13.8.13

Janome Horizon 8200qc - an updated review

 Of all the scintillating blog posts I have wrote over the last 18 months, the one that gets the most hits is the slightly dodgy review of my Janome 8200qc (aka Wonder machine).  I promised a second review at the time and was prompted to write it after a very lovely email from Rose last week. 



The last post I wrote I had owned the machine for a whopping four days and had barely touched the surface of what it could do.  I still haven't used even a third of the fancy stitches, but I have quilted up a storm on it which is what I will focus on here.

FMQing:
  I use a gidget II table with the extension table (feet off) acting as the insert.
I use the straight stitch plate with my feed dogs up (covered by a supreme slider) and the open toe FMQing foot.  The machine quilts like a dream and I have had no tension problems or skipped stitches.  The extra throat space is an absolute triumph and just makes quilting big quilts a joy rather than a tug of war.  The machine comes with two other FMQ feet (closed toe and zig zag foot) but I haven't used them past a quick try, I find the closed toe foot doesn't allow a good enough view of what I am doing when FMQing and I haven't felt the need to zig zag a quilt yet ;-).




Acufeed dual feed foot:
This acufeed system is one of the best features of the machine.  I generally tend to quilt at top speed with both FMQing and straight stitch, but the walking foot feeds the fabric in perfect sync and I have had no puckering issues.  For the wavy lines quilting which pops up a lot on my work, I drop the foot tension from 5 to 3, widen the stitch length to 4.0 and wiggle.  It gives me perfect stitches every time and if I need to stop, I don't get the irritating jump to side like my Juki used to do.


Dual feed foot
You get a lot of accessories included with the machine,  including a separate straight stitch plate and the patchwork essential 1/4" foot.  There is a programmed 1/4 button so you can just use the normal foot (foot A).  There is also an optional  acufeed 1/4" foot (model number 202125004) available.

So I thought I would end with a pro/cons list:

Pros:
  • 11+ inches of throat space - it is a deal breaker!
  • included accessories such as straight plate, dual feed foot and FMQing feet 
  •  9mm wide maximum stitch length
  • Easy interchange of needle plates - no screwdriver necessary
  • Perfect stitches in both general sewing and quilting
  • All the fancy stitches it does - even if I have only used the blanket stitch
  • The lighting under the machine - no more squinting at night!
  • Lots of accessories storage on the machine to  keep everything together
Cons:
  • the foot pedal is tiny and flips over quite a lot.  I was used to a very wide model with the Juki and this one feels a bit mickey mouse in comparison.  You can upgrade to the larger model which is supplied as standard with the 8900qc, but I haven't a clue how much it costs.
  • The birds nest knot that seems to be a general Janome machine problem, it bugs me that I either have to start with a bit of scrap fabric or put up with the mess at the start of my seam.
  • No extension table included as standard - for a machine marketed at quilters it should be standard not a £75 optional!
I have no regrets whatsoever about buying this machine instead of the 8900qc, it had all the essential features I need (and a few I don't) and I have no reservations in recommending it.  Go on, you know you want one! ;-)

Edited to add:  I have just bought the 1/4 walking foot attachment (£24) and the extra large foot control (£70) from World of Sewing in the UK.

37 comments:

  1. How spooky is that! I have literally just checked emails before going out to my Janome dealer to have a trial run on this machine! Will let you know how I go on. Thanks for the very timely update!

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  2. The 11+ inches makes me jealous every time. I cannot fathom why my Bernina QE - designed specifically for quilting - can barely fit a dolls quilt in the throat space.

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  3. Perfect review timing Kelly! I have been debating between the 8200 and 8900 for the past two weeks (they're on special here right now). I know I'll buy one by the end of the week, its just a matter of choosing - ahh! Both have great reviews. By the time I purchase the extension table and pedal the difference between machines would be $400... Faster stitches and an automatic bobbin cutter, ah tempting. Thoughts?

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  4. Thanks for the review. I have the Janome 6600P (which I love and don't intend on upgrading for as long as the machine is still functioning) but it is still fun to hear about what else is out there :)

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  5. And guess who has just come home with a lovely new Janome 8200?! I was very impressed after playing in the shop. The excellent deal included a trade on of my very very old basic Janome RX18, so with such a good saving, and because I have no other machine, I have also ended up with a reconditioned Janome Gem also at a good price to take to classes!!

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  6. Thank god you didn't include a simple press here to order one button!

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  7. ooooh - the Horizon is my dream machine. Just need to save some pennies....!!!

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  8. This made me go off and dream about a new machine - found a supplier offering a Janome Memory Craft 6600 (is that right?) for £999 from £1,999. I'm sitting here working out how I can afford t spend almost a grand in a machine, just because it's a grand off!!!!! Bargain, eh??

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  9. Yes I want one... Thanks for a great review. My Pfaff does the birds nests sometimes too so maybe it's not just a Janome thing.

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  10. My janoma is bad to hang at start up to

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  11. I too hate that Janome thread glob, I think that they see it as a locking stitch and a positive feature. I have the 7700, much like yours and I love it too, despite said thread glob.

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  12. This is the stuff my dreams are made of... Maybe a whole year's worth of birthday, Xmas and mother's day presents might mean one of these comes to my house soon :) xx

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  13. Great review Kelly - I'm so jealous of that throat space!

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  14. Pfaff does a thread nest too very often, it's not just Janome! I find a lot of hits on my blog come from a review I did on the AEG machines.

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  15. No thread nests with the Bernina I have. My only complaint would be the same as Susan's...too small a harp/throat space

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  16. Thanks for the great review! I have a similar machine and my dealer gave me 4 extra feet and it came with the table. I love it so far, especially how quiet it is. That might sound silly but I really love it. I got the 1/4 inch foot as an extra and I like how easy it is to switch feet. I had the 6600 before and it was awkward and required a screwdriver. If you get the 1/4 inch dual feed foot, remember to switch to quilt mode and choose the correct stitch for that foot. I got the closed toe foot for free motion quilting but it doesn't bounce. I can't get used to that, it's weird.
    I'm glad you're still enjoying your machine! I am too :)

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  17. oh be still my heart. I get thread nests with my entry level Janome j-18 so I'm relieved to see that it's not just me!

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  18. pretty darn jealous of that throat space! and I, too, get those threads nests - I thought I was imagining how much more frequent they are with my Janome than others I've sewn on... but of course we're all sewing leaders-and-enders- quilts right along with every project, so that solves that, right? heehee ; )

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  19. Back from the K&S show in the RDS in Dublin this weekend where I had a test run on this machine. I'm seriously going to get one, I just fell in love with it. Just have to figure out how now! thanks for the great review.

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  20. thank you for such a lovely review.. I have just recently started lay by on this quilt and can't wait to own it most possibly early next year! my main reason going for this model is because I love FMQ and the price is pretty well good for that purpose and alphabets too..

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  21. Hi! I just found your blog over on bloglovin'. ;) I have the 7700, so I was curious to read your review on this machine! I agree about the foot pedal - I went from a $$$ Bernina (and a Juki!) to my 7700, and the foot pedal seems so small and cheap. Sometimes I put that plastic grippy stuff (like shelf liner, or the stuff you use to open a canned good) under the foot to keep it from scooting away. I'd also heard of some people flipping the pedal upside down, they say they have better control and it doesn't slide around.
    As for the bird's nest, my dealer told me that it was from sewing off the edge of the fabric, either at the beginning or the end of a seam. She said it's just a Janome quirk. Well, for a long time I thought she was crazy! But then I straight line quilted a lap quilt, and all of my stitches started/ended on the batting+backing at the quilt edges. Wouldn't you know, the first few lines started with a bird's nest, and then suddenly they stopped! Of course I'm always sewing off the edges of my piecing, so I try to use an ender/leader scrap...
    Thanks for the review!

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  23. Hello,
    Thanks so much for your review. I am researching this machine for quilting and am curious why you say you FMQ w/ the feed dogs up and covered with a supreme slider? Can the feed dogs be lowered easily? Is there an advantage to covering them rather than lowering them?
    Thank you again!
    Tammy

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    1. Hi Tammy,
      I tried to reply directly to you, but you are a no-reply blogger. I keep my feed dogs up because I find that the stitches come out nicer and I have far less tension problems than when I drop them. I first tried it a few years ago after reading this article http://www.leahday.com/art-dropfeeddogs/. I cover the feed dogs with the supreme slider to reduce drag, but you could use any old tape and it would do the same job.

      The feed dogs are very easy to drop on the machine, so if you want to drop them it is just as quick.
      Hope this helps.
      Kelly

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  24. Hi Kelly
    Woke up on Xmas morning to find this machine under the tree. It's an absolute dream.
    Geraldine.

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  25. hi love the review i have this machine on lay by hope to pick it up at the end of the month as a sewer the threads nests are a pain but have found that if you do the first few stitches by turning the hand wheel by hand it helps to reduce the nests dont know how well this will work for a quilter

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  26. i agree with the review, but i have one problem.....i find that when i drop the feed dogs for fm quilting the material does not flow very good across the plate......keeping the feed dogs up help, but when i am piecing my binding together i run across the same problem with material not moving smoothly....the plates do not feel very smooth like my elna......does anyone else have this problem

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  27. Thanks for the post, I am looking to buy this machine myself and now feel it is the right one for me. I also hate the bird nest at the beginning of each seam, asked dealer about it and they just suggested holding thread. That is a pain but only one complaint I had in the store. Could you tell me where you bought you sewing table, I really want one of those.

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    1. Hi Dot,
      I couldn't reply personally to you as you are a 'no-reply' blogger. The table I have is a Gidget II and I got it from Amazon. It is made by Arrow. Hope this helps.
      Kelly

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  28. Looked into trading in a 3160QDC for a 8200QC. So thanks for the review. Yeah more space in the throat space would be nice. Only have made one quilt so far, it was hard turning it around to work on. The reason I am looking to change has to do with the binding. I can't do it by hand. So I need a machine to do it for me. The sale shop says this machine can.Have you had any problems doing the binding? Thanks for your reply. Greg B

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    1. Hi Greg,
      I cannot reply to your personally as you are a 'no-reply blogger'. I am not sure what the shop means when they say that this machine can do the binding for you? Any machine would be able to attach the binding. I machine stitch my binding to the front and then handstitch to the back, so have no experience using the Janome for this purpose. There are however, many tutes online about machine stitched binding, so you may want to have a look at those first, before you buy.
      Sorry I couldn't provide the answer.
      Kelly

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  29. Oh my. I've been off and on now for.... 2 years about replacing my Kenmore. My Kenmore has been a work horse and works so well but feed dogs don't drop. What I wanted was feed dogs that drop, Easy to clean, thread cutter, bigger neck opening. Don't care about embrodiary at all. Just want to do some quilting and work on free motion and nice stitches would be great. Would like some alphabet I think. I can't think of what else. Currently have a small Brother, 7 lb., $130 from Costco that I just love that goes weekly to quilting bee. But when I want to do free motion at home, it means setting up the small machine so think it's time to replace the sewing corner machine, Kenmore needs a vacation. Such a big difference in costs of machines. Looking at Janome Horizon 8200 I believe, under $3000.

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  30. Hi Kelly,
    Wondered if I could ask you about your table. I have the Horizon 8900 (which I love) and bought the same table but I find it jumps about so much I just can't use it. I have to have the machine on a really sturdy old pine farmhouse table. Any tips?
    Many thanks,
    Helen

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  31. I'm seriously considering purchasing this machine for general sewing but primarily quilting. Are you still very pleased with it?

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  32. Went looking for a new machine yesterday. My dealer sent me home with a Horizon 8200QC, to try for a few weeks to make sure I like. (How many dealers will do that?) A step or two up from my 6500 which I loved. The throat width is 2.5 inches wider that the 6500 and the feed system I love. Quilting accessories included. My sister is coming over today and we will put it through it's paces.

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  33. I have this machine, bought it July 2014. I'm having an issue with the thread looping about 3 times from the underneath of the bobbin cover (not on the top of the fabric). I use the auto thread cutter to cut it, and it ends up there is no thread in the needle. Have you had anything like this happen? I take really good care of my machine, it gets serviced regularity. Any thoughts?! I hope it's not a lemon

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  34. I am thinking about purchasing this machine does everyone still like theirs? I have had a Brother 3000d for 14 years and it is getting tired its not feeding material through evenly and there is little throat space.. I started quilting for the last 4yrs ago since joining a quilting group whilst on my vacations over in the Florida..I have a Babylock ellengante over there which stitches beautifully and wow i can tell the difference when I sew on the the brother. I dont need the embroidery part due to having a commercial embroidery machine.. I would love everyones thoughts before I purchase many thanks Marilyn (uk)

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