Janome Blog

  • 9/18/2020

    Hi Janome Friends! It's Melanie, a Janome Maker, who loves her Janome 550E and M7. Check out my fun fabric projects at A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog or on  Instagram

    Today I'm going to share tips on how to use your Janome 550E embroidery machine to quilt your projects and it's easy with Janome AcuFil Quilting Kit!

     A Frozen Quilt definitely needs snowflake quilting and  I wanted to create perfectly stitched snowflakes at home... so I let my Janome 550E do all the hard work for me! Elsa and Olaf love all the snowflakes!!!

    I used the Janome AcuFil Quilting Kit (ASQ18b) for machine quilting/embroidering my Frozen Quilt.  I chose to use the AcuFil Quilting Kit because it works perfectly with my Janome 550E (it will also work with 500E, 450E, 400E, eXpressive 830L, expressive 830). 


    The Janome AcuFil Quilting Kit contains:

    • 7.2" x 7.2" hoop with magnetic clamps. This is a must have! The magnetic clamps allow you to hoop thicker fabric when machine quilting/embroidering a quilt. Plus it is soooo much easier and quicker to hoop your project.

    • Over 100 quilting designs are included. The snowflake I chose was an included design.

    • AcuFil Tool - This computer program (Windows only at this time) allows you to utilize the included designs plus import other designs into the software. The software resizes the quilting design to best fit your quilt and creates a printable template for perfect placement when quilting/embroidering. 

    How to start machine quilting with your Janome 550E:

    • Assemble quilt sandwich using a low loft batting - such as Hobbs 80/20. Quilt sandwich = pieced quilt top, batting, pieced backing.  

    • READ instructions - Quick Guide for Hoop ASQ18b starts on page 12.

    • Download Janome AcuFil Tool to your Windows Computer. 

    • OPEN AcuFil Tool on computer

    • SELECT Creating Original AcuFil Designs 

    • ENTER quilt dimensions 

    • CHOOSE design 

    • PRINT template

    • WRITE embroidery design to USB flash drive to transfer to Janome 550E

    • START quilting/embroidering


    You might be wondering why you need to print the template???


    Printing the template allows you to precisely position the quilt/hoop so the machine quilting/embroidery designs will stitch out where you want it. I recommended trimming the paper close to the printed image before adhering the printed template to the BACK of the acrylic AcuFil template. Use the grid lines on the printed template to match the grid lines on the acrylic AcuFil template for perfect placement.  Your machine will stitch on the quilting/embroidery design exactly as shown as your printed template.



    Helpful Tips:


    • Batting - Use a low-loft batting (Hobbs 80/20 or Warm & Natural or similar). Remember you will need to hoop ALL 3 layers so this is not the time to choose fluffy thick batting. 

    • Quilt Basting - I prefer to use basting spray adhesive so I don't have to worry about removing pins. You can you use pins if you prefer, but do not forget to remove them. Your embroidery machine will not be happy (nor will you) if you forget. 

    • Quilt backing needs to be at least 4-6" larger on each edge of quilt to allow for fabric to hoop while quilting edges of quilt. 

    • Embroidery tape. If you want to quilt to the very edge of your quilt top- be sure to use embroidery tape to tape the quilt top edge to the batting so your embroidery foot doesn't get stuck on the quilt top edge.

    • Choosing the Quilt Design. As this was my first time machine quilting with my embroidery machine, I chose a single design (NOT a connecting one). This allowed me to place the snowflakes randomly throughout the quilt and I didn't have to try and match up start/stop points for continuous quilting designs. 

    • Thread. Choose a thread that can be washed if you plan on washing/drying your finished quilt. I used a 40wt polyester thread, but I think I will try a 50wt thread (thinner) next time as this was a triple stitched design so it's a bit bold of quilting design.

    • Needle. Use a needle that you would use if you were free motion quilting (Janome Purple Tip).  I used a 90/14 Top Stitch Needle as I was using a 40wt thread.

    • Choose a quilting design that doesn't have multiple start/stops as each start/stop will make a knot on the back of your quilt. 

    • Choose a pattern backing fabric - this will hide the start/stop knots. I snip my thread really close to knot so it's not too noticeable. 

    • Stitch a test stitch out to make sure you like the design and thread you chose.

    • If the embroidery needle is not centered on the AcuFil template - Calibrate the  Center Position of the needle - page 22. 

    • When moving your quilt to a new section to quilt. Leave the hoop attached to the Janome 550E. Remove the quilt only and move the quilt to the next section you want to quilt. Use AcuFil acrylic template to check your quilt is in the correct spot then attach magnetic clamps.

    • Have fun!!!!


    I absolutely love being able to perfectly machine quilt my quilts at home with my Janome 550E!  Since I had so much fun machine quilting this quick Frozen Quilt, I quilted another HUGE quilt with multiple quilting designs. Let me know if you would like another blog post about importing continuous quilting designs into Janome AcuFil. 


    Be sure to follow me on Instagram @Abitofscrapstuff and on my blog: A Bit of Scrap Stuff for more sewing and quilting fun!!!

    Thanks for reading!

    Melanie Call

  • 9/3/2020

    Written by Fran from Cotton + Joy

    Snowball Corners Tutorial - the tape methodConfession time: for a long time I saw this term thrown around “Snowball corners” but did not know what it was. A snowball corner is when you take a small square, place it on a larger square (or rectangle), then sew a perpendicular seam (from corner to corner), then cut 1/4″ from the stitch line and press.

    Chances are you have done this lots of times! That’s because snowballing is more of a technique than a specific block, so rarely is it called that in a pattern. Instead you get the instructions for snowballing according to the pattern.

    We use the snowball technique in lots of quilting “building” blocks such as flying geese, square in a square, economy blocks, etc. It’s probably one of the most common sewing techniques in quilting – you’ll definitely use it in a few of my patterns!

    The snag to snowball corners is that they can be time consuming. Before you can sit down at your sewing machine, you’ll need to mark each of the smaller squares used in the corners. If you were making my Joyful Stars pattern, that would mean marking 128 squares. That’s a lot of squares, and I don’t know about you but ain’t nobody got time for that! haha

    Thankfully, there is a shortcut you can use to speed up the whole sewing process – The Diagonal Tape Method.

    Quick disclaimer: This post and video are meant to show you this shortcut and I’m stitching as called for in my Joyful Stars pattern, but keep in mind that if you are making a different pattern (another of mine or by another designer) you will need to place the snowball square and stitch in the direction your pattern tells you to do so.


    STEP 1
    Instead of drawing a diagonal line on the wrong side of your smaller squares, reach for your washi or masking tape.

    STEP 2
    Place a piece of washi or masking tape and place the long edge of the tape centered with your needle. I like to use a ruler to ensure my tape is nice and straight.Placing the washi tape on machineSTEP 3
    Place your small square on the corner of your larger square (or rectangle) as required by the pattern. Make sure your smaller square is flush with the edges of the larger square.

    Snowball Corners Tutorial

    STEP 4
    Line up the two diagonal points on your square with the edge of the tape.

    Sewing Snowball Corners

    STEP 5
    Slowly feed your fabric through, making sure the bottom point of the square is following the edge of the tape as you feed it through.

    Sewing a corner triangle

    STEP 6
    Trim 1/4″ away from the sewn line. Press seam.

    Trimming snowball corner triangle

    Snowball Corners Tutorial - Washi Tape Trick

    If you want to see this method in action, check out Fran's video below: 


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