Pink Castle Blog

How to Free Motion Quilt with the Janome 6700p

Posted by Katie Remski on Oct 3, 2017 3:18:27 PM
  

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

One of our most commonly asked questions is how to free motion quilt on their sewing machine at home. Free motion quilting (FMQ) is fun and simple with a little practice, and lets you really customize your quilt exactly the way you want. Today, I'll show you the basics on one of our favorite machines, the Janome 6700p! Even if you don't have this specific machine, the basic procedures still apply. free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

1. If your machine has an extension table, attach it to the machine. The 6700p is sold with the extention table, but if your machine does not have one, most have the option to purchase one separately. This makes it easier to quilt because the weight of the quilt will be displaced over the table and you can better see where you're going! 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

2. Drop the feed dogs. This is the single most important step in setting your machine up for FMQ, as the feed dogs "pull" your fabric in a straight path and do not allow for side to side movement. How to lower the feed dogs will vary by machine; check your manual first to see how. On the 6700p, all we have to do is flip the side lever to lower the feed dogs. 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

3. Attach the FMQ foot. The 6700p includes this as well, but again, you can also buy one for your machine. 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

4. Set your stitch length to 0. 

5. Once everything is set up and tension/speed is correct, use a fabric pen or pencil and practice drawing lines and squiggles and other designs on scrap quilt sandwiches. Practice FMQ, following the drawn lines and feeding the fabric smoothly through the machine. 

free motion quilting on the Janome 6700p

When you're confident with your design, you can move on to quilting your quilt! 

See all Janome machines online!

Topics: Janome, Tutorial, machine quilting, Quilting, 6700p, free tutorial, free motion quilting

Do I Need a Walking Foot for my Sewing Machine?

Posted by Katie Remski on Sep 13, 2017 2:25:28 PM
  

 

WalkingFoot For this week's Sewing Machine School, let's talk about the walking foot, also known as an even feed foot. Some Janome sewing machines (such as the Skyline series) also feature AccuFeed, which is a more advanced version of a walking foot. 

What is a walking foot? One of our recent blog posts by Jason Elliott, 10 Sewing Machine Parts Explained has a great description: "Feed Dogs move up and down, back and forth, in a vertical circular motion, while Presser Feet move just up and down. Since the two surfaces are moving in different directions, this can cause the fabric to be pulled or stretched. In many cases, this 'pulling' doesn't affect your sewing. In some cases, such as with very thin fabric or with multiple layers of fabric, a presser foot called a Walking Foot is needed. 

A Walking Foot is a special type of presser foot with a mechanized system built into them. This system allows the Presser Foot to move not only up and down, but back and forth in time with your Feed Dog system. The Walking Foot is timed to your machine, and will ensure that even several layers of fabric are fed evenly through your machine, giving you a cleaner stitch."

While a walking foot sounds great, how do you know if it is something you will actually use? Here's a few applications for a walking foot: 

Quilting

Probably the most common use of a walking foot is for straight line quilting. Keeping the quilt top, batting, and backing smooth and secure is almost impossible with a normal presser foot because the feed dogs are always going to grab only the bottom layer. Quilting in lines (grids, stripes, diagonal grids, etc) is far less stressful and even fun with a walking foot. 

 Cables and Calico's Pineapple Quilt

Photo from Instagram @cablesandcalico

 Quilt Binding

Quilt Binding 

Even if you send your quilts out to be long-arm quilted, binding still needs to be attached. If you use a traditional double-fold binding, you have the quilt top, batting, backing, and 2 layers of binding fabric for a total of 5 layers to stitch through! The walking foot, especially with a 1/4" seam "shoe" attached, makes for fast and accurate binding. 

 

Bag Sewing

If you enjoy sewing purses, totes, and other bags, you're probably farmillar with the layers of material involved: fabrics (often canvas or leather,) stabilizer such as interfacing and/or Soft and Stable, and lining fabric. A walking foot helps layers of different types of material in sync with each other as they're being sewn, and can be particularly helpful for sewing handles or topstitching. The basket at right required sewing through 3 layers of linen, 1 of canvas, and 1 layer of Soft and Stable in some places!

Noodlehead divided basket

Noodlehead Divided Basket Pattern

Many Janome machines come with a walking foot, so be sure to check before you buy one! If you do not have a walking/even feed foot, click here to find the right one for your machine. 

Topics: Bags, Janome, machine quilting, Sewing Machines, accufeed, accessories, walking foot, even feed foot, binding, machine binding

Book Tour: Machine Quilting with Pat Sloan- Teach Me to Machine Quilt!

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Nov 30, 2016 10:34:00 AM
  
Pat Sloan Teach Me to Machine Quilt
 
See that smiling face on the cover?  That's my friend Pat Sloan!  AND I'm really excited that she asked me to be a part of her book tour for her awesome new book  Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine Quilt: Learn the Basics of Walking Foot and Free-Motion Quilting .
 
This book is the third in a new "Teach Me" to quilt series that Pat is putting together.  The other two books in the series,  Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Applique: Fusible Applique That's Soft and Simple  and  Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Sew Triangles: 13 Easy Techniques Plus 12 Fun Quilts  are still available so make sure you grab those too so you can have them all!  As a  quilt shop owner, I think this is a great idea.  I have customers that will come into the shop and see a quilt and say, "Oh, I could never do that.  I don't know how to _______."  I can just hand them a book with Pat's smiling face on it and say, "Now you can!"

Machine quilting on a home machine is is the most requested class in my shop.  It seems scary at first to quilters.  Here's a quilt top that took hours and hours to finish and they don't want to ruin it.  Or they don't know where to start.  AND you see all these folks who have been quilting for years (or who send their quilts out to a professional) and you compare yourself.  "My quilting could never look like that!"  Of course it can!  Get Pat's book and get practicing!

Teach Me to Machine Quilt has a lot of information.  Some quilting books you see just have a few ages of introductory quilt information and then some projects.  Not so on this book.  It's really meant to dive deep into the subject of machine quilting.  And it really does.  Pat goes over the entire process from start to finish.  She highlights different methods too.  For example, pin basting vs. spray basting. This way you can try both out and decide for yourself which you prefer.  That makes Pat's book one that you can keep as a reference and go back to over and over again.  AND it includes information for BOTH free motion quilting AND walking foot quilting!

One of my favorite things about Teach Me to Machine Quilt are the visual references.  There are a lot of pictures in this book.  Including visual references on thread weights and what that looks like quilted, different ways to piece the back of the quilt, and what your quilting should look like and how to fix issues.  PLUS there are 8 bonus videos that you can watch (information on how to see them is in the book!) so you can really get a good idea of what Pat is talking about.  That is very valuable.

The sample projects at the end of the book are great for practicing what you just learned.  Pat has included both small (nice to start with something more manageable) and larger (lap size) projects.  She also has some applique to practice after you have learned everything from Teach Me to Applique.  I fell in love with the Cherry Pie project from the book and I started a few blocks.

Pat Sloan Teach Me to Machine Quilt
 
Pretty cool blocks huh?  My plan is to make two more (smaller than the version in Pat's book) and then quilt the baby quilt myself.  These blocks finish at 15" so they are just the right size to make a quick baby quilt.  And I'm pretty sure I can handle quilting that myself .  Especially now that I have Pat's book to walk me through it... get it, walk me... you know because of the walking foot..   Okay, bad joke.
 
Make sure you go to  Pat's Blog and enter to win a copy of her book!  Thanks Pat for including me :)

Topics: Book Tour, machine quilting, pat sloan, Techniques, Quilting

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