Janome Hand look quilting

Choosing The Best Speciality Thread For The Stitch Type

Some stitch designs built into the machine require a special type of thread to make the stitch work well.  Take the hand look quilt stitch for instance.  Have you ever used it?  Did you recognize what it is on the little diagram on the machine?  Sometimes it is hard to visualize what the stitch is and how to change the machine settings to make it look the best it can.

hand stitch

This particular stitch requires some adjustments to be made at the machine.  First off, the thread color that is seen on the top of the fabric, is actually the bobbin thread and not the top thread. So you need to wind your bobbin with the thread color you want to show.

The second step is to increase the thread tension on the upper thread slightly – possibly 1-2 numbers AND use the Quilters or blue dot bobbin case which has a lower tension than normal and will release the bobbin thread to go up top to form the hand look quilt stitches just perfectly.

Thirdly, is the thread selection.  It is recommended to use a monofilament or invisible thread. This type of thread is virtually invisible when used for stitching.

My issue with monofilament thread is that I can not see it well enough to thread the needle and sometimes when stitching I think the thread has broken because I can’t see it stitching.  To solve this issue, I have switched to 100wt thread.  I choose a thread color that matches my background fabric so it blends in and can not be seen.  This works much better for my vision.  There are now several manufacturers of this weight of thread to choose from.  Although it is exceptionally thin, it is still strong enough to stitch with.

Adding this hand look stitch to my projects adds a wonderful dimension.  It looks like it took time to stitch by hand, but only takes minutes when done on the machine.  I love that Janome has included this stitch option on many of the models on their line of machines.

monofilament thread

100 wt thread

Wouldn’t you like to produce quilts that LOOK like they have been hand quilted and yet it was actually your Janome sewing machine that did it so easily and quickly for you?



About ymenear

I have been sewing my entire life. I love sewing of all types but recently I have focused on quilting and machine embroidery. I am an educator for quilting and embroidery design software and I own and operate a machine embroidery club that teaches students how to use their machine effectively while creating their own unique projects. I love travel and getting to know people from different regions and seeing how they create projects with their machines.
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11 Responses to Janome Hand look quilting

  1. dmr says:

    I have a memory craft 7700 qpc Which blue dot bobbin holder should I use for this technique?


  2. wannajava says:

    I was just wanting to hand quilt big stitches, this is wonderful to be able to do hand quilt look with my MC8900. My hands can’t take the hand sewing anymore. Must find this bobbin case you talk about. Thanks for the info.


  3. LauraMac says:

    I have a Horizon 8900 QCP. What is a blue dot bobbin case? Is that available for my type of machine? I love that look.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Laura,

      It is a special bobbin case with a lower tension – especially for hand look quilting and free motion quilting. Yes, it is available for the MC8900. Please ask your local Janome dealer to show it to you.



  4. Lila Hester says:

    So what we see here is actually the bobbin thread coming up …. you still sew with the right side of the quilt upwards… Hmmmm very interesting, very interesting indeed, will get onto this and try out some samples. Question can I use the yellow dot embroidery bobbin case ?


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Lila,

      No, you should not use the yellow dot bobbin case for this technique. The tension is too tight and it will not allow the bobbin thread to come up onto the top of the fabric. Blue dot or quilters bobbin case is the one to use.



  5. I’ve been wanting to get this stitch going for ages – I knew there were things I needed to do to get it just right and now I have them – THANK YOU!! I have everything but the blue dot bobbin case (I have one for my Elna 740 but not yet for my 780 so I’m off to rectify that this morning 🙂 ) I’m not a quilter but a garment sewist but I love the look of this for top stitching on some items.


  6. farkasw2015 says:

    I wanted a result like the first photo, but only got what shows in the second (more of a bead stitch). I used the monofilament on top and loosened my tension as suggested. Wonder what I might try to get more of a hand-stitched look on my MC6300P the next time?


  7. Christine says:

    Thank you for this post! I have been envious of my friend’s Bernina because of this specific stitch. Now I know that my MC6600 has it. Hallelujah!


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