Friday, August 25, 2017

A New Janome Ruler Foot

Janome was the first sewing machine brand to have a ruler foot, and while it was originally intended for use on a frame mounted machine, quilters far and wide began using this combination of feet on regular, stationary sewing machines.

As I've shared my quilting adventures with ruler work here for over 7 years, so many people have enjoyed the technique, whether on a Janome or a compatible machine.

In the last few years, machines have been created with an automatic presser foot mechanism which is super duper awesome for sewing, but Janome did not approve of using the Janome ruler foot combination with these machines. Plenty of determined quilters used it anyway, though it wasn't approved, nor ideal.

Just last year I was in Cincinnati Ohio at a Janome training when they introduced the Janome 9400, which has an automatic presser foot lifter. I was talking to my Janome rep about the ruler foot when Shin Yamamoto, President and CEO of Janome America came over and asked what I thought of the new machine. I explained that I thought it was fabulous for sewing but because I loved to do ruler work and the Convertible Free Motion Foot set wasn't approved for the model, I wanted to see a ruler foot for these machines.


Fast forward to earlier this week and I'm in the same hotel conference room and Janome announced than not only was there a new version of the Memory Craft 15000, called the Quilt Maker 15000 that had a ruler foot and a ruler work setting, but there was also to be a free upgrade to previous versions of the 15000 that would make them compatible to the new ruler foot and several other new feet!

Janome Quilt Maker 15000 ruler foot


 The new foot and ruler work menu settings make quilting with rulers substantially easier to set up.

Janome Quilt Maker 15000



It gets even better! Janome is working on updates for the other Janome machines that have the auto presser foot lift (MC14000, 9400, S7, and S9). The update is a free one performed by your dealer, the new feet will not be free. (The update will also have a replacement part for the needle threader on the older 15000 versions, to make it work better.)

Ruler work was all the talk during our dealer training. Janome is motivated to get these new upgrades and feet out asap!

The new feet (ruler foot and a few others) aren’t quite available to dealers yet, other than those that come with the new 15000, which I have sitting in my studio! I was told that the update for the 9400 should be ready in a few months.

I’ll keep everybody updated as I can.


Meanwhile, I'll be playing with my new 15000. I used it for the very first time while demonstrating ruler work to students in my Quilting with Rulers class here in the shop. It was fabulous! No more worrying to remember to put the foot down before putting down the needle or making sure the needle is up before raising the foot. It's got a ton of other nifty features, but I'll save that for my shop's blog.


The foot is super! It's smooth, rounded on the bottom and has a good sized divot at the front to better see at the needle. It attaches directly to the presser foot bar, so there's no spring part in the way. You adjust its height through the ruler work menu. This gives it great visibility.

This will likely be the machine you see me use in my tutorials from now on, unless I'm doing a test of a new low shank ruler. This means my beloved MC8200 is for sale as a used machine. I'm not sure what the protocol is for a dealer selling a used machine and listing the price online so if you're somewhat local and looking for a fabulous machine for quilting with 11 inches to the right of the needle, you can call the store (434-239-6708). Not that we couldn't ship this machine where ever, but I feel weird about selling a machine far enough away that we couldn't support it well as the dealer. Having a local dealer is sooooo important. (BTW, we are also selling a new sewing/embroidery machine, the MC14000 at a smoking hot price that I can't list online, as it's being replaced by the 15000.)

I am so happy to see that Janome has listened to its dealers and customers and are making these changes so these higher-end machines also have a great ruler foot. I was blessed enough to have an opportunity to remind Shin that I had asked for this very thing in the same spot last year and how happy I was to see it and thanked him.

If you have a Janome without the auto presser foot lift, the new foot isn't for you. Stick the the convertible set and ruler foot combination.

Quilt on!

8 comments:

  1. Pretty awesome Amy! While I remain dedicated to my vintage machines, I'm quite admiring of how much impact you have had with spreading your knowledge and having an impact on the industry! Not having to worry about coming down hard with this new machine and updates for older models will be quite nice for Janome users. I'm glad you were able to give input to Mr. Yamamoto. I think it will pay off for the company, if I were in the market for a high end new machine it would influence my decision process.

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    1. You should check out our shop's logo at http://www.sewsimpleoflynchburg.com and you'll understand why we say, "If it's not a Janome, the older, the better!" We work on vintage machines all the time.

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  2. Thanks, Amy. It's great to hear about the progress in getting ruler feet available for domestic sewing machines. My first sewing machine, a gift from my mother-in-law, was a Sears Kenmore. When I finally replaced it, over 30 years later, I chose a Janome. I did this based on the reviews and recommendations I found online. I haven't been sorry. Hearing about the dealer acces to the decision-makers at the company, and the responsiveness to dealer feedback, I'm even more happy with my choice. I upgraded to the 9400 last year, and I really look forward to the new ruler foot.

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    1. From the sound of things, the 9400 will likely be the next Janome to get this update and foot.

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  3. Yeah Janome! Yeah you! You and your shop makes me wish my daughter still lived in Lynchburg, VA.

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  4. Amy, do you know if Janome will release an update for the Elna's also? I have an Elna 920 and am using the Janome convertible foot with it. It works much better. I have the Westalee foot that works with my Singer and Baby Lock. The only thing that I don't like about the Janome foot is that I don't know how to change the height of the foot.

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    1. I assume that they will do an Elna update version as well for the appropriate machines. For the convertible set, there's a little thumb screw at the top of one of the springs. Turn one way and it goes up, the other and it goes down. There's a video of it on my Youtube channel too.

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