By Louise Harrison –
Many of you will have noticed the Janome sewing/embroidery machines we had on display by the shop entrance over the last couple of months. They have certainly made people take notice, and even caught the eye of one or two husbands who have asked if they also make tea!
Joking aside, I never thought of buying an embroidery machine until Jane from Janome came to demonstrate them to all the staff at T&P. I am not a girly girl, I’m not into highly decorated décor or clothes, in fact I have quite simple tastes (apart from a minor obsession with metallic fabric!). When it comes to quilting I like geometric designs in the main. I also already had a 5900QC. So why did I buy a Janome Memory Craft 15000?
My first project – the Palazzo Quilt, made with Stonehenge Medici fabric. This was quilted with the Acufil hoop and Horizon Link, the software provided with the machine for PC. The all-over stipple design is calculated using the software, which also provides the templates to easily transfer placement to the quilt top.
A brilliant gadget – the quilt binding set folds and sews your binding in one pass, you can even mitre the corners!
Close up of the stipple quilting design. Each ‘block’ fits a bit like a jigsaw with its neighbours. Each block took 4 minutes to stitch out, with 90 hoopings it took two afternoons to stipple the whole quilt!
Quite simply, I was so impressed with what it was capable of. It has immediately obvious wow factors; the automatic motorised needle threader, the fold up arm for embroidery, large hoop and harp area, WiFi, PC connectivity, and the huge range of inbuilt designs. But it was also the sheer versatility of what it could do. Little did I know that this was the start of a whole new chapter in my sewing life!
Embroidered bag using Simplicity pattern 1597. Designs from Embroidery Library.
It was so easy to use, right from the off we were editing and producing embroidery using this fantastic machine. Coupled with it being a fantastic sewing machine with all the features of the flagship long arm machines and more, I was already hooked. It made everything so easy, and was simple to operate. The results were impressive. You could even just choose what sewing job you wanted to do and the machine would automatically set itself up to do it! It had something for everyone; quilters, crafters & dressmakers alike.
Flowerpot table runner made with ‘Scallop Magic’ fabric from Riley Blake. The flower quilting motifs were done 3 at a time in the hoop, and it was bound using the Janome quilt binder set
Even so, I didn’t decide then I was going to buy one, although I thought it was wonderful. Back then I was of the opinion that it was a lot of money. Well, that’s certainly true, and that’s something I hear a lot from customers in the shop. But then I got to thinking about the use I could get from it and the fantastic things I could do with it. The Acufil quilting system was something I was really interested in, and actually when I finally took the plunge and bought one my first project would be quilted this way.
King size quilt from pattern ‘Mulberry Stars’. Ditch quilted with borders and cornerstones quilted in the Acufil hoop. I enlarged the standard stippling pattern for the outer border.
In actual fact it’s been the best decision. OK, half the kitchen has been lost to my ‘sewing space’ (I am waiting on the offspring moving out so I can have a sewing room…don’t think that’s happening any time soon!). But I can do everything on the one machine, and I use it most days. The super large harp space meant that quilting a 104” square quilt with the Acufeed walking foot was easy. Quilts can be quilted in the special Acufil hoop, which makes it simple to cope with those thick layers. I’ve even produced my own border designs using MBX software, meaning my designs are perfectly matched and sized to my project. And friends and family are getting some pretty special presents for Christmas and birthdays!
I digitised this poppy design to use in a wall hanging (to go with the poppy fabric. Left: the free motion feet (there are three) float over the surface of the quilt rather than bouncing, which makes them a breeze to use. I’ve finally got a result I’m proud of!
It’s opened up a whole new world of creativity for someone who, let’s face it, finds it hard to be inspired and original with a design. This machine helps me really make it my own and has given me a whole new perspective on my sewing! And it was worth every penny.
Louise (staff member @ Threads and Patches)