Last week I shared a guest post over at Sew Bittersweet Designs that walked you through quilting this small 1 yard quilt with a super simple version of stippling:
If you remember back a few months ago, I started reviewing sewing machines that cost under $500. Things got a bit crazy this summer trying to publish my latest book, but now I'm back at the reviews with a final video about the Janome HD 1000:
Here's a run down of the Janome HD 1000:
Great companion to the Janome Horizon - Both machines take the same bobbins, which is quite convenient if you suddenly want to switch machines in the middle of a project.
The HD 1000 is also lighter and smaller and would make a great workshop machine to take with you to classes.
Tools for Free Motion - Yes, you will need to invest in a few tools in order to get the HD 1000 working well for quilting. Since I use Isacord Polyester thread that is wound on spools, I needed a spool stand in order to hold the thread properly.
This machine does get a little finicky about the way thread is wound and if it's not wound properly, it simply won't work. The motor will buzz, but the needle won't move, so make sure to follow the guides properly!
You'll also need a low shank free motion quilting foot for free motion quilting. In order to make this foot work the best on this machine, you'll need to modify it by breaking open the base and bending back the top section so make sure to watch this video on how that works.
Slow Down - If you're used to using a higher powered machine like a semi-industrial Juki TL series or the Janome Horizon, you'll need to adjust to the slower speeds of the HD 1000. When cranked full tilt, the machine will vibrate and make a pretty loud noise, so it's best not to run it at full blast.
Consciously slow down the movement of your hands to balance with the speed of the machine. It might take some practice to get used to, but it's definitely possible to produce beautiful stitches with this machine.
No Automatic Needle Down - This is a mechanical machine which means you don't have some of the fancy features we've gotten used to on computerized machines. An automatic needle down simply drops the needle into the down position (down inside your quilt) so the quilt doesn't shift when you're repositioning it.
Yes, an auto feature like this is very helpful for free motion quilting, but it's certainly not a deal breaker. To compensate, you simply need to get into the habit of stopping and putting a hand on your quilt so it doesn't shift, moving the other hand to the wheel to move the needle into the down position.
I found the foot pedal on the HD 1000 to be very responsive so an alternative is to tap the pedal lightly to bring the needle down into the quilt. Again, controlling this is just down to practice and patience until it becomes a habit!
Throat space - I didn't mention this in the video, so just in case you're wondering the throat space on this machine is around 6 3/4 inches. It's not huge, but it's certainly big enough to quilt full to queen sized quilts.
Now that I've finished this review - I need your opinion!
I'm planning to share many more sewing machine reviews next year, as well as showing you how to quilt large scale designs. So I'd like to know what you thought of this new video!
Did you find my stopping to take out pins annoying?
Were you able to see what I was doing and gain a general idea of how to quilt your quilt?
Was the video long and detailed enough?
Did you find the review of the machine helpful?
Did I leave out any important information you needed to know about the machine?
How likely are you to try this large scale stippling design after watching this video?
The fact is - quilting a real quilt on video is EXTREMELY difficult. Trying to get a good angle to show you both the stitching detail, but also show you how the quilt is moving is hard to balance. Just let me know what you think and how this can be improved for the new videos coming in 2012!
And Yes! I do plan to get these sewing machine reviews better linked up! I'm working on several new pages to link up the reviews better and they should be up by the end of the week.
Let's go quilt!