Machine Seam Finishes: A Four-Part Series at Sew4Home
Make sure your project looks as good on the inside as the outside.
One of the most frequently asked questions in sewing is, "How can I make my projects look more professional?" The top answer: "Pay attention to the details!" And one of the most important details is to take the time to finish your seams. A sign of a truly well-made project is when it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. If you want your projects to look "handmade" but not "homemade," it's well worth it to give your seams a professional finish. Our friends at Sew4Home.com have come to the rescue with a great four-part series, showing you everything from a simple zig zag finish to a Hong Kong bound seam.
Janome America is the exclusive sewing machine sponsor of Sew4Home.com for good reason. Their creative and knowledgable team is top-notch when it comes to providing inspiring, detailed project instructions that allow everyone to succeed, from the beginner to the most experienced seamstress. A key part of this success is the number of comprehensive How-To Tutorials they provide on all kinds of sewing techniques.
We were very impressed with their recent series on machine sewn seam finishes. We ALL learned something new from this series! One of the best parts is how all their instructions are shown using Janome machines and accessories. It's a great way to remind yourself about all the wonderful features and presser feet Janome offers.
Take a look at each of the four parts of the series:
Make sure you scroll to the bottom of each article where you'll find a list of additional seam and hem finishes.
New Video: Quilt Binder Set
Use this accessory to easily bind the edge of your quilt.
The binding around the edge of your quilt is what gives it that final, professional finish. But stitching down a strip of bias tape while it encloses all those bulky layers can seem like a daunting task.
Here's where you want to use the Quilt Binder Set. There's a model for the MC12000 and one that fits most other Memory Craft machines.
The cone on the front of the fabric holder neatly feeds and folds your bias tape for a half inch finished binding.
How To Use The Quilt Binder Set
- Begin by basting your quilt edges to prepare the quilt sandwich for binding.
- Remove the bobbin case cover.
- Attach the binder plate to the bed of the machine.
- Attach the foot to the machine and choose a straight stitch.
- Mount the feeding attachment to the base. You can do basic adjustment of where the needle drops on the attachment. For fine tuning, adjust the actual needle drop position on your machine.
- Cut the end of your binding at a 45˚ angle. This helps in feeding the binding through the folding mechanism.
- Load it into the feeding mechanism with the wrong side of the fabric facing you. Tweezers can be helpful.
- Bring the binding out the front of the foot, then turn it at a 90˚ angle behind the foot. Once you fold the fabric back, you'll see the folding mechanism has created the perfect fold for a one-step binding.
- Starting on the middle of one side, insert your quilt sandwich into the middle of the binding. Make sure the binding is enveloping the side.
- Begin sewing slowly. After a few stitches, you can make final adjustments to the needle drop position.
- When you come to a corner, take one stitch beyond the quilt.
- Lift up the foot. Pull the quilt directly to the back of the machine, finger pressing the binding as you pull it out.
- Create a miter fold by opening the binding and bringing it forward at a 45˚ angle, and checking the back.
- Make sure you leave long thread tails.
- Use a quilt clip or hemostat to secure the mitered corner as you insert the quilt back into the binder.
- Starting right at the corner, with the needle dropping directly in the corner, stitch down the next side of the quilt.
- Repeat the mitering process for the next three corners.
- Finally, join the two ends of the binding as desired. And you've bound your quilt.
To see this demonstrated watch the video Quilt Binder Set: Binding The Edge Of Your Quilt.
Find this and all the other Janome optional accessories at your local Janome dealer.
New Project: Travel Set Document Purse
Keeps your most valuable items from getting lost.
When you travel, you want to be especially careful that your travel documents and personal information don't get lost or stolen.
A great way to do this is with a pouch or wallet with a strap you can put around your neck. Amy Meeks, as part of her Travel Set series, has created an easy Documents Purse project.
It has a pocket to hold your tickets, passport, phone, and other valuables, as well as a place to tuck a pen or pencil. The flap lets you quickly access your documents as you go through customs and airport security.
Made from neoprene, the project takes about 2 hours to complete and requires beginner to intermediate sewing skills. It can be completed on any Janome sewing machine with a walking foot.
Make one for yourself and then make more to give to your jet set friends.
Last week we featured Amy's suitcase sleeve, which helps your luggage to stand out in the baggage claim while protecting it from scuffs.
Announcing The Winner Of Our "What Will You Make With Emerald?" Drawing
Her entry won a box of Janome embroidery thread.
Last week we featured the "color of the year" as determined by the Pantone company. Each year they choose one color they believe will be significant in fashion, decorating, and design. For 2013 they chose emerald green.
We asked you to leave a comment, telling us what you'd make with this color. Then we selected a comment at random to win a box of Janome embroidery thread.
Congratulations to our winner Valerie Clinansmith of Marlette, MI. She said, "This is a beautiful color for all things Christmas--I would get started on a table cover for the coming season."
That's thinking ahead.
You can reward yourself with your own box of Janome Embroidery Thread, available at your local dealer.
Live! From Anna Maria Horner's Studio
Here's what one of our favorite creative partners has been up to.
We are super excited to be filming our next two videos with Anna Maria Horner.
Anna is anticipating her new baby. And if you follow the link you'll see if she thinks it's a boy or a girl--she’s never been wrong with all 7 of her kids!
Despite being 5 months pregnant, Anna has been sewing more than ever with her Horizon Memory Craft 12000. She's working on two projects for Janome that will have complete patterns and instructions as well as the videos to go with them:
-Embroidered Short Shorts (yes, it's still winter but you can think ahead)
-Fabulous And Functional New Tote
About the MC12000 Anna says, ". . . this machine is amazing!! I can't wait to share more about it with you!!!"
We can't wait to see what she comes up with. Her projects are always so creative and beautiful.
Stay tuned for the release, and get ready to be inspired. In the meantime, if you haven't see them yet, look at Anna's previous projects.
It's Easy To Access The Many Janome Video Tutorials
Watch demonstrations for dozens and dozens of accessories and techniques.
Sometimes just having a sewing task explained to you with words and photos isn't enough. Sometimes you just need to see it demonstrated.
That's why we've produced more than 150 instructional video clips on everything from "how to install a lap zipper" to "how to calibrate your Clothsetter."
Where To Find The Instructional Videos
Horizon Memory Craft 12000 standard and optional presser feet: 37 videos, covering most of the presser feet compatible with the machine.
Horizon Memory Craft AcuFil™ Quilting Kit: 6 videos showing you everthing you need to know to get started with the AcuFil™ Quilting Software.
Horizon Memory Craft 12000 General videos: 8 videos that show you the machine, tell you the Janome story, and even give you a factor tour.
Accessory & Presser Feet Videos: 62 videos that demonstrate dozens of 7 mm sewing feet.
Artistic Crystals: 9 videos demonstrating how to use the software.
Anna Maria Horner: 2 videos showing projects she's created for Janome.
Marie Osmond Demos The Memory Craft 11000 Special Edition: 9 videos where she talks about why she likes the machine.
Janome's Official YouTube channel: find 76 video tutorials for Digitizer MBX software, plus dozens and dozens of others.
If you find these tutorials helpful, check back here often and we'll let you know as we complete new ones.
New Video: 9mm Straight Stitch Foot for the MC12000
See the video for this essential quilting foot.
The straight stitch is the most basic stitch in machine sewing. But in many ways it's also the most important.
So many quilting and sewing projects rely on your machine's ability to make a precise straight stitch. And if you're sewing on really fine fabric or through a lot of layers, getting an accurate straight stitch is not a given.
It works in conjunction with the MC12000's Straight Stitch Needle Plate, which has a smaller needle hole to better support your fabric as the needle penetrates. You get great results each time.
How To Use The Straight Stitch Foot ST
- Begin by installing the Straight Stitch Needle Plate.
- Attach the Straight Stitch Foot to your machine.
- On your machine's touch screen, go to Utility Stitches. Notice that when the Straight Stitch Needle Plate is installed, only the highlighted stitches are available.
- Choose a straight stitch
- And begin sewing.
Now you've made a beautiful straight stitch.
To see this demonstrated, watch the video Straight Stitch Foot ST: Sewing a precise straight stitch.
New Project: Amy Meek's Suitcase Sleeve
Find your luggage quickly and easily on the carousel and in overhead bins.
Have you ever stood at the luggage claim area, trying to spot your little black suitcase among the sea of other little black suitcases?
Here's an easy solution: put a colorful, neoprene suitcase sleeve on it. Your luggage will be instantly recognizable, and protected from nicks and scuffing as it's loaded and unloaded. The sleeve easily slips on and off your suitcase, so it's TSA-friendly for carry-on pieces.
Neoprene is a soft, resilient material often used to make wetsuits and knee braces. It can be sewn just like regular fabric. But don't try to iron it--it'll melt. (See Amy's instructions for flattening the seams.)
Get complete instructions for sewing your own Suitcase Sleeve.
Powered by Janome: Angela Pingel
This former high school math teacher and interior designer runs the Cut to Pieces blog.
Angela Pingel first caught our attention when she won the 2012 Moda Bake Shop Sliced! competition. Her entry project was an adorable Owl Tag Along toddler backpack.
Her first place finish also made her a Janome sewist--the Grand Prize being a Horizon 7700 machine.
We wanted to highlight Angela's blog as a great place to find sewing tutorials, quilt alongs, free patterns, and lots of inspiration. She also sells her original designs through PatternShop and Etsy.
Angela's creations have been featured in 101 Patchwork Projects and Modern Patchwork by Interweave Press, 99 Modern Blocks by C&T Publishing, and she was actually featured on Moda Bake Shop prior to deciding to enter the Sliced! competition.
She's never taken any sewing classes but has taught herself to sew from patterns and books and eventually some online tutorials. Angela says, "My mother used to make a few dresses for me when I was little and knew some basics that she passed on, but I quickly moved past her."
She discovered quilting when she was working in a fabric store in high school. She had already been sewing garments for years. She says, "I fell in love with quilting and haven't looked back!"
Angela decided to start her blog after becoming a stay-at-home mom. She had been a math teacher and an interior designer, but was looking for something that would be more flexible. Orignally, Cut to Pieces was a way to share all the projects she was making in online bees and swaps. Now it's that and so much more.
Angela got acquainted with Janome when she won her 7700. What she likes best about her machine is how well it quilts through many layers, and the built in AcuFeed system. She says, "Both of these have made quilting much easier for me!"
Like all sewists and quilters, Angela feels like there are always so many projects and so little time. She says, "I have lots on the horizon (pun intended) but one of the things I'm looking forward to is a new sew along on my blog making Princess Dresses from a single, simple pattern."
Pantone's Color Of The Year For 2013
This lively, radiant, lush green, is the Color of the Year for 2013.
The Pantone company of Carlstadt, NJ is the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.
Each year they choose one color they believe will be significant in everything from t-shirts to tea kettles. For 2013 they chose emerald green.
According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, "Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum."
Leatrice says that like the gem stone, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. "Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors."
Since ancient times, Emerald has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity. No other color conveys regeneration more than green.
We want to know what you think. So leave a comment below, answering the question: What would you like to make in this wonderful color?
By leaving a comment you'll be entered in a random drawing for a box of Janome Embroidery Thread. (Comments will be closed at the end of the day and the random winner will be notified by email. Contest open to US residents, 18 years or older.)
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