New Open-Toe Free Motion Foot for the Janome MC9400

Janome artisan

There’s a new free motion foot in town: the open-toe PD-H foot!

If you’re wondering why the PD-H foot or darning foot is included in the Accessory Upgrade Kit for the Janome MC9400, let me explain. If you aren’t familiar with the recently released Accessory Upgrade Kit,  you can learn about it here.

Janome 9400 Upgrade Kit box

While it looks very similar to the original PD-H foot that came with the Janome MC9400, there is a big difference: it’s an open-toe foot. If you don’t know what this means and why you should be excited about it, read on.

Janome 9400 PD-H foot

When you first look at the new PD-H darning or free motion foot, you might not really notice how it differs from the original PD-H foot. Upon closer inspection you will see that  there is a cut out at the front of the foot between the two red lines. This is what I mean by calling it an “open-toe” foot. As there is an open gap at the front of the foot, it provides better visibility when using it.

Janome PD-H foot comparison

The PD-H foot has always been my go-to foot when free motion quilting and I can see how this new open-toe foot will make free motion quilting even easier as I will have excellent visibility of my stitching path when using it. If you are a sewist, you will also find it easier to see what you are sewing when using it for darning or other applications.

When I use the PD-H foot for free motion quilting, I like to use the stitches in the Quilting area under the Sewing Application icon. You won’t notice a difference on your display screen once you have upgraded your Janome MC9400. You will, however, notice a difference in how well you can see your stitching with the open-toe PD-H foot.

To get the best results when using the open-toe PD-H foot on your Janome MC9400, I would suggest that you use the “blue dot” bobbin holder or case that you can purchase as an additional accessory. This bobbin holder has a looser tension setting which makes it perfect to use when free motion quilting to avoid having the bobbin thread showing on top of your project. Check with your local Janome dealer about purchasing the “blue dot” bobbin holder.

Janome blue dot bobbin case 2

Check out my recent blogpost about the open-toe PD-H foot for more information.

This Free motion PD-H open toe foot is also available in the Quilting Upgrade kit for Janome Mc15000 which became available last Fall 2017 as well as in a separate blister pack. Please ask your local authorized Janome dealer to show you this useful foot.

Happy stitching from Kim Jamieson-Hirst,  Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, AB.

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Provincial Sewing Competition Supported by Janome Canada

Competition was rampant at a recent BC Skilled Trades event at the Tradex Center in Abbotsford, BC.  Technical trade schools along with different companies supported and aided youth from high schools and post-secondary schools in a timed event where the students were given tasks to complete in the day.  Baking, cooking, decorating, hair styling, sewing and so much more were the areas of expertise the students participated in.  At the end of the competition, the participants were awarded with certificates for their skill levels accomplished in their selected field.


Janome Canada was there to support the students in the Fashion Technology section of the Trade Skills.  Students used the MC1600P sewing machine and the  Pro4DX serger.  From this Provincial competition the winning student will go to National and International competition levels.


1600P QC Sewing Machine

The day started with the competitors drafting their patterns that met a certain set of  criteria.  They were to make a double breasted trench style jacket.  Some items needed to be exactly as dictated, but other items could be improvised by the competitors.  It was a very long and tense day for them but they completed the projects perfectly.


Many lower mainland schools sent bus loads of students to observe the competitions and to talk with the industry representatives and the trade school programs representatives.  It was a busy and eye-opening day for all who attended.


Janome was proud to sponsor this event by providing the sewing machines and sergers as well as staff to be on hand to assist with sewing machine questions.  It was great to see young people taking an interest in the sewing industry.


Some of the completed projects of the competitors



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Janome Canada was once again proud to be the sponsor of the Grand Door prize draw at the Spring Creativ Festival held recently in Mississauga, Ontario…..yes, during the weekend of that nasty ice storm?!

We are happy to announce that the winner of the Janome MC500E embroidery machine    is Ivana Petric of Toronto. Congratulations, Ivana. Nori Richens of the Creativ Festival called her to tell her the good news and she was super thrilled as she has an older Janome and was really hoping she could get  a new one….. Dreams come true! The machine will be shipped to you shortly, Ivana.

Janome Canada staff doing the draw of the lucky winner. From left:  Line, District Sales Manager for Central and Eastern Canada; Liz, National Education Manager and on the right, Michael, Janome Educator for Central Canada.


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Janome QO foot

I love to free motion quilt.  I don’t get to worried about making the perfect stitch shapes.  I think of it more as doodling or scribbling.  But, I do like to see where I am going and how close I am to previous stitches.  I really do want an even fill of stitches across the quilt top.  This little Janome QO foot gives me the freedom to do that.

There are some unique qualities to this foot.  This foot attaches to the machine with two different attachment bars on the foot.  The back bar on the foot slides into the back of the foot holder first then you lower the presser foot to attach (snap into place) the front bar of the foot.  This secures the foot onto the foot holder so it will not move when sewing.

Drop the presser foot bar and you will see the foot floats just above the throat plate of the machine.  Make sure the feed dogs are lowered by selecting the appropriate quilting setting in the sewing applications screen of your Janome machine.  Use this foot when quilting a thinner quilt sandwich.  You may want to set the machine to a medium speed setting.


Sew 4 Home Picture

Before you begin your stitching you will want to pull up the lower bobbin thread tail to the surface to avoid thread nests and dragging the tail of the thread over the back side of the fabric.  This way the back of the quilted project looks as nice as the front side.

Because the Janome QO foot is open toe, you can see easily where you are going while creating your quilting lines.  This foot is used when stitching straight stitches.  You will be able to easily stitch close to appliqued patches or to other defined area stitches without crossing over your stitch lines.  I love this ability to get up close to other elements in an all over stitch design.

micro quilting

Close up of my free motion quilting

This is great for a beginner free motion quilter as there is less bulk to the foot and you can see clearly where you need to go.


PLEASE NOTE: This QO foot is compatible with the following Janome models: MC12000; MC15000; MC9400; Skyline S9 and Skyline S7 – all our models which have auto presser foot lift/pivot function.   The QO foot clips onto the regular foot ankle/foot holder and works in conjunction with firmware installed in these machines. It is not compatible with other models which do not have auto presser foot lift but do have a different Free Motion system. Please refer to many other blog posts we have done on janome life where we have covered free motion quilting with the darning/hopping foot PD-H and the Convertible Free Motion foot set (which is available for high and low shank models).


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Working with knits


One of the things I love about my Janome Skyline S7 is it is so versatile! I love that I can work on a quilt, move over to hemming a pair of jeans, sew new pillow cases for the bed, make a case for dog show supplies, and then make a top out of stretchy knit fabric for my daughter.

DSC_4748For a long time I shied away from knit fabric. Many patterns will say you have to have a serger – and yes, having a serger can make for easy work of a pair of knit pants or a t-shirt! But there are many options on a sewing machine that lead you to a similar end result.

To start, there are two needles that can help set you up for success: a ballpoint needle with a rounded point will help you avoid snags and a twin needle (also with a ballpoint, rounded point) can give your knit projects a professional finished look. I used both of these for my raglan top project.

Regardless of whether you are on a Janome Skyline or another Janome machine, there are several stitches that you can become familiar with when sewing with knits.

On the Janome Skyline S7, the go-to knit stitch is the stretchy stitch (the one that looks like a lightening rod). If you don’t have this stitch on your machine, a simple zig-zag stitch will do the trick (on a scrap piece of knit fabric, test out your stitch length and width – ideally you want a fairly short length and narrow zig-zag).

An overlock stitch is also an option. This is the one I went for because it is stretchy and it finishes off the edges at the same time.


For my hems, I used the twin ballpoint needle. If you don’t have this, don’t worry! You can use a zig-zag stitch again, or even a straight stitch if that part of your project doesn’t require stretch.

If you have never used a twin needle before it can be easy to feel intimidated but it’s really easy to use. Follow the threading instructions in your manual and you’ll be a pro in no time.


I had so much fun working on this project. If you follow my blog, you’ll know I love sewing for my daughter. I’m learning what I love for colours, designs and styles for her (I’m a bit of a minimalist so simple lines, tunics, leggings are lots of fun and there are many patterns to chose from). And infant apparel sewing makes for quick projects. Usually I can start and finish in day – that’s very satisfying.

I think she enjoys her new top. What do you think?

Do you sew with knit fabrics on your sewing machine? Which stitch do you use? What are your favourite sewing with stretchy fabric tips?


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Have you found it tricky to sew around tight curves and small spaces with a large open toe foot? Mmmmm…..not so easy is it? Well, Janome to the rescue as we have just the foot for this: our Janome applique foot AP. This is a very popular and much loved optional accessory which is available for 7mm and 9mm machines. Ask your local Janome authorized dealer for further information about this invaluable foot.


Notice that the foot is short and “stubby” which means it is so much easier to negotiate tight curves and manuever around corners and so on. It is a clear plastic foot which gives visibility so you can see the edge of the applique to position your stitches accordingly.

Here is a link to great information about using our Janome applique foot. 

A simple flower shape  – however you will find the Applique foot so much easier to navigate around these curves that it would be with a foot which is longer and/or metal so visibility is reduced.

Now, who said applique needs to be done only with a satin/zig-zag stitch or blanket/applique stitch? Not at all……use an array of different decorative stitches to stitch over the edge of your applique. Experiment and find your favourites. Below: we  stitched with little stars along the edge of a star.

Here is an apple with one of our machine applique stitches:

The humble blanket stitch

Do you have an applique project to complete?

Why don’t you give the Janome Applique foot AP a try? 



Quilting with rulers is a very ‘hot’ technique. It is not so easy to stitch a freehand pattern, so Janome makes it easy for you to work with the ruler work function on the machine.  For some models of Janome sewing machines, the foot ‘QR’ is the best choice.

QR foot

The Janome Bulletin below is an excellent reference to consult to understand the importance of this foot and its operation.

pg 1

page 2

Janome Canada offers a set of six rulers to create unique patterns.


I used each of these ruler to practice this technique which is new to me and here is the picture of my basic results:


6 '' bow



Oval clamshell

Simple pointed oval


Janome thought of everything; to help the quilter– an instruction guide is included with the rulers. I followed this step-by-step guide to complete the exercises.

Instruction Guide

Visit your local authorized Janome dealer to see his samples and get this set of rulers!  

Written by Celine Ross and translated by Yvonne Menear


Published in Optional accessories Janome , articles Janome , bulletin Janome , quilt , 6 rules Together , Foot QR for the work to rule , stitching (quilting) Leave a comment
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A New Look At Sergers: Part 2 – Quilting With Your Serger.

To help celebrate National Serger Month, today’s post will focus on getting the most out of your serger by using it in a different way, for a different application than we’ve traditionally been accustomed. Sergers aren’t just for finishing seams in garments. Specifically, we’ll look at using a serger for quilts. Yes! Quilts!

See the source image


The quilt pictured below was pieced entirely on the serger. I use the fabulous Janome XG-43D, which is a fantastic, budget-friendly and easy to use entry-level serger.

Janome Checkers Clasp Sitches #2

Strip-piecing is ridiculously quick and easy with a serger. Stitching twice as fast as most domestic sewing machines, I made the checkerboard for the centre of the quilt in less than 15 minutes!

How about piecing a Log Cabin Quilt? The simple straight seams would be done in a flash on the serger. The 3 thread narrow stitch program gives a seam very close to a quilter’s 1/4 inch seam! How clever is that?

I found this photo below, and LOTS of inspirational ideas and information from my talented colleagues at Janome America.—100-quilt-blocks-in-50-days/, but of course, as many of you know, another terrific source of information is our very own Janome Life blog! Type “Serger” in the search box to view all the previous posts related to the serger.

Now, don’t think that sergers are just for functional seaming, or seam finishing. Even the decorative multi-colour yarn of my quilt (which was created as a picnic play blanket for the kids) was sewn (couched) to the quilt with the serger.

Janome Checkers Serger Couching #4 in action

Janome Checkers AcuFil Quilting Tools #2

This quilt was one of the fun projects from last summer’s Janome Look Book, which is another excellent resource for information and inspiration. There’s step-by-step instructions on the specifics of couching with the serger. starting on Page 19.

Basically, the trick is to take advantage of some of the fun and super-useful specialty feet available for the serger. I used the Beading Foot which has a groove to the right of the foot which allows for a string of pearls, sequins, beads, or in this case, some fuzzy yarn, to pass through easily while the looper threads secures them to the edge of the fabric.

Janome Checkers Serger Couching #1 Beading Foot used to couch yarn onto the edges of the blanket

Janome Checkers Serger Couching #2 Beading Foot Close -up Couching yarn to the left of the knife blade

The needles are to the left of this groove so they do not go through whatever kind of trim you are attaching; they go up next to it, so you can quickly and easily and safely attach a variety of decorative elements to your project. In the photo above I left the knife blade up, but you could lower that to avoid cutting your trim. As always, consult your instruction manual for specifics.

Janome Checkers Serger Couching #5 Yarn Couching set-up

Visit your fabulous local Janome Dealer to give one of our sergers a test drive and/or to ask about what specialty feet and attachments are available for your model.

In my next post I’ll continue to focus on using your serger for quilting, specifically to assemble a T-Shirt quilt.

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New QR Ruler Foot for the Janome MC9400

Janome artisanFor those of you who have been patiently waiting for the “official” ruler foot to be released, you’ll be thrilled to know that the QR ruler foot is now available! It is one of the four feet included in the Accessory Upgrade Kit for the Janome 9400. If you aren’t familiar with the Accessory Upgrade Kit and what is included in it, click here.

Janome 9400 Upgrade Kit box

I had the opportunity to try out this new foot on my Janome MC 9400 and I love it! The QR foot is integral with its own foot holder, much like the Janome HP foot, which makes it super quick to attach to the machine.

Janome QR foot on machine

With the new upgraded software for the Janome MC9400, you won’t have to worry about damaging your machine if you have the automatic presser foot lifter engaged. The Janome MC9400 will now know when – and when not – to use that feature.

You’ll notice that the QR foot is thicker than your other presser feet and while it can sometimes be difficult to see where you are stitching, that isn’t the case with the QR foot. Janome has kept this in mind  when designing the QR foot to ensure you have the best visibility possible. The QR foot has a U-shaped cut out at the front of it so you can easily see your stitching path, which is so very helpful.

Janome 9400 ruler foot

When using the QR foot, you’ll need to use quilting rulers, not cutting rulers. You may not be familiar with quilting rulers, but long-arm quilters have been using these for many years. They are thicker than the acrylic rulers that you use when cutting with your rotary cutter.

When working with the QR foot to do ruler quilting, you must use these quilting or long-arm rulers. They must be at least ¼” thick to avoid having the ruler slide under the foot and damaging the needle and possibly your Janome MC9400, and you certainly don’t want to do that!

While there are many quilting rulers to choose from, I would suggest getting a straight edge ruler to start to see if you like to do this technique before you invest lots of money in purchasing a variety of quilting rulers.

Read more about the QR foot and see it in action on my blog.

Janome QR foot off machine

Remember, ruler work takes times and practice (as does any new technique), so start off slow and give the new QR ruler foot for the Janome MC9400 a try.

Happy stitching from Kim Jamieson-Hirst, a Janome Artisan creating in Calgary, AB.

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Adding Details with Machine Embroidery

Hi! It’s me again, Janomegirl! Last time I left you hanging about what was coming next on the skirt for my daughter. I’m so excited to show you! I decided to add some machine embroidery to the skirt, using a built-in design file from the Janome Skyline 9 sewing and embroidery machine. This machine comes with tons of embroidery files that you can use to give your projects some extra details. I chose a file designed by Anna Maria Horner, a lovely rose design. Before I stitched it on the actual skirt though, I did a test sew sample. If you plan on embellishing a garment already made, or have small amounts of your fabric, I highly recommend stitching it out on some scraps to see where you may need to adjust the design. I am so glad I did that LOL. Look what happened:


I ended up stitching out two samples, just to make sure that I had everything threaded correctly. Look at the difference between the two samples. One had the bobbin thread incorrectly threaded, and the other was threaded perfectly. Note to self: always check the threading is 100% correct even if you think you did do it correctly. You can also adjust the height of the presser foot, if you are noticing that the threads are still loopy after checking the bobbin.


You can customize so much with the Janome Skyline S9, and it comes with magnetic clips to help stabilize your fabric. I used our new Artistic Tack Temporary Adhesive spray as well, as I didn’t want to directly hoop the vinyl and then not be able to get the creases out of the fabric. This spray is amazing, and I noticed that it doesn’t smell strongly of chemicals. It was so easy to use, just shake and spray. (Caution: don’t spray right close to your machine! It can overspray easily. Best to spray away from your machines and tools, but if you do get it on something by accident, you can also use the remover spray!)


I decided to leave my jump threads, and then I went back and trimmed them after. You can also set it to automatically cut the threads each time it jumps. For this particular thread I was using, if it was set to auto-cut my thread tail kept popping out, so I turned off that feature.  And look at the back of the embroidered area. Everything is so neat and tidy. Since my fabric is vinyl, I didn’t iron anything to the back of it, just used tear-away stabilizer. It doesn’t directly contact any skin, so leaving a little bit there is fine. When using embroidery to embellish an area that may rub on skin, you could use some iron on interfacing (as long as you can iron on your fabric) to cover the rough areas.


You know I love videos, so I took little snippets of video as I was actually stitching out the design on the garment. It’s not too long, only about 2 minutes, and you can see where I personalized the threads I used to fit what I wanted.


Once it was all done, I finished assembling the skirt, and here is the final product! My daughter loves it, and can’t wait to wear it!


I hope you enjoyed learning some basics of your Janome Skyline 9 Sewing & Embroidery Machine.

Until next time,



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