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Wednesday, 23 May 2012 05:00

Amazing But True: Consumer's Story Tells Of A Baby Who Floated Ashore In A Sewing Machine Cover

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442-amazing-but-true-story-baby-in-sewing-machine-coverEnjoy this old family story shared by one of our Facebook Friends.

It started when Miche O'fly sent us a photo of a very old New Home sewing machine that had been passed down through her family. She asked if we could tell her anything about it. When we replied that we didn't have anything specific for that model, she replied that she'd like to share a great family story about another very old sewing machine.

Here's how it goes:

Back around 1890 a group of Irish immigrants were traveling by boat along the coast of Newfoundland. Among the people on board was a baby girl and among the cargo was a sewing machine. Something went wrong and the boat began to fill with water. Thinking quickly, someone grabbed the baby and the wooden lid to the sewing machine. They set the baby in the lid and gave her a push toward the nearby shore. The little girl made it to safety and was adopted. The baby grew up to become the second wife of Miche's great-great uncle.

Miche says she doesn't have any other specifics on the story. But she remembers her great-great aunt telling it to her as a child and her family has always known it to be true.

That has to be the most amazing sewing machine story we've ever heard. The covers on today's machines have a slit for the handle, and so wouldn't work well as a floatation device. But when it comes to sewing and quilting, they're light years ahead of what was available in 1890.    

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012 05:00

Kitchen Confections: Projects Good Enough To Eat At Sew4Home

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441-kitchen-confections-projects-good-enough-to-eat-at-s4hSix Stunning Projects in Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille

If you're a quilter, you know Bonnie & Camille! Their latest collection, Vintage Modern for Moda Fabrics is arriving now to in-store and online retailers. But, our friends at Sew4Home, where Janome is a sponsor, got pre-release fabric and created a wonderful series of six stunning projects.

Start at the premier project: Patchwork Placemats, then work your way through their coordinating napkins, a table runner, apron, oven mitts and a toaster cozy. There's also a set of matching recipe cards and gift tags to download and an upcoming Great Giveaway to enter. All the articles will be live on the Sew4Home site by this Friday the 25th. Set aside some sewing time this Memorial Day Weekend!

Several of the projects feature patchwork and straight line quilting, and so are excellent candidates for the precision of any Janome model. If you haven't experienced the new AcuFeed Flex System on the Horizon Memory Craft 12000, check it out at your dealer today. The system comes standard with two detachable feet: standard width and narrow width. We also have videos online of all the standard MC12000 feet, including AcuFeed Flex.  

Kitchen Confection Patchwork Placemats

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Monday, 21 May 2012 05:00

Powered By Janome: Bethany Nixon of RewareVintage and HandmadeDetroit

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440-powered-by-janome-rewarevintage-and-handmadedetroitShe has a wonderful knack for combining vintage finds, modern fashion, and a great eye for style.

Bethany Nixon is a mom, a successful blogger, and one of the founders of Handmade Detroit (which just had a huge craft fair last week). She sells her unique finds and creations through RewareVintage.com--and we're proud to say she does her sewing on a Janome.

Bethany has always loved all things vintage. Back in 1999, when she was in college, she discovered that she could make a consistent income selling vintage items on a new website called eBay.

Years later, she was working at a job she hated and still dreaming of owning her own brick and mortar vintage shop. Dan, now her husband, was a web designer and programmer and encouraged her to start an online vintage store. With his help she launched RewareVintage.com in 2005.

She describes the site this way, "Besides selling vintage, we decided to include my other passions--crafting, sewing and music in our Reware section of the site. It’s part vintage, part crafty, and lets me show you my creativity."

Bethany learned to hand sew in the Girl Scouts when she was in elementary school, but didn't get a sewing machine until her last semester of college. She took a sewing 101 course and instantly fell in love with it. She now sews a lot for Reware Vintage, both mending and altering vintage clothing, and also sewing new creations from vintage fabrics that she finds along her journeys.

She says, "Sewing began as a creative outlet for me, later turned into a key part of my own business, and ended up introducing me to some of my best friends--the ladies and my partners in Handmade Detroit, and so many other talented sewers and crafters in Michigan! Sewing is more than a hobby for me, it literally introduced me to a whole new world that I love being a part of in so many ways."

Bethany uses a Janome Decor Excel 5018, which was a graduation gift from her family. "One of the best gifts I have ever gotten!" she says. "It has a lot of great stitches and gets through every project I have with gusto!"

Sewing for her business has given her a great deal of satisfaction. "I love projects that teach me a new technique," Bethany says. "I have the most fun when I am learning! I try new patterns whenever I can, and whether it is a purse for a customer or a new jacket for my son, Roy, it is always more fun when I can discover a new technique. I also love to experiment by adding my own touches to a vintage pattern."

See Bethany's creations at her RewareVintage store, read her RewareVintage blog, and find out about the local crafting community at the Handmade Detroit website.  

The Decor Excel 5018 machine is no longer available. But your local Janome dealer has several decor machines with the same power and reliability but even more stitches and features--like the 3160 Quilter's Decor Computer.

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, 18 May 2012 05:00

Merry Month of May Poll Results

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439-poll-results-merry-month-of-mayThere are lots of reasons to love your Janome. We asked you to name your #1.

Last Tuesday we ran a poll that asked "What makes you the happiest about your Janome machine?"

We realized that answering could be a little bit frustrating, because you could only choose one very brief answer. Sewing and quilting are complex. And when your machine is one of the reasons you can spend hours in creative satisfaction, it's tough to describe why in two or three words.

However, we went ahead and compiled the highly unscientific results. As you might have guessed, the number one answer by a wide margin was "All of the Above." So we take that as confirmation of our plan to keep making reliable sewing machines with lots of features. 

You can see the final poll tally here.  If you scroll down the page, you can see the results from our past polls. 

See The Latest Poll Results

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Thursday, 17 May 2012 05:00

Janome Heritage: The 6260 Quilter's Companion

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438-janome-heritage-the-6260-quilters-companionThis sturdy, versatile workhorse was part of an award-winning line of quilting machines.

The Quilter's Companion (QC) machines were introduced in 2003 as a series designed specifically for quilting. They had the power and precision to stitch through multiple quilt layers, an extra high presser foot lift to accommodate fabric and thick batting, and lots of quilting stitches.

Maximum Quilting With Computerized Power

The 6260QC was the top-of-the-line model with computerized sewing and 60 stitches, including 6 types of buttonholes, with a maximum zigzag width of 7mm. It featured Janome's Superior Feed System with a unique 7-point feed dog mechanism. And 3 levels of foot pressure adjustment.

The machine looked different from any previous Janome because of the ergonomically designed work table. It sloped gently at the front to make it easier to feed fabric. And the LED display made it easy to quickly select stitches and modify their width and length.

The QC series (and the 6260QC in particular) received great reviews from the quilting community. Crafts Magazine honored the Quilter's Companion machines with an Award of Excellence in the Sewing & Quilting Products Category. They listed a number of reasons for honoring the QC series. Among them were: Quality, Attractiveness & Consumer Appeal, and Originality/Innovation.

The 6260QC is now retired. Our top-of-the-line machine made specifically for quilting is the Horizon 7700QCP. It has everything quilters loved about the QC series--power, speed, sewing room, quilting stitches--only with lots, lots more. Try one out at your local Janome Dealer.

Find Out More About The 7700QCP

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012 05:00

Video: Installing A Lapped Zipper With The MC12000 AcuFeed Feet

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436-video-mc12k-installing-a-lapped-zipper-with-acufeed-feetHere's how to install a zipper using our exclusive fabric feeding system.

On a lapped zipper one side of the seam allowance "laps" over the zipper, hiding it when not in use. It's commonly used on skirts, pants, and any other application where you want the zipper hidden.

With the AcuFeed Flex fabric feeding system on your Horizon Memory Craft 12000 installing a lapped zipper is a series of simple straight stitches (try saying THAT five times fast). You just follow the onscreen diagrams. And while you sew, the AcuFeed Flex foot keeps all your layers moving in perfect sync.

How To Install A Lapped Zipper Using The Narrow AcuFeed Flex Feet

  1. Begin by installing the VD foot on the Single AcuFeed Flex foot holder.
  2. Attach the foot holder to the machine and engage the AcuFeed Flex system.
  3. On your machine, go to the Sewing Applications screen. Select Zipper, then choose Lapped Zipper with the AcuFeed Flex system symbol.
  4. Choose the Lock A Matic stitch.
  5. On your fabric mark where the zipper goes then sew the lower part of the seam.
  6. Choose Basting and sew the zipper opening closed.
  7. Choose "Sew Left Side." 
  8. Take off the VD foot and install the ED foot.
  9. Fold the seam allowance in half. Lay it along the teeth of the zipper. And stitch it in place.
  10. Fold your garment out of the way and stitch the zipper to the seam allowance.
  11. Select "Sew Right Side." 
  12. Open up your project and sew the bottom and side seams, stitching through the zipper tape and seam allowances from the outside of the project.
  13. Snip the basting threads.


And now you've created a lapped zipper.

To see this demonstrated, watch the video AcuFeed Flex System: Using The Narrow AcuFeed Flex Feet To Install A Lapped Zipper.

Could it really be this easy? Try this out for yourself on the MC12000 at your local, authorized Janome dealer

Watch The AcuFeed Flex Lapped Zipper Video

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012 05:00

What Makes You The Happiest About Your Janome Machine? Take Our Merry Month Of May Poll!

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437-merry-month-of-may-pollThere are lots of different reasons to love your Janome. Will you tell us your #1?

Our favorite letters, emails, comments, tweets, (etc., etc.) are from customers who tell us how much joy they get from sewing and quilting. A key part of each of these stories is the sewing machine that makes it easy to create.

But each person seems to have a slightly different #1 reason for loving their Janome. For some it's Ease-Of-Use, others say it's the rock-solid Reliability, and many would choose Stitch Quality. These are all attributes that have been important to Janome throughout our 150 hear history.

Would you be willing to share your top reason? Take a moment to think about your Janome sewing machine or serger and see if you can come up with the number one thing that makes you happiest about it. And then vote in our Merry May Poll. (It's unscientific but still a lot of fun.)

Check back this week for poll results.

Vote In The Poll

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Monday, 14 May 2012 05:00

Powered By Janome: Jean Kake of Quilted Cupcake

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435-powered-by-janome-jean-kake-of-quilted-cupcakeShe combines something old with something new, and makes it all fun.

Jean Kake likes to mix modern fabrics with vintage finds and then share what she's learned through social media. Many of her projects incorporate fabrics she finds at thrift stores. Her Etsy shop is full of traditional items like baby quilts and pillow cases, as well as modern accessories like custom cases for iPads and Kindles.

Through her blog and podcasts, Jean shares techniques and an infectious enthusiasm to try new things with your sewing machine. We're proud to say all her handmade items are sewn on a Memory Craft 6300.

Jean's mom and grandma were both quilters, so she learned to create simple sewing projects at an early age. She recalls they would set up a huge quilt frame in their living room and quilt all weekend. "The kids were always encouraged to add their own stitches," she says, "which they kept in, no matter how big and uneven those stitches were."

Jean took a machine quilting class with her mom to learn a few of the finer points. And now she finds herself picking up a lot of new techniques online, through podcasts, blogs and YouTube.

She chose the the MC6300 because she wanted a machine that would stand up to the amount of sewing she does, especially for her Etsy shop. "I needed a durable machine that's fast and produces a quality stitch," she says.  After much searching and test driving various brands, Jean decided on the MC6300. "I love the features of the 6300 - it does everything I want without a bunch of added functions that I'll never use."

Her favorite features:

  • Adjustable speed control - "Something my other machines never had. Although I normally keep it on the fastest setting, I can force myself to slow down when precision is needed."
  • Needle down button.
  • Thread cutter button - "Which I now can't live without." 


Jean says, "I've used my Janome on a whole variety of projects, from quilts and wallhangings to softies and laptop cases for my shop.  It's never let me down. Bottom line, the Memory Craft 6300 was the absolute best investment I've made in my Quilted Cupcake studio."

See Jean's creations in her Etsy Shop at www.QuiltedCupcake.com. Read her blog at www.QuiltedCupcake.net. And listen to her free podcasts on iTunes. And if you want to find out more about her machine, you can try it for yourself 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, 11 May 2012 05:00

Floral Accent Pillow Project

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434-floral-accent-pillow-projectWhy we love embroidery on the Horizon Memory Craft 12000!

The extra large hoops that come standard with the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 make the beautiful embroidery panels on these accent pillows possible. The finished design is nearly 21" x 21", and though done in sections, it looks like a perfectly continuous pattern. We used the GR Hoop for this project with its 9.1" x 11.8" embroidery area.

The Horizon Memory Craft 12000 has the largest, most stable embroidery system we’ve ever developed, but beautiful embroidery is just one of the incredible features that make this the machine to choose for your next creative journey. With a 15" embossed stainless steel plate in the bed and 11" to the right of the needle, it has the most workspace of any Janome. It comes with HorizonLink™ software to allow you to design on your PC laptop; you can even create your own 9mm decorative stitches with Stitch Composer™. And, smart sewing features like the retractable HighLight to spotlight the needle area and a detachable AcuView Magnifier make projects more enjoyable than ever before.

Visit your local Janome America dealer for a full "test drive" or browse our Dealer Locator and look for the MC12000 Certified Dealer banner to find an authorized Horizon Memory Craft 12000 dealer in your area.

Go to the Pillow Project

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Wednesday, 09 May 2012 05:00

'Shirr Madness' Hits Sew4Home

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433-shirr-madness-hits-sew4homeLearn it, use it... soon you'll succumb to 'shirr madness' as well!

Our friends at Sew4Home.com, where Janome is a proud sponsor, have gone bonkers for shirring... and just in time to use it on all kinds of great summer tops and dresses in lightweight cottons and voiles. Shirring is surprisingly easy (especially with a quality Janome machine) and a great way to add both fit and texture to a garment.

First, if you are brand new to the technique, Sew4Home shows you the easy step-by-step way to master it. Then, try out your newfound skills on a darling little girl's sundress (which also has an adorable eyelet underskirt) or a flirty summer top for yourself.

Thanks to Janome's excellent feeding systems, sewing with elastic thread in the bobbin is smooth and easy. You can use the technique on any of our models.  

Shirring How To

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