My new Janome 8200 and I are getting to be good friends. It's been great to free motion quilt on, smooth and quiet. The newly enlarged spot for it in my home made sewing table is working so very well. I've got to give thanks to the hubby for that!
But the first sewing I did on this machine is what I suggest to every new sewing machine owner. A stitch sampler. Nothing fancy, but I go all the way through every stitch pattern, even some of the different setting for straight stitches. As you can see from the letters below, I just stitched back and forth across my fabric, switching stitches as I stitched enough of each one for a good sample and turning when I got close to the edge.
Since I want to try out all the decorative stitches and this machine can stitch up to 9mm wide, I used a layer of embroidery stabilizer behind the fabric to keep the stitches from puckering or drawing up. I used a medium weight tear away for this.
Once you stitch them all out, you'll see that the image given on the stitch chart can look very different from what is actually stitched out.
This helps you learn your new machine too. I do the first sampler with default settings and eventually will go back through and do more stitches at my preferred settings and also experiment with combining or elongating stitches. I make sure to label the stitches, both for the default settings and especially for my preferred settings.
This is exceptionally handy when it comes to the blanket stitches! Most of the mid-grade computerized machines and up have several blanket stitches to choose from and they can look very different from each other and from what's printed on the machine.
It was also a great test of the automatic thread tension on this machine.
I hear many people say they never use their fancy decorative stitches, and while I don't use all of mine a whole lot, when you can actually see what they look like, you're more likely to use them.
Are you snowed in? We are on the third snow day for this week. The kids are enjoying sledding and playing in the snow and I'm doing a ton of picking up of wet things and cooking up hot chocolate.