It’s all about the BASTE!

There’s many steps to take with embroidery to ensure quality results. A new needle, the right stabilizer, and stitching a test-sample first is always a good idea to help determine if you’ll be happy with the finished product. One extra step you can take is to first BASTE the fabric in the hoop so it stays in place before you stitch the design.

This is super simple and easy to do! Built into every Janome embroidery-only or embroidery-combo machine; from the entry level Janome MC 230E to the top-of-the-line Janome MC 15000 Quilt Maker – and everything in between – is the all important BASTE function!

You TOO can stitch your own beautiful peacock – the JEF embroidery file is FREE on our Janome.CA website!

Look at all those beautiful dense stitches brought to life by the rich colours of Janome polyester embroidery thread, which is a 50wt; finer than the typical 40wt embroidery thread, making it a terrific choice for highly dense designs. Such a design needs a good stabilizer on the back, (I used a layer of the fabulous Maderia Cotton Stable fusible and a layer of 80/20 batting as this peacock was going to be part of quilt) AND basting around the design definitely helped keep the fabric in place. The fabric did not pucker and draw-up as can happen when it’s not adequately stabilized.

The BASTE icon is the same for all Janome machines capable of embroidery; a square box with dashed lines and arrows around it, as pictured below on the Janome MC 550E. No matter your machine, your instruction manual will have detailed information about the function of each icon. The first icon in the photo below is the Trace function, which means the hoop will move around but no stitching will occur. The second icon is the BASTE function, which is selected as it’s highlighted in blue. The screen shows a floral design in the centre and dashed lines around the perimeter representing the basting stitches which will help hold the fabric in place in the hoop.

Janome Memory Craft 550E – embroidery only machine

The One Stitch Stop setting can be switched on to bring up the bobbin thread before the basting starts. Either hold onto the needle and the bobbin thread, or hang up the threads on the thread holder/ cutter at the side of the machine. You likely know that from back to front that’s a thread cutter, but did you know that from front to back it’s a thread holder? Watch this Janome HQ Instagram Live presentation of the MC 550E where I demo the BASTE function (at 34:38 if you want to skip ahead)

Janome MC 550E

For extra security, there’s also a DOUBLE BASTE option, which stitches a row of basting around the perimeter of the design and around the centre. This is especially useful for designs which may have more density in the centre and less around the edges, and for when grouping designs. You’ll see the floral design on the screen has a row of basting around the outer edge of the design, as before, but now has an additional row of basting around the centre for added control and stabilization of the fabric.

Janome MC 550E Double Baste function provides extra security!

The video below shows the DOUBLE BASTE; basting around the outer edges of the lotus flowers and another row of basting around the centre of the designs which has more dense stitching. You’ll see that though I floated the fabric; I didn’t hoop it, only the stabilizer, and didn’t use the magnetic clamps to hold the fabric in place, the fabric didn’t pucker because the double row of basting locked everything into place. Another trick I use when floating the fabric is to use a temporary spray adhesive, which I spray (NOT around the machine!) onto the stabilizer, then lay the fabric over it.

Love this Lotus Flower? It’s another FREE JEF embroidery design on our Janome.CA website!

No matter if I float the fabric, or hoop the fabric, I always BASTE! It’s all about the BASTE!

The Janome MC 15000 Quilt Maker and Janome Skyline S9 have a very special basting option available called CUSTOM BASTE, which lets you baste around a uniquely created area, such as when placing an embroidery design around a V neck in a shirt. The CUSTOM BASTE function lets you create the basting around the edges of the V neck, which is not the regular geometric shape of the regular baste functions. Embroidery Software Specialist, Anne Hein explained all about CUSTOM BASTE in a Facebook Live on the Janome Sewing Machines Facebook page, which you may review HERE.

As mentioned above, the beautiful Peacock and Lotus flower JEF designs are available FREE on our Janome.CA website, which means all of you lovely, loyal Janome Life followers around the world can ALSO share in the Janome love! Click the Inspire Tab, Canadian Projects, then scroll down to Peacock and Lotus Flower Quilts to download the JEF embroidery designs, and download the PDF project instructions!

Happy Basting, er, Sewing! lol!

About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at
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