Rita, I am familar with both the machines you are talking about. First of all, I have used Janome machines for nearly 20 years. My first was a Memory Craft 4800 which I love. It was my go to piecing machine and now that I have moved to a larger sewing room I have it set up all the time. Nearly 10 years ago I bought a Memory Craft 6600 because of the larger harp and wanting to begin to do more and more of my quilting by machine rather than by hand. I loved it too, but piecing on it drove me to distraction. The wide hole in the throat plate would eat the corners of triangles. They have what they call a single hole throat plate for it but the single hole is not in the center of the feed dogs and I had trouble getting a consistent scant 1/4" seam allowance using that plate. I also could not use the free motion feet with the single hole set up. Then of course, I became a member of TQS and became even more interested in improving the quality of my work which made me even more disatisfied with my machine. I loved the dual feed system on it. That system has feed dogs on the presser foot. It is like a walking foot on steroids. It is great for sewing on bindings. I use it to baste quilts with soluable thread. Of course, you still have to pin baste before you do that. I went to Janome frequently over the years looking for a single hole throat plate but with no luck. Recently, they began showing me the Horizon which has a throat plate that becomes single holed with the push of a button. It is smart enough to know the single hole is in place and it does not allow you to do stitches that would break your needle. At first that just made me mad that they were trying to sell me a machine when all I needed was a perfectly centered single hole plate. But during Christmas I was in a quilt store that sold Janomes and they had the Horizon on sale at a trememdous price. I bought it. I love it. I am still getting to know it. I have only done one fairly good sized quilt on it, but I have two large quilts nearly ready to put into a sandwich. I love to piece and doing it has been such a dream on the Horizon that I am having trouble getting me to stop long enough to be practicing my FMQ as much as I'd like to be. I think the dual feed on the Horizon is just the same as on the 6600. The extra dual feed feet I purchased for it (stitch in the ditch and 1/4" feet) are interchangeable with the Horizon. Both machines have needle
threaders, thread cutters and knee controls for the presser foot. At first, I insisted I was going to have to trade in the 6600 but the amount of the money they would give me for it was the price of a very, very low end new machine. It is a much, much better machine than that. I have 4 grown nieces who live in my town. All of them learned to sew as children, but right now they are too busy with careers or raising their own children that they have no time to sew. I have 4 great-nieces and 1 great-nephew in my town ages 3-9. Do you think that there is a chance that one of them will become my "nuts about quilting friend" for which I am searching? One of these young mothers spend one day of her Christmas vacation in my sewing room. I set her up with a FMQ project and she took to it like a duck to water. She wants a machine but she's too busy, her house is too small and her kids are too little for her to spend time sewing. She wants a machine and when the time comes she'd be looking at the low end machines. I have something better waiting for her or for one of the others. If I think of more things about my machine I will let you know. I have never had any of them in the shop for anything other than routine maintenance. And I sew a lot. Oh, Leah Day uses a Horizon. Lois
PS. The machine that Pam Holland is using in the links Karen provides a few comments down is the Janome 6600.
I am thinking about trading in my Pfaff Expression 2 for a Janome NC6600P or a Memory Craft 7700QCP. I would really appreciate suggestions and advice. And could somebody please explain what the 'acu-feed system' and 'superior feed system' really mean? Thanks.
For all you Bernina-philes out there - this is not a realistic option here in Ireland. They don't have the machines in stock as they have to buy them upfront and Irish women can't afford Bernina prices so they don't have any in stock. And those who have bought them have had problems with proper servicing in the South of Ireland. I am, of course, hoping that I am going to win the Bernina 550 prize this weekend and then I will be sorted!
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