Slaney HandCraft

Patchwork Quilt Making and Sewing

My new sewing machine!


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New sewing machine

It’s been over one month since I got a new sewing machine now. It’s a Janome 1600QPC, semi-industrial machine which only do straight stitches and that’s it! Nothing else. Not even zig-zag. But it sews so beautifully.

My new sewing machine!

My new sewing machine! No fancy bits there.

When I started looking for a new sewing machine, I knew what I needed most from it was a good speed control for better control of free motion quilting and a bigger working space since that’s what I do most of time as a quilter. But I still wondered other possibility with a fancy computerised machine naturally. I went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin to see the machines at the end of October. John from Sewing Machines Ireland was very kind to talk about it and coincidentally met Mary Palmer who was demonstrating free motion there and had a good chat and totally convinced me this is the right kind of machine for me(well actually she recommended Juki). And the last push was Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! who was just talking about it here.

a few weeks later I went down to Waterford for a very very early Christmas shopping for myself:)

After using it for a month, I can talk bit about this machine… It sews very very fast if I want to. The top sewing speed is adjustable and right now I am using slowest one but even this one is twice faster than old one(well, feels like it anyway). The foot pedal has got a way way better speed control and it dose what I want! No more jumping fast sewing or sudden slow down. I can sew more consistently in speed as well as stitch length with this machine.

Piecing in progress. T ruler looking thing is a seam guide for piecing.

Piecing in progress. The T ruler looking thing is a seam guide for piecing.

This machine didn’t come with a walking foot but loosening the presser foot pressure, it didn’t cause any pucker( mind you, I do pin every two inch or so).

Ditch quilting sample I did a few weeks ago for a customer.

Ditch quilting with straight sewing sample I did a few weeks ago for a customer.

The free motion foot has got the foot height adjustable mechanism to move a quilt easily which is perfect. One thing I realised was when I positioned it too heigh, the machine started skipping the stitches. Can anyone tell me why?

Free motion quilting. Love this foot!

Free motion quilting. Love this foot!

I love the needle up or down setting! I don’t have to turn the dial to move the needle up or down any more!( sorry if you think this function is a basic but I didn’t have it before)

It’s a very powerful machine. I darned my husbands’ jeans the other day which I needed to sew over four layers of jeans material plus interface. No hesitation there. Just sewed like sewing thin quilting cotton. And as a result it’s a noisy machine compared with home machine but that’s fine by me.

The only thing I don’t really like is a thread cutter. It cuts thread too short and I can’t tidy away any thread ends into inside of wadding. Only when I don’t need to tidy them like cushion covers or bags, I can use this function.

Threading this machine is a lot of work now but I understand that is needed for the even thread tension so I just get on with it!

The bobbin! It needs smaller industrial bobbins! Not the same as old one! The machine came with only five of them but I know I need more so I got twenty of them from Japan where they were a half of the price compared with here. And they are nice dull brass colour :)

Bobbins and seam guide. The bottom guide is for the right side of needle and the top one is for the left.

Bobbins and seam guides. The bottom guide is for the right side of needle and the top one is for the left.

The other attachments I got so far are an adjustable seam guide for parallel line quilting one for right and the other for left( one doesn’t do both). I haven’t got a zipper foot yet since I only see the negative review about it. The other day I actually manage to put a zipper with this machine since the foot is narrow and didn’t hit the zipper pull. I might try and re-check about this again.

I had a lot of trouble with my old machine( it did a great job all these years though and has been very patient with me) but most of them are solved with this machine. Much easier to use and control. Looking forward to do something beautiful 2015!

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