28.1.13

Janome Horizon 8200QC - Initial thoughts!



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!

 The front:

 The back:
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.

2nd try!

Back:

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.

26.1.13

Mi birthday es su birthday - Giveaway time!

Well I can't be celebrating turning 36 on my own, so what better time for a giveaway!

So I have a  brand spanking new copy of Stitch Savvy that Amazon very kindly delivered this morning to giveaway, plus a handmade pouch that some of you may remember from before Christmas.  I have had that pouch in hiding, just waiting for a little giveaway action ;-)




To win all you have to do is leave me a comment, anything you like!  I will keep the giveaway open until next Friday (31st) and pick a winner by Mr Random on the 1st.  Giveaway is open to all!

Good luck!  I am off to eat, drink and get merry with my new sewing machine ;-)

25.1.13

Who ever said 'size doesn't matter'

had obviously never asked a quilter!!

I have been lusting after a Janome Horizon, with it's 11 whole inches worth of space on the right, for a few years.  I just couldn't quite justify spending that amount on a sewing machine, when there was nothing wrong with the one I owned.

Then I saw that they had bought out a 'budget' model, with pretty much all the same features and a few upgrades.  The more reasonable price and it being my birthday tomorrow, was all the incentive I needed to get myself over to my local sewing machine shop. I managed to get a really good deal trading in my Juki and came home with this beauty today.


Janome Horizon 8200 QC
This machine is an absolute monster!  I can't get over how quiet it is even at full pelt, which was the first thing hubby commented on.  It has a million and one feet, including 3 options for the FMQ foot and brilliant walking foot.


The only gutting think is that my old sewing machine cover doesn't fit it, guess I will just have to make another ;-)

I will do a proper review once I have had a chance to play around with it.

23.1.13

Going round in circles..

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their great quilting suggestions for Space dust. I have managed to narrow it down and am just waiting for my sewing table to make it to London so I can get on with it - stupid snow!!

In the mean time I have been hibernating from the rubbish snowy weather, doing a lot of reading and a little bit of sewing.  My Mum asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend, so I dug out a charm pack of Bungle Jungle and some Kona white and went for a more modern (ish) layout.


I have been wanting to try out circular quilting ever since I was lucky enough to receive this beauty from Laura Jane in the first ever Brit quilt swap.  I have to admit, I did consider giving up after 10 minutes of quilt wrestling to start with , but it soon became a lot easier.  I free motioned the middle to save my sanity!


I can see me using this style of quilting again as I love the effect it gives.  The binding hand sewing part will of course be left to the last minute, as unlike Hadley (and her freakish love for binding), it is my least favourite part of quilt making ;-).


15.1.13

Space dust

My first quilt top of 2013 is finished!

 The original Space Dust pattern has a finished size of 88" x 96", I didn't fancy making this size so I adjusted.  I printed the templates at 75% and reduced my border size to give a finished size of 60" square.  The only thing I will say about this is to make sure all your blocks are the same size after you have added on the 1/4 seam allowance, I didn't and have a few seams out of place!


As there are 44 different templates, there are no cutting instructions to help minimise waste when foundation piecing.  This didn't bother me, as I prefer to use more fabric than my seam ripper! I tend to over size my fabric pieces, cutting as I go.  It is something to bear in mind if you are thinking of trying the pattern though and may require a bit of pre-planning before you start.



I bought the backing for this in Ikea yesterday, which was the highlight of that trip as I was mostly wandering around trying to find items that are randomly scattered around the showroom in baskets!

So now all I have to decide is how the fuff to quilt it!  I know that I want to FMQ swirls on the borders, but what on earth am I going to do with middle bit?  I really don't want to have to change thread colour a million times either, so do I use a grey thread?

Your input would be very much appreciated!

14.1.13

A lovely year of Finishes - January

I thought I would ease myself into the year of finishes by starting with a project that was firstly small and secondly had a deadline attached to it.  That deadline happened to be last week and as the intended recipient received her package on Saturday, I can show you the finished article.

As this was a secret squirrel make I have only been able to show a sneaky peak before.  In my usual style I used a rainbow geesy theme, used a text print for the back and Pearl bracelets for the binding.  After a little persuading from a certain LMQG member, I used a rainbow of Perle thread to quilt it up.  I hate to admit but she was right!


I used our local park again for my pics...



So there is is my first January finish, which judging from the extremely lovely email I got has been very well received in it's new home.

I will be back tomorrow with more pics of Space Dust progress!

12.1.13

Space Dust - the makeup post!

You may remember from this post that Space dust and I had a little falling out.  I had got three quarters through making the blocks and just felt bleugh about how it was turning out.  Well after a little break and some encouragement from yesterday's FAL post, I decided today was the day to finish those blocks.

I started with this as a guide to colour placement....
Copyright Tula Pink
got stuck at this point with my dodgy addition of a print....

and finally made it to this point today...





My enthusiasm for this quilt is back and hopefully by tomorrow I will have my first quilt top of the year completed.

7.1.13

January BOM's

I normally don't join in with Block of the Months as I am generally crap at keeping up with them.  I am a sucker for a paper pieced block though, so knew resistant was futile when I saw this and this!

So I spent New Years day, ignoring my family and making these...


Roll on next month!

1.1.13

Finally I have something to show!

Happy New Year - I hope you all had a good one whatever you were doing.  I spent a few hours at work last night and again this morning and thankfully had very few bleeders, bonus all round! 

With the lead up to Christmas I got very little sewing done and knew I wouldn't be able to sneak my sewing machine into the car to take to the in-laws, so I decided to try out counted cross stitch to keep me sane.  I love the Wee Little Stitches patterns and decided on the It Crowd as my geeky hubby loves the show.  I don't think I appreciated quite how long those tiny figures would take to stitch, but I quite liked doing it and plan on stitching up the Pretty in Pink one next. 

It Crowd pattern by Wee Little Stitches

On Sunday I got back to my sewing machine after much to long a break....
Very tiny sneak peak!
I can't show it in full as it is for soemone who reads my blog, but I wanted opinions on what colour to quilt it with.  I cannot make up my mind whether to use silver/grey perle or just leave it alone?!  This is going to be my first project for the A LovelyYear of Finishes

The last thing I stitched in 2012 was a cute little pin cushion for the LMQG swap next Sunday. I just need to hand sew the gap up, or I might get one of my lovely guild buddies to do it for me ;-)

This afternoon I am going to attempt the 1st block from the Lucky Stars BOM, I do love me some paper piecing!