Big news… new machine coming soon!

While teaching my Lonestar class I got to take a break and try out the new Pfaff Powerquilter 16.0 that Tess had just brought back from the Pfaff Get Creative! event. It’s very similar to a Sweet Sixteen.  I was impressed with how smoothly it quilted, the table space it has and that I’d be able to continue to use my FMQ skills without skipping a beat. So the choice came down to – do I take a cruise next year or invest in a machine for my studio. I decided to go for it. She’s ordered and will be here in 3-4 weeks!

708_powerquilter_16.0_Tech_HighRes-28 PfaffPQ160

I didn’t get the stitch regulator but I can always add that on at a later date.

So now I need to move a few things around so I have room for her in her new spot. I’m excited to be able to do larger quilts at home and not have to find space for a longarm. I’m sure I’ll have some friends over to quilt too if they need to use it! Not sure what her name will be yet…. I also need to get some corgi decal stickers to decorate her. I can’t wait to do some fun videos using my new machine. 😀


  1. verylazydaisy says:

    that’s wonderful news! I’d have to say I would likely choose the machine over a cruise too

  2. Denise in PA says:

    Congratulations, Katie! You are going to love it, I’m sure! Good choice too – I know you would have loved the cruise but, after a week, that’s just a memory and you will use and love this machine for many years. And, you can put NEXT year’s teaching money towards that cruise!

    • Exactly Denise!! A cruise would be fun for a week but this will be in my studio for years. I think I’ll get more use out of it too.

  3. Nice! I tried it at quiltcon. It is sweet machine for an awesome girl! Can not wait for your videos!

  4. Whaaaaat? :))) I’m sooooo excited for you it was a great decision! I don’t know this machine, but took a 6 hour class on the sweet sixteen and loved it! And the best thing is you won’t have to learn new skills to operate a longarm, but just keep doing what you were doing on your smaller machine. You must be thrilled! I heard most people who order stitch regulator use it for business, and when they manually quilt don’t use it as much (but that’s on a longarm). Eeeeek!

    • I sat down quilting on it for all of 5 minutes and loved it. When I tried the Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen I liked it better without the stitch regulator since I could go the speed I wanted.

  5. She is a wonderful machine! You will love her……and yes she needs a name! GET THE STITCH REGULATOR NOW!! It is totally absolutely necessary for the ease and quality of your quilting project. FYI from someone who knows.

  6. Marye Albritton says:

    I’m so happy for you………not so much that we miss a cruise but NEXT YEAR!! LOL I’m anxious to see how you love it and if it truly will do as much as a longish arm. I love Anne for her……I approve!!

  7. I am so pleased for you! I can’t wait to hear about it.

  8. Sandi Colwell says:

    Yahooo! Congrats on your new machine- it looks awesome!!

  9. That is wonderful! Can’t wait to hear about… I’m currently saving up for a new machine so I’ll live vicariously through you.

  10. I saw it at Scrap and Sew today. The more I sewed, the better it got. It is the same machine as the Sweet Sixteen but now we have a great local dealer. Very important.

  11. WOW …. is what I have to say… looks like a great machine. The GEORGE is similar styling and function to this one; it is the machine my GF has and she loves it. I think you will have a blast on it and as far as I can tell there is very little that a long arm can do that you can not do on this machine.


  12. Erin Marie says:

    She’s gorgeous. Looks like you’re going to have tons of fun with her!

  13. You are going to LOVE your new machine. I have had the Tiara for almost a year. Like you, I did not get the stitch regulator, knowing that I could always get it later. I see my stitch quality improve with each project and don’t really feel the need for the Tru-Stitch. Since you are experienced at FMQ, you may find that you prefer to not use it.
    There is a Yahoo group for Sweet Sixteen and Tiara owners. Since your machine is similar, you might find helpful info there, or maybe there is a group specific to your new machine.
    I look forward to seeing your projects quilted on it.

    • I tried the Sweet Sixteen and preferred it without the stitch regulator so that’s why I skipped getting one for the Powerquilter 16. My stitches were better without it honestly and I felt like I had more control to go the speed I wanted. I’ll take a look at those groups! I’m sure one for the Pfaff version will open soon if it hasn’t already. I need to find a good place to get those clamp things that I see others use with sit down longarms like this.

  14. Congrats on your new baby!

  15. You are going to have a blast. I’m just a little “bit” jealous….:)

  16. I’ve had the Sweet 16 for about a year and I can tell you it’s worth every penny. And you’re right not to spend the money on the stitch regulator– if you’re comfortable with free motion quilting on your domestic machine you’ll be comfortable on your new machine as well. (Save your money for fabric!) Have fun!

  17. I’m hoping I get to see it when we (Dad and I) are there for Thanksgiving.

    I know you are glad that you don’t have to wait until Christmas to open THAT particular box. LOL! It would drive you bonkers knowing that it’s under the tree and having to WAIT!

    Your Dad and I are so happy for you Katie!

  18. Katie,
    So glad you are taking the next step! Your FMQ is beautiful and now you do it even better!!

  19. Betty Rhoads says:

    I am so excited for you. This will be the first time I will be able to watch someone use a longarm without feeling the pressure to buy one. Carry on Miss Katie…….

  20. Katie, I’m curious why you chose the Powerquilter over the Sweet Sixteen? I too have given up a quilting cruise next year to save money for a new machine and was set on the Sweet Sixteen. I currently use a Bernina 1230 and am not familiar with Pfaff machines. What features of the Powerquilter did you like or prefer? Was it easier to thread, smoother running, accessories, cost, easier to maintain, local supplier? Hope I don’t sound nosy, I just want to educate myself before I make such a huge (for me) purchase. I’ll have to investigate the Powerquilter.
    Also, my sister-in-law has the Sweet Sixteen with the stitch regulator and doesn’t like it for larger quilts because the unit sits on top of the quilt and if it’s not set close enough to the portion she is machine quilting, it doesn’t register the change in fabric speed well enough to work.
    Enjoy your new Powerquilter!

    • The main reason I chose the Powerquilter is because of the dealer and that I’d have local service when I needed it. There isn’t a Handiquilter rep nearby. The machines are pretty identical and are both made by handiquilter, just one is branded for Pfaff and holds 4 spools of thread rather than 2. The Powerquilter 16 is also a bit more pricey out of the box since it’s a brand new model.

      I tried the stitch regular on the Sweet Sixteen and the Powerquilter and felt my quilting looked better without it and I had more control. So I’m not using the stitch regulator. I can always add it on later if I change my mind but I’m pretty confident that $1,000 can be used elsewhere.

    • I chose the Pfaff Powerquilter because my favourite dealer is terrific in servicing machines and even once drove to my home (3 1/2 hours away) to set up equipment. I actually had ordered the Husqvarna Platinum 16 but the Pfaff was in stock and these machines are identical. I did get the stitch regulator as it was a promotion and came free with the machine and it was a no-tax special as well. So, yes, there went my quilting cruise .I also purchased the table cover and one side extension – I’ll use another table I already have on the other side when I need it. I set the machine’s table height to match my existing portable table. My next purchase will be the horizontal spool attachment and I’m looking for a generic model which might be cheaper. Has anyone used the open toe foot that is available for these quilters? I’m wondering if it’s worth buying as it isn’t straightforward to change back and forth.

  21. Donna Hill says:

    OMG! I am so happy for you (and a LOT jealous in a good way!) Have fun!!!!

  22. Katie, Congrats! That is totally awesome!

  23. Congratulations!

  24. I googled Pfaff Powerquilter and found this post–I tried this machine today at a quilt show and loved it, didn’t care for the stitch regulator, either, it made my stitches too big. Just wondering if you still love it after a few months of using it?

  25. I have just purchased the PowerQuilter 16 after test driving one at my dealer. However, I have had nothing but tension problems since setting it up. I have watched videos, read blogs and and experimented with various threads, etc. I am not an inexperienced sewer and this has me frustrated. The tension appears correct (both bottom and top), it stitches fine for a few inches, and then the tension reverts to unacceptable stitching. I’ll be anxious to hear if you experience similar problems. I will continue to try to remedy this, but think the machine will ultimately have to go back to the dealer (3 1/2 hours away – sigh).

    • Rosellen says:

      I own a Handi Quilter and work for a store that sells the Pfaff Powerquilter 16. They are extremely similar. It is very important to be able to adjust your bobbin thread case. tension. Thread your bobbin and grab the thread. If the case drops it is too loose. If it does not move at all it is way too tight. To tighten the tension move the screw on the case to right. But only in small increments. Pretend that this is a clock and you are not going to move the handle (the scored screw line) no more than five minutes at a time. Then check. What is ideal is that you want the bobbin to lie in your hand and then come to attention when you check it again. This may take a bit of time. To loosen the tension move the screw line to the left by five minutes. I use my finger to do this but a small computer screwdriver does well too . There is an old adage… “Righty, tighty. Lefty looey.
      There is a video on the Handi Quilter site that could help you understand what I am saying.

      After you have the bobbin case adjusted put it in and turn your attention to the top threads. Go to your top thread. You can play with the top tension dial . Again Righty tighly to make the top thread come up and Lefty Loosey to loosen the top stitch. Play with this until you get what you like. Different threads will react differently so it is important that you makes these adjustments each time you change the thread. and/or bobbin. thread.

      Also a good thread is important.

      Hope this helps

      • Thank you Rosellen. Such good advice. I started by winding a full bobbin of the thread I use all the time. Then I did tackle the lower bobbin and tightened it. When I bought the machine it was loaded with a full bobbin and a wonderful sample of stitching. I assumed it must be set correctly for that thread and began to practise with the machine. Big mistake. The lower bobbin was far too loose. Next I did as you suggested and began adjusting the upper tension and immediately saw improvement. I still have some fine tuning to do, but I can now take a deep breath and know that the machine isn’t faulty. I had made some adjustments using the thread it came with but had no luck. Now I see normal stitches! I also learned that the Tru Stitch regulator must be 100% charged the first time you use it or it won’t work properly (won’t adjust the stitches per inch function). If anyone else is experiencing similar problems, I recommend using different color threads in the bobbin and top so you can really see what is happening. Also do all adjustments without having the stitch regulator attached. This machine requires persistence and patience (and knowledge) to achieve good results, but when everything is set correctly, it is such fun to use and so much easier than using a domestic machine to freehand quilt. I can’t wait to do my first quilt on it. Thank you again for your excellent advice.