If you like to do thread painting, you’ll love the new QZ Variable Zigzag foot that is included in the Accessory Upgrade kit for the Janome MC9400. For information on the Accessory Upgrade Kit, please click here. This foot is also available in the Quilting Upgrade kit for the Janome Mc15000 as well as in a separate blister pack – available at your local authorized Janome dealer. The Variable zig-zag function is available on selected Janome machine models.
The Variable Zigzag foot or QZ foot is an open-toe foot, giving you clear visibility as you stitch along. Using the QZ foot, you can create zigzag stitches up to to 9 mm in width and, using the knee lifter, you are able to vary the width of these stitches. (The sensitivity of the stitch width to knee lifter can be adjusted in the Settings menu).
Variable zigzag stitching with the Janome MC9400 is not new: the QV foot included with your Janome MC9400 was used for variable zigzag stitching and while it can still be used for this purpose, I can see the advantages of the QZ foot. The QV foot is perfect for free motion quilting around appliqués as it is curved upwards so it won’t catch on appliqué edges. It is also useful for echo quilting as it has red lines on it that you can use for this purpose. The QZ foot is an open-toe foot and gives good visibility.
To start zigzagging with the QZ foot, click on the Sewing Application icon (the t-shirt icon) and choose “Quilting”. While the VZZ (variable zigzag) screen is still in this area, after you’ve upgraded your Janome MC9400, you’ll notice that it has changed slightly to include “RW” or Ruler Work. Options in the screen for variable zigzag stitching remain the same.
The QZ foot fits onto the presser foot holder, like most of the feet included with the Janome MC9400. Unlike some of the other feet, the QZ foot has two metal bars on it that you must snap onto the presser foot holder. This is similar to attaching the QC and QO feet. For more information on these feet and how to attach them, click here.
Once the QZ foot is attached to the Janome MC9400, you can start creating zigzag stitches of varying widths. The knee lifter is an integral part of this technique. While it raises and lowers the presser foot when you are not stitching, it will now vary the width of your stitches while you are sewing. Please be sure to fully insert the knee lifter into the slot on the front of the machine. The Janome MC9400 will stitch in a straight line until you start to move the knee lifter whereupon it starts to create a zigzag stitch. It can be a bit mind boggling at first, but you’ll soon get used to how this all works together.
It can take some practice to get used to this technique as there are three things to consider: the speed of the machine (use the speed control to help you with this); how fast you move the quilt or thread painting project under the machine needle; and how far in or out you move the knee lifter, which controls the width of the zigzag stitches. Sort of like rubbing your tummy and patting your head while walking!
While the QZ foot is the foot to use for thread painting, consider using it and the variable zigzag stitch for adding unique embellishments to quilts and garments. Be sure to use fabric stabilizer underneath your fabric to support satin stitches if you are creating those with the QZ foot. This will avoid distorting or puckering your fabric as you stitch along.
For more information about the QZ foot and how it creates variable zigzag stitches, visit my blog.
Happy stitching from Kim Jamieson-Hirst, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, AB.