If you have one of the many Janome sewing machines listed here, your machine has a knee lifter! Whether it came with your machine or you were able to purchase one as an accessory, do you take advantage of your knee lift to its full potential?
The Janome Skyline S9, which is the machine I use, comes with a knee lifter. I’ll be honest, I haven’t used it as much as I should! So, I decided to really commit to using it recently and let me tell you, it is a game changer.
It’s important to make sure you are set up properly to be able to use the knee lifter without stretching or reaching for it with your knee. It should be very natural to shift it to the right.
I can generally be found at the kitchen table when I’m sewing. I have a dedicated sewing room upstairs but I like to be near the hub of activity when I’m sewing so I can keep a handle on what’s going on at home. This just works best for me. Regardless of where you set up to sew, it’s easy to adjust the knee lifter left and right or by height to find the position that works best for you.
To engage the knee lifter, just shift your knee to the right. It’s a very subtle movement. The most often used benefit of the knee lifter is to keep your hands focused on what you are sewing and not have to shift them back and forth between your project and presser foot lifter.
I used the knee lifter recently while finishing a Christmas quilt! I must confess. I finished this quilt top TWO years ago (talk about your WIPs). This year I was determined to get it out of the pile and out on display where it belongs.
The following is a little video I did of me using the knee lifter to help me keep my hands free while straight stitch quilting my quilt top. I wanted to follow the pattern of my quilt in a continuous motion which, as you will see, involves a lot of maneuvering of my quilt top with each angle and corner.
It’s a little extra effort but I am loving the quilting on this quilt!
Using the Janome knee lifter accessory on my Janome Skyline S9 means my hands can stay positioned on my quilt top with each turn, and, with a shift of my knee to the right, up comes the presser foot! It’s like magic! From there, I can adjust my quilt, shift my knee back to the left, down comes the presser foot, and off I continue to sew.
Near the end of the video you can see a little how I toggle my knee back and forth on the knee lifter, as I lift and release the presser foot.
My apologies for my daughter’s running commentary on PJ Mask in the background! It’s entertaining, to say the least. And informative – now you know, too, who the leader of Cat Boy is! Remember how I said I like being at the hub of activity while sewing?
While it may seem that it could be tricky to engage your knee while sewing, in no time you’ll develop your rhythm and will wonder how you ever did any sewing without the knee lifter!
The knee lifter is a wonderful tool for many reasons. Not only is it useful for what I have described above but it has many other uses as well. If you use the Variable Zigzag feature, for example, you can actually control the width of your stitch by the knee lifter!
I definitely was able to work on this quilt top with much more speed and accuracy because of the knee lifter!
Are you able to use a knee lifter with your machine? Do you use it regularly? What is your favourite way to use the knee lifter?