This Singer beauty and a very snazzy new toy, which I will come on to.
I sew(ed) on my Mum's sewing machine, a Brother PX 100, which she has for necessity, rather than hobby purposes. I pinched it to go to my first quilting class three years ago and didn't look (or give it) back. I bought the relevant feet and off we went, merrily quilting away.
Over this time, as an avid reader of quilting blogs, I have become aware or all the amazing features on machines which can make your quilting life easier. Dictating whether the needle stops in the up or down position, more speed control, knee lifts for the presser foot and large throat/harp space - they all sound mighty useful.
Actually, I'm not sure why being able to lift the presser foot with your knee is good - but I'll take everyone's word for it.
It is with heavy heart (and a bit of grovelling to my Mum) that I've had to admit defeat with this particular Brother machine. Truth is, it had a bit of an accident a while back (gravity related) and then when finishing Ugly Bug Ball I noticed the light bulb was melting the casing from the inside.
I was ready to leap into the world of the aforementioned fancy features and purchase my "I'm definitely into this quilting malarky for the long haul and need a machine for serious quilting - I'll use it, I promise" machine.
I started a bit of online research and long story short - there is a lot of information out there. It has been so helpful for me in choosing my new sewing machine.
My specifications were:
- Larger throat space
- Automatic needle down
- Preferably with feet (not a deal breaker)
Multi Machine Reviews
- Stitched in Colour
- Diary of a Quilter - the comments on this post are a treasure trove of hints and tips
- Freshly Pieced
Claire E Poppins brought this machine to my attention first, but it turns out I was REALLY late to the party. Read all about it at:
- Lee at Freshly Pieced (also a really good review of other machines)
- Jaclyn Quilts
- Leah Day of the Free Motion Quilting Project (also includes a really helpful video of her using the machine, explaining what settings she uses and for what purpose)
- Quilted with Love - not everyone loves the 7700, but this review really takes you through the features
I also tried this in the shop - loved it. It is apparently the step up from the 7700, but only in so far as it has extra stitches.
Excellent reviews from:
- Rachel of Stitched in Colour
- Danny at Mommy For Reals (also includes a review of the JUKI HZL F600)
- Making Rebecca Lynne
- Sew Sweetness
- Adrianne of On the Windy Side fame has provided a review of her machine.
- Also the machine choice of Molli Sparkles.
Florence of Flossie Teacakes has one.
Reader, I married him.
So why this machine? A great quality, quilting friendly machine which has all the features I set my heart on and more! However, I have also been really impressed with Janome in general and looking at other machines, it seems a few of the things I really like are replicated in other, less pricey models too.
In the end, I went for this machine because there was an excellent deal on a refurbished machine on the day I went into the shop. It made me think that so much of the decision must come down to geography, timing, and luck. I have certainly been very lucky and see a happy future ahead of me with the Janome (both this machine and the brand).
Then it made me think that I was definitely over analysing it, it wasn't the most important decision of my life - it is a machine for my hobby. Ha!
I've been using the machine for a year now and absolutely love it. I am really grateful to the conscientious bloggers who have put together such extensive research so that others might have a slightly easier time of it. I intend to keep this blog post updated with any new reviews of machines I come across. If you've written a review of your machine, and would like to be added to this list, please let me know!