Free Motion Sliding

Whew! I was about to go into free motion quilting withdrawal. Since I packed up my 6600 on Friday, I've been so antsy to get going with my new Janome 8200. Hubby did such a great job with getting it set into my table ( DIY Sewing Table: Updated and Improved) over the weekend.

Then I did what I always do with a new machine. I stitched a sampler of all the stitches, including most of the straight stitches (a bit redundant) and the buttonholes. I used Aurifil thread in two contrasting colors and the automatic thread tension was spot-on.

Today I set it up for free motion quilting! The machine came with its own version of the Convertible Free Motion Foot Set which has a slight difference in the toes, having 2 locations for the needle. The wonderful ruler toe fits on it, of course.

Then it was time to place the Supreme Slider. I bought a brand new one since my previous one had a hang up incident with a basting pin.

How could I possibly get a basting pin hung up in the needle hole?

Well, I cut out around the little cover for my drop-in bobbin. And I neglected to clean the clingy pink side often enough. So the pin was able to slip under the edge. It didn't tear, but it stretched a little and created a ridge. That incident was almost enough to make me regret the easy access I had created for my bobbins.

I also was able to feel the cut edge when quilting. Just a tiny bit, but it was there. I found that sometimes my hand position would land on a basting pin (Yes, I should pull them out before getting them that close to my quilting area. Real world quilting here, folks.) and then I could really feel that tiny thin edge.

I wasn't sure if I was going to cut the same area out of this new Slider or not, given those two issues. But I put the slider on....and a new slider is so nice and clingy....did some quilting and I soon needed to replace a bobbin. Lifting up the corner and reaching under the Supreme Slider for the bobbin cover just that once and I was soon reaching for my Exact-O knife!

A word here about the Supreme Slider: I absolutely love this product when I am free motion quilting! It keeps everything so slick and smooth and it covers over any bumps and grooves between my machine bed so very well. It stays in place with its clingy back. Anytime it doesn't feel like it's staying in place, a run of warm water over the back takes all the lint and dust right off and restores the cling.

Some sewing machine companies carry custom-cut Supreme Sliders for various machines, and Janome has one cut for the 8200 and 8900, but the queen size Slider is bigger and covers more area where I need it for my table. So I DIY'd. (Would that be DIM'd? Do It Myself. Sounds like my kids when they were toddlers!)

First, I took the cover off of the bobbin area. Then I set the Supreme Slider into the desired spot. I actually placed my slider backwards on my machine, if by having the majority of it under the machine is backwards, anyway. My table is nice and smooth, but the bed of the machine has some really handy guidelines etched into the plastic. They are probably really handy if you are putting 6 inch hems on drapes, but not so great for the smooth sliding of a quilt.

Once in position, I carefully made some initial cuts with the Exact-O knife to function as markings of where I needed to cut. I wasn't about to try to mark the slick surface with a pen or marker.

Then I moved the Slider to my cutting mat. You should use the backside of your cutting mat when using the knife to cut. It's a little harder on the mat than a rotary blade and may leave rough cuts in the mat.

I used the bobbin cover plate and a small rotary cutting ruler to guide my knife as I cut outside the initial cuts. The cover was helpful for making curved corners.

Back to the machine to check the fit. Then back to the mat again to lengthen one side to expose the latch for the cover. Whoops!

Finally, the Slider was in place, my bobbin was full and off I went to just do some quilty doodling and other quilting designs on a practice piece.

I am really looking forward to working on some great projects and actually finishing them. I hope my new machine becomes as comfortable and 'known' (All machines have their little quirks.) as my previous machine before I uproot it from its new home and take it on a road trip.

Next month the 8200 and I will be setting up on the vendor floor of the AQS Lancaster show. Three days of nothing but free motion quilting to demo Top Anchor's rotating templates and talk with quilters. Squee! Four nights without kids, dishes, or laundry. Come see me!


  1. Hi Amy,
    I am also ready to upgrade my 7700 into a 8200 or 8900. Thank you for showing how you cut that extra hole in the slider. The position of the bobbin casing is the only thing that bothers me with FMQ. You solved my problem.
    Is there a reason for buying the 8200 instead of the 8900?
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

  2. I've got the 8200 and I'm just learning to FMQ on it ... it's such a forgiving machine as I reckon my FMQing skills are still quite poor, but the results I've had so far are encouraging and the machine makes it easy to learn. Might look into one of those slider thingys :)

  3. I'm also getting used to a new machine, Amy! It must be "the season" — right? ;) Such fun doing this!

  4. I am looking forward to meeting you in Lancaster. Maria.

  5. Having to lift my slider up to change the bobbin on my babylock always annoyed me. Why did I never think to do this?! Maybe because the thought of cutting into such an expensive piece of plastic seemed wrong somehow, but in the long run I think it will save me future headaches. Thanks for the idea.

  6. I wish I could come see you but that's a bit far for me. But have fun! blessings, marlene

  7. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this up. I too love the Supreme slider. But my bobbin is not a top drop in, it front loads on my Pfaff, so I do have to move the slider. I just roll it back on itself under the pressure foot, do what I have to do and roll it back. I guess I have just gotten used to it.