Janome Horizon 7700

How time flies when you are swamped?  I can’t believe it has been more than a week since I posted!  Anyway, I’m here, well, but trying to get caught up and blog about a very busy past month-plus!   One of this first things I want to tell you about is a new sewing machine, and YIPPEEEE SKIPPPY it looks like I’ll be getting one!  It is the Horizon 7700 from Janome.  If you click here you can learn more about it directly from Janome.

If you are familiar with the Janome 6600 (which is what I’ve been using since it came out in early 2005), you know that Janome makes great machines and sells them at a great price…you get many more features for your purchasing dollar than with other companies (whom I shall not name!).

I got to do a quick test drive at Maine-ly Sewing (in Nobleboro, Maine) not long ago, and I am in SERIOUS machine lust!  I totally love my  6600, but they have taken the 6600 and made it better.   They’ve added automatic tension, more harp space, more lighting (my aging eyes are joyful!), and some really fun decorative stitches.  Here is one of my quickie test-drive pieces:

There is this awesome “straight stitch” throat plate thingie… if you use the programmed stitch for free-motion, it automatically moves this piece of the throat plate to make it single-stitch (a dot or small circle) opening instead of the usual rectangle (so you can stitch a zigzag).  When you go back to regular stitches, the thingie retracts and you’re back to the rectangle, and thereby don’t slam your needle into throatplate…ingenious!
When I did my quickie test, I used the accu-feed (the built-in walking foot mechanism) to do some of the satin stitches and decorative satin stitches, then popped on the free-motion foot.  The stitching was wonderful…

When checking out a new machine, I always try to make a machine do poor stitching, deliberately make “driver errors”.  The easiest one to do (and common with beginning free-motion quilters) is to whip around curves, which usually leads to eyelashes on the back.   I did   several spirals and whip-around curves,

and I tell you the back was almost *perfect*!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.   Some of my stitches were really long…like 3/8 ” for each stitch, and still, the stitches were either just right or only the itsy bitsiest bit of needle thread showing like a little dot on the back.  I am seriously impressed.

I am also on the list to get a 7700!

I was a bit hesitant before my test drive because of the 7700’s touchscreen and dial, as I am VERY visual and prefer buttons and knobs.  Often, at least with the old touchpads, my fingers were too cold and somehow the things wouldn’t work for me (much muttering at the grocery store!).  I sat down at this machine and was able to use the touchpad only to scroll through the screens (it was intuitive and easy) without even reading the manual (smacking my own knuckles, I know). I didn’t try to figure out the dial, as I had to meet someone and was short on time.

Anyway, I was very happy with what I saw and am looking forward to getting one and playing a lot!

PS…in the interest of full disclosure, Janome America has provided me with an artist/teacher loaner for the past six or seven years or so.  In exchange I did a couple patterns for their now-defunct company magazine, and they used one of my quilts in their show brochure ads several years ago.  I also sometimes send them   suggestions I hear from the 6500/6600 yahoo group (with the permission of the authors or, in the case of multiple comments of the same variety, edited into non-attributable/generic suggestions by me).  Anyway, about 18 months ago they actually wrote back to me and asked for clarifications on a couple of things–they were clearly in the planning stages on the 7700 and they were (WOW) listening to their customers!

Bottom line:  I’d say the same things if I had a loaner or paid full price…the 6500, 6600 and 7700 are some of the best machines on the market, and at a good value for the price–and a fraction of the cost of some comparable machines from other companies.

Cheers, Sarah

PS—just discovered Janome has a really good set of introduction pages on their website to showcase the features of the Horizon 7700.  Check it out here.  Be sure to click on the various tabs (features, accessories, projects, etc).

9 Responses to “Janome Horizon 7700”

  1. Sally Says:

    Hi. Hoping you have your 7700 home with you now. I just got mine and am loving it. The learning curve is a little more than with the 6600 but if you stick with it, everything will begin to come automatically. I honestly wish I’d been able to keep my 6600 also.

  2. Lois Grebowski Says:

    Saw your review on the Janome’s FB post.

    I just purchased the 7700. I’m a beginner and sewing after my HS home ec lesson 30 years ago (yikes!). I had another brand of machine and decided to invest in a better-quality tool for my new hobby. I handed down my old machine to a friend and purchased this one outright.

    I’ve had limited experience with my 7700 so far (travel and not a lot of time to sew), but I love what I’ve found so far.

    What amazes my husband the most is that it’s so smooth and so quiet compared to my prior machine (proof positive of a great tool). He says I can sew into the night while he sleeps…LOL!

    With all the features, I can’t wait to tackle quilting (the longer free space!), clothing, and all the fun projects on my to-do list! The dial and touch screens are easy to navigate and the lighting is perfect for my (sigh) middle-aged eyesight.

    Seriously, you will LOVE this machine and it’s worth every penny!

    Hope you purchased one!

  3. Barbara Says:

    Coming from you Sarah, you would have to believe in this machine. Your quilting is phenomenal and it is nice to hear you love this machine. I am getting ready to buy a new machine and I am heading over to the Janome dealer now to do a test drive. Thanks for the information.

  4. Maggie Szafranski Says:

    Yippee skippy! I have had mine for a couple of weeks. When I have had the time to use it, it works like a champ! I did free motion a small wall hanging for a friend and it did a great job! I am loving the “true” blanket stitch!

  5. Carol Tuck Says:

    I would love to know what the fonts on the 7700 are like. I’ve not been able to find any info on that.

  6. Deborah Wilkins Says:

    I purchased the Janome 7700 May 1st and have truly loved sewing with it. I am not a quilter, but love to make draperies, pillows, bedskirts, etc. I am not thrilled with the zipper foot because it does not allow sewing close to the trim when making pillows. Also, I was sewing a thick seam, broke a needle, and jammed the machine. Later noticed that the feeddog teeth had broken off. It’s back with the dealer now for repairs. I am concerned with the performance for the type of sewing that is my passion.

  7. Doris Says:

    Sarah, I was sitting at home Monday night reading your “Threadwork unraveled” book, and then yesterday was trolling the 7700 Yahoo group and saw your name…it’s was a bit of a deja vu moment for me! I brought my Janome home one month ago, and I LOVE it!

  8. Sue warby Says:

    Hi….HELP…I am an experiences sewer, tutor and demonstrator…have purchased my Janome Horizon, and have had to return it 3 times fior repair…not a happy bunny you might say….lacking confidance it recieving another one in [place of…Help, any advice or encouragement!

  9. Julie Scriver Says:

    Hi out there, just been reading about the new Horizon 7700 and curious to know roughly how much this machine is. Ballpark will do…Under 2 grand, or over 2 or 3 grand. It sounds like a wonderful machine. I’ve always liked Janome, bought my first one 25 years ago and its still great, but I need a little more now that I’m quilting. Can anyone help me out?
    Thanks Julie