Gifts from the Heart – Labels

How many times do quilters/sewists give away their precious quilts without adding a label? In our haste to complete a project and gift to it’s recipient, I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of neglecting to sew on a label with our name, and any specific information about the quilt as a record of posterity. Historically, quilts were rarely “signed”, but, fortunately for us, our modern day Janome machines help make the process quicker and easier with some added creative flare.

Janome MC 9450QCP

I used my beloved Janome MC9450 QCP to create, then saved this label to the machine’s memory so I always have it for future use. You can also opt to save your label information onto an external Flash Drive. Many Janome machines have built-in memory; capable of storing a number of stitch pattern combinations. Your machine’s instruction manual will provide details if it has this capability. With the Janome MC9450 QCP, you can program up to 100 stitch patterns in one combination. That’s a big label! lol!

On the LCD screen, choose the Decorative Stitch icon – the two sideways Ss/curly cues.

You will then have a menu of all the decorative stitch categories; Applique; Heirloom; Quilt; Satin, etc. Flip to the second page by pressing the arrow on the bottom right of the screen to find the Pictograph stitch category. There are 4 pages of lots of fun, fanciful stitches, including sewing words written/ digitized in calligraphy. Your machine may have more or less of theses stitches, depending on which model you have.

To combine stitch patterns, select the Program Key – Heart, Spade, Diamond icon along the top ribbon on the LDC screen.

I chose the spool of thread, which on the Janome MC9450 QCP, is P#24. If your machine has this stitch, it may be a different number, depending on the number of stitches of your model of a machine. When looking at the icon of stitch P#24, in the above photo, you’ll notice the thread coming off the spool towards the bottom. However, I wanted to flip the spool so the thread starts winding off at the top. There are so many editing functions built-in to the machine, so that task was easily done!

Choose the Horizontal Mirror key – half moon shaped icon – in order to flip the image so the stitch starts with the thread winding off the spool at the top. There is also a Vertical Mirror key, which would flip the spool of thread so the thread starts off to the right instead of the left. You have lots of design choices!

Continuing with the sewing theme, I added the Scissors stitch P#25, then selected the Decorative Stitch icon again to select a different stitch category. In the Play category, I chose the PL#10 “Handmade” stitch, then returned to the Pictographs category to select P#23, the needle stitch, and another spool of thread, stitch P#24. To complete the pattern combination, I selected the Lock Stitch function – LS bullseye icon – which will automatically secure the threads at the end of the line of stitching. No need to second-guess when to stop stitching, you can program the Lock Stitch at the end of your line of stitching so the machine will do it all for you. You can even program in the Settings menu to have the automatic scissors trim the threads once the lock stitches are complete.

Click inside the screen to preview your design. You can go back to edit and reorder the stitch patterns if they’re not the way you’d like them. Once you are happy with the design, X out and return to the main screen. You are now ready to sew!

I like to prepare my fabric by stiffening it a little using spray starch, but you could also use Terial Magic, available from Janome Dealers. Iron the fabric so it’s crisp and wrinkle-free. Be sure to also use a stabilizer on the back to help support all the decorative stitches. I used a lightweight Madeira stabilizer, also available from Janome Canada dealers.

You can use any thread you wish, but I like to use the 40wt Hilos Iris Polyester Ultra Brite thread to add strength and a bit of sparkle.

Using the Janome Satin Stitch F foot, I lined up the red arrow on the foot with a temporary line I drew on the fabric to follow to keep the stitching straight. The groove in the underside of the foot allows the decorative stitches to form and pass easily under the foot. Remember, when sewing decorative stitches, let the machine do the work! Don’t pull on the fabric while sewing!

Don’t forget to save your newly created stitch file so you can stitch out your label as needed at a later date. Select the File Save key – folder with arrow IN icon along the top of the LCD screen.

You can select and save in the machine’s memory bank, or, you can insert a Flash Drive into the USB port in the side of the machine and select the Flash Drive Icon to save your stitch file there. Click the Rename key – pencil icon – and an alphabet will show up to name your label so it’s easier to retrieve later. Don’t worry, your instruction manual walks you through this process.

Press OK once completed and you’re good to go!

OK, so now lets do your name.

Choose the large A icon which will bring you to the built-in Fonts. The Janome MC9450 QCP has 7 alphanumeric fonts from which to choose. Choose one you like.

You can choose Small or Large letters; Upper and Lower case. It’s good to stitch some test samples, and experiment to see what works best. When using the small letters, it’s sometimes easier to read and easier to stitch out by using a finer thread; like a 60 or 80 wt thread. It’s also helpful to add a little space in between the letters. You can add a space wherever you need to by clicking the Space key – dotted rectangle icon – in whatever size space you want, Small, Medium or Large.

Now you are ready to sew your name along the temporary guideline underneath your first row of decorative stitches. Don’t forget to save your name in another file for future use.

Remove any stabilizer from the back that is not needed, trim your label to size and you are ready to sew onto your quilt so everyone will know and remember your gift from the heart.

Happy Quilting!


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4 Responses to Gifts from the Heart – Labels

  1. meemasews says:

    Thank you. A lot easier then setting up the embroidery. Do love my 15000 though it can make petite patches with its tiny embroidery letters. hugs Juanita

    Smiles are contagious.



  2. Debbie Franz says:

    Hi Monique. I have 9900 Janome I love the machine but I was wondering if there is a Janome that you can upload different fronts and border that you don’t have to use a hoop? I know a lot of people would love to know this or learn how to save to their present machines.


    • janomeman says:

      HI Debbie, several Janome models; MC9400, MC9450, Skyline S7, Skyline S9, MC15000, Continental M7, for example come with the Janome Stitch Composer software which allows you to create your own unique stitch patterns and import them into the machine with a USB flash drive via the USB port in the side of the machines. They stitch out in Ordinary Sewing, not Embroidery Mode, so the embroidery hoop is not required. Stitch Composer is not available as a separate purchase; it comes with the machines listed above, so if you did not want to purchase a new machine, perhaps a sewing friend has the software and would let you borrow it to create stitches which you could save to a USB stick and import into your machine. Happy Sewing!


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