JANOME HAND LOOK QUILTING

Did you know you can do “hand quilting” by machine? Yes, you can……in a fraction of the time it takes to put your thimble on your finger, run your thread through bees wax and then try to do that rocking motion to hand quilt.

So how do we do this great labour saving technique on our Janome sewing machines?

First of all, you need a Janome machine with the hand look quilt stitch. I think almost all our models from the Janome 2030QDC upwards have this stitch. It looks like this on your flip top lid or stitch chart:           triple straight stitch + 1 straight stitch repeated as you sew.

Your stitch may not actually be # 22 or #23 but many of our machines have this stitch and the little diagram above is always the same. Just look on your stitch chart and if it is there, you will find it.  You may also look in your instruction manual where it is referred to as the sculpture stitch.

If you do not have this stitch on your Janome, you are welcome to ask your local Janome dealer to show you a model which does have this stitch and to demo how to do it for you.  I will show also you how to do it in this post as well as in this post some years back.

Secondly, you will need the Janome blue dot or quilter’s/low tension bobbin case. Now I had forgotten mine at work a few weekends ago when I made these little Maker pin cushions and I had no option but to change the tension on my regular bobbin case with a tiny screw driver. Many people are justifiably afraid to do this and I must admit that I had to be very careful so that I could return the tension setting to exactly where it was before I used my little screw driver.  So it is much easier and less nerve wracking  to just have the Janome blue dot bobbin case available, all set at the perfect tension for hand look quilting and for free motion quilting. Notice the blue marking on the bobbin case below – different to the red marking on the regular bobbin case so you won’t mix them up – Janome sure makes things easy for us!

Next comes the thread:

  1. You will need to thread up the NEEDLE with invisible thread. Yes, the needle, not the bobbin!
  2. The thread in the bobbin is regular sewing or quilting thread in the colour you wish to see on the top of the fabric as the hand quilting.  In this next pic, my bobbin thread was pink and you can’t see the invisible thread because it is…well invisible.

    pin cushion showing hand look quilting with pink bobbin thread and smoke or grey invisible thread in the needle.

A couple more things to note:

  • Use this stitch for great top stitching too. Some people call it the seed stitch as it looks like little seeds strung together when you just stitch as a top stitch and don’t use invisible thread.
  • Increase the needle thread tension a little ; maybe 2 numbers so from 4 to 6. Test sew and adjust a little if necessary.
  • Lengthen your stitch. It won’t work nicely if you leave the stitch length at 2.0 or 2.4. It needs to be longer  – at least 3.5 or 4. Most times I actually use 5.0mm.
  • Do NOT sew fast. This is a process which requires slower stitching so set your speed at no more than medium speed.
  • Test sew a line of this hand look stitch and make some adjustments if necessary.
  • If your stitches do not look like the pink ones in the pic above or the charcoal grey ones in the pic at the top of the post, check you have done all the steps I outline here. Did you change to the blue dot bobbin case? Try increasing the needle tension a little more, or sewing slower or making the stitch length longer. Are all the threads properly in the thread guides and tension discs? Don’t frown at me or tell me indignantly that you have been sewing for 40 years! We all get side tracked or lose concentration from time to time when threading and it is very easy to lapse and not thread up properly…so check it…. Happens to me more times than I would like to admit!
  • It is NOT necessary to use a thick thread. In fact, I would not suggest it as the triple stitch makes the stitch look pronounced enough without adding a thick thread into the mix. Just use regular quilting or sewing thread.
  • Try a metallic thread in the bobbin for a real luxurious looking result…..and I sure would not ever have attempted to actually do hand quilting with metallic thread – that would have driven me bonkers!?

HAVE FUN! This sure is a very popular technique.  We will be talking about this and doing demo’s, show & tell etc this Fall on our rounds & abouts in Canada…………… Be sure to ask your Janome dealer if we are heading your way.

 

 

About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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23 Responses to JANOME HAND LOOK QUILTING

  1. Karen Barter says:

    Thank you for this post. I also have the MC15000 and wasn’t too sure if the blue dot bobbin worked in this machine. I will now go and order the bobbin in Australia and collect it when I am there this Christmas. Excellent post and information. Thanks

    Like

  2. Renate Shepherd says:

    So glad I found this site and Canadian, yahoo! I bought a 2030 QDC this summer which I thought was an upgrade from my Sewist 625E. I am a beginner sewer and have dabbled in a number of easy projects. Love my machine and just finishing a pair of pj bottoms. Trying to put in the button holes so that I can thread a cord through the waistband. Had trouble with the button hole maker but after a few tries I think I got it although the thread on top still seems to be bunching up. Any tips? Thank you and have a great day. :-)RENATE

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Renate,

      It would be best for you to ask your local Janome dealer to show you how best to do button holes successfully on your machine. But check that the fabric is as flat as possible to ensure even feeding. Also make some adjustments to the button hole – possible increasing the stitch length so that the satin stitch of the button hole is not as dense as the default setting? Or try one of the other button holes which might be a better choice. It is often easier to do your button holes first before you assemble the garment so that the fabric is flat without thicker seams etc and feeds properly. Later you can assemble the garment with the button hole already done.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  3. Dianne Nixon says:

    Help I have a MC15000 and purchased the blue dot bobbin case. I have tried all the relevant triple stitch quilt options, increased the stick size, increased the tension up to AUTO +4, have quilting thread pn the bobbin and invisible thread throughout the needle. Have rethreaded and I still am not seeing the bobbing thread on the top just the invisible thread. What am I doing wrong?

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Dianne,

      Are you sewing SLOWLY and have you increased the needle thread tension to maybe 6 or 7? Tension on 4 is too low. That is average tension and even with the blue dot bobbin case, you still need to increase your tension a couple of numbers. It is probably this.
      Quilting thread in the bobbin? What weight is this? It should not be too thick so if it is thicker than 50wt cotton, please try a different sewing thread in the bobbin.
      And please be very sure to select the correct stitch. I know you said you have tried them all, but please check it is the triple straight + 1 straight stitch option. I get the best results from that.
      And lastly, I know you said you have rethreaded, but please check again that thread is properly engaged in ALL guides and tension discs as incorrect tension because a thread is not properly threaded might be a possible issue.
      If none of this helps, then I would suggest getting your machine checked by your dealer as it might need to be serviced. Sometimes something as simple as a piece of lint or fluff in a tension disc can cause issues.

      Good luck!

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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      • Dianne Nixon says:

        Thanks Liz, I was using a YLI thread that I use for hand quilting, changed to a 50weight cotton I use for embroidery on the 15000 upped the tension to 7. Hey guess what it sews perfectly, really pleased as it will speed up the quilting process on my quilts. Many thanks for taking the time to respond.

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      • lizafrica says:

        Hi Dianne,

        So glad that it worked for you. Well done!

        Liz
        JANOME CANADA

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  4. Sherry says:

    Good morning,

    I have a Janome 150000 and a Jamone 7200. Do you need to use the blue dot bobbin holder on theses machines for the hand stitched look?

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Sherry,

      Yes, we recommend the blue dot bobbin case for ALL Janome top load bobbin models – your 2models included.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

      Like

      • Sherry says:

        Are the bobbin cases machine specific or can I buy one and interchange them?

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      • lizafrica says:

        Hi Sherry,

        There are 2 different blue dot bobbin cases. I think you mentioned in your other comment that you have the Mc15000 and the Janome 7200. Are you referring to the M7200 sold in the USA ( not here in Canada?). If so, I am pretty sure the same blue dot bobbin case will work on both of your machines. Please check with your local Janome dealer which of the 2 bobbin cases is the correct one for your machines.

        Liz
        JANOME CANADA

        Like

  5. Conni Begeman says:

    This was a great article as I am making Christmas ornaments and gifts for my friends and family now. I am going to order the blue dot bobbin case today because I do not want to screw with the case that is in the machine either. I checked to see if maybe one came with my MC 9400 QCP, but it didn’t. Thanks for the great article.

    Like

    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Conni,

      So glad you found the post useful. The Quilter’s or blue dot bobbin case is an optional accessory so does not come standard with any of our machines. Your local Dealer will be happy to assist you with purchasing this. I sure know I could not manage without mine!

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

      Like

      • Conni B. says:

        I called my Janome dealer, Mo.sewing center in Indep.Mo.and they had one in stock. I will be picking it up soon.

        Like

  6. Christina Mejer says:

    Thank you SO MUCH ! I have a Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8200 QC. When I read this post I thought my machine was too old, but there it was : Mode 3 stitch 04! Who knew? I’m ordering my blue dot bobbin case today ! Thank you again, I’m sure I never would have found this without you .

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  7. Great post — I haven’t used this stitch in a long time and it’s a good one….I need to get back to using this more often. Thanks for the great refresher and reminder!

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  8. Thank you for this helpful tutorial! I’ve had that blue dot bobbin case for years and I’ve tried this stitch but I never seem to get it right so I’m pretty sure I must have missed one or two of these steps but I’m definitely going to bookmark this blog post for when I want to use this stitch next. I love the look of it for topstitching!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this, I’ve been thinking it would be fun to try this. Glad I read your post first, since I don’t have a blue dot bobbin case. Do I need that for free motion, or can free motion be done with the normal bobbin case (I have a Skyline S7, and I think my bobbin case is a gold dot)

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Wendy

      Absolutely yes to your question: we would recommend you use the blue dot or Quilters bobbin case for both hand look quilting AND free motion quilting. And, yes too to your observation that your S7 has a yellow/gold marking. ( DIFFERENT to the yellow dot bobbin case for our embroidery machines.) Your S7 bobbin case is special/ different as you have a different tension stepping motor system.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

      Liked by 1 person

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