• 6/16/2021

    Father's Day comes at a great time of year for the dad that enjoys fishing and a summer fishing trip with a new fishing pole-carrying bag makes a perfect and relaxing afternoon.


    Janome Maker Heidi Proffetty has just what the Fishing Dad in your life will treasure! A free tutorial for a fishing pole bag using her Janome Continental M7!  Not only does the carrying bag sew up in a jiffy, but the fabric is also made from is waxed canvas which is both durable and water-resistant. You can also customize this bag. Make alterations to the overall length to fit Dad’s specific fishing pole length and change the bag’s accent panel to give it that extra special touch. Give him something he will love using the rest of this summer and beyond. 




    Skill Level: Beginner 

    Makes: 1 Fishing Pole Bag 

    Dimensions: 48” Length x 10” Width

    Time: 1 ½ hours



    Before You Begin

    Measure the fishing pole’s length and width around the reel (if the reel is attached). This will determine your specific dimensions and the amount of fabric that you will need for this project. This project is suited for a lightweight, freshwater, 4.6” to 5” fishing pole with an approximate 10” diameter (attached) reel. 


    Project Supplies:

    1 ½ yards of waxed cotton canvas fabric, Color: Moss

    ½ yard novelty upholstery or canvas fabric, Pattern: Fishing

    24” x 1 ½” webbing or belt strapping 

    20” piece of cording and a cord stop

    2 – 2” x 3” twill patches

    General color matching sewing thread for construction


    Fabric marking chalk pen (light colored)

    Cutting mat, rotary cutter & ruler

    Mini clips (not pins)


    Glue Stick

    Janome Continental M7, Overcasting M foot & HP foot & plate


    Part 1 – Cut Fabric

    Use your rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler. 

    1. Cut 1 – 35 ½” x 12 ½” piece of waxed fabric

    2. Cut 1 – 5 ½” x 12 ½” piece of waxed fabric

    3. Cut 1 – 10 ½” x 12 ½” piece of novelty fishing fabric

    Part 2 – Sewing Instructions

    Set your sewing machine up with the Overcasting M Foot (or serger). Use mini clips to hold the right sides of the fabric together at each end. Position the novelty fabric so that the fabric is facing in the upright direction (not upside down) to the top section of the bag.


    On the outside of the bag, using the fabric marking chalk pen, mark a center indications at 1 ½”, 6 ½”, and 24” down from the top edge of the bag. Next, draw a vertical centering line from 1 ½” mark to the 24” mark. 


    The 6 ½” mark will be the guideline for the top edge of the shoulder strap and the 24” mark will be the guideline for the bottom edge of the shoulder strap.


    On the wrong side of bag, use a glue stick to temporarily secure a twill patches to both ends where the strap will be sewn . The patches provide extra support for any tugging on the shoulder strap.

    Using a chalk pen, mark indications on the strap, 2 ½” down from the top and bottom edges.

    Fold the strap under a ½” at each end, sew the strap onto the right side of the bag at the 6 ½” & 24” markings you made. 


    To securely hold the strap to the bag, stitch on top of the strap around all 4 sides creating a box. Stitching close to the outer edges. Inside the stitched box, mark an X from corner to corner. Then stitch on top of the X markings you made. Repeat this for each end of the strap.


    Trim the excess fabric around twill patches close to stitching but be careful not to cut bag’s fabric.

    For neat inside seams, serge or fold the raw edges ¼” under twice. Using mini clips to hold folded edges in place. Then sew close to the folded edge. 

    To create the casing for drawstring at top of the bag, fold the fabric under twice ½”. Then sew close to the folded edge, creating an opening for the cording to pass through.

    Place right sides of the bag together, hold edges secure using mini clips, and tucking the strap inside the bag out of the way. Starting approximately 4 ½” from the top edge of the casing (top of bag), backstitch, then stitch (or serge) down the side seam or edge of the bag. This closes the bag and will create a long tube with a 4 ½’ opening at the top.


    Use a compass to mark and cut a 2” diameter circle from a leftover piece of waxed canvas. Fold the circle in quarters and mark to create temporary alignment markings.

    Starting at the seam on the bag, mark 4 (90 degrees) cross indications around inside bottom edge of the tube. Using the 4 cross markings on the cut circle to align with the markings on the inside bottom of the tube. Use mini clips and attach the cut circle to the tube aligning bottom edges evenly. Using HP Foot and HP plate (or your preferred sewing foot) to sew ¼” around inside bottom edge.


    Part 4 – Finishing the Bag

    Turn the bag right sides out.

    Using a safety pin attached to one end of the cording, work the cord through the casing. Add a cord lock and tie a secure knot at the end. Add a dab of glue to the cord ends to keep them from unraveling. 





    Now this fishing pole carrying bag is ready to go on Dad’s next fishing trip!

    Happy Sewing and Happy Father’s Day!




  • 5/28/2021




    I am always on the lookout for ways to add personality to my quilts, and my current favorite way is with an improv pieced border.

    If you are not tech-savvy (like me) and you like to play with scale and design in a way that feels doable, this tutorial might be what you are looking for.


    I absolutely love the look of a slightly wonky triangle border but you could be more precise with your version.


    For this particular sample, I will be working with a finished block. If you are planning to use this technique, I think it’s helpful to work with blocks as your paper pieced length. It helps keep things straight and lined up nicely, especially if you are using this technique with a very large quilt


    My block size is 10 x 10” so I will be using a piece of freezer paper ( you could use printer paper or tracing paper) and drawing a rectangle measuring the block length x the height that I like. For this, I want my finished block height to be 2 ½” so I will be drawing my rectangle to measure 10 x 3”


    Once you have drawn the rectangle, measure down ¼” from the inside of the rectangle and draw another rectangle. The inner rectangle will be the area of the paper piecing.

    I like to find the center of the rectangle and make a little mark.


    Draw your triangles within the inner rectangle making sure that the points meet at the inner rectangle line. They can be any width but do need to meet up at a sharp point.

    Starting at one end, number the triangles like in the photo. This is the order in which you will be piecing.

    Roughly cut around this pattern piece, I like to cut ¼ - 1/2 “ away from the outer (cutting) line


    If you want all of the pieced panels to be different, now would be the time to draw them all out. If you will be making a large border, you could simply take this and make photocopies.


    I like to cut all of my fabric pieces in advance, always 1 “ longer and wider than each numbered segment. I find this helpful, especially when you are paper piecing angled sections.

    On my pattern piece, number 1 is green and number 2 is print. With the green on top of the print, I lay the pattern piece with the line between 1 and 2 running a bit more that 1/4”over onto the side of 2.

    You could put a dab of glue here to secure the fabric but since this is so small, I will just carefully hold it all together and take it to the machine.


    On my Janome Continental M7, I set my stitch length to 1.3 and sew down the line between 1 and 2, sewing a teensy bit past the inner rectangle line.

    Using a piece of cardboard or in my case my folding friend, fold the paper back on the stitch line and trim the seam to ¼”


    Open out your pieces and give them a good press.

    Next, with the paper pattern facing up, fold back the line between 2 and 3.

    Trim the excess fabric to ¼”

    Add the next piece of fabric, lining up the straight edges and carefully flip it over and sew along the line.

    Continue this way until you have sewn all of the pieces.

    Trim down the pattern piece to the outer line.

    Continue this until you have made the desired amount of border sections.

    I love this method! As a slap dash, fly by the seat of my pants quilter, paper piecing gives me the ability to still do things in my wonky improve way but with a precision that I love!

  • 5/21/2021

    Decorative stitches can be used in so many ways! These stitches are often kept for special occasions and not utilized in everyday sewing and almost never in quilting. Janome Maker Eliane from Patchwork & Poodles is going to show you how to to use a few of these stitches to create lovely quilting with ease!

    If you are just starting to quilt, this is a great way to get comfortable with handling the feel of the quilt when quilting. For the more experienced quilter, This can be your go-to when you need that fast finish for a gift or service quilts! No matter what the case, you will be thrilled by the results you can achieve with this method!




    Hi, I’m Eliane from Patchwork & Poodles! I’m a quilt pattern designer, which means I make a lot of quilts. I also primarily quilt all of these at home on my Janome MC6700P machine.

    While straight-line quilting is a fast way to finish a work in progress, I found myself bored of quilting the same way all the time. If you’re in the same boat, read on! You’ll find three decorative stitches you can use in your quilting, and none of them take more time than normal straight-line quilting! 



    The Set-Up:


    You’ll need to put your walking foot on your machine and mark some lines on your quilt. I like to use a Hera marker to mark my lines, but tape, a chalk pencil, or a water-soluble marker works well too. If you’d like to see more information about marking a quilt, watch Eliane's video:





    VI recommends that your marking lines serve as a guide for the edge of your walking foot instead of your needle. This makes it easier to follow. Luckily, all three of these stitches are pretty forgiving, so even if you end up going a bit crooked, no one will notice!


    Tips for success:

    • Practice on some scraps first to see what you like.  You can vary the width of the stitches for a wider or narrower design to suit the quilt you’re quilting.

    • Go slow! You should always stitch slowly with a walking foot, and this is no exception. If your machine can regulate speed, set that up so you’re not tempted to press the pedal to the metal.

    • Gently guide your quilt, don’t force it through the machine.


    The stitch widths and lengths provided below are a great starting point. Start there and then play around to find your favorite combination!





    Three-Step Zig-Zag:



    Three-Step Zig-Zag on a Zippy Quilt


    This fun stitch creates a wide zig-zag that is made up of multiple individual stitches. This one adds a really nice crinkle effect when the quilt is washed and adds a playful touch to any quilt. Vary the stitch length and width until you like the results. Just be sure that your individual stitches aren’t too small!


    Stitch: 011

    Stitch Width: 7.0

    Stitch Length: 2.5 


    The Serpentine Stitch:


    The Serpentine Stitch on Summer Glow Quilt (Free Pattern!)


    The serpentine stitch adds quilted waves to your quilt and is a good one to use if you want to soften a very angular quilt. Vary the stitch width to create a wider serpentine stitch. This is also a great stitch to use for water/ocean-themed quilts.


    Stitch: 096

    Stitch Width: 9.0

    Stitch Length: 3.0


    The Scallop Stitch:


    Scallop Stitch on Etoile Quilt


    This stitch is probably my favorite as it is so versatile. You can create the scallops right side up to look like lace or ocean waves, or upside down to look like clouds. 


    Stitch: 111

    Stitch Width: 9.0

    Stitch Length: 2.5


    After you try this method, be sure to take photos and share!   

  • 5/17/2021

    Welcome Back to the Janome Rainbow Quilt Block of the Month designed by Janome Maker Carolina Oneto!

    This month we will make our fourth block. The Dutchman's Puzzle is a classic design that first appeared in the late 1800s. Return of the Swallows or Dutchman's Wheel are two names for this block. About 1895, the term Dutchman's Puzzle was first used by the Ladies Art Company, a mail-order quilt pattern company. The pattern, titled Wheel, was first published in the Ohio Farmer in 1894.




    The Dutchman's Puzzle Quilt Block is so much fun to make! It's a basic block made up of pairs of Flying Geese blocks at its heart.

    A larger triangle (the goose) is surrounded by two smaller triangles in this surprisingly simple block. Typically, these blocks are designed to be twice as wide as they are tall.

    It's critical to choose fabrics with sufficient light-dark contrast.

    Remember that all the blocks will have a finished size of 12” so that means the unfinished size will be 12 1/2



    White background

    · Two 8” square

    Light blue

    . One 8” square

    Dark blue

    · One  8” square




    Make Half Square Triangles (HST) 8-at-a-Time

    • Place (1) White and (1) blue square with right sides together (you will work with two pairs)
    • Draw a line diagonally corner to corner.
    • Sew a line 1/4” apart from the drawn line, in both sides.



    • Cut the square units in both directions and then diagonally, corner to corner.



    Press the seams and trim the block down to 3.5 inches square.


    • Arrange your HSTs in the correct layout
    • Using a quarter-inch seam allowance, sew together in rows. Join all rows, using a quarter-inch seam allowance.
    • Press your completed block and trim it down to 12.5″ square (if necessary).


    And that’s all! How easy was that block? Sew simple!!!!


     I hope you enjoy this new block! And don’t forget to share it!




    After you finish your block, please be sure to share a photo on your social media! We love to see what you are creating! 

    Janome Sewing Classroom on Facebook




    Be sure to use the hashtags:

    #janomemakes + #rainbowquiltBOM2021 also, tag @janomeamerica and @carolina_oneto!








  • 5/11/2021

    We can always depend on our Janome Makers to come up with fantastic projects to make for ourselves and for others! Jessee created the most adorable little monster! You can make one or an entire rainbow of cuddly friends to brighten your day! You will learn how to sew with minky, how to create their sweet quirky faces using in the hoop embroidery, and best of all, bring joy to all the people you will be making them for in your life! 

    Hello! Jessee here from Art School Dropout with another super cute embroidery project! 

    This time around though we’re making something that is perfect for these trying times and a great gift to send to a loved one. Hint: It fits perfectly in a Priority Mail envelope!

    I'm calling them the Awkward Hug Monsters. They are fluffy monsters with the most awkward smile you ever saw and short floppy arms that are just waiting to hug you. 

    The best part about this project however is that most of it is done IN THE HOOP! (Just pretend I'm saying that in an announcer’s voice). I'm serious though, the only part not done in the hoop is making the arms floppy, stuffing it, and sewing the hole shut. I love projects like this.

    We have a bit to cover though, so let's get started...

    Recommended Supplies:

    • An embroidery machine with at least a 230x300mm hoop (I used the Janome MC15000)

    • 1/3rd yard of plush fabric for the body. (I used Shannon Fabrics Cuddle 3 for all of my examples, but other minky and fleece would work well too)

    • 1/8th yard of plush fabric for the belly

    • Small piece of white fleece or felt for the teeth (or any color you want)

    • Polyfil Stuffing

    • Embroidery thread in Black for the eyes

    • Embroidery thread in a coordinating color for the stomach, lips, toes, etc.

    • Thread that matches body fabric for stitching the arms and body shut

    • Scissors

    • Tear-away stabilizer

    • Temporary spray adhesive (I used Odif 505)

    • Water-soluble stabilizer

    • Embroidery File 
    • Optional Supplies:


    • Duckbill applique scissors

    • Rotary cutter

    • Cutting mat

    Now that we've rounded up all of our supplies, let's get started. 

    First things first, we need to get comfortable with the materials we are using. Plush fabric isn't like wovens or knits. It has a nap, and if sewn in the wrong direction it just doesn't look right. So what I do is I figure out how I want the plush to lay by brushing it back and forth until it looks like this...

    This shows me which direction the nap goes. I want it so the plush basically goes down like a waterfall. I keep this in mind when cutting and when adding it to my hoop.


    Once we have a handle on the nap, you will need two pieces of the main body color cut at 10x12.5 and one belly piece cut at 2.5”x4”. As shown below.

    You'll notice a bunch of tiny plush dust on the edges, which is totally fine! Just shake the piece out a bunch and vacuum it all up later. It won't hurt you.

    Now it's time to prep the hoop! Normally I'd use a sticking-backed stabilizer, but since I'm using a larger hoop, and I wanted to keep the cost down, I opted for some medium-weight tear-away stabilizer instead. Just cut it about an inch larger than your hoop and place it inside, without any fabric, the way you normally would.

    Then spray the backside of one piece of plush, while still keeping an eye on which way the nap goes, and place it centered in the hoop. For the MC15000 and the GR Hoop, I had my nap pointed towards the right to go along with the embroidery file. 

    From here you will load up your machine with the Awkward Hugs Monster embroidery file, thread it up with the first color and hook up your hoop!

    Special Note: Please make sure that your Stitch Stop is on for this project! We need all that extra trim time to make this as professional-looking as possible.

    So the first set of stitches will be the outline of the belly. This file is set up to just place a piece of fabric on top of this stitch outline, let it do another outline, and then trim before it does an applique stitch all around. 

    As you can see from the above photos, I haven't added any Water Soluble Stabilizer on top yet. I know this is a big NO-NO for plush fabric, but I promise you I have my reasons!

    So after the belly is stitched on, you'll want to add the teeth. This is a multi-step process that will go back and forth, so don't worry that you have colored zig-zag stitches all over your pretty new fleece teeth.


    Side Note: I do not recommend using plush fabric for the teeth. I tried this in the first prototype and my daughter said it made it look like it had multiple rows of teeth and really “creeped her out”. Oops.


    Once your teeth have been tacked down, now is the time to add the sheet of Water Soluble Stabilizer on top. I waited until now because of all the applique going on! If you had added it from the start, we would have several layers of the stuff by now. See where I'm going with this? Also, if you are new to plush fabric, you may be wondering why we use this stuff. Well. It's mostly to keep the nap of the plush down so it doesn't get caught up in the embroidery designs and looks weird. It gives everything a nice clean look in the end! Well worth the extra step and cost.

    From here just follow the thread colors in the embroidery file and everything should look like it does above. Yes, you will be switching back to that first color after the black thread, but it was really the only way to get that beautiful monster smile to shine.


    When you get to this point, you can go ahead and tear off the Water Soluble Stabilizer. I know it's meant to be soaked off, but the embroidered parts are so dense, it just tears off. Way easier. However, keep the design in the hoop still since there is one more IN THE HOOP step.

    While still keeping an eye on which way the nap is going, place the second piece of plush fabric we cut earlier down on top of your newly embroidered monster parts. Make sure it’s plush side down too. 


    You could tape it in place, but I noticed it hardly shifts at all and I just keep an eye on it while the machine does the last outline stitches.


    Once it has finished its laps around the body, you are ready to take the hoop off the machine and remove your inside-out monster! We are so close to being done!!!

    Next, you will need to cut them out, leaving at least a 1/4” seam allowance, though I'd much rather it be 3/8”. Your choice if you want to live on the wild side. While trimming, you'll need to cut slits anywhere there is an indent in the design. I included photos with loads of arrows to show the best spots.

    Now your monster is ready to be turned right side out! I found that turning the horns and arms first made it easier all around.

    Look at that beautiful smile!

    Remember, this monster is called the Awkward HUGS Monster, so we need to make sure these arms are ready for hugging!


    To do so, just stuff each of the arms as much as you can. The using thread that matches the body, do a straight stitch through the arm, from the armpit to the shoulder, and then back down again. Locking the thread at the end. This allows for the arm to keep all its stuffing, and it adds a hinge! Repeat this for the other arm too.


    Side note: I absolutely love “The Purple Thang” tool for stuffing plush figures. The square piece on the back grabs the Polyfil stuffing perfectly and moves it exactly where it needs to go!

    After you perform the arm hinge surgery, you will want to stuff the entire thing as much as possible. You will be using way more Polyfil than you ever thought you would. It's crazy, but I promise it will help you get the best-looking monster in the end. 


    Once your monster is nice and plump, you will want to stitch the open hole closed using a ladder stitch. If you don't know what that is, I highly recommend looking up videos. It is the best stitch ever for closing up plush toys and for adding darts when needed.


    Technically at this point, you are finished...

    BUT, I suggest one more thing! Place your monster flat on a hard surface with your palm on its stomach. Now move your hand around clockwise like you're kneading bread, and then do it again counterclockwise. This helps distribute the Polyfil a bit more and gets you a less clumpy monster. No one wants a clumpy monster!!!!

    Ok, NOW you're done!! Woohoo!! Congrats! 


    If you are anything like me though, you may keep adding to your monster family! Each time trying out different threads and color combos. This is completely normal and encouraged. So please try out that weird holographic thread you bought 6 years ago but never tried, or that variegated pink and purple thread that just collects dust! You never know what the outcome will be and this is the perfect project to test it out.

    P.S.: If you do make your own Awkward Hugs Monster, please share it with us or hashtag it #janomeawkwardhugsmonster !! We would absolutely love to see them.


    After you finish making your sweet monster, please be sure to snap a photo and share! 


    We don’t want to miss out so be sure to tag:




    And hashtag:



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