Janome Memory Craft 9400 Review and Project

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After learning to sew on a hand me down machine and falling in love with quilting, I decided to buy my own machine. My husband is a technology and gear junkie so he was as excited as me. After researching the latest models, their features and history, we went to a local store that sold a variety of machines. We tried out the same functions on each machine (like 1/4″ stitching and zig zag stitch) and compared features (walking feet/throat size). Ultimately, I bought the Memory Craft 7700 QCP (mine has a red face). Since that purchase, I have added the Hello Kitty as my travel machine. When Janome asked me if I wanted to try out the Memory Craft 9400 QCP, I couldn’t wait. I didn’t upgrade to the 8900 QCP as my 7700 was sufficient so the 9400 was a good machine to try out.

I didn’t want to sew a few things and then review the machine. Wanting to test out the machine’s abilities, I made one tank top, two dresses for my daughter, three pairs of City Gym Shorts, my mini solids quilts for July, August, and September, a double zip wallet, a full size quilt top, most of my jeans and other small projects. Here is what I discovered:

The Fun Features:

  • Lighting! There is a pop up light on the top left side that really helps when you are sewing at night.
  • The needle threader is very fast and much better than the one on my 7700.
  • The low thread in my bobbin alert saved me several times. I also liked that you could adjust the alert’s sensitivity.

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  • The presser foot is triggered to go down automatically with the foot pedal.
  • An thread cutter can be added to the foot pedal as an accessory.
  • The bobbin threader has been enhanced with a second securing step for better tension.
  • I am used to the amazing work of the Accu-feed system but someone who isn’t familiar with it would likely be impressed.
  • The bobbin winder is fast, quiet and works well.

The Not as Fun Features:

  • Make sure your feet are secured tightly. I broke two needles when the walking foot wasn’t on as tightly as I thought.
  • In comparison to the 7700, the foot pedal cord is shorter. Since I have a standing desk, the cord barely reached the floor for me.
  • The light under the throat gets hot over time.
  • I managed to damage my bobbin case while making a button hole in denim. I’m not sure exactly how I did it but Janome sent me a new case without any questions.

For Your Information:

  • The instruction guide comes on a DVD. If you are like me and your computer/laptop doesn’t have a DVD drive, you can also find the guide on youtube.
  • The cloth guides works well but can only be used on the free arm.

I would encourage any quilter who is looking for a new machine to try it out.

Now onto my project:

I love using graph paper composition books for sketching quilt ideas! Since I like to carry one with me at all times, I wanted to create a gorgeous cover. After finding this excellent tutorial from Stitched in Color, I adapted the dimensions to accommodate a scrappy cover that looked more like a composition book. Let’s get started!

Cut:

(2) 12″ tall x 7″ wide (this will be the fabric on the inside cover)

(2) 12″ tall x 7 1/2″ wide (this will be the outside covers)

(1) 12 ” tall x 2 1/2″ wide (this will be the spine)

Instructions:

1. Sew the inside pocket piece to one of the outside covers using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Sew the inside pocket/outside cover piece to the spine. The pocket/outside cover/spine piece will be sewn to the second/last outside cover. And finally, the long piece will be sewn to the second/last inside cover.  The order, from left to right, should be inside pocket, outside cover, spine, outside cover, and inside pocket.

step-1-order-of-pieces

2. Fold the short side (12″) wrong sides together and over 1/4″ . Press. Fold the short side another 1/4″ over. Press again. (I like pressing both the right and the wrong side to get a sharp edge.) Sew down the fold using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

step-2-sides-sewn

3. Repeat for the other side.

4. Place so the right side of the piece is facing up. Fold over each of the sides 6 1/2″. (You will be folding the right side to the right side so the sides’ wrong side will be facing up. You should only see the spine in the center.)

5. Mark 1″ from both the top and the bottom of your piece.

6. Sew along the 1″ mark ensuring you backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

step-6-sewing-top-and-bottom

7. Clip the corners.

clipping corners

8. Turn your piece right side out.

9. Push the book into each pocket one outer cover at a time. I usually slide one pocket in and then fold the book over and slide in the second outer cover.

step-9-inserting-pockets

Here is the front…

front-of-cover

… and the back.

back-of-cover

You could modify the pattern by making all pieces improv or use leftover quilt blocks for the outside covers! Hope you love your cover!

 

 

Comments 17

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      Author
  1. Thank you for the Janome review. I’m in the market for a machine with a large throat space so will give this a try.
    I ALWAYS look forward to your podcast. You are professional yet casual and easy to listen to….not to mention the numerous tips and inspirations shared! Happy Okie listener!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Aww, thank you! I really appreciate having a large throat space, even when I send my quilts to the long armer. It’s a more comfortable experience for me. 🙂 And I hope to keep up with the tips and inspiration!

  2. Pingback: 2016 Recap and 2017 Plans - Crafty Planner

  3. I brought this for xmas and I love it but I am struggling when I am quilt to get the my quilt to move! Iam using the acufeed flex foot but it is still struggling to move! what I am doing wrong! please can you help!

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      Author

      Madulla,

      I feel like there are two schools of thought about this. One is to drop all of your feed dogs (therefore remove the acufeed foot) and use a darning foot to free motion quilt. The other school of thought is the one I subscribe to: I use my acufeed walking foot with the bottom feed dogs up. Granted, I’m usually not quilting feathers so that probably makes a difference. I hope that helps.

  4. Have you found the 9400 to generate a computer noise when pressing the foot pedal, raising or lowering the press or foot?

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      Author

      Linda, I’m not sure about a computer noise but I do hear the gears moving. I might be used to it with my 7700 though. 🙂

  5. This is excellent information! We’ve recently started a Facebook group for 9400 Owners, to help with questions, etc. feel free to search groups for Janome 9400.

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      Author
  6. I am considering buying a mc9400 but need to sell my mc8200 first. I love this machine but miss a few extra stitches I thought I could do without. I can tell you are giving me a useful honest review of the 9400 We need more reviews like yours. The real plus is the little things you wish you had not done. We are all human and you may have saved me from doing the same. Thanks again. Hugs from one sewer to another.

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      Author
  7. I am the owner of a brand new 9400 think I bought a machine that is way over my skill level and found the tutorial DVD to be useful but am at a loss about the other disc. Am sure it has something to do with the USB port but what and how? Any help with that would be appreciated.

  8. I am the owner of a brand new 9400 think I bought a machine that is way over my skill level and found the tutorial DVD to be useful but am at a loss about the other disc. Am sure it has something to do with the USB port but what and how? Any help with that would be appreciated.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi, Lorraine!

      I apologize for the delay. I gave my 9400 back after the review (it was a temporary lend.) so I don’t remember the other disc. I went to my local dealer and they didn’t have the 9400 in stock for me to look through the box. Eeek! Is it possible to go back to where you bought it and ask them? If not, send me an email and I can help you trouble shoot. (My email is sandi at craftyplanner dot com) Good luck!

      Sandi

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