Get started with your new Janome sewing machine

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.

Janome Continental M7

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.

Get your new Janome sewing machine out of the box – with or without help!

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.

Janome Continental M7 Instruction Manual

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.

Janome Continental M7 home screen (with HP foot and needle plate attached)

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.

Janome Continental M7 Help screen

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.

Some of the feet which come with the Janome Continental M7. Note, some have their own foot holders integrated into the foot itself, like the (QR) Ruler Foot, (PDH) Darning Foot and HP Foot.

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.

Independent bobbin winder on the Janome Continental M7

Referring to your manual, find out how to insert the bobbin and “thread” it into the bobbin holder.

In Rotary hook/ lay in bobbin machines, the bobbin thread winds off to the left, threaded through the guides.

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”.

The bobbin thread should form a letter “p” when it is pulled from the bobbin before inserting it into the bobbin area.

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.

Needle at it’s highest point, ready for threading.

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.

Janome Continental M7 locked out and ready for threading

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?!

Needle plate removed on the Janome Continental M7

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.

Janome Continental M7 locked out and ready to press the icon on the LCD screen to remove needle plate.

Click here for a video detailing how to set up all these functions on the Janome Continental M7.

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.

About Kim Jamieson-Hirst

Quilting teacher, host at Chatterbox Quilts and The Quilter's Way, inspiring and encouraging quilters through education.
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6 Responses to Get started with your new Janome sewing machine

  1. Drew Hesling says:

    The machine is very nice, however, it way too expensive for me.


    • janomeman says:

      HI Drew, the Continental M7 is indeed a very nice machine, but, it’s not for everyone. Fortunately, Janome produces models in many price points, with a variety of features and accessories so everyone can choose a machine which is right for them. Happy Sewing!


  2. Kelly says:

    My Janome MB4 machine is behaving abnormally. When I power it up, it will not go into the home position but will immediately start sewing continuously at an high speed. The carriage unit will not move either. When this happens the presser foot will be seen in motion but will not reach down the needle plate. Also the RCS screen displays pop up interruptive and alternating messages that come and go . Repeatedly the machine will try to reset with ” Needle bar height out of position, press Ok to go into home position” but the diagnostic screen won’t accept any key entry to be performed as the screen has frozen and machine still in running mode. With the DC motor connected, no diagnostic test would be carried out but when a cable from the DC is disconnected all tests are carried out successfully. Is the behavior of the motor normal or could there be another issue that is causing this sudden unfruitful sewing?


    • janomeman says:

      HI Kelly, it sounds like this is time to take the machine to your Janome dealer/ authorized Janome service technician to help diagnose the reason for the trouble. When electronic signals get crossed it could be time to replace a board, or circuit, so a qualified service tech will be able to determine what’s going on.


  3. Deb says:

    I notice on my machine when I press the needle up and down to raise the needle to use the auto threader, it doesn’t actually go to its highest position for the threader to work, I need to turn the flywheel a little bit more manually to get it to its highest spot, then the threader will work. Do I have to bring it in for repair because of this or is there an adjustment I can make? Thanks.


    • janomeman says:

      HI Deb! This sounds like it could be a sensor issue, so yes, you’re best to take your machine into an authorized Janome service technician for a thorough look inside.


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