Free Motion Quilting with the Janome M7


One of the benefits of the Janome Continental M7 is its large throat space. With 13½” of quilting room and all the free motion quilting feet you’ll need included with it, it’s so fun and easy to free motion quilt on the Janome Continental M7.

Janome M7 full

Let’s take a look at the settings and the feet that are included with the Janome Continental M7 for free motion quilting.

Included with your purchase of the Janome Continental M7, are several feet that you can use for free motion quilting.

There are the PD-H feet which look very similar. The difference between these two feet is that one is a closed-toe foot (PD-H closed-toe foot) and the other is an open-toe foot (PD-H open-toe foot). These may look familiar to you as most sewing machines have free motion quilting feet that look similar to these.

Janome M7 PD-H feet - 1

PD-H open-toe foot and PD-H closed-toe foot

I like to use the PD-H open-toe foot for the visibility it provides me but there are times when the closed-toe foot works better. I find the PD-H closed-toe foot works better as there aren’t any open parts on it to get caught in any embellishments that might be on the quilt. It’s nice to have a choice!

Both of these feet are already attached to their own foot holder so you just need to screw them onto the presser foot bar and you’re ready to go.

There are also some smaller feet included with the Janome M7: the QO, QC, and QV feet. These need to be clipped onto the regular foot holder that you use for many of the other presser feet.

Janome M7 QO, QC and QV foot - 1

QC, QO (on foot holder), and QV feet

These feet are good for thinner quilt sandwiches or even working on other media, such as paper.  You can also use these feet for thicker quilts as all you need do is adjust the foot height on the screen of the machine in the SET menu. See more on this below on how to do this. This operates in a very similar way on other machines which have these feet such as the Janome Mc15000 Ed.

Dictionary Paper Project Finished - 1

Free motion quilting on paper

The QO and QC feet are similar to the PD-H feet in that one is an open-toe foot, the QO foot, and the other is closed-toe the QC foot.

QV foot can be used for thinner quilt sandwiches where you want to do some echoing. You can use the lines on the foot to line up to previously stitched line. It’s also helpful when you want to stitch close to appliqué pieces as the dish shape of the foot ensures that it doesn’t get caught on the appliqué.

Once you’ve decided which foot to use, you’ll need to be sure that you have the proper needle plate attached. There are 3 needle plates included with the Janome M7 and when you’re free motion quilting, its best to use the straight stitch needle plate. This helps to keep the needle going up and down in a straight line and minimizes needle flex so it gives you better stitches. Removing and installing needle plates is as easy as a touch of the button on the Janome M7.

Janome M7 Straight Stitch Needle Plate - 1

Straight stitch needle plate

One of the optional accessories I like to use when free motion quilting is the blue dot bobbin case which is specific for the Janome M7. It has a lower tension that gives perfect free motion quilting stitches. You can get this optional accessory from your local Janome dealer. There are other blue dot bobbin cases for our other Janome machines. Ask your dealer for the correct one for your machine.

Janome M7 Blue Dot Bobbin Case Holder - 1

Blue dot bobbin case holder for the Janome M7

Now that you’ve selected one of the free motion quilting feet, have the blue dot bobbin case holder installed, and the straight stitch needle plate in place, it’s time to check out the free motion quilting settings!

The Janome M7 has several free motion quilting modes that will automatically set you up for your best free motion quilting results. When you are in one of these modes, the feed dogs will drop automatically so you don’t need to do this manually……. Another helpful feature of the Janome M7!

You’ll find the free motion quilting modes in the Sewing Applications Menu (t-shirt icon).

1 M7 main menu utility screen - 1

Main menu on the Janome M7. The t-shirt icon is on the top right side of the screen.

Once you’ve pressed the t-shirt (Sewing Applications) icon, you’ll be taken to another menu where you can choose the quilting modes.

3 M7 FMQ screen - 1

Click on the heart/feather icon to access the Quilt options.

When you choose the Free Motion icon, you’ll notice that there are 2 options available for free motion quilting: Straight Stitch 1 and Straight Stitch 2.

4 FMQ on M7 Straight Stitch 1 screen - 1

Free motion quilting options screen

Straight Stitch 1 is the automatic option for free motion quilting and the one you’ll use most of the time, but… if you are working on a thin quilt sandwich, you’ll want to choose Straight Stitch 2 and use the recommended feet.

5 M7 FMQ Straight Stitch 2 - 1

Straight Stitch 2 option with suggested feet

When you’re in the Straight Stitch 2 option, you’ll be able to adjust the presser foot height for your presser foot right on this screen. While the Straight Stitch 2 option automatically moves the presser foot closer to your quilt sandwich for best results, you are able to adjust the foot height up or down by pressing on the blue foot icon at the top right. (You can also adjust your presser foot height in your machine settings menu on the right side of the screen).

For more detailed information on setting up the Janome M7 for free motion quilting, click on the video below.

With all of the free motion quilting feet choices and the free motion quilting modes available, you’ll have everything you need to be successful in your free motion quilting on the Janome M7.

If you’re looking for help in getting started in free motion quilting, click here for details on the “First Steps into Free Motion Quilting” online course by Chatterbox Quilts.

Happy creating from Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.

About Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts

Quilting teacher, host at Chatterbox Quilts and The Quilter's Way, inspiring and encouraging quilters through education.
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1 Response to Free Motion Quilting with the Janome M7

  1. Jacque Davis says:

    Excellent descriptions and directions.
    Thank you!


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