1/4″ Seams – Chapter 3
So several people have brought up the concept of just making an accurate 1/4″ seam by using the markings on their machine’s throat plate.
That’s good in theory! ….. But not so good on a 7700!
And before I continue on, I have to say this: I do *love* my machine… but it is getting old making excuses for it, defending it, and having to find work-arounds for it. These are some mighty serious design flaws, IMO, for a sewing machine manufacturer that has been at it for as long as Janome has been! Think about that! IMO, Janome makes some very dependable, strong, good-lookin’ machines – with GREAT VALUE for what they do… but good grief… its stuff like this that makes working with these machines a little more laborous than what should be necessary. JMO.
So let’s talk about doing accurate seams by just using the markings on the machine. This is basically a copy of a post I wrote this morning with the pictures inset to make it easier to follow. (Which **is** the joy of doing this on a blog!) …
This post was written in response to these comments*:
I finally started using the 1/4″ markings on the metal plate and the plastic bobbin cover for lining up my fabric. … I try to place the edge of my fabric on the mark, where I can see some of the mark, but part of the mark is covered by the fabric. …
I agree with [the previous post] – Use the lines on the machine bed as the most consistent 1/4″ guide.
If I could easily see the markings on the plates, I would use them, but t that just does not work for me.
So here’s my response:
That’s just another part of the problem on the 7700. :::sigh again::::
The markings for 1/4″ are pretty lame on the 7700. (my opinion)
Look at this picture, please:
The picture above was only intended to illustrate the AccuFeed foot in this other post about footsies as they relate to achieving 1/4″ seams… and how much more on center it feels because of the attachment to the machine being up and out of the sewist’s field of typical focus. But it also shows the markings on the bed of the 7700 quite well.
The *only* marking on the 7700 (which isn’t enough, IMO) is the little blip between the 1/8 and 3/8 marking on the bobbin cover – which, when you really think about it, is quite a distance from the needle so there is quite a bit of room for error there. There are no good lines to help you actually line up the edge of your fabric – so that’s why – even using the blip – it’s relatively easy to still teeter off from a straight line within the seam.
This is just about the 7700… I realize these markings might be better on other machines – especially older 5mm machines.
Now.. compare the markings you just saw for the 7700 with this picture:
The picture above is of the quilting setup as used on my Ellisimo Gold. Notice the *distance* of line the sewist has to line up the fabric before it gets to the needle! There is a very long line on the bobbin cover that leads your eye directly to the guide on the 1/4″ foot – with *very*little*gap* … so it is much easier to be accurate.
The picture above was taken with the intent to show how delightful it is to have that gap between the metal guide on the foot and the foot itself – it is easy to get a visual on how your fabric is actually feeding – right up to the point where the actual stitching is going to happen. That’s a great feature of this Distinctive Foot on Amazon.
For those that haven’t been following the drama… he heh.. this is the Distinctive Foot on Amazon that at the time of this writing is only $10 and is also Prime eligible (so free shipping for Amazon Prime members). This is the foot that came on my Ellisimo Gold and it *does* work on the 7700 – but it requires – because of the wonky off centeredness of the 7700 that is expained in this post - a slight decentering of the needle to the left in order to work. So it’s almost a good thing that the markings on the needle plate are so bad – because it won’t throw your eye off if your’e using this foot.
And yes… before I get letters from the peanut section… … this is all based on using typical threads on typical quilting cottons – which makes up for probably 99% of the quilting work being done out here in the real world these days.
Lastly… think about this… oh boy…. the obvious first thought would be for Janome to put out another bobbin cover with a delightful line on it. That’s all fine and good…. but until they come out with a foot that is actually accurate to the single hole needleplate… having another line doesn’t help much. From my experience, they could package that Clear View with Guide foot with a better-marked bobbin cover and it could be a real winner. But hey.. what do I know? I’m still lobbying for an accurate, slim, no-big-fat-toes O3 foot!
This is just more stuff to think about if you’re shopping for a new machine.
Toodles for now…..
Sally aka RipStitcher
*PS… before anyone else blows a gasket again this week, quoting the above is considered “fair use” and I appreciate this feedback – it gives a foundation for just more information!