It’s finally Spring, a time for new beginnings! This made me think about how exciting it can be to get a new Janome sewing machine and start your journey with it, but…it also made me think about sewists and quilters who buy a new machine and are afraid to start using it.
I get it. A new machine can be a bit intimidating, but if you don’t start using it when you get it home, you’ll never enjoy the many benefits of a Janome sewing machine.
I have suggestions to get you over that initial hesitation and into enjoying your new machine. While I’ll be refer to the Janome Continental M7, the same steps apply to most Janome sewing machines.
First, take it out of the box! I guess that’s kind of obvious, but when you take it and the accessories out of the box, I suggest you lay them out on the floor or a large table. Find the Instruction Manual and check off all the parts to be sure they are all included and aren’t damaged. If you are missing parts, contact your Janome retailer immediately so they can get replacement ones for you.
Now that the machine and accessories are out of the box, you can put the machine on your sewing table or cabinet and then it’s time to power up the machine. Find your power cords, refer to the machine manual, and get everything connected and plugged into an electrical outlet. Keep your manual close by because you’ll need to refer to it again soon.
Next, it’s time for that magic moment when you turn the machine on! It’s one step closer to being ready to sew or quilt.
You’ll need to learn a few more things before you can start creating with your Janome sewing machine: how to put on and take off presser feet, wind a bobbin, insert a bobbin, and how to thread the needle are the key ones. Find the appropriate pages in your manual to do these items, then practice so you become comfortable with how to do these essential things. With the Janome Continental M7, you can also find most of this information on the LCD display screen on the machine, which I find helpful.
To start, check in your manual to find out how to attach the presser foot holder and presser feet. Most presser feet on the Janome Continental M7 are snap on style, which will fit on the “regular” foot holder, but some presser feet have their own foot holder built-in. If you have the Janome AcuFeed Flex system on your machine, make sure you practice attaching the feet that work with this system as it can be a bit tricky at first. Practice will help you feel comfortable with attaching any of the feet included with your machine.
I suggest you wind a few bobbins with the thread you usually use for your projects (you can never have too many wound bobbins!) so that you are confident in how to do this.
Referring to your manual, find out how to insert the bobbin and “thread” it into the bobbin holder.
Practice this a few times to be sure you know how to do it, ensuring that you have the bobbin inserted the correct way. This is essential to your machine making that perfect stitch. Janome machines with the lay-in/ top-loading bobbin holders, the thread tail should hang off the bobbin to the left to create a letter “p”, rather than a number “9”.
Front loading/ Oscillating hook machines with a separate metal bobbin case will do the opposite; the thread will wind off to the right, forming the number “9”.
Now that the bobbin is in the machine, there’s another thread area that you need to address and that is how to thread the machine. You may have an automatic needle threader on your machine, and if you do, you’ll need to refer to your manual to learn how to use it.
On the Janome Continental M7, which I use, some quilters/sewists have issues with this feature, largely due to not following the directions accurately. You need to have the needle at its highest position (if you have a needle up/down feature, press it so the needle is down and then press again to raise the needle to its highest point) before starting the threading process.
You need to LOCK the Janome Continental M7 by pressing the “Key” icon on the sidebar menu. This will put the presser foot down, which can seem strange if you are used to having the presser foot up when you thread your machine, but don’t worry, this is how threading this machine, and many others, works.
You are then ready to thread the machine ensuring that the thread goes through all the proper thread guides and tension discs. Again, refer to your Instruction Manual for threading instructions. You’ll use the Needle Threader Lever on the side of the machine to insert the thread through the needle eye.
Note that the automatic needle threaders is designed to be used with needles which are 70/10 or higher, and for threads not thicker than 30wt.
Practice this several times so you are confident that you know how to thread the machine properly and can thread the needle without any issues.
Find out how to remove the needle plate on your Janome sewing machine. Your manual will show you how to do this and once it’s off, learn how to clean the bobbin area, which you’ll be doing frequently, right?!
This is really easy and fun to do on the Janome Continental M7 as you just lock the machine, push an icon on the LCD display screen and the needle plate automagically lifts up for removal.
Once you’ve learned these essentials, you’ll be ready to explore all the other features and are off to a new beginning with your Janome sewing machine
Happy creating from Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.