Thanks so much for all my birthday wishes, I had a great day although a little too much eating/drinking at lunchtime led to a lot of napping and no sewing ;-). The giveaway is open until Friday if you haven't already entered.
So onto the review - please bear in mind that at this point I have owned the machine for 4 days ;-)
My old machine was a Juki Exceed F600 and was certainly no slouch in the sewing department, but I have to say it doesn't hold a candle to the 8200!
The 8200QC is being sold as a 'budget' version of the 7700, with the 8900QC being the upgraded version. I spent a few days comparing the features of all three machines and as far as I could tell the main differences were:
- Price: the 8200 is on a special at the minute and is retailing at £1199 (normally £1400+) whereas the 7700 is £1750 and the 8900 is £1994.
- Number of stitches: The 8200 has less than the other two, but as all I ever use is straight stitch, zigzag and blanket stitch, this wasn't a deal breaker.
- Stitch speed - 8200 is around 860spm compared to the 8900 of 1000spm.
- Extra large quilting table - comes as standard in the 8900 and 7700 but not with the 8200. I paid £75 extra for this because for me it is an essential for quilting small projects.
The standard feet are all the same with both the new Horizon models, as is the space to the right of the needle (11+"). This being my third sewing machine in 4 years, I know exactly what features I need/use and the 8200 fits the bill exactly and more importantly is within my budget!
For the last couple of days I have been messing around and trying to get to know my new machine. I thought I would start off trying out some free motion quilting. This machine does not come with a quilting table as standard, which does add another £75 to the price. I have mine on order so this FMQing was done without the extra support and my Supreme slider falling off the edges!
The machine comes with feet galore for FMQ. You get a closed foot and open foot and a zigzag foot, I opted to use the open-toe foot. In my usual style I didn't read the instructions before I started!
|Just a little tension problem!|
I then read the instructions and realised that I have to put the straight plate on and set the machine on a special mode, etc etc. I love the fact that the straight plate is included as a standard accessory. It saves an awful lot of sweary moments preventing the fabric getting stuck in the large 9mm gap of the normal plate when piecing.
Not a tension problem in sight- phew! I think the quilting of Space dust will be the real tester for FMQing on this machine, so I will review again after that.
So after all that messing around I thought I would make a cushion, trying out both the Dual feed walking foot and the zipper foot. I pulled some rainbow FQ's (what else!) and the black dyed Essex yarn that I got from that I got from Annie.
|Trail of geese foundation pieicng templates from Piece and press|
I am really impressed with the perfect stitches that I am getting with this new machine, which was something that I didn't always get with the Juki.
Using the dual feed foot I echoed very curvy lines around the geese. And considering the speed at which I sew using this foot there wasn't any signs of shifting or puckering. This foot moved all the layers in perfect sync and I cannot wait to try it out using the concentric circles quilting pattern.
For the cushion back I decided it was high time I learnt to do a covered zipper, so using Fiona's tute I grabbed the zipper foot and got on with it.
I am very happy with my first attempt and over the moon with my new machine so far!
So far I am seriously impressed with this machine, but I really need to try out those 11+ inches before I give it a proper rating, so watch this space!