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Monday, 11 June 2012 05:00

Powered By Janome: Laura Shaw's T-Shirt Quilts

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456-powered-by-janome-laura-shaw-t-shirt-quilts-She's made a business out of turning worn out t-shirts into treasured keepsakes.

In early America most quilters weren't trying to produce fabric art. They were trying to repurpose every scrap of fabric into something practical--a way to stay warm at night. Today's t-shirt quilts are a great way to take items headed for the rag bin or thrift store and turn them into modern heirlooms.

Laura Shaw made her first t-shirt quilts for herself, using her high school and youth group shirts. She made the next two as gifts for friends and family. When she saw how each quilt incorporated so many stories and special memories for the owner, she realized her creations might have potential as a small business. Laura began posting pictures of her quilts on the web and Facebook and orders began to come in.

She now runs her business through her blog T-Shirts By Laura. It takes at least 15 and sometimes more than 20 t-shirts for Laura to make a quilt. Her quilts vary in size but are usually around 60"x90". She makes all of them on her Janome Horizon 7700 QCP.

Laura learned to sew as a young girl through 4-H. Her mom and neighbor helped her make projects like dresses and pillows. Later her aunt taught her how to make a square patch baby blanket as another 4-H project.

She says, "I always joke that sewing is in my blood because lots of women in my family have been passionate sewers (my mom, both grandmas, and an aunt)."

Laura says her favorite quilts are when loved ones secretly get t-shirts to her to make a keepsake for a graduation or Christmas gift. "These quilts are more than a blanket but a useable collection of memories from high school, college, or a favorite past time," she says.

Another type of quilt she enjoys making is for charities and local organizations like St. Louis United Way, her local high school Project Prom, or Parent-Teacher Organization. "These projects let me use my talent to help others and also drum up business."

Laura ended up getting her 7700 QCP after breaking several "old and cheap" sewing machines. She says, "I decided it was time to invest in my sewing. My Aunt is an avid quilter and recommended a Janome. I chose the Janome Horizon because it was made for a quilter! I love the large workspace and the hundreds of stitches." She says the machine makes it easy to work on even the largest quilts. She also recommends getting the Horizon Sewing Cabinet -- "It makes sewing anything so much easier because there is a nice level space to work on."

    Laura's other favorite 77000 QCP features:
  • How easy it is to change between the 1/4" seam foot and the walking foot
  • The speed control slider
  • Fast but accurate sewing speed   


See Laura Shaw's work in her blog T-Shirt Quilts By Laura. See her machine at your local Janome dealer.

Are you Powered by Janome? Tell us how you started out, what you make, how others can order your product, and most importantly, why you trust Janome to help get the job done! We'll be sharing many of these stories on Facebook, Twitter, our eNewsletter, and here on Janome.com.

To get complete details on how to send us your story go to our Powered By Janome submission page. We'd love to hear from you.

Send Us Your "Powered By Janome" Story

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Friday, 08 June 2012 05:00

Introducing the Sewist 525 Limited Edition

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451-introducing-the-sewist-525lePerfect for a beginner or as a lightweight companion for travel, classes or guild meetings. 

We're proud to the announce this great addition to our Janome sewing family, and the newest member of our Lightweight Favorites club. There's a lot of power and performance in this go-getter of a model: 25 built-in stitches, a built-in needle threader, one-step buttonhole, free arm, and more! Plus a host of special accessories come standard, including a hard cover, Walking foot and Quarter Inch foot. It would be a great model to take to your quilting club meetings!

As a Limited Edition model, you'll want to get into your Janome America dealer early to check out the 525LE, because when they're gone - they're gone.

Read More About The Sewist 525LE

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Thursday, 07 June 2012 05:00

New Lessons on the Artistic Website

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454-new-lessons-on-the-artistic-websiteJust as in nature, one embroidered flower can bloom so many different ways.

The Artistic Suite V6.0 software has an amazing number of features and a powerful range of functionality. It allows you to do cutwork, true type font conversion, appliqué, fabric cutting, decorative stitches and heat transfer. It also contains a revolutionary rhinestone application. In fact, our friends at Sew4Home, where Janome is a sponsor, are in week two of an amazing series of wedding projects featuring these crystals. They call it: DIY Wedding Sparkle.

Today, we want to call your attention to new lessons being added to the Artistic website. They are designed to walk you through, step-by-step, some of available Artistic Suyite V6.0 software techniques. The Floral Transformation lesson shows you how to transform a basic floral graphic into a variety of embroidery designs. You'll learn hints and techniques for monogramming, outlining, quilting motifs, redwork, and more.

The lesson is posted as a handy .PDF file, which can be viewed on-screen and/or downloaded and printed as reference. The free Adobe Acrobat Reader program is all that's required to view the file. 

Floral Transformation Lesson for Artistic Suite V6.0

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Wednesday, 06 June 2012 05:00

Janome Heritage: New Home Model 670

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447-janome-heritage-new-home-model-670This machine marked a big year for Janome and Japan.

1964 was the year the Olympics came to Tokyo. It was the first time the games were held in an Asian country. These games were also the first to be telecast internationally. Syncom 3, the world's first geostationary communication satellite, beamed them to the U.S., and from there to Europe using Relay 1.

The best of Japan was on show to the world. And in honor of this big event, Janome released a special machine, which reflected state-of-the art technology for home sewing: the Model 670. (Released under the New Home name in America.)

The 670 "Dream High" sewing machine body was made from a special, light alloy. For the first time it was cast in-house by Janome. It was a sturdy, lightweight machine with top-of-the-line features. The fully automatic stitch mechanism could do straight and zigzag stitches with easy-to-operate dial controls. The New Home version of the machine featured a pleasing green and cream paint scheme, which makes the Model 670 sought after by collectors today.

This Olympic year, you can still get a light-weight metal-body machine with plenty of features. The HD3000 features a Heavy Duty aluminum body and 18 stitches, including a one-step buttonhole – just the tools you need to handle any kind of sewing project.

Try out the HD3000 at your nearest Janome dealer.

Find Out More About The HD3000

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Tuesday, 05 June 2012 00:00

Powered By Janome: Fabric Artist Gerrie Congdon

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453-powered-by-janome-fabric-artist-gerrie-congdonHer art quilts reflect the serene beauty of nature.

Gerrie Congdon makes beautiful, abstract pieces of quilting art, often incorprating fabrics she has hand-dyed. Gerrie was one of the collaborating authors of the Twelve by Twelve, The International Art Quilt Challenge book. The quilts created for publication are now on tour with the International Quilt Festival. And we're proud to say she creates her quilts on her Horizon 7700 QCP.

Gerrie grew up on a big dairy farm in New York state and she learned to sew as a member of the 4-H Club. She went on to major in home ecomomics at Cornell University and then got a Master's Degree from Penn State in Clothing and Textiles. But she really didn't begin quilting seriously until her retirement in 2000.

She says, "I was always a home sewer, but made garments for myself and the family and also sewed things for our home.  When I retired in 1999, I happened to catch the TV show, Simply Quilts. I was hooked. I watched the show every day and took quilting classes. I jumped right into art quilting. I have only made a few bed quilts, mainly for the babies in our family."

A dozen years later she's earned a national reputation as a fabric artist.

John Hopper of The Textile Blog describes Gerrie's work this way: "There is a definite element of tranquillity that permeates her work, almost bordering on that of a serene stillness. Congdon reveals through a combination of screen-printing, painting, stencilling and discharging, a series of colour tones and textures that are able to transport us to the quiet places of the natural world."

Before she got her Horizon 7700 QCP, Gerrie had been sewing on a Memory Craft 6600P. One of the things she loved about it was the larger harp area that made it easier to quilt large pieces. She also loved the self-threading needle, but unfortunately, she broke it. When she took the machine in to have it fixed, a salesman showed her the Horizon 7700 QCP and made her a great trade-in offer on her 6600P. She took him up on it. 

About her Horizon 7700 Gerrie says, "I love everything about this machine. It has some computerized stitches that I love to use in my work. I think the quilting feet are fantastic. I just recently used the clear view foot for the first time to outline some letters on a quilt. It worked very well. I felt I had more control, which was what I needed."

See Gerrie Congdon's work in her online Art Quilt Gallery. See her machine at your local Janome dealer.

Are you Powered by Janome? Tell us how you started out, what you make, how others can order your product, and most importantly, why you trust Janome to help get the job done! We'll be sharing many of these stories on Facebook, Twitter, our eNewsletter, and here on Janome.com.

To get complete details on how to send us your story go to our Powered By Janome submission page. We'd love to hear from you.

Send Us Your "Powered By Janome" Story

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Monday, 04 June 2012 05:00

Exciting New Accessory: Perfect Alignment Laser

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452-exciting-new-accessory-perfect-alignment-laserMakes it so easy to align hoops, quilt squares, and design templates with zero marking.

The Perfect Alignment Laser is one of those "why didn't I think of that?" inventions. It's precise, simple to use, and eliminates the need for marking on your fabric in a number of common embroidery situations.

The device looks like a little reading lamp. When you press the ON button it projects two red laser beams in the shape of a cross wherever you have it pointed. They look like two bright red threads of light. Laser light, for you non-scientists, is specially generated so it can travel great distances without dispersing. Note: Never look directly into a laser beam.

Accurate Hooping For Embroidery

  1. Set the PAL on your sewing table and turn it on.
  2. Using a square ruler or cutting mat, adjust the PAL so that it's perfectly squared.
  3. Set the outer ring of your embroidery hoop on your cutting mat, positioning it so the laser cross perfectly aligns with the four sides of the hoop.
  4. On your fabric place a target sticker where you want the center of the hoop to be.
  5. Place your fabric on the hoop, moving it until it's perfectly aligned.
  6. Insert the inner hoop, using the laser cross to help you make fine adjustments.


And you're ready to embroider.

To see this demonstrated as well as other ways to use the PAL to align embroidery, watch this brief YouTube video.

See your local Janome dealer for a demonstration of the amazing PAL.

Find Out More About PAL

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Friday, 01 June 2012 05:00

The Business of Bling! New Series With Artistic Crystals on Sew4Home

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450-the-business-of-bling-sew4homeWhen you sparkle, the whole world sparkles with you!

Our creative friends at Sew4Home.com, where Janome is a sponsor, have been spending the last few months learning about the Artistic software brand, focusing on the Artistic Crystals system in particular. They've been very diligent students, and have now filled up this entire week on their site, as well as next week, with an amazing group of sparkling wedding wonders that make use of the amazing Artistic integrated system of crystals, software, cutters and presses.

But, it's more that just inspiring projects. They've designed the series with creative entrepreneurs in mind. These are projects you can make for yourself or make and sell as a home-based wedding accessories business. Sew4Home calls it: The Business of Bling!

With Artistic Crystals, you get a system that will allow you to create unique products to sell. Once a custom template is created, it can be used over and over, allowing you to easily and economically produce multiples of any given product.

Check out Sew4Home's inspiration today. There's everything from bejeweled buttons, to personalized Bride & Entourage tees to next week's candle wraps, bridesmaid clutches and more. At the conclusion of the series, project sheets will be posted on the Artistic site with detailed step-by-step crystal application information for all the Sew4Home techniques.

Ready. Set. Sparkle. Sell!

Artistic Website

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Thursday, 31 May 2012 05:00

MC12000 Update Now Available at Janome America Dealers

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449-mc12000-update-now-available-at-janome-america-dealersNew capabilities are now available for your Horizon Memory Craft 12000!

The greatest products never stop evolving and the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 is no exception! A new update for the MC12k and HorizonLink will be available to all customers free on janome.com in July, but certified Janome dealers already have the upgrade in their stores.

The update contains many great features, including:

  • Reduced length of thread tail with jump thread trimming
  • Adjustment of embroidery foot height
  • Feed dog up/down key in Free Motion Quilting and Variable ZigZag
  • More stitches available with straight stitch needle plate
  • Choose white or black background color
  • Tablet PC capability for HorizonLink
  • Updated abilities in StitchComposer
  • Much More!

Contact your local Janome dealer today to schedule a time to update your machine, and start taking advantage of these great new capabilities!

Find Your Local Janome Dealer

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Wednesday, 30 May 2012 05:00

Powered By Janome: Sewplicity

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448-powered-by-janome-sewplicityWhen her sewing business started to take off, Jennifer chose Janome.

Jennifer Evans got started in the sewing business because she couldn't find a replacement cover for her high chair. Now, since launching Sewplicity, Jennifer has manufactured over 4,000 high chair covers and countless other articles for babies and moms. Additionally, Babble.com named her Etsy shop one of The Best Etsy Shops for 2011.

Before having children, Jennifer worked in New York City as the Director of Education for a large company within the hair care industry.  She led a team responsible for developing curricula and teaching small business owners how maximize the potential of their businesses. Looking back, she can see that this background was extremely valuable in helping her establish and run her business successfully.

Her next phase of business didn't take off until she was looking to save money as a stay-at-home mom. Her second child had intherited the family high chair, and it badly needed a new cover.

"After many internet searches and a call to the manufacturer," she says, "I was unable able to acquire a replacement cover. And since buying a new chair was not an option, I chose to make my own." Jennifer's mother had taught her how to sew, and Jennifer had even bought her own machine in high school. But she hadn't really considered starting a sewing business until other moms began admiring her homemade high chair cover.

"I realized many other moms would be in the same situation and would welcome the opportunity for a custom-made cover of their own," she says. Sewplicity was born. As orders began grow for her high chair covers, totes and other items, she realized she needed a more powerful sewing machine.

She researched brands and models and decided to buy a Memory Craft 6500P. "Moving from a simple home machine to a full size, semi-professional machine was amazing.  I honestly had no idea what a difference it would make in the quality of my work. And even better, it makes sewing so much more fun!" she says. "I was hooked immediately."

Jennifer now owns three Janome machines. "I love everything about them," she says. "My business depends on my sewing machines. Aside from an annual service, I’ve never had any reason to bring my machines into the shop."

  • Her Memory Craft 6600P is her everyday machine: "My favorite thing about this machine is the AcuFeed foot.  I don’t think I could live without it."
  • Her 6500P is her back up:  "This is also the machine that my daughter is now learning on."
  • She also added a 1600P Straight Stitch machine, purchased solely for speed: "I call it the 'Beast' because it is super fast and super strong. The stitch quality is beyond amazing. I pull this one out when I have a large amount of work to get done in a short amount of time, or when I need to work on very thick fabrics."  


She adds that she all three machines fit in her Janome sewing table, which allows her to sew in comfort.

Find out more about Jennifer's sewing on her website Sewplicity.com, her blog, and in her Etsy shop.

Are you Powered by Janome? Tell us how you started out, what you make, how others can order your product, and most importantly, why you trust Janome to help get the job done! We'll be sharing many of these stories on Facebook, Twitter, our eNewsletter, and here on Janome.com.

To get complete details on how to send us your story go to our Powered By Janome submission page. We'd love to hear from you.

Send Us Your "Powered By Janome" Story

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012 05:00

Final Day Of Our Great Financing Offer

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446-final-day-of-our-great-financing-offerDon't miss out on your opportunity for No Interest For 3 Years!

Today is the final day of our limited GE Money Financing offer!

Visit your participating Janome America dealer today to find out how you can take advantage of this very special offer: no interest for THREE years on any purchase over $3000 made on approved credit with a GE Home Design account.

Call or visit your local Janome dealer for all the offer specifics. That new Janome model you've been eyeing, just got a whole lot easier to buy!

Finance Offer Details

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