The rainbow queen is back....

Having not blogged very much lately, I haven't really spoke about my Fat Quarterly retreat experience.  To sum if up quickly, I had the most fantastic time.  There was one class that I took that stood out for me as the most valuable, which was Judith's photography table top session. 

The one thing that resonated with me the most was that we spend so much time making beautiful quits etc and then take a crappy pic in bad lighting etc which does it no justice.  My pics of my latest quilt were taken with all of Judith's advice bouncing around my head and I think the difference shows...

A little fannying around in Photoshop Lightroom and hey presto!

I used a Kona classics roll up and was roughly (read badly) following the Cluck Cluck strip and flip tute

I quilted wavy lines with Aurifil variegated thread in 50wt (4670) and bound with the Architextures crosshatch and a little bit of Summersville.

Backed in Ikea - no surprises there then!

Quilt stats:
Pattern -Inspired by Cluck Cluck sew Strip and flip quilt tutorial.
Fabrics - Kona classic roll up and Architextures Crosshatch in black
Binding - Architextures crosshatch in black.
Backing - Ikea Britten Nummer
Quilting -Wonky wavy lines using Aurifil 50wt variegated in grey (4670)
Size - Approx 52" * 69"


Janome Horizon 8200qc - an updated review

 Of all the scintillating blog posts I have wrote over the last 18 months, the one that gets the most hits is the slightly dodgy review of my Janome 8200qc (aka Wonder machine).  I promised a second review at the time and was prompted to write it after a very lovely email from Rose last week. 

The last post I wrote I had owned the machine for a whopping four days and had barely touched the surface of what it could do.  I still haven't used even a third of the fancy stitches, but I have quilted up a storm on it which is what I will focus on here.

  I use a gidget II table with the extension table (feet off) acting as the insert.
I use the straight stitch plate with my feed dogs up (covered by a supreme slider) and the open toe FMQing foot.  The machine quilts like a dream and I have had no tension problems or skipped stitches.  The extra throat space is an absolute triumph and just makes quilting big quilts a joy rather than a tug of war.  The machine comes with two other FMQ feet (closed toe and zig zag foot) but I haven't used them past a quick try, I find the closed toe foot doesn't allow a good enough view of what I am doing when FMQing and I haven't felt the need to zig zag a quilt yet ;-).

Acufeed dual feed foot:
This acufeed system is one of the best features of the machine.  I generally tend to quilt at top speed with both FMQing and straight stitch, but the walking foot feeds the fabric in perfect sync and I have had no puckering issues.  For the wavy lines quilting which pops up a lot on my work, I drop the foot tension from 5 to 3, widen the stitch length to 4.0 and wiggle.  It gives me perfect stitches every time and if I need to stop, I don't get the irritating jump to side like my Juki used to do.

Dual feed foot
You get a lot of accessories included with the machine,  including a separate straight stitch plate and the patchwork essential 1/4" foot.  There is a programmed 1/4 button so you can just use the normal foot (foot A).  There is also an optional  acufeed 1/4" foot (model number 202125004) available.

So I thought I would end with a pro/cons list:

  • 11+ inches of throat space - it is a deal breaker!
  • included accessories such as straight plate, dual feed foot and FMQing feet 
  •  9mm wide maximum stitch length
  • Easy interchange of needle plates - no screwdriver necessary
  • Perfect stitches in both general sewing and quilting
  • All the fancy stitches it does - even if I have only used the blanket stitch
  • The lighting under the machine - no more squinting at night!
  • Lots of accessories storage on the machine to  keep everything together
  • the foot pedal is tiny and flips over quite a lot.  I was used to a very wide model with the Juki and this one feels a bit mickey mouse in comparison.  You can upgrade to the larger model which is supplied as standard with the 8900qc, but I haven't a clue how much it costs.
  • The birds nest knot that seems to be a general Janome machine problem, it bugs me that I either have to start with a bit of scrap fabric or put up with the mess at the start of my seam.
  • No extension table included as standard - for a machine marketed at quilters it should be standard not a £75 optional!
I have no regrets whatsoever about buying this machine instead of the 8900qc, it had all the essential features I need (and a few I don't) and I have no reservations in recommending it.  Go on, you know you want one! ;-)

Edited to add:  I have just bought the 1/4 walking foot attachment (£24) and the extra large foot control (£70) from World of Sewing in the UK.



Tumble weeds have not only been blowing across the blog but also around my sewing space for the last few weeks. My sewjo has been slow in coming back post retreat, but  I have been  plugging away at my EPP started at the FQR....

Triangle city EPP (designed by Katy Jones)
making  a tie t-shirt for my little man (pattern/tute from Salt water kids blog)...

and today I did a little stripping and flipping with a Kona roll-up....

Strip and flip quilt - I kinda followed the Cluck cluck sew tute
Can't wait to quilt up that bundle of rainbow joy.  I pretend that I made it for the kid, but who am I kidding!?  We all know it's for me ;-)