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Monday, 07 March 2011 05:00

Janome Dealer Bittersweet Fabrics Wins Hall of Fame Award

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130-vdta-award-bittersweetLongtime Janome dealers are recognized by the Vacuum and Sewing Dealers Trade Association.

Each year the trade association for sewing dealers across the country recognizes one outstanding store. This year, at their annual trade show, they gave the Hall of Fame Award to Bittersweet Fabric Shop located in Boscawen, NH. Don And Audrey LaValley, the owners of the shop, have been Janome dealers for 34 years.

Bittersweet Fabrics opened on August 7, 1968 in the family dining room of the LaValley home. It was Audrey's dream to start the shop, quitting her job at the telephone company and managing her fledgling store with seven children at home.

Within a few years they were able to build their store and now provide quality sewing machines, as well as first-rate sales, education and service to sewists throughout the northeast.

Twelve years ago their son David joined the team, continuing the Bittersweet Fabric Shop tradition into the next generation.

We offer our hearty congratulations to the whole LaValley family. We couldn't be more proud.

If you're in New Hampshire, be sure to stop by Bittersweet Fabric Shop.

Read The LaValley's Story

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Friday, 04 March 2011 05:00

Notepad Cover

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126-notebook-coverSimple sewn projects can brighten any chore - even grocery shopping!

Little notepads are great for jotting down your thoughts, keeping track of things to do, or writing up the weekly shopping list. But a boring notebook in your bag is no fun.

Find some cute fabric, and whip up our Nifty Notepad Cover. Just a few simple seams turn a regular notepad into a fashion accessory. Make one to brighten up your chores, then make a few more for gifts. Super quick and easy!

You can make this with basic sewing skills and any Janome sewing machine.

Nifty Notepad Instructions

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Thursday, 03 March 2011 05:00

Serger Smarts: Color Combinations

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125-serger-smarts-color-combosCan't find the perfect color for your project? Make your own!

Have you ever wanted a variegated metallic thread but couldn’t find the right color combination? How about creating your own thread color?

A thread palette, or thread blender, can be used for feeding more than one thread through a looper. This simple tool allows you to join a number of strands into a single thread.

Just setting your various spools behind the serger will work as well, but make sure the spools are stable and won't get caught on anything. Use a metallic thread along with a regular polyester serger thread or a decorative thread in the upper looper to give a glitzy look to the final stitch.

You can create your own color combinations using any Janome serger.

Make the following adjustments to create your own customized thread color:

  • Left Needle (size 14)– 4
  • Upper Looper – 5 (Feed threads as if they were just one thread through all the thread guides and the tension disk)
  • Lower Looper - 4
  • Stitch Length – 3
  • Differential Feed – 1.0
  • Engage Stitch Finger for Standard Serging
  • Adjust the lower looper tension slider to “RH”

See All Janome Sergers

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Wednesday, 02 March 2011 05:00

Janome Heritage: First Programmable Computer Machine MEMORY 7

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123-heritage-memory7It was the first home sewing machine with computerized stitch combinations.

The year was 1979. Y.M.C.A. was a huge hit for The Village People. The Muppet Movie made the Top 10. And those Famolare shoes with the wavy soles were all the rage.

 

It was a big year for sewing too. Because in 1979 Janome introduced the first programmable, computer sewing machine, the MEMORY 7 Model 5001.

 

For the first time, you could combine multiple decorative stitches to create your own custom stitch pattern. It also introduced the Turn Over Memory (TOM) function, which allowed you to sew mirror images of the stitch patterns.

 

The MEMORY 7 had 26 stitches, including a memory buttonhole. After you'd finished sewing one buttonhole, the machine remembered the dimensions and could sew identical buttonholes repeatedly.

123-heritage-memory7-stitches

It had other futuristic features--like when you selected a stitch, the machine would automatically set the length, width and sewing speed. You could also adjust them manually. At a time when few homes had PCs, computerization in a sewing machine was remarkable.

 

As a sewing machine, the MEMORY 7 was very sturdy with excellent power and stitch quality. Many are still being sewn on today.

 

If you're looking for Janome's most advanced computerized sewing machine today, we'd recommend the Memory Craft 11000 Special Edition.

 

More About Today's Memory Craft Machines

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Tuesday, 01 March 2011 05:00

Video: Attaching Ribbon With The Ribbon-Sequin Foot

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116-ribbon-sequin-foot-videoEasily attach ribbon using decorative stitches.

A ribbon accent can really add a terrific finish to a throw pillow, a jacket, quilt squares, or any other project you can think of. And Janome has a presser foot for your sewing machine that makes sewing on ribbon quick and easy.

This versatile accessory is called the Ribbon/Sequin Foot, because in addition to ribbon it allows you to attach sequins and elastic. It's a snap on foot that attaches to your machine in seconds. At the front is a slot with an adjusting screw, which allows you to move the ribbon side-to-side in relation to the needle. 

To attach ribbon, you simply cut the end of your ribbon at an angle, feed it through the slot, pull a little out the back, make sure your fabric is lined up, and start sewing slowly.

You can use any running stitch on your machine, including decorative stitches. 

Also, you don't have to just sew in a straight line. You can sew your ribbon on in curves. Just gentle curve your fabric as you feed it. The possibilities are endless.

To see how easy it is, watch the Ribbon/Sequin Foot Video: Attaching Ribbon.

This foot works with 1/4" and 1/8" ribbon and is compatible with most Janome sewing machines.

Watch The Attaching Ribbon Video

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Monday, 28 February 2011 05:00

Janome Poll Results: Oops! Now What Did I Do?!

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00-generic-janome-poll-resultsMistakes are valuable, if you can learn from them.

We've all been there. At some point in your sewing project you suddenly realize that something has gone very wrong. Last week we asked you to vote on our poll question: What's Been Your Biggest Sewing Mistake?

As you can see from the results a lot of our readers have sewn pieces on the wrong way. That's easily remedied with the seam ripper. Some other mistakes you admitted to are a little harder to fix.

As the famous scientist Niels Bohr said, "An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

Hopefully, you're well on your way to becoming a sewing expert. See the results to the poll.

See Results To Previous Janome Polls

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Friday, 25 February 2011 05:00

New Project: Colorful Roll-Up Crayon Keeper

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74-crayon-keeperThis project is a perfect way to use up your favorite colorful scraps.

It's so hard to part with those itty bitty scraps you love, but often just as hard to find projects they are right for! This adorable crayon keeper is the perfect solution. Not only do you get to use some of your fave fabric scraps, you also get to make a fun project that can help teach a little one his/her colors.

Each colorful pocket holds a coordinating crayon. It lays flat when your little artist is working, then rolls up into a tiny bundle to drop into your purse or tote when you're on the go. 

Our thanks to Kaitlin Witte co-author of thread & bobbin for sharing this project. You can see more of Kaitlin's projects at her website!

Making the Crayon Keeper takes intermediate sewing skills. You can complete it on any Janome sewing machine.

Go To The Crayon Keeper Project

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Thursday, 24 February 2011 05:00

Take Our Janome Poll: What's Been Your Biggest Sewing Mistake?

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00-generic-janome-pollIt's usually not funny at the time. But sharing our mistakes is a great way to learn.

Just about everybody who sews has made a major mistake on a project. Sometimes it's because of inexperience, sometimes it's just a momentary lapse in thinking, and sometimes... you just can't explain it.

Take a moment to recall one of your big mistakes and then vote in our multiple choice poll. (Once you've voted you can follow a link back to this page.) 

Click Here To Vote In The Poll

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Wednesday, 23 February 2011 05:00

Serger Smarts: The Backside Blanket Stitch

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119-backside-blanket-stitchSimple adjustments give great new options!

Previously, we featured an article on how to create a new serger stitch, the Braid Stitch, and our readers loved it! So we asked Janome Serger Specialist, Maddie Bushman to provide some additional insight into simple adjustments that give you creative new options to try on your Janome Serger.

Our newest creative serger stitch is called the "Backside Blanket Stitch." The blanket stitch is a favorite for appliqué, because the stitch is constructed to hold the appliqué in place while finishing the edges of the appliqué fabric. You can find a traditional blanket stitch on many Janome sewing machines, including the Memory Craft 6300 and the Horizon (the Horizon offers a wide range of blanket stitch variations!).

In the past, this special stitch was only available on more advanced sergers, like the 1100D and 1200D. With our adjustment guide, however, you can adjust any serger stitch to create this versatile effect simply and quickly.

The Backside Blanket Stitch creates a blanket stitch on the underside of the fabric (on the bottom as you sew). It's great for edging fleece, felt, or any heavier fabric. You can create it using regular polyester serger thread. Make the following adjustments to set up for this fun and easy finishing stitch:

  • Right Needle (use size 14) - 5
  • Upper Looper - 1
  • Lower Looper - 9
  • Stitch Length - 4-5
  • Engage stitch finger for Standard Serging
  • Adjust the cutting blade one full turn to move the blade further to the right.
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Tuesday, 22 February 2011 05:00

Video: Using The Free Motion Foot On The Open-Toe Quilt Set

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106-free-motion-foot-open-toe-quilt-set-videoThis foot's open design makes it easier to see your thread as you free motion stitch.

The Open-Toe Quilt Set (high shank) is a sewing machine presser foot set that includes the Open-toe Walking foot with Quilt Guide and the Open-Toe Darning foot.

You might think that something called a "darning foot" would be designed to make garment repairs. You can use this foot for that if you really want to, but it was designed for doing free motion stitching on quilts and other projects.

To see this foot used to fill in a quilt square with free motion stippling, watch Open Toe Quilt Set (high shank) Video: Using the Free Motion Foot.

The same video clip also shows you how to use the Open-Toe Darning Foot for doing thread painting. After you've appliquéd a design to your fabric, you go over the design with coordinating thread colors to accent the areas you want to emphasize.

The Open-Toe Quilt Set (high shank) is compatible with high shank sewing machines such as the Memory Craft 11000 Special Edition, Memory Craft 9700, Memory Craft 6600P, and the new Horizon MC7700 QCP.

Watch the Free Motion Foot Video

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