Why I Love My Janome Memorycraft 15000!

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?

Palazzo_1

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.

Palazzo_3

A brilliant gadget – the quilt binding set folds and sews your binding in one pass, you can even mitre the corners!

Palazzo_2

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!

Simplicity_Bag_2 Simplicity_Bag_1

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.

Flower_Pots

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.

 

Mulberry_Stars    Mulberry_Stars_2

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!

MBX

Floral_Quilting

 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)

 

Shoo Fly Block Tutorial

The first block of this sampler is a simple 9″ Shoo Fly Block

Shoo_Fly_OutlineShoo_Fly_Colour

You will need 2 fabrics to make this block, it is best if they are tonally different – so one is darker than the other, if you put two fabrics together that have similar value then the design created by the patchwork may get lost and not be so visible.

Fabric you will need  for this block 

  1. 1 strip 4″ x 26″
  2. 1 strip 4″ x 13″

About This Block

This is a ‘Nine Patch’ Block, meaning it is made up of 5 segments. In this case there are 5 segments that are cut as squares (4 of fabric 1 and 1 of fabric 2)

and there are 4 segments that are Half Square Triangles ( a Square of 2 half triangles, Fabrics 1 and 2

You construct the half Square triangles first.

Half-Square-Triangle-Diagram1Half_square_Triangles-Units

  1. Cut 2 squares 3 7/8″ – fabric 1
  2. Cut 2 Squares 3 7/8″ from fabric 2
  3. Place the different fabrics Right Sides Together so light on dark (do this so the wrong side of the light fabric is uppermost
  4. Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of the light fabrics with either a removable fabric marker or very light pencil.
  5. Draw two lines either side of this central line 1/4″ away. Make sure you check that the line marked accurately, if it is too close to the line your squares will be too big (this can be fixed!) , if it is too far away your squares will be too small (difficult to fix!)
  6. Using a flat foot on your machine (I like the open zig zag or satin stitch foot on my Janome) and with a stitch length of 2.2 – 2.5 stitch the two outermost lines. I prefer to chain stitch (feed one in after another without cutting the thread).
  7. When both the outer lines are sewn, cut down the centre line with your scissors or with a rotary cutter
  8. Press the Half Square Triangles from the front pushing the seam towards the darker fabric. Trim off the ‘ears’.  Re measure this square, it should measure 3 1/2″
  9. Lay out the block now, in 3 rows of 3 squares. Use the diagram above to help you with the layout
  10. Join the squares together with an accurate 1/4″ seam, press the seams towards the central plain squares on the top and bottom row, press the seams outwards on the middle row.
  11. Join the rows together lining up the seams and letting them ‘nest’ against each other. Stitch the rows together with a 1/4″ seam. Press these seams open.
  12. Re measure your block, when pressed it should measure 9 1/2″

Well done you have finished the first block of the sampler!

 

 

If you are interested in the history of this block there is information on this here

 

Free Quilt Blocks from Threads and Patches

Customer_sampler_1           Customer_Sampler_2014_SB

Over the last few years Sally has run a ‘Saturday Sampler’ Quilt course, these were usually her own designs and were made block by block into quilts over the year. As many of these designs have been very successful Threads and Patches has decided to share them here, so starting in the next week you will be able to access and download the patterns for the blocks for Sallys’ 2014 Saturday Sampler . this was originally constructed in burgundy and grey fabrics but would work well in any complimentary colours, or even as a scrappy quilt.

 

 

Customer_Sampler_2014_PB       Customer_Sampler_2014_AP

You can see from the examples of quilts made by our customers with the same fabrics how diverse they can look

Over the next few weeks I shall be adding the instructions for these blocks  to this blog, you will be able to download them  and follow them at your own pace.

I used 6 different burgundy fabrics and 5 or 6 different pale grey fabrics, plus I needed burgundy embroidery thread and grey embroidery thread.  Many of our customers embellished their quilts with beads and buttons . There is some embroidery on some of the designs but many of the participants enjoyed adding extra embroidery throughout the quilt.

I would love to see what you make so please email me your work at threadsandpatches@gmail.com and I shall incorporate as many as I can in to the blog posts.

Follow our blog to make sure you don’t miss any of the blocks. I look forward to creating a fun quilt along side you.

 

 

 

Weekly Special Deals Plus Click and Collect!

box-of_surprises

At Threads and Patches we like to offer great value. So we have recently started a new program of weekly special offers. To be notified of these offers customers sign up to our email list, they then receive an email when the offers become available on our website. There are some great deals to be had, so if you want to keep ahead of the game, sign up to our emailing list today

You can even ‘Click and Collect’ by placing an order and selecting the collection option we shall prepare your goods for you, email you when they are ready for collection and of course you have no waiting at the till or postal charges.

Try out the new system and see if you like it!