The Free Motion Quilting Project: Fun on a New Machine!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fun on a New Machine!

Last Friday headed to Greensboro, NC to visit Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shop for a tune up on my Janome Horizon 7700 and..well...rather than get it tuned up, I just ended up trading it in for a new Janome Horizon 8900!
janome horizon 8900 red

The funny thing about this trade in is my new machine looks almost identical to my old machine! When we pulled the machine out of the box, the first thing I commented on was the red face. Kelley, my dealer, was just as surprised as I was to see it.

Apparently Janome has produced a limited quantity of 8900 machines with a red front (they usually come in gray). I just happened to be lucky enough to nab this one, which is great because my favorite color is this exact color of bright red.

As far as the machine itself goes, it's really very similar to the 7700. A few things I like a lot is the detachable even feed system. While I like how easy it was to use the even feed, the little teeth poking out the back of the machine would often catch on my quilts, especially if it was large and bulky. It was a minor annoyance, nothing more, but it's nice to see the improvement with the new fully detachable even feed foot.

janome horizon 8900
The 8900 does not have the little teeth for the even feed system hanging on the back.
On other differences - there's a minor change to the controls on the front of the machine and a few more decorative stitches.
janome horizon 8900 red
 I'm sure there are other differences, but I have only had the machine 4 days so I'm still not super familiar with it yet.

But boy does it stitch beautifully!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Because I was stitching from basically an older to a newer version of a very similar machine, the adjustment to the 8900 was very easy. This machine has a quieter motor and bigger foot pedal, so I've just had to remember that difference whenever I sit down to quilt. Other than a few big accidental stitches, it's been a wonderful transition.

As for WHY I traded and got this newer machine, really there's a whole host of reasons, but probably the biggest is that I like to stay with the current model these days. The 7700 is still a great machine, but the 8900 did fix a few small annoying issues and is an improved model overall.

I should also say that I did get a fantastic deal on this red beauty and it worked out perfectly to pick up a new machine rather than wait for the 7700 to get tuned up. Because this machine looks so similar to my older one, Josh couldn't even tell the difference! Had the machine been out of the box, I could probably have slipped it into the truck without him being the wiser!

Now if you live in NC or the surrounding area, I would highly recommend swinging by Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shop in Greensboro, NC if you're wanting to test drive any Janome sewing machine. Right now if you purchase a Janome Horizon 8900 from Kelley and Joanne Jones, you'll also get a free copy of my book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

39 comments:

  1. congrats on the new machine, I haven't been up to ye old forest since they opened their 2nd store (right?)

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  2. That's a beauty! getting new machines is so fun! All bright, shiny, and eager to sew. :-). I just purchased my first Janome a week ago and I will never use another brand. I got the 1600p though, so only a basic stitch. It's a rock star for free motion compared to my little basic Brother. Hope you get plenty of enjoyment from yours too!!!

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  3. Congrats! Thats a great shop. Kelley is fun and so helpful. I got tons of fabric the day i went.

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  4. That is so great!!! I have recommended the Horizon to many of my friends who are "in the market" for such (resulting in quite a few purchases, too!). I might have gone that direction instead of the Bernina had I had my "head screwed on straight" at the time I was shopping. My Juki (TL2010Q) now fills the bill for FMQ on a DSM beautifully but only does the straight stitch. I am thrilled that Janome kept the great features and 'tweaked' those that may have needed it!!! Hugs, Doreen

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  5. Oh this is uncanny. In my local dealer, they have the 8900 at £500 cheaper than usual and I have been so so tempted but I don't sew anywhere near enough to warrant it but..... well, I still am tempted. This post has made me even worse but still, thanks so much for the review. I'd just want a red one though now :-)

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  6. Glad you like your new machine.
    I have a Juki TL98E (straight stitch only, mechanical) that has been my faithful, trouble-free FMQ partner for some 11 years. Until last week.
    I tried wool batting; the quilt top is firmly woven, batik-like fabric I dyed. The slightest movement of the sandwich to the left, and I had skipped stitches. Tried everything.
    Today, I removed the hopping foot that I always use successfully and put on a "doughnut" type of metal foot. Perfect stitches in all directions! Except I can't see to travel-stitch.
    I have a generic, plastic hopping foot that I'll modify per your method, but right now I'll keep on stitching.

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  7. Love the new machine! And the quilt is looking great :)

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  8. Congratulations on your new machine! I think you will find more subtle differences as you sew with this machine. I hardly ever use the accufeed because the machine sews beautifully with the O foot and others over bulky seams. I would be interested in hearing what you think of it without the teflon bobbin washers if you try it because I think lots of people are using the washers without seeing if they really need them.

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  9. Congratulations! You definitely deserve it! I bet your other machine was used more in 1 year than mine was in the last 10 Ha ha.

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  10. She does look exactly the same! Like Josh, I wouldn't have known if you didn't tell us.

    Does this one have wider feed dogs than the 7700? Will you do some quarter inch piecing just to report back how that goes? (I always hear narrow is better for piecing.) IIRC, that is moot for you though, don't you use your Bernina to piece?

    I'm still coveting a 7700- I LOVE my no longer new machine, but wish I had the space the 7700 has. Oh well, it was a trade off to pay less and I also get embroidery. It is just human nature to want what we don't have!

    Congrats on the new machine!

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  11. Congrats. You are going to make her sing.

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  12. Congrats on the machine and thanks for the great review, I'll be stopping by my dealer to take a look.

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  13. Beautiful! Wish I could afford such an amazing machine! Your work is beautiful! Do you need an expensive machine to do this well or will a basic walmart/hancock type machine work?

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  14. OMG, I love my Jenome. Started with a DC2011, pink, and then I upgraded over the summer to the Memory Craft. Love it, love it. Won't trade for any other brand.

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  15. Congratulations on your new machine. What a beautiful one too. Very nice to know new buyers can get a free copy of 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs too!

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  16. Just when I was saying to myself, "I will never buy another machine because this one is perfect!", about the Janome 7700 that you, by the way, convinced me to buy, you go and start putting ideas in my head about the 8900. Congrats on your purchase!

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  17. Congratulations on your ne 8900. I drooled over one a couple of weeks ago and came within a hair's breadth of putting a reconditioned 7700 on layaway. But, sigh, sanity prevailed. I'll have to stick with my circa 1955 Singer 306W for the foreseeable future. For quilters in northeast Indiana or northwest Ohio, I highly recommend Edward's Sewing Center in Fort Wayne, IN. (I have no financial interest in this shop.) They do wonderful work.

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  18. Congratulations!! I have been researching new machines. And old ones too, to try to find the machine that will work best for me. Please share your ideas and tips to find great machines for FMQ.

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  19. Congrats on the new machine. I just invested in the Brother VQ3000 and am loving it. Just getting not free motion thanks to you. :)

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  20. We are sewing on the new 8900 model here at Quiltcon. It is very very nice.

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  21. I love my 8900! Still learning all about it. Have a few of your books and hope to get better at quilting!

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  22. i'm a regular visitor here and read your post about 7700, before i went to buy 8900. yeah mine came with grey front , your quilting on 8900 makes me more happy , because this is my first quilting machine and all excited to explore it...will be visiting here more often to see you work with 8900..i was following your 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs in the blog...and you were always inspiring me to do more of fmq..

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  23. I am so excited for you. A new machine for a quilter is so much fun. I love Janome, I wont sew on anything else. Have fun.

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  24. i toyed with it when it first came out last yr trading in my 7700 they offered the same price back for it i paid i was tempted but it was still alot of money ill be interested to hear your likes dislikes as you go it has bigger font sizes and feet and i love the huge foot pedal

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  25. My hubby bought me this sewing machine for xmas and I LOVE it. It really is super quite and sews like a dream. I would so loved to have got the red face plate but ah well at least I got the machine LOL

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  26. Love my 8900!! Thought about trading up for a long time. Bought 1st machine Mrs. Blows, Fargo, ND got in. 10/01/12. I have sewn on a Janome for many yrs & I won't ever change brands or dealers. Both are absolutely grand. I especially love the LCD lighting!!

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  27. The only thing that can make that AWESOME machine better for free motion quilting is the PQ3000 frame. It is a track-based system that you use with your own domestic sewing machine. Check it out at http://www.quiltersexpress.com. Many Horizon users have purchased it for their own quilting projects and many PQ3000 owners have purchased Horizons for their PQs since it has such a deep throat.

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  28. What a lovely machine! Leah, do you still do all your FMQ with the feed dogs up? I have a Janome and have been having shredding on all types of threads, needle changed all that stuff, but finally tried with dogs up and what do you know - it is better. I wondered if you still do have dogs up on this new machine?

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  29. Oh Leah! What an outstanding idea. My sweet 7700 desperately needs her checkup but I can't bear to part with her. I think I'll go check out my trade in value. Hopefully my dealer will have the red face plate.
    Lauren

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  30. Hi Leah
    So pleased I stumbled upon your tutorials on You Tube :-) You have given me so much inspiration and such great advice.. Loving quilting but a bit difficult to do anything bigger than a cushion with my just over 6 inches throat space. Keep searching for a better machine and pondering the industrial machine option...but now seen the Horizon 8900!!!
    Just wondering if the 8900 fits into the Gidget 2 table with/or without the quilting table as an insert? Inserts not easy to come by in Britain.
    Many thanks...Keep up the good work and enjoy your new machine. You deserve it.

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  31. milliemollym - The 8900 does fit nicely into the Gidget 2. It will come with an extension table that you can use as your insert. It's a clear plastic table top that can sit on the surface of the Gidget 2 and cover all those gaps nicely between the machine and the table. I hope that helps!

    Leah

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  32. Just wondering how the machine is after you have had it for awhile. I am debating over the Bernina 710 and the Janome. I don't have a dealer close for either so would have to learn on my own. Just thougt you could post an update. Thanks

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  33. Hi Leah, I'm in the market for a new Janome and sewing table. After a few months, are you still satisfied with the combination of the 8900 and the Gidget II? I've seen some comments that the high stitch speed can cause some issues with bouncing and instability on the Gidget. Thanks - I'm taking the FMQ a Sampler class now and really enjoying it, learning SO MUCH!
    Toni

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  34. Hi Toni - Yes, I definitely still like using the Janome Horizon 8900 in the Gidget 2 table. Keep in mind though that I have "solidified" the table by placing it against other IKEA tables and a drawer so there's not much possibility for the table to move or vibrate. I think setting it up with other tables or at least against a wall is a must to reduce vibration when stitching at really high speeds.

    Good luck!

    Leah Day

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  35. Recently my embroidery machine (Viking Husqavarna D1) died. I am looking at purchasing a Janome Horizon machine since all I really do is piece and quilt. I really hadn't used the embroidery much recently anyhow. I have followed your posts and recently reviewed them around the Horizon 7700 and 8900. Both of these machines will be a tremendous change for me from the D1. I am wondering though, if you were to purchase one of these machines today, which would you choose and why? Thank you in advance

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  36. Leah,

    I purchased the Janome 8900 in late November, 2013. I am having significant issues with stitch skipping. Having spoken twice to the dealer I purchased it from, I am switching out the needle to make sure it is new, sharp and straight. It just does not fix the issue. I am guessing that you have countless hours on your 8900. Did you have to tweak any settings? Use a special needle, anything atypical from that may be helpful. Frustrated and ready to take it back ;-(

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  37. Laura - On the 8900, I leave the feed dogs UP, turn the stitch length to 0, and move the needle over to 1.2 position.

    I've also set the open toe foot on the QB foot and adjust the height as necessary to fit the height of the quilt I'm working on.

    I also purchased the spool stand which fits to the back of the machine and allows the thread to feed up and into the machine, causing far fewer thread breaks.

    Other than that, I only free motion on this machine and I only use Isacord thread and Universl 80/12 needles.

    I hope that helps!

    Leah

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  38. Just got my 8900 today ,I set it up for freemotion the way it says in the manual and it worked like a dream .Love it .

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  39. Laural Byrd,

    I have the same problem with mine,
    purchased mine Nov 2012
    I'm fighting with my dealer for over a year now.
    Timing is right,they say the machine is fine but it skips stitches after about an hour sewing after adjustment by the dealer, change your needle is their motto, after I've just done it!
    What did they do for you?
    I would love to hear from you!
    Elisabeth

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