Colour Your Embroidery Designs

I love using my Janome 15000 machine to create large embroidery designs.  There are many built in designs in the machine for this, or I have the option of  using designs from elsewhere.  The large GR hoop  (300 mm x 230 mm) can accommodate any large design I want to make.


My favorite type of large design for the embroidery hoop is a redwork style of design. These designs are linear in composition and have large open areas where I can color with my fabric markers or my water color pencils.  My favorite fabric pens are dual tipped for small and large areas to color and are made by Tsukineko.

Fabrico Markers

Large designs do not need to be completely filled in with color.  I can just highlight certain areas with color.  The design itself has enough stitch detail.  The large GR hoop embroidery designs in my Janome MC15000 machine are a triple stitch design that continuously sews with very few parts that need to start and stop.  This means that although they are large in size they stitch fairly fast.

redwork girl

Redwork designs are usually done on solid colored fabrics.  Printed fabric would not show the stitches of the design as well.  If I  know I want to paint the fabric later I choose either white or muslin fabric for the background.  Muslin fabric will give a softer, more muted color to the fabric markers, while white fabric will allow the boldest color choices to pop out against the fabric.

fabric painting

Coloring has a calming effect on the mind.  This is very Zen like in nature.  It helps us to relax.  So, I can recommend you try stitching something simple and color away your stresses!



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Quilty Target Toss – Part 2 of 2

15 Edits girls game

We’ve been highlighting some of the projects in the recently released Janome Lookbook. Two weeks ago I shared with you how to start making this fun Quilty Target Toss game and today I’m back to share with you how to make the targets.

Part 1’s post left off with the sandwiched quilt top sewn together. From there you can stitch in the ditch to quilt your top.

Next up is creating the targets! You can customize this area of your target toss game in so many different ways. If the recipient likes flowers and girlie things, this is perfect! But maybe they would like something sports related? Or what about for the young ones who are learning shapes, you could do a square, a triangle, a circle… the list goes on! Whatever you make the targets, just make sure you are considering something with a simpler outline as you will have to appliqué around it!

I was inspired to create wonky flowers as the targets for this toss game because it was fun and the colours seemed to suit my two nieces, who I made this for, to a “t”!

03 Edits girls game

There are five targets on my game but you can add more or less. You can also make the targets different sizes to increase or decrease the skill level of this game!

To add stability and to fuse your targets to your quilt, I applied Steam-a-Seam Lite to the back of the fabric. Trim your fabric to the desired shape – but don’t cut out the inside hole that you will use for the target toss just yet! But do mark the circle where you will make your hole for your game.

Follow the instructions on the Steam-a-Seam lite and fuse to the top of your quilt. I measured out to make sure my middle target was centred and the others were evenly spaced.

Using a straight stitch, stitch on the line of the mark you made for the hole of each target (check out the diagram below if this gets confusing). NOW you can cut out the centre. Yes, this part is a bit painful. Leaving a 1/2 inch margin on the inside – cut through your target appliqué AND through your quilt. (eee! – remember the bigger goal – the fun Quilty target toss game!).

FullSizeRender 19


Clip around all edges of your margin (almost up to but not touching the straight stitch you made earlier). Press the margin under your quilt with a hot iron using the stitched line as your guide for the edge. Using a straight stitch or an appliqué stitch, secure the flap into place. Yes, it will be a raw edge on the underside but no one will see it.

09 Edits girls game

Use an appliqué stitch to finish the edge on the outside of your target designs.

I don’t know if you’ve had issues with double sided fusible webbing before but I have. Sometimes the adhesive gums up with needle and causes stitches to skip and thread to break.

Fusible Webbing Tips

A couple of quick tips that I’ve learned to help alleviate this issue.

  1. Keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol handy. When the needle starts to get gummed up, moisten a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the adhesive off your sewing needle.
  2. Make sure you are using steam a seam lite. This is specifically meant for appliqué and is suppose to have a light adhesive (aka. less to gum up your needle!).
  3. Consider using a Janome titanium coated needed. These help glide through any adhesive that might stick.


The final piece to this project is to make a few bean bags so you have something to throw at the targets. I like to fill my with fibre fill and about a half a cup of rice or beans (uncooked!) just to give them a bit of weight.

Now you are ready to play!

What fun things do you have on your sewing to-do list for summer? What are your favourite summer games to play outside?

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Janome Canada Artisan: Sherri Sylvester’s delightful Picnic placemat and napkin set

JANOME PROJECT IDEA  from Sherri Sylvester of Thread Riding Hood .Sherri is another of our Janome Canada Artisans who has been seen on janomelife a number of times. Sherri sews on a Janome Skyline S9.   

Sherri contributed a thoroughly fabulous project for our Cross Canada Picnic Look Book 2017.  – a set of rather clever folded picnic placemats and napkins. There they are on our picnic table below!

Sherri has written up a complete tutorial for any of our janomelife viewers to use to make their own picnic placemats & napkin sets. Please find this on Sherri’s blog: Thread Riding hood.  Hop on over to her blog for more pics and information. Thank you, Sherri for your charming contribution to our summer picnic projects.

Are you inspired to make similar placemats and napkins……there is still time to use them on your picnics this summer!

You will be the envy of the picnic spot or camp ground!

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Last few days to enter our Summer giveaway …….REMINDER

Yes, dont miss out on the opportunity to win one of the 3 books we are giving away this month. Here is the post earlier this month with all the details – just in case you missed it.

If you have already entered, please do not enter again. We have your details already.

Good luck everyone. Entries close at NOON PDT on 31st July – less than a week away!

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This is Part 2 in a 2 part series giving more information about making one of the projects found in our Cross Canada Picnic Look Book – Summer 2017. In case you have not yet seen our Look Book, check out this post and this website for this little inspirational maker treat!

This delightful picnic blanket (see the Cross Canada Picnic Look Book) which doubles as an outdoors game of Checkers,  was made by our Education Coordinator: Michael Smith of Ontario.  Here is more information from Michael on how he put this project together:

Notice how the quilt seams are serged and seams remain exposed as a design feature – AND the quilt is quilt as you go with a serger!

The Janome XG-43D serger is a great basic 4 thread serger with an affordable price tag. This serger has a variety of specialty presser feet which are available from your local Janome dealer.  I used the Beading foot, which has a groove at the side to allow for beads, or in this case, yarn, to feed through while being stitched to the edge of the quilt.

Raise the foot and lay the yarn in the groove of the foot. You may also want to lower the knife blade.

Set for a longer stitch length by turning the upper knob, conveniently located on the right-hand side of the machine, to 4.5 or 5. This, in part, will be determined by the thickness of the yarn used. The chunkier the yarn, the longer the stitch length should be.

Position the fabric under the foot and serge.

Lay the ball of yarn next to the machine with a good deal of slack lying in your lap so the yarn will feed evenly without pulling or stretching.

Cut the yarn at the end of the seam.

One method to finish the seam is to use a darning needle, bodkin or any needle with a wide-eye to thread the chain of threads into the existing line of stitches to bury and secure the thread ends.

Couching corners on a serger are easily done. Gently pulling a little slack in the thread below the tension discs will allow you to pivot the fabric and get a nice sharp corner.

XG-43D Serger Special Features

The Janome XG-43D is a compact, but powerful serger which can easily accommodate the extra thickness of bulky fabrics, or in this case, multiple layers. 4 layers of fabric and 2 layers of batting glide right through!

The pivoting feature of the presser foot allows the front end of the foot to tip up, which makes starting a seam with bulky fabrics or multiple layers even easier

Like all Janome machines, the XG-43D serger features snap on presser feet. The little white tab on the back of the “ankle” releases the foot to switch out in a flash to one of the many specialty feet available!

The colour-coded tension dials marking each of the 4 thread paths makes threading a breeze!

With a project as fun as this, why use all the same matching thread? Mix it up – and use it up by raiding your thread stash to use a different colour in each needle and each looper

TIP: When serging, use clips instead of pins. You’ll be more conscious to remove them and less likely to run over them!!  You don’t want to sew over clips or pins while serging, especially when the knife blade is engaged. Yikes!!


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We shine the spotlight on Janome Canada Artisan: Andrea Ford of RE:Style Studio

Andrea shared a series of great posts with us some months back on PIPING – specifically adding piping to home decor and upholstery sewing projects. If you missed these posts, do check them out: there were 4 in total during the month of May 2017 starting 4 May running each Thursday of May. Here is a link to the first of the 4 posts. 

Andrea runs the Re:Style Studio in Toronto Ontario : Modern DIY Workshops; Custom Upholstery; Made to order Furniture.  RE:Style Studio offers a host of personalized furniture services including re-upholstery, refinishing and made to order furniture from her growing proprietary collection of ottomans, headboards and bespoke upholstered furniture. All upholstery and refinishing is done on site by the small and growing team. Projects are given individual attention with short turn around times.

RE:Style Studio’s award-winning workshops are an elevated DIY experience with modern surroundings, gourmet snacks + meals, and forward-thinking techniques for traditional trades. Participants arrive with minimal supplies and leave with worthwhile, full-sized projects of various disciplines. RE:Style Studio decor workshops are powered by Janome Canada using the Janome 1600P machines.

Andrea was one of the contributors to our Summer 2017 Look Book entitled Cross Canada Picnic. She made a set of really cool French style picnic pillows which may be found in our Look Book. which is shown in the pic above and at the top of this post. We would like to point you in the direction of the full instructions of how Andrea made these pillows: These may be found on 

Thank you to Andrea, one of our Janome Canada artisans,  for sharing her expertise with us.

Continue reading

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We shine the spotlight on Cynthia Frenette – Janome Canada artisan

Cynthia contributed a really lovely picnic project towards our Cross Canada Picnic 2017 Look book.  Thank you, Cynthia!  Here is a link to her blog where she has posted about this lunch bag project. 

This lovely insulated lunch box……there it is on the end of the picnic table where our 2 little girls are having a wonderful time at their picnic. Fun in the sun!

Cynthia lives in the Vancouver, BC area and is not only a Janome Artisan sewing on the Janome MC8200, but she is also a most accomplished graphic designer + designer of fabrics for Robert Kaufmann Fabrics. Find out more about this very talented lady here.

Cynthia used the Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabrics that we all used for the Look Book projects together with some of her own fabric designs which I believe can be found on Spoonflower.

The pattern for the insulated lunch bag shown above is available on Craftsy.


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This is Part 1 in a 2 part series giving more information about making one of the projects found in our Cross Canada Picnic Look Book – Summer 2017. In case you have not yet seen our Look Book, check out this post and this website for this  inspirational maker treat!

Notice the yarn couched with a serger in the ditches of the blocks and what a clever idea to cut up pool noodles for outdoor checkers!

Part 2 about this picnic blanket will be published next week so watch for more information on how Michael used his Janome serger and accessories to make this picnic blanket.

This Picnic blanket was made by Michael, our Janome Educator in Ontario for our Cross Canada Picnic Look Book 2017.  

Notice the embroidery on the blocks

Today Michael, Janome Canada Educator, covers how he embellished the picnic blanket with embroidery designs  using his Janome MC15000 as well as the quilting process using the same Janome machine:

“Janome has a fabulous array of specialty presser feet designed to help do any job quickly and easily with more satisfying results. The Free-Motion Couching Foot allows yarn or thin cord to be stitched in any direction or shape desired.

The yarn is fed through a notch in the back of the foot assembly which allows for even feeding and easy visibility.

On the Horizon Memory Craft 15000, the feed dogs are dropped with the simple touch of a button. One last check that the presser foot has been lowered and you’re off! Stitch in whatever direction, configuration you’d like. I simply followed the seam lines of my blanket, but the freedom of the Free-Motion Couching Foot is only limited by your imagination.

Quilting with the Horizon Memory Craft 15000

Quilting this whimsical and functional picnic activity blanket was quick, easy, and best of all, fun to do – all with the help of the Horizon Memory Craft 15000, Janome’s Top of the Line, 3-in-1 machine.

With the extra-special AcuFil hoop and heavy-duty magnets to hold everything in place, the quilt sandwich can be quilted directly in the hoop. YES! IN THE HOOP! Unlike traditional machine embroidery, there is no inner hoop to wrestle with.

The 11 inch throat space to the right of the needle can easily accommodate any size quilt, without having to tightly roll and unroll it as you work.

The AcuFil Tool software – part of the Horizon Link Software – which is included with the machine allowed me to flip, rotate and mirror my butterfly designs so they all can face and play together, just as the kids will do around the blanket to play a game of checkers.

Acufil embroidery designs – embroider and quilt your quilt at ONE time

Clasp stitching to quilt the “old fashioned way” – found in the Sewing Applications menu of the Janome MC15000

Since Summertime is all about ease, and getting thing done so there’s more time to kick back and relax, YES, Janome has an APP for that! Several Apps, in fact.

AcuDesign has hundreds of additional designs to edit, download and stitch out on your machine – including this adorable Lady Bug.

AcuMonitor lets me step away from my machine as it embroiders so I can multi-task and get things done quickly. I can set my IPad anywhere while it counts down the remaining stitches and indicates where on the design it’s stitching. There’s even a little chime which goes off to signal a thread break, so I can rush back to the machine to fix it and get stitching again without loosing precious time.

Another great time-saver is the selection of stitches for Quilting built-in to the machine.  There is a selection of 4 Clasp stitches which mimic the hand-tying Grandma used to do to secure the layers of her quilts.  I had my whole checkerboard secured in about the time it would have taken to hand-tie one row!  See pic above as well for the front of the picnic blanket. This is the back.

What better way to carry all the parts and pieces of the kid’s games than to whip up a coordinating tote so everything stays in one place?!

With only scraps left from the picnic activity blanket, this adorable tote was made in a few hours utilizing many of the fabulous features of Janome’s Horizon Memory Craft 15000.

I embroidered the name of the game on the bag with one of the 11 Fonts from which to choose, so everyone knows exactly what’s in it and, most importantly, where all the pieces belong after the games are over.

A row of cute little butterflies helps tip-in the AcuFil quilted butterflies on the picnic blanket and is just one of the many decorative stitches built-in to the machine.

A simple buttonhole, one of the 13 one-step buttonholes built-in to the machine, was used to draw yarn through the casing at the top of the bag. This seemed a perfect place to use the left-over pool noodles – yes, pool noodles, which were used to create the game pieces for the checkerboard. If the pieces happen to go missing, at least they’re easily replaceable”.

The whole picnic blanket – what a GREAT summer project!

Part 2 on the Janome Serger techniques used on this picnic blanket coming next week on Wednesday.




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JANOME has chosen the color red as their trademark color.  It appears on their packaging, their notions, their machines, their website logo, and so much more.  The color red also gives us clues as to how to use certain products they create for their machines.

I sew garments, home decor, quilts, machine embroidery, and personal accessories.  I often need to change the needle and the bobbin case depending on what fabric I am using, what thread type and thickness I am using, what stabilizers I choose, and so much more.  Nothing is stagnant with me when I am creating with my JANOME machine.  I require the flexibility the machine can offer me when that creative mood strikes me.

JANOME has three different bobbin cases for their machines and they are all color coded for the type of sewing you are doing.  The red dot case is meant to be used for general sewing projects.  This case gets used the most frequently.  Be sure to look for the colored marking on the case to make sure you are using the correct one for the type of stitching you are doing.

red dot bobbin case

I suggest to students to have a second case on hand so they can switch it out if it gets damaged during sewing.  Damage usually happens when you break a needle and it hits the bobbin case.  This can pierce the case or simply leave a rough mark on the case.  The thread will catch on these areas and cause all kinds of trouble with the bobbin thread.

JANOME also makes red tip needles.  The red tip needle is recommended for dense embroidery designs and thicker fabrics.  It is a size 14 needle with as slightly larger eye that can accommodate those tricky thicker threads.


The color coding of the products helps me to make a quick choice.   There is another time when I rely on my JANOME machine to help me when I am “seeing red”.  I ‘see red’ when I end up with a thread nest in the bobbin area and it is difficult to remove the project from the machine to clean up the thread jam.  My JANOME MC15000 machine has a needle plate that pops off with a simple touch of a button on the base of the machine.  This makes it so easy to remove the thread jam and continue stitching without affecting my project in the process.  This is an absolute miracle for me!

throat plate release

No matter what type of stitching I am working with, I can count on my JANOME machine and JANOME accessory products to produce the best results possible.

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Quilted Target Toss Part 1 of 2

15 Edits girls game

I’m excited to share a little sneak peak at my project in the NEW Janome Maker Look Book!

It is always so exciting to get asked to contribute to these projects! And if you are looking for a little summer-time fun, this quilty sewing endeavour will not disappoint.

I always feel my nieces are a true test of whether one of my sewing projects is a hit or a miss. This Quilty Toss Game was a real hit. They played with it for a really long time and when they were done, I heard quite a few “Auntie Trintu (that’s what they called me), that was fun!” That’s gotta be a good sign, right?

16 Edits girls game

And when the fun for playing games starts to wane and everyone is ready for a snack to refuel, this game doubles and as a quilt blanket.

Project Instructions – Part 1 of 2

This will be the first of two posts on this projects. Today I want to share with you how you’ll make the quilt blanket which is the foundation of this project.

This is a fairly straightforward project which utilizes basic quilting and applique techniques.

You can customize the holes where the bean bags get tossed through with any design you like (more on that in part 2). But the basic construction of the quilt involves 10 x 10 fabric squares in colours of your choice. For this project I used 30 squares.

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, join together your squares. Some people like to do this in groups of 9. I like to go row by row. Press seams open.

Next create some ties for each corner of your Quilty Target Toss so you can hang it up wherever you want to have a quick game. I used 1/4 inch binding that I created on my own. You can use pre-made, ribbon or light rope. I cut four lengths, one for each corner, 3 feet long.

Now to create your quilt sandwich!! If you want to finish with binding, you can make your quilt sandwich how you normally would when quilting, just be sure to tuck those ties in at each corner.

I opted for a smoother finished edge which meant that I sewed my bottom and top pieces right sides together (remembering to tuck my ties into each corner), with the batting on the outside of either top or bottom (so it’s not inside between the top and bottom right sides together but on the outside/exposed when you sew). Leaving a 3 inch opening, turn right side out and finish with a blind stitch (hand sewn). You can also top stitch close to the edge around all four sides to capture in that open seam.

In part 2 (which I’ll post at the end of the month) I’ll go through how I made the holes in the quilt so you have a target to toss your bean bags through.

What is your favourite summer time game? Do you do more sewing in the summer or winter?

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