As a quilter, I don’t usually stitch with anything other than a ¼” seam but sometimes having a really-close-to-the-edge stitch can be helpful for some of my quilt projects. There’s a hack that I learned from Céline Ross, one of our wonderful Janome Canada educators, that will allow the Janome Continental M7 to stitch a really teeny, tiny seam and I want to share it with you.
The Janome Continental M7 and other top end Janome models come with the Janome HP foot (high performance) and HP needle plate, and sometimes even the Janome Professional Grade AcuFeed Flex HP2 foot. I love to use these feet for accurate ¼” seams but I’ve always wondered about that hole on the right of the foot.
With the Janome HP or HP2 foot and HP needle plate installed on the machine, the needle initially goes in and out of this little hole on the right of the foot, when the machine is switched on. This is centre needle position.
However, the Janome HP needle plate orients the needle to the LEFT needle position, so, right after the needle cycles in and out of the little hole of the foot, it swings over to the left, which corresponds with the long groove in the foot.
This is a good thing because that’s where it needs to be to stitch a really accurate ¼” seam. But I always wondered about that hole in the Janome HP and HP2 foot and it seems like the needle could be used in that location. But how?
On the Janome Continental M7, and other HP compatible machines, the needle plate rules. Janome has 3 needle plates for certain models; the Zigzag or Universal (regular) needle plate; the Straight Stitch needle plate (my go-to for free motion quilting); and the HP needle plate (to be used with the HP feet).
When one of these needle plates is installed, the machine “knows” what stitches it can and cannot make when that particular needle plate is on the machine.
So, for example, when the Straight Stitch needle plate is installed, you’ll only be able to select straight stitches. This avoids broken needles or damaging your machine or needle plate when you accidentally try to do a zigzag stitch with a straight stitch needle plate installed.
I love how the Janome Continental M7 is always looking out for me 😊
But what if I changed to a different needle plate when the Janome HP or HP2 foot was on the machine? If I change to the straight stitch needle plate, the needle reacts differently and will actually stay in that little hole in the HP or HP2 foot. This means that when I’m stitching, I’ll be stitching less than a ¼” – more like 1/8”.
With this combination of the Janome HP or HP2 foot and the straight stitch needle plate, I can stitch very close to the edge of my quilt or very close to the edge of an appliqué piece.
I recently used this needle plate and foot combination on the Janome Continental M7 to stitch very close to the edge of my quilt sandwich when I had created a pumpkin wall hanging project using the pillowcase method.
With this quilt sandwich method, there is an opening that needs to be stitched closed, usually by hand. By using the Janome HP foot and the straight stitch needle plate, I was able to stitch very close to the edge and close that opening with NO hand stitching! Brilliant!
If you like to make your quilts using the quilt-as-you-go technique, you might stitch your blocks together using sashing. You could use this combination of the Janome HP or HP2 foot and the straight stitch needle plate to get a stitch that is very close to the edge of the sashing, so it isn’t very noticeable, which is exactly what you want in this situation.
While I typically finish my appliqué pieces with a blanket or zigzag stitch (as in the project above), you could use this foot and needle plate combination to finish your appliqué pieces with a straight stitch just inside the appliqué edge.
For garment sewists, this set-up would work very well when you want a top stitch that is very close to the edge of your garment. It’s perfect for collars, hems, and cuffs!
I hope you’ll give this foot and needle plate combination a try on your Janome Continental M7; NEW Janome CM17; MC15000 Quiltmaker and updated versions; MC9450; MC9400; MC6700; MC6650 (with the regular HP foot, not the HP2 AcuFeed Flex foot); Indigo Skyline S9 and updated Skyline S9 V1 to see how well it works for your projects.
For a video showing how this hack works on the Janome Continental M7, click HERE.
Happy creating from Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.
Love this we started doing this 5 yrs ago! Learned on 9400. It makes perfect pintucks! That’s what we were figuring out at the janome store i work at!!
Great Janome minds think alike!!
Thank you sew much for sharing, Debra, and for sharing the Janome Love! Happy Sewing!
Thank you, Kim, for this excellent idea. I will be appliquéing a large wall hanging with many pieces and I will use your technique.