pic from Thread Riding Hood – Sherry is a Janome artisan in Toronto, Canada. Check out her blog……it is quite charming as well as very helpful.

As promised last month when we did a post about the various Janome applique feet options, here are some little secrets or tips + resources you might be unaware of:

  • We have mentioned this great website before on janomelife but if you missed it, you are in for a huge treat! has a staggering array of projects, tutorials and more …….and they use Janome machines for all their sewing too! Here is a great tutorial on APPLIQUE over at sew4home. 
  • And another on Sherry’s blog Thread Riding Hood. Yes, I do know Christmas has passed but perhaps you might like to get  ahead start on Christmas 2017??
  • Here is a video about how to use our Janome applique foot AP. This foot is also available for 7mm machine models. Please ask your local Janome dealer for the foot for your particular Janome machine model.
  • There are tons of video’s on You Tube covering many aspects of applique. Explore but do take care that you do eventually come up from that “rabbit hole”…….you might spend hours watching video’s and not get any sewing done!
  • We all tend to have our favourite techniques for doing something and also our favourite stitches. My favourite applique technique is the fusible web raw edge applique method. And my favourite stitch is the double blanket or applique stitch. This stitches one triple stitch on the straight and then swings out to the left (or I can mirror it to to the swing out to the right)  and back doing a double stitch on the “teeth” of the blanket stitch. I like this as it gives a bold look to my stitching.


  • You may notice in the pic above that I have adjusted the stitch settings: I reduced the stitch width to 2.5 from the default of 3.5. I am stitching here on the Janome MC9400 but this particular stitch may be found on many other Janome models.  I did this as I prefer a shorter applique stitch – the teeth are too long for me at 3.5 That is, of course, an entirely personal preference.
  • The stitch length on this particular stitch is 2.5. What does this mean? The distance between each sideways swing of the applique stitch is 2.5mm. I left this setting at the default but I have been known to adjust my settings to Sw2 and SL2 for a smaller applique stitch – when it suited my purposes for a specific project and very especially when doing heirloom pin stitching on  fine hierloom fabrics such as lawn and batiste. These sorts of projects call for smaller, finer stitches (and finer/thinner thread too).
  • If I was wanting the fabric (rather than the applique stitching around the edge of the fabric) to be the star of the show, I would select a matching or invisible thread and/or choose a different applique stitch which is not as bold – such as this one below/left. app1
  • This is an applique stitch but is fine and more delicate as it stitches 3 little straight stitches and a shorter sideways blanket stitch.
  • Now what about turning corners and achieving neat “turns”? It really does help if you have a Janome machine with the needle up/down function. Set the needle to stop in the down position so that when you need to turn a corner, you don’t loose your spot when you raise the presser foot to shift the fabric.
  • Even better yet is to have a Janome machine which has automatic presser foot lift and pivot function. Yes, this is a deluxe feature and may be found on some of our models: Janome Mc15000; Mc12000; Skyline S7 & S9 and the MC9400. Select pivot function/auto presser foot lift and when you reach the corner before turning, stop and the machine does it all automatically for you: It stops with the needle down, raises the presser foot and lets you pivot the fabric and be ready to roll down the next section of applique! NO need to manually raise & lower the presser foot, it does it automatically AND you may also be able to adjust the height at which it raises up depending on which Janome machine you have. This can be most helpful when you are doing applique on something thick like fleece or minkee or right through a quilt sandwich.
  • And there are more applique stitches availale. These 2 above are only the start. Depending on the Jnaome machine model you have, you may have as many as almost TWO DOZEN different applique stitches to choose from. And that is not counting using  other satin; decorative and heirloom
  • And wait…….there’s more! Does your Janome machine model have the Pattern restart or B icon? If so, you are indeed fortunate!  Before starting to sew again after pivoting the fabric, just press the B icon and it will reset the stitch pattern back to the start. This makes it much easier to turn corners and plan how the stitching will work out at the turn. We recommend you do some test stitch outs as the needle drops of various stitches are different and the result you want at the corner may vary……so experiment and know where you wish to stop the stitch and pick it up again at the start for the next side.


  • Another feature which I have noticed many people do not know about: Does your Janome have a stop/start button? Many of our Janome models do. If so, you are in for a treat: If you are sewing along towards a corner but want more control as you get near the turn, you might reach for the speed slider bar……and possibly have  a stitching “speed wobble” in the process as you “take your eyes off the road”.  All you need do is press the stop/start button and hold your finger on it. The speed of the machine slows right down to the slowest speed and allows you to very easily drop the needle exactly in the spot and on the part of the stitch pattern you require (see point above about turning corners neatly). Take your finger off the stop/start button and the needle stays down in that sweet spot you chose. Cool? We think so.
  • Now just press B after pivoting and you are off & running for the next section of applique.


Janome Skyline series sample made by Darian at Red Deer Sewing Centre, Alberta - lots of applique here.

Janome Skyline series sample made by Darian at Red Deer Sewing Centre, Alberta – lots of applique here.








pic from sew4home: an apron made by Nancy Fiedler of Janome America using applique as well as the Flower stitcher.







Now you are armed with some simple secrets to successful applique……..what applique project will you tackle today? 


Posted in APPLIQUE WITH JANOME | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments



Janome Canada is pleased to announce that Yvonne Menear has joined us as a part time Educator to assist us with selected events and shows here in Canada.  Yvonne is a talented and skilled lady whose sewing passion lies in embroidery and quilting software & Digitizing. Her workshops and lectures have included topics on quilting, machine embroidery, digitizing, basic computer skills, embroidery software and more.  Yvonne is also an Electric Quilt Instructor and author of the EQStitch companion book.  She has taught at Quilt Festival in Houston as well as at shows and dealer stores across North America.


Her Craftsy class on Classic Machine Embroidery is a “must watch” for any person wishing to learn very good information about machine embroidery.  Yvonne demonstrates these basic embroidery techniques on a Janome Embroidery machine too! Good news is that this Craftsy workshop is free. We have blogged about this before as we felt it was too good to not know about it!  check out this link.  And we also shone our janomelife spotlight on Yvonne some time back – here.  You might also want to check out her website.

6a0147e172ffab970b01b8d1973140970c-800wi  6a0147e172ffab970b01b7c80cfab7970b-800wiYvonne is a Freelance Educator well known in the Sewing and Embroidery world in Canada and beyond. She also has a loyal following of machine embroiderers who attend her popular Embroidery Club once a month in Langley, BC.

A big thank you to Yvonne who has digitized some lovely maple leaf designs especially to celebrate and use with our Canada 150 projects. These designs will be available soon as a free .jef format download from our website.  We will alert you when they are ready for downloading.  Please watch your inbox for notification of when these designs will be available. (Follow janomelife on the janomelife home page if you do not already do that – then you get automatic emails each time we publish a new post.)

Designs digitized by Yvonne and we rustled up this colourful and fun Canada 150 banner.

Designs digitized by Yvonne  and then stitched out and made up into a colourful and fun Canada 150 banner by Liz at the Janome Canada office.

Style #1

Style #1 – Quilting around the outline style embroidery has been done using the Janome Acufeed Flex AD foot which is our incredibly efficient  even feed system – SEW much more than a “walking” foot!

Style #2 with open weave contour fill. Liz digitized the micro stipple in Janome Digitizer MBX v for the background quilting in the hoop.

Style #2 with open weave contour fill digitized by Yvonne. The micro stipple in the background was digitized by Liz using Janome Digitizer MBX v5  for the quilting in the hoop.

Style #3 : textured stitch fills by Yvonne with echo scroll quilting in the background digitized by Liz using Janome Digitizer MBX v5 software.

Style #3 : textured stitch fills by Yvonne with echo scroll quilting in the hoop  in the background was digitized by Liz using Janome Digitizer MBX v5 software.

You have something exciting to look forward to and I’m sure you will want to meet Yvonne so look out for her at some Sewing & Quilting shows in Canada – on the Janome booth, of course!



Posted in Janome Educator, Janome Embroidery | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments



Gotta tell you something humourous…….So, this morning I wished him Happy Valentine’s Day. His reply was “Oh, is that what it is today?” I just laughed.  In all fairness, he had only just woken up and had not yet drunk his coffee! I might get chocolate yet, fingers crossed…..the day is young.

Thought I would give you some Valentine’s EYE candy today.

The table runner/wall hanging above was a fun project to make. The L-O-V-E was embroidered on our Janome embroidery machine ( the Janome MC15000). The designs used are just lovely: Artistic Embroidery Collection – Fontastic by Michael Miller. Check out the detail in the large size alphabet/monograms. Each design is at least 3 inches high – not so easy to find large monograms. Look no more……your Local Janome or Artistic Creative Products dealer can order these for you. I know we have inventory of this design CD here in Canada and check out this link to a previous janomelife post about these collections of designs.  




The quilting was done exclusively IN-THE-HOOP using the Janome Acufil quilting system on the Janome Mc15000 (Also available for Janome MC12000 and MC500E).  Here is a close up of …….you guessed right: quilted heart!

Not so easy to see it. Maybe I should have used a darker thread colour but I did not want to "overpower" the font embroidery.

Not so easy to see it. Maybe I should have used a darker thread colour but I did not want to “overpower” the font embroidery.

Never have go around to binding this wall hanging......bad girl. But I do like it as it is a collection of many appliqued hearts and well over 6 different techniques for botht he appliue and the quilting. I used janome Digitizer MBX for several differnt quilting-in=the-hoop techniques echo, stippling, etc) + Acufil quilting + regular free motion stippling and more.

Never have got around to binding this wall hanging……naughty me. But I do like it as it is a collection of many appliqued hearts  with  well over 6 different techniques for both the applique and the quilting. I used Janome Digitizer MBX for the digitizing of several different quilting-in-the-hoop techniques :echo, stippling, ambiance quilting, etc + Acufil quilting + regular free motion stippling and more.

Raw edge fusible web applique, echo/outline quilting + free mtoion in between the hearts.

Raw edge fusible web applique, echo/outline quilting + free motion in between the hearts.

raw edge machine applique, micro stippling aroundthe heartusing Janome Digitizer MBX Ambiance quilting function + heart dec stitching above in the border

raw edge machine applique, micro stippling around the heart using Janome Digitizer MBX Ambiance quilting function + heart dec stitching above in the border

Trite but cute? Machine hoop embroidery and dec stitching. I have always been a fan of the satin stitch hearts on many of our janome sewing machines!

Trite but cute? Machine hoop embroidery and dec stitching. I have always been a fan of the satin stitch hearts on many of our Janome sewing machines!

Well that is probably about enough cute-sie valentines stuff for one day……still waiting for the chocolate!

Posted in Janome creativity, Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Now that the New Year is fading in our memory and resolutions might be slipping a little, we wish to ………

  • Dare you to take time to sew; embroider; serge; use your Digital cutter; experiment with your embroidery software and generally sew up a storm!
  • Dare you to your dream up projects to sew and embroider
  • Dare you to complete these projects!

Before the holiday season, our Janome  machines probably worked really hard to make hand-made gifts… you know… we like to do that and they are often the msot popular gifts we give! And we know what you were sewing as you told us when you entered our janomelife Christmas book give-away. You were all very busy!

So it is probably a good time to remind you: Did you thoroughly clean out your machine after its hard work? Some fabrics leave a little stain from dye which needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap before you forget!







Remember also to remove the needle plate and the bobbin case to remove all lint and fluff which would have accumulated down there. It is quite normal  – just like dust collects in our homes! But it does need to be removed.

Many of our newer machines now have the fabulous one step needle plate remover button to removing the needle plate without having to use a screw driver to remove the screws.  SO much quicker and easier. This button pops the plate up  in an instant and when your cleaning is done, just click it back on.

One step needle plate removal button

One step needle plate removal button

Now….about oiling: you have the needle plate off and the bobbin case out. Take a look at the centre of the hook race – that is the metal cup area in which the bobbin case rests. Do you see the very centre is a little round part which looks like it might have lint stuck in it? See pic below. DO NOT REMOVE THIS. It is not lint or fluff. It is the wick for oil. Put ONE drop of good quality sewing machine oil onto this wick. The oil should NOT shlosh around all over like in a swimming pool! Oh no, then you have put way too much oil and you will have to mop it up with a paper towel. Just watch after putting ONE drop:  You may see one little bubble come to the surface of the wick as the oil soaks down into the wick. If you repeat this important step often, 1 drop is all that will be needed. But if you are a bit lazy with this task, you may need to do 2 drops this time. When one or 2 bubbles have popped up, you have enough oil. If no bubbles, then the wick was probably quite moist enough. And the oil should not overflow the wick area.

Yellow arrows points to where oil goes.

Yellow arrows points to where oil goes.

AND – this cleaning and oiling does NOT take the place of having your machine regularly servcied at your local Janome dealer. This oiling and house keeping is IN ADDITION to servicing your machine(s) at least once every 18 months – 2 years. Seriously……would you drive your car for 10-15 years without ever taking it to be serviced? Would you never put oil in your engine? Mmmmmm….didn’t think so!

I like these brushes as they halp me get out all that lint fluff that collects in my sewing machines and sergers. Ask your local janome dealer to order you oneof these.

I like these brushes as they help me get out all that lint & fluff that collects in my sewing machines and sergers. Ask your local Janome dealer to order you oneof these.

It is a good idea to replenish your supply of bobbins after a busy time of sewing. You can use the bobbin winder to refill your bobbins with Janome bobbin thread – which is thinner so is receomemnded for embroidery projects. (No-one like the feel of a bullet proof vest when the embroidery is complete so do use appropriate threads).  This Janome bobbin thread is available from your local Janome dealer in large cones and smaller spools as well packets of  prewound boobins:


Janome bobbin thread is available at your local Janome dealer.

Part #’s are as follows:  

300m: # 200921781 (white)

800 meters: # 27-J-209-1  (Black)

1,600 meters: # 27-J-208 – 16C (white)

20,000m:  # 770433004  (white) 120wt thread so very thin – great for embroidery asit is polyester and smooth and strong. 

# PWBOBBIN -W  (white)  or #PWBOBBIN-B (black)



Did you know this? Each bobbin contains 80 yards = 74 meters. And the special machines that wind our pre-wounds do it much tighter than our sewing machines wind so more thread is contained on a pre-wound than on a self wound bobbin. 


Now you are all set to start sewing up a storm again? Well we hope so!

This post courtesy of Celine over at Vie Janome – translated into English and edited slightly.


Posted in Janome Embroidery, Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments


Do you? I guess most of us have, at some point or another, taken out a needle and thread and sewed on a button that came off in the wash or whatever.  But we really don’t have to do this! Our Janome sewing machines can do it for us. Some models have  a specific button sewing stitch included in the many stitches on the machine. Some do not……but you can still sew a button on by machine – see below for instructions.


Let’s investigate this link:  JANOME BUTTON SEWING FUNCTION AND T FOOT.


  1. Look at the stitch chart on your Janome machine: Does it have a stitch that looks like stitch #12 in the pic below? Yes? Then you have the special button sewing stitch I am referring to!


  • Select this button sewing stitch.
  • If you do not have this stitch program, then select the zig-zag stitch, reduce the stitch length to 1 or below and adjust the stitch width so that it is going to zig-zag from one hole to the other hole on the button without striking the button.






  • Does your button have 4 holes? No worries, just do the following steps twice:  for 2 holes & repeat for the other 2 holes. It’s your choice as to whether you do parallel bars or a criss-cross.


  • What if my button has  a shank or is some other fancy button without holes? Then you will need to go look for that needle and thread.




  •  Drop the feed dogs on your machine if this is possible. It is a feature with most of our Janome machines. If you are not a quilter or don’t do much darning/mending, you might need to open up your instruction manual to figure out where the switch or lever is on your particular Janome machine to drop the feed dogs. Why do you need to do this? Well, when you are sewing the button in place you don’t want it moving and it will if the feed dogs are up! That could result in a broken needle or button or both so this step is important.
  • Now attach the Janome Button sewing foot T  to the ankle or foot holder of your machine. Please consult this link to see the part # for the button sewing foot for your model or ask your local Janome or Elna Dealer.   There are also video’s on this link which you can watch to see how it works. This is what the T foot looks like:

    Janome button sewing foot

    Janome button sewing foot

  • This foot is available for 5mm, 7mm and 9mm Janome machine models – so there are 3 different part #’s to choose from.
  • Please note that it attaches to the ankle in 2 spots: behind the ankle as well as in front. This is very similar to the way the applique foot attaches to the foot holder/ankle.
  • The blue rubber part of the foot is designed well: it holds the button in place once you have lowered the presser foot on top of the button.
  • Select the button sewing stitch program or zig -zag as mentioned in steps 1 or 3 above.
  • Position the needle, button and foot so that the needle goes into the one hole on the button & then will swing to the other hole after a few anchoring stitches. I prefer to hand crank this part just to be very sure that I have lined everything up correctly as I really am not keen to break my needle, button or both!
  • When you are confident all is good, press the stop/start button or foot control and continue until the sewing locks/ties off and stops. Press the thread snips button and the threads will be cut for you.  Yes, it is all fully automatic if you have this button sewing program and thread snips button!
  • If you do not have these features, your local Janome or Elna dealer will be happy to show you another Janome or Elna machine which does have these great features! It really is all about having the tools and “bells & whistles” needed to make our sewing that much easier.
  • If you are using a zig-zag stitch, you will need to stop sewing once you have sewed enough stitches/thread to hold the button in place through many washes. Then change the width of the zig-zag stitch to zero which means that the needle will swing back to the first hole. Sew a couple of stitches to lock & then cut the threads.


Now that looks real quick & easy, does it not?  See your local Janome or Elna dealer today to obtain a button sewing foot for your Janome machine.


Posted in Janome Accessories, Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments


Janome Canada is real happy to announce that 2 new tote bags that you have been asking for, have arrived and are now available at your local Janome or Elna dealer.



The first bag is a generous big bag for toting around your Janome MC500E or MC450E. So if you are planning to take this fabulous embroidery only machine to classes or a quilt/ embroidery retreat, this bag is probably exactly what you need. And we know many of you have been waiting for this! It is worth the wait. Check it out: It is big, sturdy and will protect your embroidery machine as you travel. It measures 20×26 inches x 17 inches high + the 4 wheels on the bottom of the bag (makes it 21 inches high in total)……so like I said, it is generous.


Great big outside zippered pocket

Great big outside zippered pocket

Sturdy handles on each end for lifting into the car?

Sturdy handles on each end for lifting into the car?




Showing the inside of the roller tote with cushioning foam straps

Showing the inside of the roller tote with cushioning foam,  straps and inside pockets

It has good, strong wheels and a telescoping handle for pulling along. It has 3 pockets inside (1 big mesh pocket with zipper)  for hoops and other embroidery goodies as well as straps for locking the Embroidery machine in place. And we like the contemporary black & white “orange peel” styling. The  bag has cushioning thick foam at the bottom as well as strong sides on all 4 sides and the top. The zipper opens up at the top and all the way down to the wheels for ease of getting your embroidery machine in & out. Really well designed.

This roller tote is also compatible with the Janome 400E and Janome 450E.  In all honesty, it could work for a bunch of different carry-around needs being so big and sturdy. It could easily fit TWO regular sewing machines + a bunch of sewing stuff. Or you could use it as a laundry hamper if you have to walk to the laundrette………….just saying.

artistic edge 15

The other bag has also been eagerly awaited by many of you and I know these are going to fly out the door so be sure to ask your local Janome, Elna or Artistic dealer to order you one before they sell out! Seriously……I flipped with delight when I opened up mine. NOW I have a fabulous carry tote with 2 wheels on the bottom of the one end to protect my Artistic Edge 15 Cutter when I am on the move. And I am so grateful to now have this fabulous new bag as the box that my cutter originally came in has travelled so much with me over the last few years that it is a miracle it even lasted this long. It is so patched up with packaging tape that I am pleased to be able to toss the box and replace it with this lovely tote:


This shows the tote opened up to revela the edge nestled in the cushioning foam and held in place with a velcro strap.

This shows the tote opened up to reveal the Edge 15 cutter nestled in the cushioning foam and held in place with a velcro strap. It will also accommodate the Artistic Edge 12 cutter as it has an extra piece of foam for this purpose.

Pockets on the inside lid

Pockets on the inside lid

Clever spot to store carry the cutting mats!

Clever spot to store and  carry the cutting mats!

Have cutter....ready to travel!!!

Have cutter….will travel!!!

The tote bag is a very pleasant light airforce blue colour with embroidered edge name & logo on the top. It also has a little name/address badge pocket with clear window on the outside of the bag.


The tote has 2 wheels & measures 32 x 10 x 10 inches with sturdy zipper which opens up 2 sides of the tote for easy access to the Edge cutter. This tote will accommodate either the Artisic Edge 15 or 12  inch Digital cutters. There is sturdy pressed foam inside to accommodate both sizes. There are also 2 large mesh zipper pockets in the lid as well as 2 more pockets on the inside of the tote. I was also super pleased to see a clever system for tucking the 12×12 or 15×15 cutting mats into the lid of the tote for easy and safe storage & moving. Lots of storage possibilities for all our cutter accessories.

This is PERFECT for taking to classes, retreats, the cabin, Scrapbooking crops/parties and more.



Posted in Janome and Artistic tote bags | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


pic Pinterest: from

pic Pinterest: from

Well, it sure is that time of the year where we take stock of our lives, what we do, and what we’d like to do moving forward. There is often the making of all sorts of New Year’s resolutions. Have you managed to stick to yours if you made some? Mmmmmm……maybe not? …….. I know I suck at that. Not because I don’t mean them when I make them. Just because life is so busy that things get crowded out. Perhaps one of my resolutions needs to be to simplify and downsize my work and activities?

I am currently downsizing my home, so with moving to something smaller, came the dire necessity for decluttering; sorting, donating to charities and local thrift stores, etc. While it has been a lot of work, it has been (still is) a good feeling to rid myself of a lot of stuff that, in all honesty,  I have no idea why I was keeping anyway!

No, this is not my sewing room. This is a pic on Pinterest: featuring Fabric designer Holly Degroot.

No, this is not my sewing room. This is a pic on Pinterest: featuring Fabric designer Holly Degroot.

I am planning a new sewing room – of course. The room will be renovated prior to us moving in and it will be a good deal smaller than my current sewing room. I have had to think in terms of how I wish to store my sewing and quilting stashes and tools moving forward. I have been researching to try to gain some ideas and it has been enlightening. I thought I would share some of my discoveries:

  • Pinterest is just wonderful for seeing how other people store their sewing and crafting supplies.  Amazing how clever some people are! It is quick and easy to “pin” a bunch of ideas and sewing room arrangements that might work for you – to return later to hone the ideas and select the ones to implement. It struck me, while doing this, that  prior to Pinterest, I had pulled articles or pictures out of magazines and kept these in folders or binders – mostly these were hardly ever looked at again…….and just used up space and gathered dust!  Trust me, my paper recycling bin is overflowing. It is SO much easier and takes up a whole lot less space to have a Pinterest Board devoted to storage ideas. Brilliant!
  • Pic on Pinterest: chabbychicideas

      Pic on Pinterest:
  • I plan on trying very hard (If I call this a resolution, am I doomed to failure?) to keep working surfaces clear of clutter. Instead of the current tins and containers holding scissors and pens etc on my work surface, I am going to put these on a shelf away from – but within easy reach – of my working surfaces.  Along this line, I think I might finally get to making a fabric & clear plastic vinyl pocket system to hang in front of my sewing tables so that all the clutter next to my sewing machines is more manageable. Lots of lovely ideas for these on Pinterest and the beauty is that this sewing/storage mat can be customized to exactly what I need at my sewing/quilting and my serger/coverhem machine tables. (no, I don’t have fancy cabinets).
  • Another option might be to hang one of those over the door or closet organizers with pockets on the wall next to these tables to keep all these things handy? The trick is to declutter but not have to get up out of my chair to go get a pair of scissors or a tape measure…….so it does require some thought and planning.
Pic on Pinterest:

Pic on Pinterest:

Part # is SS-200B for the blue Over the Door Organizer. If you prefer a red one, part # is SS-200R. Both of these storage items are available through your local Jnaome or Elna dealer in Canada. I have just checked - we have inventory of both colours!

Part # is SS-200B for the blue Over the Door Organizer. If you prefer a red one, part # is SS-200R. Both of these storage items are available through your local Janome or Elna Dealer in Canada. I have just checked – we have inventory of both colours (Contents of the pockets in this pic are obviously not inlcuded)


I have both a red and a blue one of these over the door storage organizers. I have scarves stored in 1  behind a bedroom door and the other is empty for over the back of my sewingroom door at my new house…..ready to be filled with all those miscellaneous pieces of equipment and sewing supplies which I need to get at easily but don’t want cluttering up my work surfaces. Like these Organizers? Ask your local Janome or Elna Dealer in Canada to order for you.

  • I like to have a separate work station for my various sewing activities: pressing, cutting, serging, sewing, quilting, and storage.
  • The space under cutting and pressing tables is often a wasted area so I have put this to very good use with banks of those plastic drawers on wheels for various things like: ribbon, zippers, buttons, elastic, etc. They are not in my way, cluttering up working space but are close by when I need to dip into them.
pic on Pinterest: Great idea to use kitchen style hooks for pots kitchen utensils to hand sewing supplies at the side of the cutting table.

pic on Pinterest:    What a great idea to use kitchen style hooks for pots and kitchen utensils to hand sewing supplies at the end of the cutting table.

  • In a similar way: make use of all available space: vertical space for thread racks, pin boards, etc. And horizontal space for shelves, drawers and working surfaces.
Pic on Pinterest: M J Trimming

Pic on Pinterest:  from M& J Trimming

  • Drawer dividers are very useful for keeping things in one spot for easy access. It is annoying to have to empty out an entire drawer just to find one thing –  I think rummaging is counter productive to creativity.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on custom made draw dividers either: Figure out what you need divided up and repurpose kitchen boxes and containers. Even chocolate boxes work great. Also scout out your local $ store or thrift store which often has really cool and inexpensive tins, plastic boxes & trays etc which might work well for this purpose. For example, a desk tin for pens & pencils might become a great place to stand all your scissors or marking pens. Pinterest also has some great tutorials for making your own custom drawer dividers.
Pic on Pinterest:

Pic on Pinterest:

  • Photo Storage boxes are attractive and inexpensive and often have a little slot on the end so you can label what is in the box. Stack these up on a shelf or in a closet……everything neatly in its place? I have already started collecting a bunch of these photo boxes to line up on shelves. Not sure my new sewing room will be quite as pretty and colour co-ordinated as the first pic in this post, but it will still look nice and tidy. Well, that is the plan.

Pic on Pinterest:

  • Clear glass or plastic containers are a great way to store buttons, ribbons and so on. I have quite a few clear plastic or glass jars in my sewing room holding a wide range of items. (These were previously kitchen items >> look at thrift and $ stores – you might be amazed at what you will find that will work perfectly for a fraction of the cost). Lined up on a shelf, these can be a neat design feature…….like a candy store for sewers?


  • This one is a bit of a double edged sword:  Keep your projects in separate bags or boxes. Mmmmm, well yes, I have already done that for many years but if the UFO situation gets a bit out of control, there can be a danger of becoming (literally) buried under too many boxes. But the good news is: Not every project should be completed. Do I need to repeat that? Seriously, in this great purge currently under way in my home, I have been pretty ruthless. If I can’t remember why I stashed certain fabric and thread together in a box, it got culled. Fabric was dealt with as follows: keep/thrift store/give away/sell online and thread was put back into circulation.  One rather good New Year’s resolution should/could be: Limit the number of UFO’s/project boxes at any one time to …….?  If you are feeling very smug round about now because you only ever have ONE project on the go and only ever buy fabric & supplies for that one project…..well, it might be wise to keep that to yourself or a project box might come flying towards you! LOL.
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  • One thing I recently discovered was that I had boxes and Rubbermaid storage tubs containing fabric that I had forgotten I purchased. Seriously. When people talk quietly behind their hands about those TV shows about hoarders, I get a little uncomfortable. I am nowhere near as bad as those poor folk on the TV shows, but it starts somewhere, does it not? So this trend is currently being radically nipped in the bud! Lots of fabric and other stuff  has already left my home and more is on its way out the door.  So here is a possible plan for moving forward: store the fabric stash in plain sight. On shelves or in wire basket drawers or neatly stacked in one of those pigeon hole type shelf systems (pic above).  If you see it, the theory is you won’t forget you have it and may be tempted to actually sew it up into a project!
  • Work out some sort of storage system for your fabric: there are great ideas on Pinterest and many books available on this subject. Colours? Fabric types (cotton, knits, poly’s, minkee, etc) Styles (batiks, panels, novelty print fabrics)? Whatever works for you. But be sure it is a system that allows you to be creative and not get stopped in your tracks because you cannot find what you need. Avoid having to empty the entire closet to get to the fabric at the bottom! Figure out a good way to store.
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  • If you have a closet in the sewing room, fabrics and other sewing supplies can be hung/pegged onto hangers and kept on the garment rail. Hang suitable patterns over the hanger hook for projects-in-the-making.


OK, I’m about to load up the car with another load for the thrift store.  Been a double whammy as I did the same process at the office and tossed mounds of stuff there too. I’m feeling pretty good about all this radical decluttering and reorganization. 

Do you do this purging on a regular basis? Or do you not need to do anything as your space is tidy and organized already? Or do you, like me, think that it is high time to do something about the (minor!) chaos in the sewing room? 

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Reverse Appliqué for Valentine’s Day


Am I the only one who is finding it hard to believe that we are almost through the first month of 2017?

And a few weeks out from Valentine’s Day?

While you can certainly use the reverse appliqué technique at any time of the year, I love using it for heart shaped applications.

I made this cute, little, lined tote using basic construction methods. The panels are 12 x 13 inches and it has batting sandwiched in-between so I could do a little quilting. The handles were 4 inches wide by 12 inches long and then folded (like binding).

Reverse appliqué is a fun technique and I love the finish.

Often times I might opt for a raw edge finish when I appliqué as a turned edge sometimes seems a bit finicky. But reverse edge appliqué is efficient and gives a nice finished look.


To start I found a heart image that I wanted to use and printed it out on paper. I used this as a template to cut out a piece of fusible webbing.


My heart shaped fusible webbing was centred on the front panel of my tote and then ironed/fused to the wrong-side of the front panel.


Leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch border, I cut out the inside of my heart.


I made cut marks all the way around the edge of the fusible webbing so that I would be able to turn the edge back easily and then removed the paper for the fusible webbing.


And pressed the edges back to the wrong side with a hot iron.


When you turn the front panel over you can see you have a nice finished edge.


Because I wanted to use this cute fabric, I did a fussy cut finish (this is where you cut the piece of fabric so that a particular part of the printed design is centred/featured).


And sandwiched it between the front panel and batting.


At this point I remembered something I read recently on the Janome Life blog. Liz shared her favourite appliqué foot.



In her post, she talked about two feet she likes to use: the Button Sewing Foot – T (left) and the Open Toe Sewing Satin Stitch Foot – F2 (right). Liz mentioned that you can take the little blue part comes off the end of the latter and it becomes very versatile for appliqué.


I admit, I don’t utilize my sewing machine feet as much as I should but this seemed like a great opportunity to try a new appliqué method.

dsc_3885dsc_3887Well – let me tell you, it works like a charm! It made navigating those curved edges so easy.

Sheesh, I remember a quilt I did this time last year with appliqué. If only I had used the proper sewing machine foot! Lesson learned.

I finished the back of my tote with some diagonal straight line quilting. dsc_3893Now my Reverse Appliqué Valentine’s Day tote is ready to fill with sweet treats for my favourite girls. dsc_3889

Have you tried reverse appliqué? What is your go-to appliqué method? Be honest, how many feet on your sewing machine have you tried out?

Posted in APPLIQUE WITH JANOME | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment



I have shared pics of the lovely projects the customers at Langley Vacuum and Sewing in Langley, BC do each Christmas. To review: Trudy and her staff pack up little kits with Christmas fabric and (for 2016) they added bits of ribbon, beads, braid, lace  etc. Customers “purchase” these kits but all the money received goes to an orphanage in Kenya, Africa that Trudy and her customers have been supporting for many years.


Each customer is asked to make any project they wish from the fabric and bits & bobs in the kit. They may add other fabric etc to it but should try to use most or all of the fabric in the kit.  These are revealed at our Janome Club Christmas meeting in late November in a wonderful Show & tell event. Then all items are given a number and are displayed in the store until January. Every customer coming into the store: men, children, non-sewing ladies……everyone, is asked to vote for their favourite item on display. The winner is revealed at our next Janome Club meeting – this will be next month/February.


We will also have a bonus winner in February as the randomly selected winner of the 2 books in the Christmas janomelife giveaway was won by a loyal and long time customer of Langley Vacuum & Sewing: DonnaMae W. I am looking forward to handing her prize over to her – she sews so much and so beautifully for many other people in her family + for friends as well as for various charities. You can imagine that I was real thrilled when her number came up – She so deserves to get something!


So ……enjoy the eye candy (above & below) of the wonderful assortment of items the Langley Vacuum and Sewing customers made for the 2016 Christmas Challenge.




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You may not be aware of the fact that Janome has a wonderful line of sergers + coverhem machines. We thought a review of these would be a good place to start with the regular posts we have planned for the coming months of 2017 on Janome sergers, serger techniques, serger feet & accessories etc.


This 5 thread serger is our top of the line 3-in-1 serger. It does all the normal serging functions like 3, 4 and 5 thread seam finishing as well as rolled hems, flat lock, a fabulous blanket stitch edging, etc. It also has coverhem (2 thread and 3 thread as well as chain stitch. But wait….there’s more: it also has TOP COVER which simulates a double sided interlocking stitch so that you only need do 1 pass for the look of industrial style double coverhem stitching…….and you can achieve this at affordable Janome pricing!  AND it has our wonderful automatic tension resetting system. Check out this link for more info.


This Janome 1100D is the little sister of our 1200D above. It has many of the same great features and functions: it is a 4 thread serger with easy stitch program selection and smooth, top quality operation. Check out this link for more information.

And here is a link to a bunch of video tutorials including an intro to the 1100D (above) + how to use many of the serger attachments.  


The Janome 1110DX is a total “work – horse”. It has been around for many years….it is so good we can’t replace it with another serger. This is the one which is found in many schools as it is so solid, sturdy and reliable. Check out this link for more information.


This is a great budget 4 thread model with wrap around thread tension discs an Janome reliability at great pricing. Check out this link for more info.


This is one of our newer models: the Four DLM serger in our M series of machines. It is a 4 thread serger with lay-in tension threading. Check out this link for more info. Look for Four DLM under Products > Sergers


This is our famous Coverhem machine : the Janome Cover Pro 2000 CPX. It works and feels just like a regular sewing machine with the very wide throat for any & all sewing projects – no need to fiddle with trying to squeeze bulky projects through the tiny space on competitor serger models. SO easy to thread as there is only 1 looper: the chain stitch looper. This machine does 2 & 3 thread coverhem and chain stitch so is a simply fabulous addition to the sewing room as it is a dedicated coverhem machine – no more switching back & forth between regular serging and coverhem. Check this out for more information.

What serger do you have? Is it working for you? Or is it time to upgrade to a reliable and affordable Janome serger or coverhem machine? See your local Janome dealer today for a demonstration on the models listed above. 




Posted in JANOME CPX COVERPRO SERGER, JANOME SERGERS | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments