Janome Blog

  • 2/22/2021


    Welcome to the Janome Rainbow Quilt Block of the Month 2021! 


    Are you ready for a fun and colorful Block of the Month that will add brightness to your sewing, give you a great reason to try new techniques, and, perhaps, even accomplish some scrap busting! Janome Maker Carolina Oneto has put together a delightful variety of blocks just for you! 




    Hello! I am Carolina Oneto, Chilean Quilter living in Brazil and a new Janome maker, for more than 6 years I worked with Janome Chile and now I’m so happy to be a part of the amazing team of Janome makers for Janome America. I am very excited to present you with this beautiful project that we have planned together with Janome! Every month, for 12 months, the instructions to make a 12 ”block (finished size) and by the beginning of next year, you will have all the blocks ready to build this beautiful Rainbow Quilt!  

     Whether you are a quilter with experience or a beginner, you will love this project! The final measurements of the quilt are 44 ”x 58” (110 cm x 145 cm)


     What materials will you need?

     Rotary cutter

     Cutting mat

     Quilter’s ruler



     Sewing machine 

     Walking foot and 1/4” foot

     Clips for binding

     Neutral colored sewing threads (beige or gray)


    The fabrics needed to make the Rainbow Quilt BOM:

     1.- White Color: 1 1/2 yards

     2.- Beige or light gray color(for sashing) or could be white too: 1 yard

     3.- Fabrics of various colors (yellow, orange, red, pink, fuchsia, purple, light blue, blue, light green, dark green, etc.) must be a total of 2,5 yards of fabric.        For example 12” x WOF or 1 fat quarter of each color.

     4.- Back fabric: 3,5 yards 

     5.- Batting: 2 yards

     6.- Binding fabric (bias): 24-inch x WOF


    You can use solids or patterned fabrics! you can use the colors you want.

    The key requirement is that the fabrics need to be 100% cotton.


    All the blocks will have a finished size of 12” square, so that means the unfinished size will be a 12 1/2” square.



    Are you ready to hop right in with the first block! Let's make the classic Maple Leaf quilt block. 








     White background

     ·cut 2 squares of 4 1/2 ”

    Cut 2 squares of 5 1/4”


     Leaf Color (green)· cut 3 squares 4 1/2 ”

    Cut 2 squares 5 1/4”



    Cut 1 ”x 8” rectangle



    Block Assembly

    Match up two of the larger size 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ leaf squares and background squares and place them right sides together. We are going to use these to make 4 Half Square Triangle blocks.

    Draw a diagonal line on the back of one of the squares and sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along both sides of the drawn line.





    Rotary cut both squares on the drawn diagonal line to get 4 Half Square Triangle blocks. Square-up the HST blocks to 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″).

    Press seams toward the dark fabric.






    Cut the remaining large background square in half on the diagonal to create two triangles. Fold rectangle strip in half vertically and finger press to find the center. Fold triangles in half along the longest edge and finger press to mark the center.


    Line up the center crease of one triangle with the center crease on one side of the rectangle and sew in place. Repeat with the opposite triangle.

    Square up triangle to 4 1/2”





    Layout the remaining squares, half-square triangle, and stem square to form your leaf.

    Sew squares together into three rows. Press seams open.

    Sew rows together and press seams open.



    And VOILÁ! I hope you enjoy this first block! 


    After you finish your block, please be sure to share a photo on our social media!

    Janome Sewing Classroom on Facebook




    Be sure to use the hashtags 

    #janomemakes + #rainbowquiltBOM2021



    Join Carolina right here, the last Tuesday of each month for the next Rainbow Quilt Block of the Month 2021!




  • 1/21/2021

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    An apron is such a fun project to tackle in an afternoon. Like a dress minus the closures, you can really have a lot of fun designing an apron to be as simple or as frilly as you like. The instructions below are for a child’s apron, but you can see measurements at the bottom for an adult’s apron and adapt the instructions below for that size. I have also included several ideas for customizing your apron at the end of this tutorial.

    Materials Needed:

    • 1/2 yard main fabric
    • 1/2 yard contrast fabric for ties
    • coordinating thread
    • 9 pins
    • preferred rulers and cutting tools

    From your main fabric cut the following: two 8x9” rectangles for the bodice and one 16x30” rectangle for the skirted portion From your contrast fabric cut the following: one 4”xWOF (width of the fabric which is likely 44”) for the waist ties and one 3”xWOF for the neckties Note: if you are making this apron for a child who’s waist is bigger than say 23”, you will probably find it good to cut two strips and sew them together at the short end. It's always better to have extra tie that can wrap around the front than to have too little!

    Cut materials for Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    To begin, we will make the ties for the neck portion. Fold your fabric in half lengthwise and press. Then open it up and fold both raw edges so they meet in the center and press again. Fold-down the middle again and press. Finally, open up the ends, fold down the raw edges (or selvages if you haven’t cut them off), then refold your fabric so that you will have a clean, flat strip.

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Move your needle over so that you will be sewing about 1/8” from the folded edge. I am sewing on the Skyline S9 and have moved my needle over to the 7 position, and have increased my stitch length to 3.0). I almost always increase stitch length for visible or top stitches since they appear much cleaner. I am also using my walking foot to keep everything running through the machine as smoothly as possible. Beginning with one short end, stitch and backstitch, then pivot the strip by raising the presser foot with the needle down, and sew until you reach the other short end, then again pivot, stitch to the end, and backstitch.

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Cut your sewn strip in half so you have two ties for around the neck. Place a strip on either top corner of your bodice piece 3/8” in from the side. The bodice should be oriented so that the 9” is the width and the 8” is lengthwise. Pin the straps in place and baste them in place with a scant 1/4” seam. Layer the other bodice piece over that piece right sides together, and sew starting at the bottom side with a 1/4” seam allowance, pivot at the corner, sew across the top (catching your straps), and pivot and sew down the other side. Be sure as you sew that the straps are only caught in your stitches along the top where they are basted in place. It can be helpful to gather the bulk of them toward the center of the bodice where you are not sewing so they don’t accidentally get caught. Clip the top corners without cutting any of the stitching- this will give the apron bodice nice, sharp corners without bulk.


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Turn your bodice right side out and press. Sew around whole bodice (including the bottom with raw edges) with 1/4” seam, lengthened to 3. Set aside.

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted Now we are going to prep our waist ties. Be sure to check that note at the top to be certain your waist ties are long enough! To begin, find the center on one of the long edges of your waist tie and place a pin there. This will be quite easy if you had to use two pieces to make a tie since it will be the seam you sewed together in the beginning. Now place two more pins, 7.5” away from either side of the center like so. We will NOT be sewing this pinned area together yet, and the pins will help us know where to stop. Make sure your needle is centered and that your stitch length is shortened back down to 2-2.5.                                                                             

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Keeping those pins right where they are, fold your tie right sides together. Beginning with the short side on one end and using a 1/2” seam allowance, backstitch, stitch, and pivot, and continue to stitch along the long side until you reach your first pin. When you get to that, stop and backstitch and cut your thread. Move down to your third pin and begin stitching again (be sure to backstitch at the beginning), and continue to stitch all the way around the other short side and backstitch to finish. Clip the corners where you pivoted your stitches, being careful not to clip into the stitches. Also, clip into the seam allowance directly above where the two outer pins are. Clip just down to right above where you stopped/started your stitching.

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Turn your waist tie piece right side out by guiding the stitched portions out through the center. Go slow, and use the help of a point turner if you want, just be sure not to use too much force so that you don’t push through your stitches. Press your waist ties flat. Go ahead and turn one of the two unstitched portions under by 1/2” and press. That will be the backside of your waist tie, and it will make the sewing easier in a few steps. Set aside.


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Finally, we are going to prepare the skirt of your apron. First, stitch down either side of the skirt with a line of stitches 3/8” from the raw edge. This will be a folding guide. Head over to your iron, and first fold along your line of stitches and press. Then fold again and press. Repeat with the other side. At your machine, adjust your stitch length to 3, and using a scant 3/8” seam (accuracy is important here, so go slow if you need to), stitch down the sides of your apron to finish those edges. Your stitches should be just a smidge inside of your fold and create a beautiful finish.

     Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Along the bottom edge of the skirt portion, sew a line of stitches 1/2” from the raw edge to act as a folding guide. Just as you did with the sides, fold along the stitch line and press, then fold again and press. Use a scant 1/2” seam allowance with a stitch length of 3, stitch along the bottom of the skirt backstitching at the beginning and end. Look at that beautiful hem! Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Fold your skirt in half, so that you can make a small snip at the top’s raw edge to mark the center. Put your needle down the up again to catch the bobbin thread, and pull both the top and bobbin thread out by about 6”. Lengthen your stitch length or 4.5 and sew two lines of stitches 3/8” and 5/8” from the top raw edge, leaving 6” tails at the beginning and ends of both lines (don’t use your machine’s auto thread cutter (if it has one).


     Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Pick up your waist tie and match up the center of the waist tie with the center of the skirt right sides together, pin in place. Match up the side of the skirt with the corresponding pin on the waist tie and pin in place, and repeat with the other side. Now on one side of your skirt, grab BOTH of the thread tails that are visible on the wrong side that should be facing you. Pull-on those threads to gather up your skirt, and use your other hand to distribute the gathers evenly. Once your skirt has been gathered adequately, it will match up with the opening on the waist tie. You should wrap your thread tails in figure 8 around the pin on the end, and then use 3 more pins between the side and center pin to keep your gathers in place for sewing. Repeat this gathering and pinning on the second half of the skirt's waist. Be sure to pin the other half of the waist tie out of the way since we do not want to stitch that yet. You may find it easiest to pin at the beginning, then move it once you start stitching, and then be mindful to move it again at the end when you get to it.

     Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Reduce your stitch length to 2-2.5, and using a 1/2” seam allowance, begin stitching the gathered skirt to the waist tie. Stitches should fall right between the two rows you already sewed. Go slow and remove the pins as you go. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Pull again on thread tails to remove them. If you stitched over them at some point, they may be a little fiddly, so clip them out if you need to. Press your seam upward so that the waistband folds and the skirt are flat. Cover the seam with the folded edge that you pressed a while back, and press again so that you will have a neat and even surface to stitch in a moment. That fold should just meet your line of stitches that on the gathered skirt. You can pin it in place if you would like to do so,

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Flip over the skirt and waistband so that you are looking at the right side. You are going to stitch through the waistband front, skirt, and waistband back to enclose the gathered skirt with a nice, clean finish. Align the bottom of the waistband with the <— left side of your walking foot and move your needle over to about 1.5 so that you can sew 1/8” from the bottom of the waistband. Begin just beyond the side of the skirt, stitch until you reach the other side, backstitching at the beginning and end. 

     Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Pick up your bodice, fold it in half to locate the center along the bottom of it. With the wrong side of your skirt up, pin the bottom of the bodice to the waistband wrong side down, and pin it in place just below the folded edge of the waistband. See photo below:


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane HandcraftedEssential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted Stitch in place with a 3/8” seam

    .Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Fold the bodice up to the proper position and press. Using a 1/8” seam allowance, stitch along the top edge of the waistband to enclose the raw edge of the bodice and finish your apron.

    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted

    Your apron is complete and now it's time to get cooking!


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Essential Child's Apron by Olivia Jane Handcrafted


    Bonus ideas

    • You can embroider your bodice with a title like “Abigail’s Baking Co.”, a fun floral motif, or even a patch of some sort
    • You can add a patch pocket to the bodice or to the skirt using rectangles of fabric
    • You can totally change the shape of the bodice- Valentine’s Day is coming up and it would be super cute to have a heart-shaped bodice. To do this, you would enclose your heart bodice completely, and then later it over the waistband a bit and attach by following the shape of the bottom of the heart for as far as it covers the lower portion of the apron
    • You can make only the skirt portion
    • You can add ruffles or ribbons for some extra flair. Try reshaping the skirt portion so that it is rounded at the bottom and add a ruffle!

    Adult Apron Measurements and Quick Adjustment Guide

    • For the bodice cut two rectangles 11x9” (11” will go across the bust, 9” is the height, can be adjusted as needed)
    • For the skirt, use a full half yard cut and you can use a wider hem if you want it to be shorter
    • For the waistband use two 4”xWOF cuts and sew together the short ends to create a long waistband. Use a 18-20” opening rather than the 15” used for the child’s pattern.
  • 11/24/2020


    It is that in between season... I've often said my oldest son was born in November to bring love and joy and light into this otherwise somewhat dreary month.  Here in Maine the bittersweet hits its peak as the berries pop, the orange husks revealing the crimson inside.  It's time to go cut some to cheer the house for the winter. 



    First we just need to have some colorful FUN!   My year as a Michael Miller Brand Ambassador is drawing to an end.  Given COVID, supply interruptions and whatnot, it hasn't been what anyone expected.  But after months of waiting, I did get some polka dots, which I love.  The problem was I have never ever made anything from a roll of 2 1/2 inch strips--I'd asked for fat quarters, which weren't available.  I'm thrilled with the result!  I googled around, got some inspiration, and had a bolt of the aqua (purchased for a workshop that ended up not happening), so used that.   My "day job" (highly underpaid) as Chair of the Town Select Board has had me stretched beyond my limits for the past couple months, but I hope to have some quick and free guidelines on how to make it on my blog in the next month or so.  



    This is the first large-ish quilt I've done on my Janome M7--LOOK AT ALL THAT HARP ROOM!  It has probably been 20 years since I have done walking foot quilting on a whole quilt.  I was DELIGHTED!  Yoda has also granted his "plonk" of approval during construction, when I was checking out where I was going next.


    The dots are "Dumb Dots" by Michael Miller.  I used 18 or the 20 colors, and used 36 strips total.  Finished quilt is about 68" square.  My other favorite tool was using Susan K Cleveland's Piping Hot Binding booklet and tool....learn about that in my Absolutely Perfect Facings (and binding and more) class.  For the Bias Binding itself, learn about that in Absolutely Perfect Bindings half day workshop.



    From the sublime to the ...well, perhaps not ridiculous... how about COZY? Time to snuggle in for the winter.  Now, if it were evening, my iPad would be on a stand next to the chair, I'd have knitting on my lap, the pug sharing the seat with me (he squishes in) and the cat on the arm waiting for scratches.   The best news is that I've taken a few photos and now I can USE the quilt!


  • 11/5/2020

                  The first time my mother tried to teach me how to sew, I made a small, four panel pillow. After that, I never really sewed until I was about 10-ish, when I would go into my mother’s sewing room and raid her fabric stash for something pretty and try to make an article of clothing with absolutely no experience in doing so. Today, I was awoken by the sound of her Janome.

                  When the golden light from the sun beamed in my eyes, and when my body permitted itself, I got up from bed. From the other room, a faint humming repeated over and over, then stopped then started then stopped again. The air smelled of bacon and eggs, and the old matted carpet on my feet felt like walking on sandpaper. I walked straight and then made a left, peering into the Tiffany blue room that once was my bedroom, that had been renovated into my mother’s sewing room. As soon as I opened the wooden door, a wave of dog smell launched at me. I looked down at the ground, to find my German shepherd, Loki, staring up at me with his big brown eyes. White cabinets lined the walls, shelves with fabric rolls and small projects displayed my mother’s love for sewing and her job, along with picture frames with sayings that you’d see in a teacher’s classroom in school.

                    Sewing was always near and dear to my mother’s heart. Growing up without a lot of money, she decided to start making her own clothes out of old ones and fabric she could buy for cheap. Years later, she got involved with the sewing machine industry and became an educator for Janome America, and specializes in teaching people how to use and sell the machines, so, naturally, she wanted to teach me too. And then, she did. We started off with a bag that, although complex, wasn’t too hard. A saddle bag made out of a beautiful screen printed cotton, printed with vibrant flowers and vines and leaves, with rose gold hardware and a green cork bottom.

                A lot of this project consisted of cutting and ironing. Measuring out 11” by 22”, 2” by 35”, ironing interfacing onto it to make it strong and thick, the heat permeating through the room, steam from ironing spray covering up the dog smell and making it smell like a weird starchy peach. When I finally began to sew, the heat from the sewing machine warmed me up quickly. The humming continued, but much louder. After finishing some of the basic assembly, I pressed seams open, trying to keep them down with my fingers after opening, but burning them on the hot fabric. I kept sewing and sewing, ironing and cutting, pinning and folding, and then my stomach rumbled a deep rumble that shakes your entire body, and I turned to my mother. She gave me a knowing look, and we ran out to get food. Although it was fast food (considering these were the only restaurants open at the time) my first sip of Baja blast from Taco Bell felt like a dip in the pool of youth, and my steak cantina bowl felt like I was eating a three michelin star meal. When we finished our meals, we returned home and finished the bag.

                   My mother often goes on about the mental health benefits of sewing. She remembers this experiment that she read about, where human trafficking victims were taught how to sew and how that then, in turn, taught them how to plan ahead. They spent so much of their life living day to day that they forgot about that aspect of life, and when they re-learned it, it helped them grow. She thinks, although I haven’t experienced something as extreme as that, it still helps keep you in the moment while also helping you learn how to think in advance. And she was right! The entire time I spent sewing, there was no overthinking or intrusive thoughts or paranoia, it was just me in my mother’s sewing room with my dog, making something together.

  • 11/5/2020

    If you’re like me, you LOVE to sew quilt tops. And, when you’re done making those quilt tops, you LOVE to send them off to a long armer. After some not-so-pleasant experiences with previous sewing machines I have some trust issues when it comes to quilting. But, after receiving my Janome 9450 QCP 8 months ago, I have been slowly working up the courage to try quilting something again and pillows felt like a good start. I just knew that if there was a sewing machine out there to redeem all those bad experiences my Janome Memory Craft was it. Spoiler alert - I was correct!

    I highly recommend, if you’re new to quilting, to start small. Pillows, potholders, minis, etc. are great projects for testing the quilting waters.

    Interested in making the pillows featured in this post? The pattern for the Holiday Pillows, Snowman and Falala, are available HERE! Use the hashtag #snowmanpillow and #falalapillow in your caption when you share your progress to social media. Don’t forget to tag me (@penandpaperpatterns) in your post as well!

    After piecing my pillow tops, I used some basting spray and made a quilt sandwich (backing fabric + batting (TIP: Use fusible fleece instead of batting and skip the basting spray part) + pillow top. I made sure there was at least a 2” overage with my backing and batting as well.

    I made a sample piece with some remnant fabric and batting to test out what quilting pattern I wanted to go with. There are so many options on the Janome 9450 QCP that I had a hard time narrowing it down.

    I ultimately decided on the #44 scallop design under the Quilt category. I wanted something simple that wouldn’t distract from the pillow top designs. Also (even though I ended up leaving the design on the default settings) I really liked how I had the option to customize it.

    Once I figured out my settings, I started quilting! It couldn’t have been easier. I also attached the quilting bar onto my foot holder to make sure my lines of quilting were evenly spaced. Yay for not having to mark my quilting with a water-soluble pen or Hera marker!

    And this is how the quilting turned out! Not too shabby for a novice quilter. It was such a positive experience that I’m anxious to try the Hand-look Quilt Stitches next! The look of hand quilting minus the time commitment – I’m so excited!

    Check out my other holiday patterns and tutorials here: ttps://penandpaperpatterns.com/search?q=holiday

    And check out my most recent finish - the Kris Kringle Quilt! This quilt is what inspired the colors in my Snowman and Falala pillows. PS – For those wondering, the Kona solids I used in my pillows are listed in the pattern. Kits for these pillows are also available from Sewtopia here: https://bit.ly/2FIkUCM

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