I alluded to this in a previous post: While working recently in the Janome booth at the Courtepointe Quebec quilt show I demonstrated the fun, fabulous and versatile Couching Foot set available for Janome’s Quilt Maker Pro 18. Conveniently they also fit the Artistic SD 16 sit-down machine which adds to their versatility.
Like all Janome feet, the accessory feet available for the Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 (and Artistic SD 16) are easy to switch out. Use the little Hex tool which comes included with the machine to remove the standard Closed-Toe Ruler foot attached at the machine.
There’s also an Open-Toe foot included with your Quilt Maker Pro.
Incidentally, all the tools necessary to assemble the frame and make adjustments to the machine are included, like the handy little screwdriver to adjust the tension of the bobbin case.
There are 3 types of accessory feet; Couching, Echo and Glide and in each case there’s even a little replacement screw if the one which comes with the machine goes missing somehow while switching the feet. You know, like how you mysteriously lose that one sock in the dryer. lol! Don’t worry Janome’s got you covered. They think of everything!
The Couching feet come in three sizes; 1.5mm, 2mm, and 3mm allowing you to use a variety of yarns, specialty threads and soft cords to add textural embellishments to your quilts, or to just plain pieces of fabric. Imagine quilting a whole big piece of fabric with some of the fabulous soft and fuzzy yarns available, then cutting the fabric into pieces to construct a tote bag, a wonderful unique jacket or stretch over a frame to create a piece of art to hang on the wall. The Janome Quilt Maker Pro can be used for more than just quilting quilts!
The above photo shows some free-motion circles I did with a variegated fuzzy yarn from a discount store, but you can also pick up chunks of yarns and trims inexpensively from some second-hand stores as well. This is also the perfect time to raid Grandma’s knitting basket and have some fun experimenting and creating different shapes and textures using a variety of weights and thicknesses of yarns.
With the addition of the fabulous Pro Stitcher Premium computer program, your Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 can now do embroidery couching, as well, just as some of our domestic sewing machines can. How cool is that?!
Any design, like the cute butterfly below; one of the HUNDREDS of beautiful designs included in the software, can be stitched out using one of the Couching feet and a variety of yarns, or soft cords. You don’t want to use stiff twine, or soutache cord – soft and fluffy works best.
Now, ideally you’d use a matching colour of thread or a colour which blends better with your yarn. You would not typically use dark red thread to stitch on yellow yarn, but even still, it really doesn’t show all that much. The fluffier the yarn, the more the stitches sink in.
There’s an instruction sheet included in the Couching feet case which gives you a few pointers, but basically, you just let the yarn travel along as the machine does it’s thing. Just be sure to give the yarn plenty of slack so it doesn’t pull tight, which often results in that section of the yarn not getting stitched down as nicely. You can see in the lower left of the above photo where my yarn pulled a little too tight and didn’t get stitched down. Not to worry though, I could always go back to stitch that little bit by hand or with my domestic sewing machine.
Even the tight curls of the design stitching back on themselves stitch out beautifully. It’s SEW fun to see the design come alive, become three dimensional. It’s almost as if this butterfly could fly right off the fabric!
Another good tip I’ll share: Be sure you have plenty of yarn on hand to complete your design! lol! This butterfly isn’t flying anywhere as I ran out of yarn before stitching out it’s right wing. Alternatively, I could have chosen to stitch a smaller butterfly beforehand as the Pro Stitcher Premium Software has tremendous editing capabilities. I know now to bring more supplies next time! Everyone was SEW excited and amazed to see the Couching Feet in action.
Now, a keen eye might have noticed that the centre body of the butterfly on the left looks a little different, more intricate than the design on the screen above. If that’s so, a gold star for you! In my next post I’ll talk about and show examples of yet even MORE fun, MORE creativity you can have with the fabulous Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 and the incredible Pro Stitcher Premium computer. There really is no end to the fun and creativity with Janome.