Sunday, September 14, 2008
A Quick Quilt, and Janome Report
I pieced this baby quilt a while back as a break from the triangles, and quilted it Saturday to see how the new Janome works. I like the quilt: the colors, and the cheerfulness, and the simple block, which I saw somewhere and copied. I had a bunch of fat quarters in these stripes and polka dots, some designer and some JoAnn cheapies, but they have all gone together for a guild charity quilt.
I'm also happy with the meander with starburst quilting design from Machine Quilting by Sue Nickels. The starburst gives you opportunities to turn and move around the quilt smoothly. It also hides starts and stops well.
And the Janome report so far:
1. Free motion quilting: A The few extra inches under the arm make a world of difference, as does the large table I got as part of a promotion. And the little feature that brings up the bobbin thread with two clicks of a button is almost worth the price of the machine! I'm still not a great free motion quilter, but this was not only much easier, but also produced better results.
2. Straight quilting with the Accufeed foot and Accufeed Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot: B I couldn't see that it was better than a walking foot, and since the Accufeed thing has to be attached if you haven't been using it, it isn't any easier. To be fair though, I think I skimped a bit on the pin basting, and that may have been the problem.
3. Accufeed 1/4 Inch foot for sewing on binding: C- A mess. The flange doesn't make a clear guide, the design of the foot makes it hard to see the edge of the quilt, so my binding was actually less straight than usual, even with the wonderful Elmer's glue technique. Not only that, this foot requires a special needle plate, a real pain. I'm glad I found this out before I tried to bind an important quilt. I guess the regular foot might work better. I hope so.
(Added later) I owe the machine an apology. Turns out you have to move the needle to 5.5 to get the 1/4 foot to work right. I you do that, it's fine, a B+ at least.
4. Accufeed Stitch in the Ditch foot for second binding stitching: A Great! The little guide stays right in the ditch, and the stitching was fast and very accurate on the front. On the back where the less-than-perfect first line of stitching caused the binding to be an uneven width, the results aren't as good.
I'm looking forward to seeing what other tricks this machine can do, and I'm sure that practice and familiarity will smooth out some of the problems I've had.