Update dated 17 July 2012:
I thought I pop in and give you a brief update on my experience with the Horizon given that this blog post is still one of the most viewed on my blog.
It has now been 2 1/2 years since I bought the machine and I am still very happy with it. I have taken it for a service 2 months ago and it came back from the dealer with the comment "You are using it quite a bit, aren't you ?" You sure can say that. The dealer said that the machine was in good order and it really felt like new when I started sewing again which is probably due to it being properly oiled again.
I have had a little bit of trouble with the bobbin holder last year. My needle got stuck a couple of times when sewing through many thick layers (can't remember exactly which project ) which left indentations and marks on the plastic bobbin holder. These then caused the bobbin holder not to go around smoothly anymore (evident from the noise the machine made). So what I did was to take a nail file and file the marks and indentations smooth again. This happened several times and I ended up replacing the bobbin holder (GBP 25) as it eventually was to loose.
I do think the plastic bobbin holder is a bit of a weak point with the machine as I recently had a stuck needle again and ended up having to file down a mark.
This isn't something that causes massive problems and as I said in the beginning I am still very happy with my machine. But I thought it is worth mentioning.
Here comes the promised review of my Janome Horizon Memory Craft 7700 QCP. You may remember that I researched various machines back in November (see this post) and finally decided on the Janome.
I have had the machine now for 2 months and I have to say I am very happy with it.
What have I used it for so far ?
- Chain stitching all the pieces of the Cranberry Crush Quilt
- Machine quilting the entire Cranberry Crush Quilt
- Stitching and partly machine quilting the Urban Circus Quilt
I have used the normal zickzack foot, 1/4 inch foot, dual feed acu foot and zipper foot so far. In terms of stitches I have stuck to normal straight stitches and one of the straight quilting stitches.
The machine has been an absolute pleasure to work with and I have very little negative to say about it if at all.
The things absolutely love about it are:
- the transparent bobbin holder. You can monitor the bobbin thread easily and this is a much better way of judging when you want to fill it up again than for example an automatic bobbin sensor. These things are notoriously unreliable as the bobbin area is always full of dust thus the sensor tends to produce falls readings
- the automatic thread cutter button. Love, love, love it. No more long thread endings hanging about that need extra cutting
- the 28 cm long arm space. This is just fantastic for quilting. The Cranberry Crush Quilt was rather on the large side and didn't cause me any problems whatsoever and I did not use the extra extension table the machine comes with (I don't have space on my desk for this)
- the dual feed foot. I have had no problem at all with this and the machine feeds the fabric correctly when using this foot. The Cranberry Crush Quilt is quilted in zickzack rows just over 1 inch apart and this worked perfect
- the quilting guide. This is a little device one attaches to the dual foot which allows you to quilt without having to mark the pattern (obviously only works with straight lines). This is fantastic and I quilted the entire Cranberry Crush quilt without marking. Lines are not always a 100 % straight or a 100 % the same distance but I would say almost always, besides this would have happened even if I marked them and it adds character in my opinion.
- bobbin threader. You can thread the bobbin with the help of and extra spool pin without having to unthread the main thread.
- the stop/start button. This is fantastic and I have just about stopped using foot control entirely. This is so much better.
- Needles up/down position (I realise this is standard with most machine now)
- the relative smallness of the machine. Although the machine has this fantastic long arm it actually isn't that large and fits neatly onto my desk where I also have a large computer screen on the same desk.
- the machine is not to heavy. It is about 13 kg which sounds heavy but really isn't. I haven't got a lot of space which means I have to move the machine about a bit when I need to cut something and the weight hasn't bothered me at all
- speed control slider. It allows for good control of sewing speed and is right at the front of the machine
- It is quiet, oh so quite.
What I don't like so much:
- Automatic Needle threader. Threading the needle is a bit awkward but I suspect I haven't been doing it right.
- I had a little bit of problems with fabric eating with the 1/4 inch foot. Janome delivered with the machine there new 1/4 inch foot as they had a lot of problems with the old one. However, the machine still eats fabric on occasion. But really not very often and I suspect that I might not push the fabric far enough through to begin with. This is a machine that is also used for embroidery hence has a fairly wide opening. A friend told me that all of these machines have a slight tendency to eat fabric. But I will keep an eye on this.
Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the machine. I will answer them all but it might take a little while until I get to it.
And here are a few close-ups.