Re: Searching for the perfect hoop size

maggie cooper

Unfortunately Janome has gotten caught up in the sewing machine "arms race," where the machine with the biggest hoop is the de-facto winner in the marketplace. In stretching the bed of the 12000, the automatically had the ability to increase the hoop size, and they did. However their faux pas was in ignoring the screams of anguish still echoing from the 11000 release, which failed to include a 5 x 7 hoop. They also ignored their own marketing rhetoric from the 10000 release, at which time they assured us that 80% of all embroidery was done in a 4 x 4 (or smaller) hoop.

Clearly the best of all possible machines would have a hoop that is a full square meter, 25 needles, a 40" harp, sew 10000 stitches per minute, with both cover stitch and overlock attachments built in, selling for $299. Oh, and it comes mounted on a quilt frame, but weighs only 2 pounds and fits in a handbag for taking to class.
Jim, you forgot the lifetime supply of hot meals, laundry service, free embroidery consumables.
My point was quite simple, you buy for your needs. I started sewing in 1964 out economic neccesity, my husbands income was just enough to pay the rent the utility bills, the food but no luxuries like new clothes. It took a year of penny pinching to purchase my first sewing machine. Another year to learn to make wearable garments, and believe me when you have only one set of clothes to cover your nakedness you learn quickly. Fabric by the yard was then plentiful and far less costwise, than purchasing ready made. I had my first child in 64 so I learnt how to make for him, myself and my husband. Discovered I had a talent for it, enjoyed it, and have continued to enjoy it on and off ever since. But I saw no reason to replace my my aging machine for a new all singing all dancing TOL machine just because it was 'new' that machine lasted 40 years, earned me an additional income while my children were growing up, enabled me to pursue what was termed 'machine embroidery' before the arrival of embroidery machines and is now called 'free motion embroidery' I used to create huge free motion embroidery and applique panels, using that machine. It didnt even have a drop feed but used a feed cover. Then in 95 was persuaded by my daughter an embroidery only machine made by Brother, the Snoopy 200, would assist me in my current commisions at that time. A series of 8 x 4 feet wall hangings for a church. I wasnt interested, but at the time was suffering from Bells Palsy which had paralysed one side of my face and killed the blink reflex of my right eye. We had gone to a stitch show, the huge hall was heated by overhead blowers which were causing me considerable discomfort. Just to get away from the stand, the salesman, my daughters persistant cajoling, I purchased the darn machine, a scan n sew, and the software, plus 2 design cards. All I had gone to the show for was a reel of gold cord and pamphlets on a sewing machine.

The 4 x 4 hoop was of course totally inadequate for my needs, but she had many happy hours stitching monograms on towels, designs on items for gifts. My husband bought me a Brother SuperAce 11 sewing mahine as my old faithful was teetering badly, it died the day the new machine was delivered. I wore it out quickly, it wasnt a semi industrial garment makers machine, just a very nice sewing machine for the occasional sewist with more fancy stitches than any garment maker needed. After my DH died, and with a fairly new sewing machine that was already worn out, I purchased a Janome machine, it had an embroidery function which I didnt want, wasnt that interested in, but my dealer who I trust implicitly assured me it was the closest thing to a semi industrial machine for garment sewing on the market at that time. 2003. It has worked without complaint ever since. In 2004 I started to learn the Digitiser Software, discovered I had a natural instinct for it, unlike the Brother software that I'd passed on along with the machine to a housebound friend who passed it back 2 years later as being too difficult. So it got passed on to someone in Ulster who was in dire need of a helping hand.

Then the 11000 launched, my dealer asked me in to attend a demonstration and hands on sewing test, nice machine, but for 1 inch extra height and 3 inch extra embroidery width, even more fancy stitches that I would never ever use, didnt make me grab it. Now the software was different, that I saved for, each time a new upgrade appeared I got it. Each upgrade brought the software closer to what I wanted, the ability to create the full size pictures I could create on my old but now dead first sewing machine. There isnt a hoop on the market big enough for some of my designs, but with version 3 at long last I could create a metre long design, using a 5 x 7 hoop if I wanted, or my 50 cm hoop on my 12 needle machine.
I used to feel for those owners who desperately wanted to stitch the large jacket back designs, but couldnt because A, the hoop sizes were limited, B, they didnt want to learn to digitise or split large designs.

Then when testing the MBX software seeing the 230 x 300 hoop size thought YES at last a hoop that will allow those who dream of stitching a larger design can now realise their dream. But all I read is why doesnt it have a 5x7 hoop or a 4x4 hoop. Well to me thats like reading about someone buying a high performance sports car complaining it doesnt drive like an old model T.

You dont have to buy expensive stabilisers, I buy direct from a wholesaler in 100 metre rolls, if I pay a little extra they'll pre cut it into squares or rectangles for me. It costs substanially less than the 2 big 'name' brands, which I've tried and found wanting.
I buy my needles for my janome 1000v3 by the 100, I get my embroidery thread from a wholesaler. If I want to stitch a design on a piece of fabric that's a tad small to be hooped, I use the sewing machine to attach side panels out of fabric off cuts, worn bed sheets, old shirts, its called being thrifty. Why upgrade then expect the specs of an older model? I know orders were placed for 12000 machines long before its specs were published, why? how can anyone know if its going to be right for the work they intend doing without at least seeing the specifications and seeing what it has to offer. If they read the specs then they could at least make an informed enquiry, then wait till they at least can see it in action or test drive it.

My MC 10000 still works quietly and efficiently, is a brilliant sewing machine still, has more than enough utilty stitches, I rarely use the decorative stitches, I bought an inexpensive Janome 644D serger for those tedious jobs like drapes or bed linen, which I make rather than buy so I can save towards my replacement machine, and as much as I'd like the new 12000, it would have to be for sewing not embroidery that I buy it. The juries still out on that one.
Maggie Coops

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