M17 Ruler Work Assessment
So my dealer asked me to give him feedback on the M17 Ruler Work stitch regulator features given what I had found in the manual. As I am something of a ruler work newbie, I enlisted our Bee leader (who is now level 3 Westalee certified) to assist me. We went over today and spent part of the afternoon experimenting with the floor model.
On the positive side…
Inconsistent with the “cautions” in the manual, we did not find that the stitch regulator had any difficulty with brands of rulers that had black markings or that were frosted or opaque. We also found that it did not have any difficulty with extra colored or black marks added to the top face of the ruler (for alignment). For rulers that need to be flipped, the regulator only had issues when the stable (grippy) tape on top and bottom were aligned right on top of each other. If the grippy tape or semi-transparent discs were staggered, it had no problems.
We also did not see any issues with different fabrics. We tested high and low contrast, geometric and batik style designs, and even some with metallic elements. We also tested 1 1/2” rows of different styled fabrics sewn together. The stitch regulator worked equally well across all.
However, we did feel that there were two definite negatives to the design and function of the stitch regulator. First, the snap-on design to the ruler foot lets it have way too much play (wiggle). Consequently, our test circles did not come out fully symmetrical. This makes it impossible to to create smooth joins in patterns and traveling along a previous line of stitching.
Second, the ASR unit gets in the way of being able to firmly and evenly hold down some rulers behind the foot. This was more of an irritant for my more experienced friend, than it was for me. But even I found that it did block visibility of the ruler behind the foot.
On the plus side, my friend really liked how the Janome sewed and ended up buying a very gently used 9450QCP. She had been looking for a machine that would do high shank ruler work as her Viking only did low shank rulers. Just thought I would share what we learned.