Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I have a Janome 6600 and love the knee lifter and going with out the pedal. With my previous machine (a small brother) only had a foot pedal and I ended up with a big knot in my calf muscle of my right leg from constantly pressing on the foot pedal. It was quite painful and would not go away for months. I had to stop going to the gym classes I enjoyed because each time I would put a bounce in my step, it would seize up and bring me to my knees.
The knee lifter takes a little getting used to, but is so worth the effort. I use it on my 6600, and my 10000 for embroidery. Once you get used to it, you do it without thinking.
I've had the singer quantum since december, and I love, love, love it! I haven't tried sewing much without the foot pedal, I have an old Kenmore, and I think I was just too used to a foot pedal!
If a woman's work is never done....why start?
I have used a friends Brother machine without the foot pedal for free motion quilting. And it is fabulous! To me, it removes one of the variables - trying to control the speed of the machine when quilting - and let's you concentrate on just learning to move the fabric at the correct speed to get the look you want. You're lucky - I wish. Y machine could work that way!
I have a Brothers with embroidery capabilities so that uses the start/stop button. I also use it when doing FMQ as it keeps an even speed and I do like that I don't have to reposition a foot pedal all the time. Also the thread cutter and needle threader are a joy. I do need a machine that will sew over thick things like seams in jeans etc. Does anyone have any suggestions for that? Even an older used model.
I love using the start/stop button! Because I am unable to use my foot for the foot pedal, I would have to use my hand to push on the pedal on my old machine. With my new Pfaff, I am now able to keep my seams straighter and now working on my free motion skills! Was not able to free motion with one hand on the fabric and one on the foot pedal! I'm good, but not that good! LOL!
I,too, have the ability to disconnect the foot pedal and use the start/stop button on the face of the machine. I confess, I don't use the start/stop button often, I prefer to use the foot pedal. Maybe I should use it more often, but, a lot of my quilt patterns are challenging and I often need to have both hands free to make sure that the end of the block fits perfectly. You gave something to think about.
Dear Gmcsewer, there are notions that will help you when you come to thick seams. I just checked Nancy's Notions, and found something that will help you. It is called a Jean-a-ma-jig and they are having a sale right now on this item. It used to be $16.00, it is now under $9.00 and you get some jeans needles included. You know, I just might need to buy this.Hope this helps.
I have a Janome 8900 and love the auto thread cutter and the no foot pedal sewing. It came in handy when I had the right hip replacement. The lift I do not use. It is in the wrong place for me.
Grandmeto6 aka Judy
I only use the start/stop button to fill my bobbins. It just seems beyond my ability and coordination to try to match seams together or pull out pins while the machine is running. LOVE the knee lift and auto thread cutter! Would hate to live without those!