After talking with quilt-y friends, five different sewing machine dealers, and much consideration, I decided I want a Janome 1600PQC. The three main reasons are:
- The three quilting feet from my Pfaff Grand Quilter fit the Janome 1600PQC.
- The price was lower than the Juki 2010Q.
- The Janome 1600PQC runs quieter than the Juki 2010Q.
I made a phone call to Nancy's Quilt Shop in Winter Garden (43 miles from me), and learned that she had a Janome 1600PQC in stock. I arranged to go there and determine if my Pfaff feet would fit that machine.
Just before I left home, the local Janome dealer phoned me to apologize for not checking further into getting a Janome 1600PQC for me. He even called himself "an ass." I let him know that I'd found a dealership with the machine in stock, and that I was going to look at it. 'Nuf said.
While at Nancy's Quilt Shop, I tried all three Pfaff feet on the Janome - walking foot, darning/FMQ foot, and ruler work foot - using my double batt quilt sandwich to quilt samples. The Janome quilted beautifully. And gosh, it's almost identical to my Pfaff Grand Quilter! No learning curve.
I bought the Janome and brought it home Friday afternoon. But I didn't get time to actually set it up and quilt until Sunday.
The new Janome machine immediately began skipping stitches and breaking thread. My hubs, Dan, heard my cries of alarm, disbelief, and frustration and came into my sewing room to help sort out the problem.
He has years of manufacturing education and experience in a methodical approach to resolving an issue. It's called Root Cause Analysis, and he brought those skills to bear on my sewing machine situation. Together and infinitesimally slowly, we went through the owner's manual to:
- rethread the machine
- rethread the bobbin
- try Mettler 50-weight, then 60-weight thread, versus the Aurifil I always use
- try polyester thread
- change the needle (the one original to the Janome)
- check the tension settings and pressure foot pressure, none of which I'd touched since being in the quilt shop
Every time I tried quilting, the top thread skipped and broke... and I cried.
Dan suggested I quilt with the walking foot. The Janome worked beautifully. Then he suggested I try quilting with the ruler work foot. Again, it quilted beautifully.
Then, I put the darning/FMQ foot back on the Janome. Skipped stitches and broken thread.
Revelation! This is the culprit.
We compared this darning/FMQ foot with the ruler work foot, and the only difference we can find between the two is the amount of tension on the spring. The darning foot spring is looser, perhaps from all the quilting I put it through since I use it 90 percent of the time.
I pulled back out my Pfaff Grand Quilter, put the ruler work foot on it, and it quilted beautifully.
I put the darning/FMQ foot back on the Pfaff. Skipped stitches and broken thread.
Then, I really bawled!
I had just spent $1,036 (tax included) on a brand new machine, when the problem all along has been the foot! The blasted foot!
Let me tell you, then there was real weeping and wailing!
Dan, the voice of calm and reason, assured me that it wasn't my fault, and pointed out that the Pfaff tech in Ocala, and several other dealers I had spoken with about the problem had not suggested that the foot might be the problem.
Dan also said I deserve this new Janome machine.
So, wiping my tears and blowing my nose, I gave him a hug and kiss and decided to make the best of it. After that, I used the ruler work foot to do a little FMQ. But honestly, after the trauma of the day, my heart wasn't in it. I couldn't stop chastising myself for not recognizing that the foot was the problem all along.
|Quilting with a ruler work foot.|
On the positive side... I can now in good conscience, sell my Pfaff Grand Quilter. There's nothing wrong with it!
I want to extend a warm and sincere thank you to Amy Johnson of Amy's Quilting Adventures (she's amys_fmq_adventures on Instagram, and follow her blog for great FMQ information) in Lynchburg, Virginia, for working with me late Sunday to get the correct new feet ordered for my Janome - a darning/FMQ foot, and a new ruler work foot which looks a little different than the one I've been using on my Pfaff. And, I treated myself to Circles on Quilts Template (rulers for ruler work) for making 2"-12" concentric circles.
Now that I've slept on this for one night, that Janome 1600PQC is looking more like a good investment in my quilting future. Ahh. Linda