Add Quilting to a Machine Embroidered Block

 Someone was asking about how to add quilting to a quilt project that is machine embroidered applique on a Janome 15000 group and I wanted to share what I had done in one of our Kimberbell Clubs at Sew Simple of Lynchburg, home of so I'm posting it here.

This would be ideal for a project that goes together in quilt-as-you-go style, so that the quilting can be added as you embroider each block. While it's not perfect, it requires no digitizing skills and you can do this with the Janome 15000 and Janome Skyline S9.

This takes 2 of the fabulous Janome apps for iPad. Sadly, not available on android. First you can use AcuSketch to take a photo of the embroidered block in the hoop. Make sure to select a canvas size that is equal to the hoop you are using. Doodle a nice meander, loop de loop, stipple, whatever you can manage. Keeping it real alert: I doodled many times to make it nice and smooth. You can use stencils, rulers, etc. to help you draw.

Send the design to your machine over the wifi and then open the AcuSetter app to pull the design from the machine and use the app to position the quilting stitches. Note: use the Tool section to slightly resize as needed.

Sorry, I don't recall why my block is upside down. I love the accuracy that the AcuSetter app gives!

Then stitch your quilting design over the rest of your embroidered block. It should be noted that the block shown was embroidered in two separate hoopings (Snowman and then the quotes) and then assembled with the pinwheel block as instructed. THEN I hooped the entire block for the quilting.

Love these machines!

PS While the AmyQuilts Embroidery Clubhouse is taking a little break, this is the kind of thing I cover in more detail there. The AmyQuilts Sewing Clubhouse is open to owners of these higher end Janomes to master the use of your machine with greater confidence and creativity.

Question of the week: Can you Free Motion Quilt or Piece with Polyester Embroidery Thread?

 I get great questions about quilting, sewing, and machine use from my Clubhouse members, customers, and other students/followers. They make great informative posts, so I'm sharing this one with you.

Amy, what are your thoughts on using polyester embroidery thread for piecing and free motion quilting? Thanks.

I love free motion quilting with polyester embroidery thread. For me, my choice is Glide thread because it has so many trouble-free colors. The thread is smooth, consistent, lint free and has a wonderful sheen to it.

free motion quilting with rulers and poly thread
Pieced in Aurifil, quilted in Magic Mint Glide!

While you can piece with it, I don't think you should. Here's why....

It's slippery and seams can start to come undone, especially if sub-cutting strip sets.

Polyester is a lot stronger than cotton fibers and while you'd think that's a plus, sometimes we've got to rip out our seams and in the process, that can sometimes lead to a frayed seam allowance on our pieces.

My choice for piecing is the best Egyptian cotton thread I can afford. For me that's Aurifil 50wt. Wonderfil has great cotton thread too. In a pinch, all purpose spun polyester will do, but I try to avoid it. The fuzz on many common brands of spun poly result in more lint, some give tension issues, and then there's the ability to fray your seam allowance.

Quilt preservationists also gasp at the idea of using poly anything on cotton. They cite concerns of the thread cutting the fabric over time. I don't expect my quilts to be subject to preservation over the centuries, but at least I'm halfway there with piecing in cotton!

Acufeed Walking Foot System on the Janome M7

Here's a bit of a video from the Clubhouse on using the Acufeed on the Janome M7. It's a pretty simple process...but there's a bit of a trick to using it with decorative stitches or anything other than a straight stitch.


Have an M7 or other bigger Janome? Want to learn more about its features and how it can help you make the most of your sewing time? My AmyQuilts Clubhouse gives you lessons with a Janome dealer (me) without having to even leave home!

Check it out here: AmyQuilts Clubhouse

The AmyQuilts Clubhouse Doors are Open for New Members!


Join the Club!

Do you struggle with your fabulous high-end Janome machine? You know it should do X, Y, and Z but you're not entirely sure how? Maybe you don't have a helpful dealer close enough for convenient classes to master your new machine?

Maybe you're staying at home due to Covid? You are ready to really stitch up a storm and learn about your machine and machine techniques at home, but you could use some help.

Been told it's  "operator error"?  You're trying to do it right but you've been left figuring it out on your own. That is super frustrating!

You are not alone! I've heard pleas for help from machine owners just like you over the years and I have an ongoing Janome specific online club just for folks like you!

I help sewing machine owners get the most out of their machine so that they can use it it with confidence and increased creativity.

The Janome M7, one of the newest and most complex machines in the Clubhouse.

The clubhouse is now 
open for new enrollment!

Click here to join!

A Clubhouse member says: 

"Amy, I watched the latest addition to the clubhouse this morning, the video about needle plates etc. Your videos are stellar, I'm not kidding really fantastic! Not just the great camera close-ups but the info you provide is amazing. I have a very good dealer and I have received a great deal of instruction from them, but I learned so many things in that 20 min. video that I simply never heard before. I just wanted to comment on how much I am getting out of the clubhouse. THANKS !" 

Below is a live video discussion I held recently about the clubhouse...

Hi! I'm Amy Johnson and I was once right in your shoes. I bought my first big Janome machine from the sweetest gentleman, a Janome dealer who was in his mid-eighties. He was a well-respected man in the community and in regards to machine repair, but he didn't actually sew or have anyone to do machine instruction beyond how to thread it.

I was on my own and did the best I could with the manual. Being pretty much self taught, I tried a few things out on my Janome 6600 that wasn't quite meant for my particular, a ruler foot made for a frame-mounted machine. That got my blog and YouTube videos some serious attention. Eventually, I became an instructor for Craftsy, and the next thing you know, I became a Janome dealer when my Janome dealer retired.

My mechanically-inclined husband Eric became my Janome certified machine tech and has built quite a reputation for solving machine issues and keeping machines of all kinds running smoothly.

We joke that he knows the guts, and I know the glory of sewing machines!

Rhonda says,

"Thanks Amy useful info actually not just useful but valuable I have had Janome machines for years but am learning so much from you. I never knew about the markings on the feet. "

Janome machines are what I know best, so the club is limited to Janome machines of the following models: 15000, 14000,  M7, 9450, 9400, Skylines S9, S7, S6, 6700P,  8900 and 8200. There is an embroidery focused add-on for the combination embroidery machines above, and Janome 500e and 550e machines can also sign up for it. The sewing and embroidery sections of the Clubhouse are priced separately and are not dependent on each other. This helps you stay focused on what you want to learn.

Learning in the AmyQuilts Clubhouse takes place in two ways; the actual Clubhouse site (with a "room" for sewing, and another for embroidery; as well as a private, members-only Facebook group for us to interact as a community and have monthly question and answer periods with me.

Click on the link above and see if this is the right fit for you to get the most out of your machine and your creativity!