Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas card and embroidery design created in Digitizier MBX!

Every year I like to give handmade Christmas cards, last year they were using bits of fabric and free machine embroidery to create a bunting card, have a look here.

This year, at Janome, we have had a wonderful new top of line machine, the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 and new embroidery software Digitizer MBX. So, what a great time to see what I can make!

As always, time is in short supply on the lead up to Christmas, so my cards had to be something simply and quick to make... and I decided on a slightly different concept this year. I will create the Christmas card in CorelDraw Essentails X5, which comes as part of the Digitizer MBX package and use the same design to create an embroidery design for my MC12000!We have just had our technical training on CorelDraw Essentials X5, and many thanks to the wonderful Suzanne, who showed us all the hints and tips to use this fantastic software package!
So I used this package to design my Christmas Card. I have to confess, I didn't design the Christmas Tree from scratch, I used Istock website, which has 10000's of images for you to download. The Christmas Tree design was in .EPS, which is a vector format, this means you can edit the design piece by piece and also, it's makes converting to an embroidery so much better quality. Once my card was created, my Canon printer became very busy!
Then onto the embroidery design....
Using my Christmas Tree vector image, I went into Digitizer MBX, and into Graphics Mode, and selected "Convert Selected Graphics to Embroidery". This instantly converts each part of the image into embroidery, and now we are using a vector image, the software understands layering on elements of the embroidery design.
My Christmas Tree is now embroidery....
I then edited the design by changing some of the textures of the fill areas, by using Embossed Fill Patterns. My design is then ready to embroider in my Grand Hoop on my Horizon Memory Craft 12000.
Remember I said when using a vector image, it understands layering of embroidery elements... look at the bird, the body of the bird has been embroidered first, then the wings and eye is on top, this is the best way of using embroidery to give a quality finish.
The same with this bauble, the star is on top of the bauble, giving a great finish. Older software packages would have tried to make a hole for the star, making the stitches uneven and awkward looking.
I embroidered my tree on 100% linen canvas from Fabrics Galore, this is a gorgeous natural looking fabric and embroiders beautifully.
On the back I added some green buttons in different sizes to compliment the Christmas Tree embroidery design.
And... a Christmas Card and embroidered Cushion to match!

For more information on Digitizer, have a look at our website and, for the Horizon Memory Craft 12000, look here.

If you would like to use my Christmas Tree embroidery design on your Horizon Memory Craft 12000, please email me and I will send it to you as a 'jef file.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very merry New Year!!!!

I'm adding to this blog post on 9th January 2012.

Joan Kopp emailed and asked me for the .jef embroidery design of my Christmas Tree to use on her Memorycraft 11000 (using Digitizer MB to alter the size of the design) .... and look what I received this morning! A photograph of the fabulous table runner she made using the design!
Thank you so much Joan for sharing this with us.
Remember, if I have emailed you the design... please share with us your finished Christmas Tree projects!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

New sewing studio opens in Yorkshire.... The Design Suite!

I met Angela Feather a few weeks ago at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, and I'm so glad I did! She told me all about her new venture, The Design Suite, which is based in Tockwith, roughly half way between Weatherby and York.
Angela was first inspired to sew by her Grandmother, who lived next door to the family home in New Zealand. Her Grandma would always be making her the latest fashions, and soon Angela got the sewing bug! At first using her Grandma's sewing machine, she finally got her own at age 12... and has never stopped sewing since!
After moving back to the UK, Angela studied textiles for five years, first with a Art & Design Course at York College and then Foundation Degree at Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool.
It was after this training, she realised there was a definite lack of suitable facilities in the area she lived..... and The Design Suite was born!

The Design Suite is made up of three studios, Studio One, Two and Print Studio.

Studio One has a gorgeous relaxed feel, with confortable seating and inspiring surroundings. This Studio is for the sewing and craft workshops, and can be hired for your own use for £50 half day.
Studio Two, is more formal, and is designed mainly for meetings and talks. It can be hired for your own use for £25 per hour.

The Print Studio is an open plan area to allow space for screen printing on fabric and wallpaper.Angela is running workshops in various subjects from dressmaking - basic and advanced, design and pattern cutting, free machine embroidery techniques, Christmas crafts, book binding, knitting, bunting making, and fashion drawing.
You don't need to take your own sewing machine to workshops, as the Studios have their own Janome Sewing Machines for you to use... and tea, coffee and cake is included with every workshop!
I can't wait to go and visit the Studio's in the New Year, and soak up the creative atmosphere... maybe a cuppa and cake...and hopefully join in with a little sewing while I'm there!

For more information on The Design Suite, visit their website, Twitter and Facebook page, and full list for workshops click here.

If you don't live in the Yorkshire area, why not check out our full list of recommended Janome Learning Centres all over the UK.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Santa visits Bambers Sewing Machines to see local children and help St. Ann's Hospice!

On Saturday, Bambers Sewing Machines let Santa turn their sewing classroom into his Grotto to speak to all the local children and see what they would like for Christmas! As I arrived at the shop, I could see one of Santa's elf's and Reindeer (aka. Alan and Steve) waving and telling everyone about Santa's visit!The weather might have been cold, but everyone was in warm spirit's to spread Christmas cheer. For children to visit Santa and receive a little Christmas gift, was free, and all money raised from the collection is for St. Ann's Hospice in Manchester. A place which is very close to the Bamber families heart.
Santa had done a wonderful job of transforming the classroom into his Grotto, but he did explain that he does this so often around the world and his little elf helpers are so quick, they can turn any place into into a cosy Christmas den in no time at all!I managed to have a quick chat with Santa, and he told me this year he had been busy, but enjoyed visiting Bambers last year so much, he just had to come back this year.... and hoped to make it a regular date in his Christmas Diary.

Maggie, Janet, Kathryn and Jenny, had made special Elf outfits to make Santa feel at home, and become his helpers for the day!

I couldn't resist... and had to have a photograph with Santa Reindeer (aka Alan) before I left!

For more information on Bambers Sewing Machines, and to find out about Santa's visit next year, check out their website and Facebook page.
If you would like to donate to St. Anns Hospice, please have a look at their website.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Knitting & Stitching Show @ Harrogate with White Rose Sewing & Craft Centre

The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate is our last one of the year, and it always has a Christmasy feel to it. This year was no exception, lots of customer were looking for new sewing machines for themselves for Christmas gifts, or for daughters and friends. The stand is ran by Phil from White Rose Sewing and Craft Centre in Harrogate, and Janome staff to support him.We had (nearly!) the full range of Janome sewing machines on demonstration, from basic sewing, computerised, embroidery, overlockers and embroidery design software, along with a great selection of Janome feet and accessories for your machine. With the huge interest in free machine embroidery, thanks to Kirstie Allsopp's Home Made Britain, we sold 100's of darning feet so people can have ago at home! If you haven't seen her sewing special, check out some of Craft Guides on the C4 website, scroll down to the Needlecraft Section. In the online chat after the programme was aired, Kirstie said she had a Janome machine at home for her personal use! Way to go Kirstie!!!!
Of course, we had our new Horizon Memory Craft 12000 on the stand, which was busily showing people fabulous big embroideries in its Grand Hoop (11.9" x 9.1"!!). Click on the photograph to go to my You Tube Channel and see some little videos of the machine in action.
Jennie Rayment, star of was running mini make and take workshops making gorgeous Christmas Stockings on the Janome CXL301.
All the ladies were having a great time playing with our computerised sewing machine..and making a pretty little stocking to take home as well! The CXL301 has some beautiful stitches to embellish craft project.

Please follow the following links for more information....
White Rose sewing and Craft Centre, Harrogate
Horizon Memory Craft 12000
Janome sewing Machines

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Cotton Patch recommends Janome 1600PQC to use with their Gracie Quiliting Frame!

The Cotton Patch are well known for their Gracie Quilting Frames for many years. Recently they have become a stockist for the Janome 1600PQC long arm straight stitch machine to use with their quilting frames. In the photograph below you can see the "Grace Plastic Pattern Perfect" this is the grey template you can see on the table below the frame. This is so clever to keep your quilting in the correct pattern! Click the photograph to take you to You Tube and watch a small video.
While I was at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October, I took a couple of mini videos so you can see the wonderful combination of the Gracie Quilting Frame and the Janome 1600PQC, and the Gracie Sure Stitch, which is a stitch regulater. Just click either of these photographs to take you to my You Tube channel.For more information Gracie Quilting Frames and all the other quilting fabrics and accessories The Cotton Patch supply, check out their website, Facebook and Blog.

Jill Denton runs Mini Bunting Workshop @ Alexandra Palace!

Jill Denton is a Textile Artist who specialises in gorgeous felt wearables, such as scarves and hats. Above is one of her textured pieces from her online Gallery. Click the image to go to her website to see more.During the Knitting and Stitching Show, JIll was teaching a fun workshop on making mini bunting on our fabulous CXL301 machine. The quick and easy workshop is ideal to learn a new skill and have a play on a new sewing machine at the same time.
You can see from the smiley faces... everyone in having a lovely time!
For many, this was the first time using a computerised sewing machine, and they found it so simple and easy to use.
The CXL301 is our entry level computerised machine and has 30 built in stitches, including one step buttonholes! For more information on Jill Denton and her felt making workshops, go to her website and blog.
For more information on the Janome CXL301 contact your local stockist or have a look at the full details on

Monday, 7 November 2011

The New Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000 has been launched!!!!

At long last the new Janome top of line sewing and embroidery machine has arrived! And, believe me, it is worth the wait!
The Horizon Memory Craft 12000 has so much to offer, from over 300 hundred built in embroidery designs, and four hoops to embroider them out on at up 1000 stitches per minute! The largest hoop being 230mm x 300mm, that's 9" by nearly 12"!!
Over 400 built in sewing and decorative stitches... to 9mm width!!
Easy Pivoting with Auto Presser Foot Lift!
Ten built in lights, and easy needle plate conversion, variable zig zag for free machine embroidery!
Horizon Link software program for your computer which allows you to do all your editing on your laptop and then send via a direct link cable!
The embroidery arm still works to the back on the machine, and packs away neat and compact when not in use. For the full features list please click HERE and go to our main website.
And now, for a behind the scenes look at our preparation for our grand veiling at Alexandra Palace Knit and Stitch exhibition in October.....
When we launch any new machine, but especially a new top of line machine, all the staff involved need to get to know the machine inside out... we live, breath and eat the machine for weeks so we are fully confident to show you everything you ask us!
As much of our sewing work is done in the evening, after normal working hours are over, one of the best features about this machine came in very useful, the lighting. Ten lights in total, and a retractable High Light. This gave clear lighting all night long!
The light retracts back into the machine when you are not using it, and their is also a AcuView Magnifier to help see stitching around the needle. (this isn't in the photograph).
Over 400 stitches... just fabulous! All the decorative stitches are 9mm wide and the buttonholes can be customized as well to 9mm. Many of the stitches are brand new, and some of my favourites are the hand look stitches.
All Janome staff who will be working at the customer launch of the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 at Alexandra Palace, make samples on the machine, this helps us to learn the machine, and creates some wonderful inspiring pieces for display on the stand.
One of the pieces I created, was a draft excluder, using the gorgeous Babushka design of the 12000 and some of the fabulous 9mm decorative stitches. There are three Babushka designs built into the machine, I took these into Digitizer MBX and re-sized so I had eight dolls. The "Once in a small Russian town. there lived a woman called Babushka", is embroidered using one of the new fonts in Digitizer MBX, "Run Cardigan".The stitches above the Babushka designs are some of the new Hand Look Embroidery stitches, they are quite heavy looking and simulate embroidery done by hand with stranded thread.
I embellished the yellow fabric with rows of 9mm decorative stitches, and the Ric Rac finished the look!
The Babushka Draft Excluder looked great on the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 display, along with other samples made by Maureen Brown and various Janome Experts. (freelance textile artists, quilters etc).
The other sample I created for the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 display was a clasp handbag with a gorgeous big embroidery! This clasp was purchased from U-Handbag, who sell everything you need to make stunning bags.
I used one of the biggest embroidery designs on the machine, and using Digitizer MBX, I edited the design and added an extra 3 roses and leaves to give the design a better shape to fit my bag design. Here, you can see me embroidering the extra Roses and I used the tacking feature within embroidery to help hold the fabric in place. I am really pleased with the finished bag, and I can't wait to get chance to use it one day!

The handbag was displayed with other Horizon Memory Craft 12000 samples. Ruth Cox, our Southern Regional Sales Manager, made the Lingerie Bag using the Cross Stitch Alphabet, and the corset bodice with lace butterfly designs off the machine.
We had a wonderful time at the Knitting and Stitching Show, and as you can see, we were very busy!
Everyone loved the new Horizon Memory Craft 12000, and the feedback we recieved was very exciting. I can't wait to see what some of the first people to buy the machine will make on it!
Since the Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching Show, selected stockists have had Horizon Memory Craft training at Janome Head Office. The machine is now available to buy through selected shops. To find your local Horizon Memory Craft 12000 dealer, please contact our Head Office on 0161 6666011.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Richard from S Nutt Sewing Machines in Birmingham runs charity marathon!

Make a Wish is a charity that helps to create magical wishes to children and young people with life threatening illnesses.
Richard from S Nutt Sewing Machines, also runs and teaches at Sutton Schools of Tae Kwon-do. They are running a marathon on Saturday 24th September 2pm - 6pm at Bishop Walsh School, in support of Make a Wish Charity.
So why not pop over to the website and offer them support.

Good luck from Janome to all the runners!


Richard and all the team raised a fantastic £7067.47!!!! Below you can see Jane handing over the cheque!
This is now paying to send a little three year old boy to Florida.
Congratulations to everyone who supported such a good cause!
For more information, check out and