Hints & Advice FAQ

Q: Does 2140 have 8 way stitching function on straight stitch? I know the 7570 does, but I couldn't find it on 2140.
A: On the Pfaff creative 2140 IDT, you will find directional stitches by: > Main Menu > Sequence Combination > Sewing Sequence > On the right hand side of the screen there are several icons. The one for directional feed is the top one in the left column. It will progress by 1mm stitches any way you want to go.


Q: I have a Pfaff 6150 and am having trouble with the stitches. It looks fine on the side I am sewing on but when I turn the fabric over the thread is looped and a mess. I have rethread and reinstalled the bobbin as the instructions say, also the tension is in-between 4 and 5. I also cleaned out lint and put a new needle in. What should I do?
A: You have done an excellent job of checking out and making any corrections on your own. There is one hidden thing for you to try before you take it in to your dealer for service: When you thread your Pfaff, try it two ways and see if it makes a difference. As you go through the tension disks, thread it to the right and sew. Then thread it on the left side of the tension disks and sew. If the loops disappear from the bottom of the fabric, it would mean that that side of the discs is working and the other side is probably full of lint or a clump of thread that is not allowing it to function properly. If this is the case, take a strand of thread, double it up to about 4 strands, tie a knot in the middle of it and use it like dental floss to clean out the tension side that is "full" of stuff. Also check to make sure there is tension on the thread once you have it in the bobbin case. If the thread in the bobbin pulls out without any tension, then you need to tighten the screw on the bobbin case until there is tension.

This tension question is usually caused by some thread being caught in the upper tension disks. The answer is the same for all makes and models of machines.

A Pfaff Dealer has the proper equipment to clean places where you & I cannot access. So, if all the above has not corrected the problem, you do need to take your Pfaff to an authorized Pfaff dealer in order for them to help you.

Q: The alphabet on the Pfaff 300 Creative Card is has a notation (- 1:1 +) that says it is enlargable/reducible. How can I enlarge the monogram beyond the stated 11mm? I would like a larger letter.
A: There are 2 alphabets on card 300. The Block alphabet is in sizes 24.0 to 16.0 mm. Touch the + for larger letters and Touch the - for smaller ones. The Monogram alphabet is in sizes 17.7 to 11.8 mm. And again, use the + or - to change sizes.


Q: I have a Pfaff tiptronic 2030. When I try to use it for free motion quilting, with the free motion foot, with the foot in the darning position, and lowered feed dogs, the result is an excess bunching of thread on the bottom side of the fabric. Top tension is set at 4. Bobbin tension seems to be ok by the drop test. Do you have any suggestions?
A: It sounds like you have the proper settings on your Pfaff 2030 for free motion quilting. It is possible that the batting is causing a distortion of the stitches by clinging to the thread in such a way that a proper loop is not formed or pulled back into balanced position. You might like to try a size 90 quilting needle by Schmetz. Also, double check that your upper thread is in the tension disks.

Q: I would like to know if the universal feet are interchangeable with the snap-on feet on the Pfaff 7530 Quilt and Craft Pro as I have read that they are and also have been told that they are not! I do not want to damage my new machine but I have a number of extra feet purchased for my old Pfaff 1222 and would like to make use of them.

A. There are several choices for feet. Your Pfaff 1222 was a high shank machine with screw on feet. Your new 7530 Pfaff is a low shank machine and therefore, they are not compatible. The Pfaff 1222 was a 4mm wide stitch and your Pfaff 7530 has beautiful 9mm stitch patterns so the opening in the foot would not be large enough to accommodate the swing of the needle.

Q. Can you tell me how to sew with Halo thread in my sewing machine? It seems to fray and break no matter what I do.

A. Try a size 90 topstitch needle and a vertical as well as a horizontal spool holder to help protect this thread. Also, try a very loose upper tension - down to 1.

Q. Please tell me how to find a design specifically – like a marriage symbol to embroider on the Pfaff creative 2140.

A: Please go to the PFAFF website and look through the thousands of designs that are available in the On-Line Web shop. (There are really good discount prices too!)

Q. I have a Pfaff Tiptronic 6250 model. When I use metallic threads, with a 14/90 needle and 30 wt. thread, should I use a thread lubricate like tri flow or spray silicon? I can't find the answer in my manual.

A. The reason that you were unable to find information on using thread lubricate like tri flow or spray silicon is because they are not recommended for Pfaff Products. Please see your Authorized Pfaff Dealer for Schmetz Metallica needles and Schmetz 90 top stitch needles that would work nicely with your 30 weight thread and metallic threads.

Q. I own a Pfaff 1222E, dual voltage machine and I am looking for a presser foot that will let me sew fabric close to braid trim so that the material the braid is attached to won’t show. My zipper foot does not sew close enough.

A. You will need to have switched your Pfaff 1222E to a snap-on foot shank adapter, and then purchase the knit edge foot. This will allow the braid to go in the tunnel of the foot. You will also need to set your needle position to your desired catching spot.

Q. I have PC-Designer software but my dealer went out of business before I could learn to use it. I have the step by step guide by Angie Spong. This I can follow. But when working with a diskette I have bought the problems arise. My problem is getting designs from a disk to the PC and adding on to them. For instance, the Alphabet Soup by Patti’s Porfolio or Martha Pullen designs that can be combined to make new designs. I just cannot get one design next to the other. Only one comes on the screen at any one time. How do I get two on the screen at one time to then rotate, resize or combine.

A: The trick you need to know to put two designs on the screen at one time. First, have only the stitch highlighted to which you want to attach the next design. Then go to FILE and go down to INSERT FILE, choose the design you want to add, OK it, and it will be placed on the highlighted stitch for you.

Q: Can someone provide simple instructions on using this foot? Example: recommended width of bias to produce a nice binding.

A: In answer to your question about the Binding Foot: The width is about 1" bias, but it does vary with the thickness or thinness of the fabric and can also vary due to the stiffness of the fabric. A 1" width is the best place to start.

Q: How do I place things in the round hoop?

A: Try marking the fabric with a complete + that will extend from side to side and top to bottom of the round hoop so that you have more to match. The new click and rotate icon that can move designs by one degree at a time should make the placement much easier in the round hoop.

Q: I am trying to quilt, using nylon filament in the upper and polyester in the lower. I have tried all kinds of adjustment of upper and lower tensions. The stitches look knotted on the top, or if they look better, the nylon thread is too tight and the stitches gather, losing 2 inches when stretched out.

A: We need you to tell us if you will please, (be our eyes.) 1. What brand and weight is the nylon (or polyamid) thread that is on the top? - A very fine thread is best i.e. .004.
2. And what brand and weight thread is in the bobbin? - Smooth and easy to pull through the backing, batting and top fabric is best.
3. What is the upper fabric and backing fabric? - Fabrics that are very densely woven are not as easy to work with as the more loosely woven ones.
4. What kind and weight is the batting? - Thinner battings are easier.
5. Which stitch number is being used? – Forward motion stitches are best. (Stitches that do not stitch themselves more than once.)
6. What is the current or last upper tension setting that you tried? - This takes some experimentation to get it just right.
7. What size needle is being used? - A bigger needle forms a better channel through the backing, batting and quilt top to pull the bobbin thread up to the top.

All of these factors interact to create the stitch.

Q: When I try to use the built in alphabets, the screen does not match the picture in the manual. The is no line feed icon on four fonts: Script, Block, Outline, Cursive. Only the eraser and spacer icons are present. Also I cannot do lower case on the 2nd script, block, outline, or cursive. The icon for lower case is inactive (grayed out).

A: Download the latest version software for your machine. You will find that is now active. The lower case is only available for the first script as illustrated on screen.

creative 2140 FAQ: Have you sewn the new stitches from 300 to 310? They are designed to be truly hand look stitches by using invisible monofilament nylon thread on the top and your fancy color on the bobbin. You will notice that the tension is automatically set at 7 to achieve this hand effect. If you want to sew them as regular stitches with the fancy color on top, you will need to lower the tension down to + or - 4 or 5.

creative 2140 FAQ: Have you played with the new decorative stitches that have the 'tap' function? You can really achieve some fun effects. These are automatic tapering stitches.

Q: We have beeen trying to embroider the Train design on creative card # 1 with the 7570. The design is complete except for the repeat of color # 1. How can we select this repeat?

A: Some of the earlier cards did not have automatic access to color repeats and the following would apply to any of those situations. If you have not unhooped the fabric by this time, you might like to try the following:
1. Turn off the messages for thread
2. Remove the upper thread
3. Remove the bobbin and case
4. Remove the needle
5. Start with color one with automatic color changes.
6. "Sew" through all color changes without any thread until you get to the place where the message to sew color #1 again appears.
7. Turn the messages for thread on again.
8. Re-insert the needle.
9. Re-thread the upper and bobbin thread.
10. Continue sewing the design with thread color #1.

Q: Do we have instruction manuals for old machines?

A: We do have a few. Just have your dealer check with us.

Q: Can I get a service manual for my machine?

A: We are sorry service manuals are avaiable only to authorized dealers and authorized repair centers.

Q: Can we purchase parts and accessories on line?

A: Parts and accessories are only available through authorized Pfaff dealers, not on-line.

Q: Will feet from other brands of sewing machines fit on Pfaff machines?

A: You should only use Pfaff feet.

Q: Do you have a Workbook for the Pfaff 4874?

A: No, there is not a specific workbook for the Pfaff creative 4874 coverlock. You can purchase a workbook for the Pfaff coverlock 4872 that will cover the first 20 stitches on the machine and the additional feet.

Q: I can’t get the download/update for the 2140 to work. What should I do?

A: Check all of your connections. Make sure that you don’t have any other windows open on your computer. Unplug your printer and any other connections that are not necessary while downloading the newest software. If that still doesn’t work, then take your machine into your dealer. They should be happy to update it for you.

Q: How can I request a current brochure?

A: For brochure requests, click on info@pfaff.com. You can request them on line and we mail it to you.

NEW! More Sewing Tips and Hints!

- Here’s a simple way to stabilize several layers of fabric at one time. Spray one piece of fabric then add another layer of fabric and spray again. Then place a dry piece of fabric on top, and press, using the top fabric as a pressing cloth. When the fabric has slightly dried, remove the top layer and finish pressing the lower layers. For the next spraying, place the top fabric on the base, and repeat the spraying, covering, and pressing. Repeat the procedure until all of the fabrics are stabilized to your desired stiffness.

- For professional results always “Press as you sew”. Also, pressing the seams is a great way to set the stitches.

- Save small scraps of heavy wash-away stabilizer to use under buttonholes as stabilizer.

- Take your favorite sewing books that get lots of use to a printer or copy store. Have them cut the glued binder off and punch holes in the pages. Then put each page in a sheet protector and place in an attractive binder. Or while you’re at the printer, have them cut off the glued binder and spiral bind the book for you. It is so much easier to reference the steps you’re doing when your book is open flat and readable.

- On the Pfaff creative 2140, when changing thread during embroidery, pull the needle thread tight, let it relax, then snip the thread about 1 1/4 inch from the needle. When the machine starts, the needle thread will be pulled to the back of your work.

- Use the needle threader from the Pfaff creative 4874 coverlock or the Pfaff 4872 coverlock for threading needles for any type of sewing machine.

- When printing designs for machine embroidery, print them on vellum paper. Placement on your fabric will be easier because you can see through the vellum.

IDT means: "Never having to say you're sorry."

- Never having to say you're sorry you didn't pre-baste your pieces together. Using IDT means you don’t need to baste!
- Never having to say you're sorry the seams on the sheer nightgown are all puckered and wavy. Using IDT means you won’t get puckered and wavy seams.
- Never having to say you're sorry the quilt squares aren't lined up. Using IDT means you will always get even quilt piecing and squares.
- Never having to say you're sorry you ruined so much of that expensive ultra suede. Using IDT makes sewing Ultra Suede so easy.
- Never having to say you're sorry you didn't look at the many advantages of Pfaff's IDT, and bought another brand.


Embroidery Related Hints!

The new stitches #300 to 310 for the Pfaff creative 2140 IDT have the tension automatically set to 7. Why?

The beautiful new 9mm stitches #300 to #310 are designed to be truly hand look quilt stitches by using invisible monofilament nylon thread on the top and your fancy color thread in the bobbin. When sewn this way, the bobbin thread is pulled to the top and the invisible thread makes it appear that there is no thread in-between the stitches. You will notice that the tension is automatically set at 7 to achieve this hand effect. You may want to tweak the tension setting for your own fabric – batting and backing combination.

If you want to sew these as regular embroidery stitches with the fancy color thread on top and in the bobbin, the tension needs to be lowered to +/- 2 in the normal embroidery range.

How do I set the hand-look running stitch for quilting # 15 on the Pfaff creative 2140 IDT?

There are many interacting factors:

1. What type and weight is the nylon (or polyamide) thread that is on the top? A very fine thread is best - .004 weight
2. And what type and weight thread is in the bobbin? Smooth and easy to pull through the backing, batting and top fabric is best.
3. What is the upper fabric and backing fabric? Fabrics that are very densely woven are not as easy to work with as the more loosely woven ones.
4. What kind and weight is the batting? Thinner battings are easier.
5. What size needle is being used? A bigger eye needle forms a better channel through the backing, batting and quilt top to pull the bobbin thread up to the top.
6. What is the upper tension setting? Start at 7 and work your way up or down until you get the look that you like. This takes some experimentation to get it just right.

All of these factors interact to create the stitch.

How do you create a template of an embroidery design?

The fastest & easiest way is to let the Pfaff creative software do it for you. Use the customizing software and print out the designs at ‘Scale 100%’ on the clear overhead transparencies or transparent vellum. It will automatically print with all the information about placement markings, color changes and all the details.

If you do not yet have the software, please use the following steps:
Use a very stable fabric in the hoop and place stabilizer underneath it.
1. Use the baste feature first and then sew out the design.
2. Before taking it out of the hoop, mark the inside perimeter of the hoop and the horizontal center and vertical center markings of the hoop onto the fabric.
3. Remove it from the hoop and you now have a wonderful template to make your placements.
4. Be certain to mark your fabric template:
a. Card number
b. Design number
c. Size

How do you accurately place fabric or a garment in the round hoop?

You might like to try marking the fabric with a complete + that will extend from side to side and top to bottom of the round hoop, so that it is easier to match the fabric markings to the hoop markings.

Another easy way to do the round hoop placement, especially nice for garments, is to hoop a sticky stabilizer first. Mark the stabilizer with the vertical and horizontal markings and then place your fabric or garment onto the sticky stabilizer. Stick-On stabilizer from your authorized Pfaff dealer is excellent.

The new click and rotate icon that can move your design one degree at a time should make the placement very easy in the round hoop.

We trust that you have already downloaded your upgrade for the Pfaff creative 2140 IDT 01.01.06! It has many wonderful new features!

Where are the P-Memories on the Pfaff creative 2140 IDT?

The Pfaff creative Data Manager will hold all of your machine fed stitch creations. Simply use the exclusive Pfaff creative Stitch Artist software to design your own stitches. This program will allow you to design sewing machine stitches on your computer for use in Pfaff creative 2140 IDT or Pfaff creative 7570.

This new way of designing personal stitches will give you even more possibilities than the original P-memories.

What is the difference between M & P designs in the 1475 – 7570?

M memories are sequences of designs that you string together using stitches in your machine. (Like your name) P memories are where you can take the machine stitches and alter them by adding, removing, and moving stitches in the stitch pattern.

Here are some more great sewing hints

1. Sew with a friend and share the sewing FUN! It makes it even more enjoyable and you learn twice as much-- theirs and yours!

2. To remove paper tearaway stabilizer (such as Stitch & Ditch) from between open stitches, soak the project in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes. Gently brush across the back of the stitching with an old toothbrush to remove the stabilizer.

3. For professional results, “press” as you sew. "Ironing" is when you do laundry. Pressing seams after sewing sets the stitches.

4. When using spray stabilizer fabric for a project, stabilize several layers at a time. Spray one piece of fabric, add another layer of fabric and spray. Then place a dry piece of fabric on top and press, using the top fabric as a pressing cloth. When the fabric has slightly dried, remove the top layer and finish pressing the lower layers. For the next spraying, place the top fabric on the base and repeat the spraying, covering, and pressing. Repeat the procedure until all of the fabrics are stabilized to your desired stiffness.

5. Specialty feet give “perfect end results,” making every sewing task easier. An example...use a knit edge foot to make and apply piping. It works much better than the zipper foot.

6. Hang a corkboard on the wall next to your machine. You can pin the directions for your project on it and they will always be in view.

7. Cover your lace shaping board with a pillowcase to keep it clean and to prevent starch from getting into its cover. If the lace shaping board has a carry handle, open the end seam enough to allow the handle to extend out.

8. Print your machine embroidery designs on vellum paper to create templates. Placement will be easier because you can see through the vellum.

9. Dispose of your old needles in 35mm film containers or old medicine bottles so that no one gets pricked when they take out the trash.

10. Spread hand lotion around the screw threads to prevent the lid from getting glued shut, when opening a new bottle or tube of liquid seam sealant or liquid pins, If you can put a straight pin into the nozzle, spread hand lotion onto the straight pin first, to prevent the nozzle from getting stopped up.

11. Always remember what size machine needle you have in your machine. When you put a new needle into your machine - place the package on top of your machine so you won't forget later what size you're using.

12. Place a small pincushion on the bed of your machine for a convenient place to store pins that you remove before sewing. It's small enough to stay out of the way and SEW handy that you can remove pins and place them into the pincushion while continuing to sew. To make one, cut (2) 2" pieces of cotton fabric, seam three connecting sides, right sides together. Turn and stuff with cotton batting and sew the 4th side closed. I like to embellish the top fabric with my favorite decorative stitches before assembling the tiny cushion.

13. To use your favorite shoulder pads in several garments, use snaps. So that the complete snap set is always get used, use one complete set on each shoulder pad (a male and a female). Then use another complete set on each shoulder seam of the garment (a male and a female), being sure they are in opposite positions on the garment than on the shoulder pads.

14. Storing projects. Purchase 1gallon zip closure bags to store projects for sewing in – include all notions, pattern, book, threads, cut fabric, class handout or anything else in one place until project is complete. Tape to sewing cabinet while working – pocket with everything.

15. Use a large piece of silk organza for a pressing cloth as you can see thru it and it can withstand high heat.

16. Keeps them separate from other threads and safe from moisture. Save 35mm film containers to store bobbin and spool of washout thread.

17. Keep track of your projects. Keep note pad near machine to write down changes or machine settings on current project. Then take a photo of the finished project. Attach both to project sheet to keep in notebook. OR take a digital photo and create a computer worksheet and reference file right in your computer.

18. Hydro Stick stabilizer uses light sprits of water to:
a. Stick your fabric to the stabilizer
b. Re-stick the fabric if you change your mind/or placement
c. Remove the stabilizer from the fabric
d. Remove any remaining adhesive/tear-away from the fabric or hoop
e. Perfect for high pile fabrics like velvets! Use to stabilize all types of fabrics!

19. Save the cardboard centers of disposable bobbins for children’s crafts. They’re great to string on yarn or ribbons for necklaces and bracelets.

20. To keep blouses & shirts tucked in, run a narrow line of puff paint along the inside of the waistband, OR stitch a narrow strip of ultra suede on the inside of the band.

21. Relax and read the directions over a cup of hot tea/coffee. But, do not dip or submerge the instructions into the tea/coffee no matter how exasperated you may be. (It makes the tea/coffee taste awful!)

22. Cross-reference favorite patterns – include yardage, notions needed, manufacturer, article, size, etc. in a computer file such as Excel. Print sheet to carry in purse for impulse shopping.

23. Place a piece of batting in your lap while you sew to catch all those thread snippets that inevitably end up in your lap or fall on the floor.

24. Always try changing to a new needle first if you are having problems with skipped stitches.

25. Study the pictures and diagrams. You know the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words.

26. Try using a Pfaff "clamp" retractable scissors holder for your computer dongles. You won't walk away without them unless you want to. (It clamps you to your computer!)

27. To keep your bobbins in your sewing tray from getting tangled with each other and trailing out onto your sewing surface, put the end of the thread to the other side of your bobbin and floss. The thread will go between the bobbin and wound thread and will hold securely.

28. Books that you use a lot - take them to the printers. Have them cut the glued binder off and punch holes. Put them in a spiral binder so when you are using the book, it will stay open and readable. Laminate the pages that you refer to most often.

29. Never, never use just any oil on your machine other than specified sewing machine oil. (3 in 1 is not sewing machine oil.)

30. When transporting your machine to a sewing class or for service, protect it from falls by laying the machine down on it's back in your trunk or the seat in your car. It will ride more securely than in the upright position. If in a seat, use the seat belt to add more security.

31. Plastic sheet protectors are great for putting the directions of your computer collections. For example, your Jenny Haskins collections, Raggedy Ann, etc. Then you can put them in a 3 ring binder.

32. Words of wisdom....Don't put your fingers under the needle when the machine is running. Don't attempt to remove the bobbin case when the machine is running.

33. Use the needle threader from the Pfaff coverlock 4872 serger for threading needles for all types of sewing machines.

34. When you purchase interfacing or stabilizer by the yard, roll it on an empty wrapping paper or paper towel tube and stand them in a box in the corner of your sewing area. A box with sections like a wine box is especially good.

35. When attaching hook and eye sets or snaps, hold the tiny parts in place with a small piece of scotch tape. When done, the tape tears away easily. Use a touch of glue stick for buttons.

36. On new garments apply a fray stop product to the threads on the underside of buttons to keep them from unraveling. If you travel, and don't have that product with you, use a tiny bit of clear nail polish.

37. When cleaning your machine, remove all visible lint with a brush (don't forget to clean the feed dogs). After brushing thoroughly, use canned air -- BUT spray from the back - toward the front. This blows lint out the front instead of packing it inside the machine.

38. Before threading elastic through a casing, round of the cut end -- that way, corners don't get caught on seam allowances.

39. Spools of thread don’t always have to be placed on your machines in an upright direction. If your thread is breaking or twisting before it goes into the tension discs, turn your spool over (especially serger thread). You will be amazed at how this will solve your problem.

40. The storage boxes for kid’s matchbox cars are the perfect size for some rayon embroidery threads.

41. Use a pants hanger to store your Perfect Pleater or rotary cutting mats. They pin up great.

42. Save small scraps of water soluble stabilizer to use to stabilize under buttonholes.

43. When trying to look at a quilt top to get the whole picture, try using a door viewer. They make everything smaller so you feel like you're seeing it from a distance.

44. Zigzag over a thick cord, yarn or buttonhole twist to gather fabric quickly and evenly.

45. When your blue water erasable marking pen begins to dry up, remove the plug at the back end of the pen. Add 4-5 drops of rubbing alcohol. Replace the plug and gently shake the pen. Your marking pen should be re-activated.

46. Use a lint brush to clean thread fibers stuck to your cutting mat.