, so I also have that safe guard. I got a bit excited about the Single Stitch program...that made me laugh because I definitely do not need that. If I wanted to stitch out just one design I could set this up in the sequencing feature. A few more buttons to press but the same effect.

The other thing I did was read some reviews on the Pfaff Performance 5.0. I did come across some very negative reviews and was quite shocked as there is no way you would ever touch a Pfaff again if you had a similar experience. Made me wonder whether this was just a bunch of people who all got the 'lemons' or whether there was something in it. Mind you, I would also not take kindly to having a 'lemon' at that price tag and I felt quite sorry for those women. I can only speak for myself here...I have never had a bad experience with any of my Pfaff machines.

Morale of the story...I think it pays to select your brand and then do some research across the range of machines to really become familiar with all that is offered and then have a really good think about what you would be using the machine for.

As you can see I have got way too much time on my hands when I am not sewing.

Karin

12 comments:

  1. I too have a QE4.2, since 2013 and love it to bits! Had a Pfaff 1475 prior, the 4.2 has everything I need for quilting or the occasional garment or home Dec project. I wasn't swayed by the few extras on the 5.0 even though I did play with at the store. Couldn't justify the extra money for things I knew I'd never use. The only machine that has come close to luring me into throwing caution to the wind has been the Brother DreamWeaver, model 3000 I believe. I took a class at a show where the machine was used for the class and I was greatly impressed! Of course they were offering. *show special* if purchased right then but I backed out as I'd just purchased the Pfaff! Sorry to hear you're without your machine, hope she'll be back soon! Best, Ani in USA

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  2. Thanks as always for your advice and 'thinking aloud'. I looked at the 5.0 but for another significant hike in price I agree entirely with your analysis that I would have had few extras and even less when I asked myself critically if I would have use them. Now that's when I was embarking on quilting and hasn't discovered your wonderful blog. 2 years on I would make the same decision. We have an excellent Pfaff dealer here who put customer satisfaction ahead of extra profit so they steered me to the 4.2 and I love it.

    I do hope yours returns soon - I would feel bereft but I did buy myself (rather my late husband who always buys me still Christmas and birthday presents!) a Pfaff Passport to save me keep moving it to classes and traveling. So although not as good at quilting etc keeps my sewing itch scratched. Do you get your 4.2 regularily serviced or only when needed?

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  3. I've been searching how to sew without the pedal, but can't find it in the manual or elsewhere. Does it really do this?

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    1. Hi...you are a no reply blogger, hence my answer on the post. I think you are talking about the Start/Stop button which you will find on the front panel, left side, right column on the very bottom. When you try it I would set my speed to slow as it appears very fast and just takes off. Gave me a fright when I first tried it.

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  4. Thanks for your post Karin. I bought a good Husqvarna entry-level sewing machine a few years ago as I wanted to try my hand at dressmaking abut wasn't sure if I'd get on with it. I absolutely love it and have discovered quilting along the way, which has taken over as my favourite hobby. I've just bitten the bullet and upgraded to a Pfaff QE 4.2 this weekend. I've had my eye on this machine for a little while and they had a great offer on at the Festival of Quilts (UK) that finally brought it within my budget. They also offered a good discount on the 5.2, but it would still have been £500 more than the 4.2. I'm really excited about my purchase but, as you do, was starting to doubt if I shouldn't have pushed the boat out and gone for the 5.2 - as this is a brand new model. I had a look on the Pfaff website to compare though and, like you, I didn't think there was that much difference between the two models so am definitely sticking with my original purchase order!

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    1. Hi...yes, I think you will be absolutely happy with your purchase. They are excellent machines. BTW...you are a No Reply blogger, hence my comment here. If you see this, let me know what you think of your machine!

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  5. Hi everyone, I have a quilt expression 2046 that I bought 11 years ago and use frequently. I absolutely love it and it has always done everything that I needed it to do. Well it's been in the shop 3 times this year. It's in the shop right now. Whating to hear about the problem, screen is froze and I can't do anything with it. Iwas reading about the preformance 5.0, but now I'm going to look at the QE 4.2. Appreciate any suggestions.

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  6. Hi everyone, I have a quilt expression 2046 that I bought 11 years ago and use frequently. I absolutely love it and it has always done everything that I needed it to do. Well it's been in the shop 3 times this year. It's in the shop right now. Whating to hear about the problem, screen is froze and I can't do anything with it. Iwas reading about the preformance 5.0, but now I'm going to look at the QE 4.2. Appreciate any suggestions.

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    1. Yes, have a good look at the machines and compare. I have a 4.2 and am very happy with it. The 5 seems to have more bells and whistles...depends really what you want to use the machine for.

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  7. I have the pfaff QE 4.2 on layaway with a local dealer . I searched for a long time and did a lot of research before I settled on the 4.2 I came to the same conclusion that the performance 5.0 wasn't enough different to be worth the larger pice tag.

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  8. Hi. I have the Pfaff Performance 5.0. It was on sale for only $200 more than the 4.2 because I used it in a class (student incentive). Very pleased with it, but haven't used hardly any of the features! The maxi stitches, however, are wonderful.

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    1. How exciting! I would have done the same.

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