After spending hours working with the Pfaff 7530 Quilt and Craft Pro, I’ve decided that I like everything about this $3,800 (MSRP) machine. It’s got all the features I like, and then some, and it’s very easy to use.
The Dual Feed, Pfaff’s name for its built-in walking foot, is the feature that made Pfaff famous. This extra foot pulls down from behind the regular presser foot to help feed the fabric through the machine evenly.
Because of the Dual Feed, each foot that Pfaff makes comes in two flavors: one that has a groove to accommodate the Dual Feed, and one without the groove (for their machines that don’t have this wonderful feature). You could use either style of foot on the 7530, but if you use a foot without the groove you can’t engage the Dual Feed.
I like the 7530’s easy-to-snap-on feet, and I like the fact that it will accept universal screw-on feet as well. But the darning foot was a surprise – it doesn’t snap on like the Pfaff feet, and it doesn’t screw on like a universal foot. Instead, the darning foot slips in easily and locks into place.
But that’s not the only surprising thing about the darning foot. Once you’ve locked it into place, you then drop the feed-dogs and lower the three-position presser foot to the half-way position so fabric can move freely under the needle.
The Brain Of The Machine
The 7530 has an LCD screen and a computer brain that makes life very easy. The stitch length, the width, and the needle position appear on the screen, and at the push of a button the screen displays the foot you should use to obtain the best sewing results.
The screen also tells you the tension range it has chosen for you, and that feature worked perfectly. I never had to adjust the tension, even though I switched back and forth from regular thread to mono filament to quilting thread to metallic thread.
Through all the thread changes, the machine adjusted the tension automatically and performed flawlessly, giving me perfect stitches every time while piecing, quilting three layers, or doing fusible-web applique.
=> Click here to see our review of the Janome HD3000
Keeping You In Stitches
This model has over 400 stitches, if you count the regular and decorative stitches and all the letters and numbers in the five alphabets included. The quilting stitches include a mock hand-quilting stitch for use with mono filament thread, two sizes of stipple patterns, and two sizes of blanket stitch.
The stitches are displayed in the diagram on the flip-up lid. I selected the stitch I wanted by entering the stitch number on the typewriter-style number keys.
Occasionally, I use a single decorative stitch motif to machine-tie a quilt. I used a star to tie a house quilt and a heart to tie a baby quilt. This machine makes that technique fun and easy, because every one of the 139 decorative stitches can be used individually to tie a quilt. I tried several patterns — even an alligator!
Not only does the 7530 have plenty of stitches, but it’s flexible, too. When I wanted to use the blanket stitch, I realized the stitches faced the opposite direction from the way I wanted to guide my applique. So I just pressed the mirror image button and the blanket stitches changed to exactly the way I wanted them.
To test the 7530’s quilting features, I put the machine in the needle-down position so that the needle would end in the fabric every time I stopped sewing. Then I used the straight stitch for piecing.
I wanted to check the 1/4″ foot for accuracy, but that foot does not come with this model. (There is an optional 1/4″ piecing foot available for about $25.) I thought that was a little odd, since the 7530 is called the Quilt and Craft Pro.
Instead, I used the #1 foot. I moved my needle position and aligned my fabric with the right side of the foot, and found that this worked well for me. I used needle position #7 for a 1/4″ seam and needle position #8 for a scant 1/4″ seam.
I tried the zigzag/satin stitch using a small stitch length and everything from a very small to a very large stitch width. I liked the quality of all widths equally.
I always check this stitch using a fusible web applique, a real test of the satin stitch. I believe the zigzag will look good at any width and length if it passes this test.
I tried stippling using the automatic stippling, and then tried the hand-guided method. Everything automatic was great, but I was particularly impressed at how slowly I could run the machine and move the quilt while still getting even stitches. Then I boosted the speed button up to my usual speed with the same excellent results. It also didn’t budge from my quilting table.
This would be a great machine for someone who is just learning free-motion quilting, as they could start out slowly and speed up later when they are more confident.
While I’m not a fan of removable bobbin cases, I had no trouble with the 7530’s removable bobbin case. The accessory tray, which increases the size of the machine bed, swings out of the way, completely exposing the bobbin. I could easily see what I was doing, and my hand fit into the opening for easy access.
I just can’t believe all the features of this machine! In addition to the ones I’ve already mentioned, there are many more like backward sewing, built-in needle threader, automatic tie-off at the end of seams and bobbin thread monitor. This is truly a fun machine to use.