I wonder if anyone else using the Horizon has experienced difficulties with free motion quilting when there is a pieced backing. The quilt I'm working on right now, which I hope to finish this coming week, has a pieced strip down the back. The Janome balks nearly every time it approaches a seam that lies underneath the batting, that is, a pieced backing seam. This seems to happen whether or not there is a corresponding seam in the top layer. On the very few occasions where a seam in the top layer is directly above a backing seam, the machine literally stops, and I'll need to hit the needle up button, raise the presser foot and move the fabric a tad, then needle down and continue. Where the seam only exists below the batting layer, the needle just goes up and down and will move with an additional tug, but this sure interrupts any stitching rhythm I'd managed to achieve. I'm about ready to give up on using a pieced backing for any future projects, this was so frustrating.
That said, I'm finally beginning to enjoy free motion quilting on this machine. Having tried all sorts of variations including feed dogs up and down, auto stitch tension vs. manual, straight stitch setting vs the built-in DS-1 quilting stitch, I've found the best stitches are achieved using the recommended settings, auto tension, DS-1, feed dogs down. What I haven't been able to use successfully is the open-toe foot without having numerous top thread breaks. Using the closed toe foot totally eliminates that problem, but visibility for detailed work decreases drastically, and visibility of the work is the greatest failing of the Horizon, in my opinion! The entire machine is too low-slung and there are too many fixed items (needle threader, built-in-walking foot attachment holder, etc.) right in the way of one's line of sight. The old Singer 15-91 has super visibility in comparison, and if I could fix the intermittent skipped stitch problem with that machine, I'd probably go back to it in a heartbeat for detailed quilting of feathers, etc.
Here are a couple quick previews of the current work, another planned gift, so shots of the entire quilt when finished will have to wait a while longer.
The problem with stitching over seams in the pieced back occurred mostly in the straight up and down lines in the horizontal sashing, and wiggly vertical lines in the narrow sashing strips between blocks. I did not notice as many problems while doing the meandering within the blocks.
This is the pieced back.
I'm hoping Leah and others who use the Janome Horizon can offer some insights. Fabrics are all cotton, thread is Aurifil 50/2, low loft poly batting, Schmetz 75/11 quilting needle. I was pleased with the tension of the stitches on both sides using this thread/needle/batting combination and the recommended settings for the machine. I'd just like to know how others cope with quilting pieced backings.
Linking up with Leah Day's UFO Sunday on the Free Motion Quilting Project.