27 January 2014

Husvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt



How do I hate thee?  Let me count the ways.  Unfortunately my machine had to go to hospital again this week (even machines get stressed out).  The tension was completely hopeless - so bad that I couldn't sew with it.  As  I thought I would be without a machine for a week at least,  I got out some of the projects that are lurking at the back of the cupboard with the spiders. Then, surprisingly,  I got an SMS next day to tell me the machine was ready.  Wow, good service or what.

Gordon collected it for me on Wednesday, and I had a quick bobby on it and all seemed well.  Next evening I popped the quilting foot on and tried the FMQ, which is often a bit dodgy tension wise.  And guess what, it was back to being rubbish, and there was NOTHING I could do about it.  And to put the tin hat on it (as my mum would have put it) the tension had gone on the straight line stitching too.

So when Gordon got home to a rather dejected and slightly tearful me, he took pity on me and started fiddlling with the machine.  Next morning, with the help of a very nice service engineer called Niel at a Husqvarna shop in Notingham, he had sorted it all out and it was running reasonably well.  Not perfect but OK.

So you can see why I'm so fed up with it.  I've tried hard to like the damned thing for three years, but I've had enough.  I think I have proved that sewing is not a fly-by-night hobby, and that the machine will not sit in a corner unused,   so I'm in the market for a new one.

Now the hard part starts, trying to find one.  I've already been to the Janome agent.



Unfortunately although I could try one, there was no foot pedal, which made it rather hard to judge it.  But one thing I did notice, is that it did a rather nasty knotty thing underneath at the start of the sewing.  Mmm - trying to get away from that.

So I'm looking for suggestions, please.  What do you sew with?   My main criteria (aside from reliability) is the large sewing space under the frame, as I love FMQ, and will likely as not always do my own.  I do NOT need the squillion embroidery stitches, but it seems the manufacturers always put the two together, I have no idea why.   I hope to get to the Prague Patchwork meeting this year, where I can try a few different ones, all in one place.

In the mean time, here's one of those dusty projects that I dragged out



I bought this  fabric for the Love Beads quilt back in London in July.  I started cutting it but other things got in the way.   I pulled it out again the other morning and, with no pressures to sew anything, I quite enjoyed myself cutting 160 triangles and 80 hexagons.  But as there are descrepencies with the templates and cutting instructions, I'm cutting only in stages, so that I can test that all the pieces fit before I cut the lot.  Unexpectedly I was left with a lot of  triangular off cuts from the Liberty fabric, so I've started a little hand stitching project


So now I can walk away from the machine when I get frustrated, and do some hand stitching!
It's better than throwing it out of the window, although I admit that would be rather satisfying too!

25 comments:

  1. Having a dodgy machine is the worst, isn't it? My machine is a Bernina (but sadly not a quilting one) and I never have tension issues. I love her to bits but am hoping I can one day upgrade to one with more space as I too love to FMQ. I'll be watching this space for suggestions.

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  2. Good luck on the hunt for a new machine, it's a big decision to get a new one, but it will make your sewing times, happy times and so it will be worth it :o)

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  3. Good luck with your hunt. I have done a couple of reviews on my Janome 8200 and love it although the birds nest is a PITA, you can get round it by using a leader scrap.

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  4. I had my Husqvarna sent back (as you know) and it went to Nottingham, via the retailer in Surrey. I could have just taken it there myself since I walk past Coles regularly and that's where I got all my accessories from! Tsk. Anyway the tension is not awful but the stitches could be a tad tighter when going through a quilt sandwich.... I still can only find two bad reviews for it though, yours and Danny's, and I do think it is excellent for piecing. I'm persevering, want my old machine? ;)

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  5. How annoying, I would love a new machine, and agree about all of the embroidery stitches, all I really want is a decent harp space, auto cutting at the end and that it just works consistently, good luck!

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  6. I use a Bernina 440QE and love it, except for the crap harp space. Seriously, on a quilting machine?! What were they thinking?

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  7. First I had Janome Horizon and I sell it after 1 year. Now I have Bernina 240, it is small but good working. I would choose Bernina, no matter what type is it. Janome has more plastic inside.

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  8. I have a Janome 6600 and love it. It has a lot of stitches I never use, but that was part of the deal. I bought mine second hand from a sewing machine shop. No need to oil ever!
    My quilting friend in NL is Ingrid, she uses a Juki TL 98. She loves that machine: can only stitch straight stitches.
    Here's a blog post on that machine (with a US number) by Rachel http://www.stitchedincolor.com/2013/03/the-story-of-my-juki.html
    Here's another happy customer: http://www.candiedfabrics.com/2009/06/05/juki-tl-98-q-meme/

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  9. someone did a good review of several sewing machines on their blog a few years back. Let me see if I can find it.

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  10. after a lot of looking and reading this is what i got after reading this review a ex demo from sewing machines direct ,good luck
    making rebecca lynn has a few reviews too http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=2256471443&group=0&frame_type=b&blog=5201559&link=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRwcm94eS5nb29nbGUuY29tL35yL01ha2luZ1JlYmVjY2FMeW5uZS9-My9IZkp0NTcyZEZ2RS9sdXNoLWNsdXN0ZXItcmV2aXZhbC5odG1s&frame=1&click=0&user=0

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  11. ooops forgot to put the link in for mine http://www.pleasant-home.com/1999/01/pro-quilting-queen-elna-7300.html

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  12. If you decide to get a new machine locally I recomend this shop: http://www.nej-sici-stroje.cz/ they were at PPM as well. They offer advice and their servise is excellent.

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  13. Well I am no help as I use my mums old Pfaff from about 35 years ago! Its so frustrating when it all goes wrong :-(

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  14. If I had a machine that behaved like that I would have chucked it out the window along with a few choice swear words. How frustrating for you!

    Im with Susan..I have a Bernina 440QE and its seriously fabulous aside from the crap throat space. However Im in the process of pushing a quilt through it that measures 80 inches by 90 inches and its not too terrible...

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  15. Ah, Danny had the same issues as I recall! I have a Brother NX 2000. It's got great throat space, and I never have tension problems whether I'm sewing over elastic or quilting cotton (Baby Brother has issues with tension on elastic) It's a total work horse. But it's not cheap. Still, in 2 1/2 years I've never, ever had a problem with it...

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  16. I have always been a HUGE fan of Pfaff & had owned mine for over 25 years. A few years ago I decided that it was time for an upgrade so I could have a bigger throat space to FMQ. Well that was where the trouble began. I forked out a very large wad of cash (& I only paid 2/3 retail) & took home what I thought would be my dream machine. What I didn't know was that Pfaff had taken to making their machines in China & the German precision quality I & many others expected was just not there. I have had nothing but trouble with tension, sewing, FMQ, just looking at the damn thing causes tension issues. Bird nests so big I could house buzzards!!
    I have it out again at present for another go - it seems to be all right at the moment but I am not holding my breath as I have been here before.
    Dream machine for a quilter? Big throat. Big. Really big. Great straight stitch. Zig Zag. Buttonhole stitch for appliqué. Good FMQ foot. 1/4 inch foot. Reliability. IS THAT TOO HARD???
    Try Bernina. I hear they're good.
    Good luck
    Lush x

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  17. PS: Husqvarna bought Pfaff.
    Sorry for the big rant, tetchy subject

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  18. Don't touch Pfaff. I too had one I bought in the 80s, it was a beautiful machine. I then bought a new quilting one that cost a small fortune. It's a piece of crap!!! Tension issues, and for a purpose built quilting machine it's rubbish at FMQ and eats the corners when piecing triangles even when using leaders and enders. Total waste of money. Another Pfaff rant over. I'm really happy with my Janome, although I do miss a couple of features that the Pfaff had and Janome doesn't.

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  19. Such a pain. I love my basic Bernina although not a quilting model but then I don't do FMQ. Love the fabric you are cutting out.

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  20. I actually love my Horizon, despite the "janome" thread glob. I think that they call it a locking stitch and it appears on my little janome at my cottage too. I either live with it (and consider it just more padding in the quilt) or use a leader piece to start stitching on. I would have bought a Bernina but the price comparison for the huge harp space was very much in favour of the Horizon. I expect that for overall quality and durability the Berninas are the best, and they always have been but they are also very expensive.

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  21. Bernina 820 - which has a very long throat for quilting. It's the same one that Di uses too - absolutely BRILLIANT for FMQ but I've had a few tension issues with regular sewing. I also have a 25year old Pfaff which is a gem, but too small for FMQing large quilts without doing my head in. If you want to come and visit me in Switzerland I have a brilliant shop which does second hand Bernina's and Pfaffs which are serviced and sorted out by a man who is an absolutely brilliant repairman before they are sold…..just a thought!!

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  22. Bernina 820 - which has a very long throat for quilting. It's the same one that Di uses too - absolutely BRILLIANT for FMQ but I've had a few tension issues with regular sewing. I also have a 25year old Pfaff which is a gem, but too small for FMQing large quilts without doing my head in. If you want to come and visit me in Switzerland I have a brilliant shop which does second hand Bernina's and Pfaffs which are serviced and sorted out by a man who is an absolutely brilliant repairman before they are sold…..just a thought!!

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  23. 6 months ago I bought a Janome Horizon 7700 here in Germany and I am soooooo happy to have this one! Yes, it is true - sometimes at the beginning there are slight problems but I just take special care and start carefully and it will be ok. But otherwise - no problems! The FMQ goes particularly well and I love doing it. Nice and smooth. And the wide throat is perfect for sewing quilts - a feature I also love. Of course there are dozens of embroidery patterns which I don't need either but well - they are there! So altogether I can say I LOVE my Janome and I am so happy that I bought her! Wish you lots of luck!

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  24. I've had a Pfaff for about 11 years and have loved it. However, it had a small throat space and not a large range of stitches. I got a new Pfaff for Christmas, with a huge harp and heaps of stitches but not embroidery. It doesn't sound as nice as my older one, and a couple of times something has thrown the tension out for a few inches, but then it seems to have corrected itself. Overall I am quite pleased with it though. I'm interested to hear they are now made in China. The different sound to it kinda made me think that.

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