Busy Quilty Week

Last week was busy! I worked on this customer quilt, below, and really hope to finish it and return it to the owner this week.

Plus I visited my local Janome dealer, John Heckman of Sew Simple and checked out a few of his new machines. The shop is in Lynchburg VA and he does a fabulous job of service and repair of all makes of machine, plus he has great prices on all the latest Janome machines.

I tried out the new MC8900, and gave it a free motion quilting workout. I had planned to try out the MC8200, but he had the 8900 set up in a nice cabinet with a large, flush work surface.The 8900 is the same size, but has more stitches and features than the 8200.

The free motion foot is a little different, but it's just the toe part that changed. It still has the base usit of the convertible free motion foot set, so that means I could give the ruler toe a whirl on this machine.

free motion quilting ruler work on Janome 8900

I did a nice big feather and then started some ruler work as a fill on it. I put my Supreme Slider on the work surface even though it was in a nice cabinet. The Slider helps smooth out any bumps and reduces drag on the fabric. Mine was a bit linty so I had to tape it down.

free motion on Janome MC8900

I learned that the MC 12000 combination sewing and embroidery machine has a different foot for free motion than I had seen before. It works with a fabric thickness sensing system to set the height. This gives the needle area better visibility, and this foot is a snap-on type for quick installation.

free motion foot on MC12000

You can still use the convertible free motion foot set on this machine also, but you have to turn the fabric sensing mode off first. Below, shop helper Marsha show how the foot works for free motion.

free motion on Janome MC12000

Below is a shot of the large touch screen interface on the 12000 and some of the stitch options for free motion.

Then Marsha showed me the new, top-of-the-line sewing and embroidery machine, the MC15000. This machine is the same model that Leah Day just bought and actually has some of her quilting designs in it as embroidery patterns.

Janome MC15000

I watched it do some embroidery, but I didn't try it out.

Janome MC15000

Then I packed my bags, sewing machine and supplies and headed out to Charlotte NC for a nice little quilt retreat where I got to do a demo of free motion quilting. Fun, fun, fun!

What have you been up to? I hope you got to quilt!


  1. Hello Amy! I recently discovered your fabulous blog. I was very interested in the ruler toe. I have a Janome 7700 and love doing free motion but am always looking for ways to improve straight lines and this toe and the ruler look like they will do the trick! Thank you so much for sharing! I've got lots of quilt tops just waiting to be quilted (once they are sandwiched)!

  2. The fancy Janome is way out of my budget, $12,000.O0. The Passport from Pfaff is just a sewing machine with 70 stitches and retails for $599.O0, I am looking at it cause it does sew beautiful. I don't have anything to do with any sewing machine company, just trying to enjoy quilting and sewing.

    1. I agree, there is an amazing and often frustrating range of machines out there for us to choose from. Especially as the machines with more space to the right of the needle also usually have extra bells and whistles that we don’t need for free motion. That MC15000 is way out of my budget also, but is a pretty impressive machine. I am interested in the MC8200 as it is the lowest priced Janome that still has 11 inches of throat. That being said, the reason why you’ll find no official prices on the internet for the big, new machines is because Janome dealers are able to set their own prices, but the company doesn’t want to encourage bargain hunting that will cause people to buy from across the country and then want services (oftentimes free) from their local dealer.

      I keep telling folks that I wish sewing machine companies would make a straight stitch only machine with good visibility and 11 (or more) inches to the right of the needle with a decent price (around $700) especially for the needs of free motion quilters. I think they’d sell like hotcakes! Now if only the manufacturers would listen to me!