Yup.....here's another cliff hanger in the continuing saga to purchase a sewing machine that will sew a balanced straight stitch, 1/4" seam, also allowing the patches to remain the same length/size as they were cut.
For anyone new to my blog....go back to my Oct. 8th post and start reading....sorry, you'll have to wade through some that aren't related to the new machine quest.
I pondered in one of my 'almost rants'....that perhaps sewing machine manufacturers are trying to develop one-size fits all machines, but instead have created ones that may not do anything well.
The focus seems to be on machine embroidery or perhaps even FM quilting....why it's seemingly not important to provide an even and balanced straight stitch right out of the box that cost several thousand dollars is beyond me.
Two weeks ago today, after returning the VERY disappointing Pfaff Expressions 4.2, I brought home a Janome 8900. Was thrilled with it at first.....but now....I've spent nearly the entire passing two weeks testing, adjusting, testing to find the right combination of settings. Really....it should not be necessary to change the bobbin/top thread/pressure foot, stitch length and width when the machine has a dedicated 1/4" stitch setting!!! AND....the darn thing refuses to stitch....even wind a bobbin with the 'new easy' needle plate in place.
Before continuing.....I want to give a shout out to Sarah Ann Smith, and a thank you to blogger follower Kris for telling me about Sarah's blog. She has generously spent oodles of time by email and phone helping me troubleshoot the issues I was having. Thank you, thank you Sarah!!!!
Let me say...of course I could have gone back to the dealer....but since it's 90+ minutes away - ONE WAY.....and given that I've had extensive training on both Pfaff and Bernina's.....I kept thinking.....how hard could this be?? Goodness.....I know how to balance tension etc.
The machine did okay with my first 2" patch project....but when I began sewing these blocks with ONLY 7 patches but longer strips, no matter how VERY carefully I sewed.....not a single one came out to the exact size I needed. After the first two it dawned on me, even though I couldn't detect any puckering or gathering...and the strips ends all met.....that somehow during the sewing process, the strips 'shrunk' in length. This was after I carefully adjusted the width from the preset of 8.3 to 9.0 and length from 1.8 to 2.4 and yes even after using the Accufeed feature.....they didn't measure correctly.
Thankfully, my plan is to put sashing between the blocks so they don't actually have to meet exactly, but what if I wanted to make a more complicated precise pieced quilt? Nope...this wasn't working......
How can this be?? Is this my 2nd lemon machine? Am I that much of a perfectionist?? Here's my second shout out....I'm grateful to the Janome dealer - Judy's Sewing in Taylors, SC for their integrity..... Despite thinking a mere two weeks ago that I was purchasing the newest 8900 model....NOT so, mine has completely disappeared from the Janome website and replaced with a new (blue face) one. Judy is ordering this newer model for me and will make an even exchange. They will work on my previous one and hopefully figure out what the problem was so future buyers won't experience this frustration. In this day of businesses appearing not to have the interest of their customers in mind.....not so for this stand up dealer.
So....again....the cliff hanger.....once I get the new one.....I'll be reporting back....for now.....it's handwork for me.....