Wednesday, September 07, 2011

That Sewing Doo-hicky

janome.and.me
Here is where I explain some stuff.

A Janome sewing machine has been on my sewing table for more than 13 years. I don't mean one or another Janome sewing machine, I mean the same one. Until recently. I was approached by the company almost a year ago about the prospect of working together, and was immediately excited and encouraged that selling me on their machines would be no work at all. I was already in love. But they almost laughed when I told them I was still sewing on a Memory Craft 5700. Regardless of having the opportunity to sew with many machines (they just sort of show up here) nothing could ever make me stop sewing on that machine. Honest to goodness. I would always go back to it, ignoring whatever gadgets were suppose to be the latest and greatest. And I think that does say something, it says that my machine has filled a need for me that I didn't need to or want to replace.... it never gave me a reason to look around for anything else, so we have a history.

Admittedly, I get asked frequently what I sew with, as though I might be an authority- I am not- just some experience. Many people are passionate about their machine brand- finding what you are comfortable on is so important- and different for everyone. I've never felt it a really big deal, to tout one over another, brag, insist, push, convert. The thing I have learned about sewing machines, is that really, who cares? I am always way more interested in what I am making than what is pushing the thread up and down, or making the bobbin whirl..... its just never present in my mind. On the few occasions that I've had the chance to sew with the Rainbow Around the Block team, in all the hours and hours of sewing together, not one of us talked about our machine or machine brand. We talked about our quilts, our fabrics, our projects and our families.

But back to stuff. After the past year of slowly developing the new relationship, I feel convinced that the folks who design, invent and make Janome machines know this. They know you have a choice, and most of us care more about perfecting our piecing, or dashing our darts than the name on our machines. I think that's part of what is working so well for them. They don't rest on or push the name as much as they just make quality products. So no wonder, I guess, that I was compelled to work with them, and I'm happy (jumping up and down) to say that I'll have the opportunity to try out several models, review them, and give old faithful a rest (not that she needs it) every now and then. And you might see someone familiar in their mag ads. Sorry about that.

So who cares?

Well you don't have to. But here is what it will mean for anyone who does care. I am partnering with Janome quarterly to create new free sewing projects, videos (oh dear) highlighting some steps from those projects, and going on some road trips to dealers around the country to share the love. I am thrilled that they were open to working together in whatever way I came up with. And I came up with it because I want my work to be helpful, and inspiring for everyne who supports what I do. And that's you, of course. I have already met so many wonderful and brilliant folks within the company. My quick weekend trip to Orlando was to give my first official hello at their biannual convention. I loved learning more about the history of the company, meeting Janome dealers from every point on the globe and getting to be among the first to see gorgeous new models.

But really all I ever wanted to was to have anything to do with anyone who designs the Hello Kitty sewing machines. Amen.

So here's my Janome + Me page, where we'll be adding more of my updates regarding that world. So I'll just shut up now.

smoochie.AM

68 comments:

  1. My mother in law got me a Janome as a wedding gift. It is fairly simple, 18 stitches, but I love it. It is easy to use and came with the tools I needed. I don't use it as often as I should, or would like, but I love knowing that it is there! They provide excellent service too, I've found.

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  2. Good morning Anna Maria. This has nothing to do with Janome although I do want to congratulate you - what a wonderful opportunity for you! I just want to tell you that your blog brightens my day. You make me smile even when it's early and I haven't even had my coffee yet!
    Lots of hugs,
    Annette

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  3. I have a Janome and am thrilled with it. I bought it about a year and a half ago. I had sewn on a Viking prior to that. Congratulations on your new venture!

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  4. Anonymous11:32 AM

    That's on my daughter's Christmas list (okay okay - MY Christmas list FOR my daughter) - a Hello Kitty machine. I didn't know it was a Janome. It will be my - er, that is, her - first Janome. :-)

    Looking forward to your new line of LouLouThi x-stitch fabrics too, as that will be part of my home ec instruction with my 8-yr-old this year in homeschool.

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  5. I knit at our local Janome dealership. I own an elna. Love it. I hope our dealership will one day be on your list in Pensacola, Fl.... just wait until after Fall (hurricane season) is past!

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  6. My mother-in-law got me a Janome as a Christmas present a few years ago. She was apologetic that it was not a BIG name brand machine, but I love it! And I think the next machine I get will also be a Janome.

    Congratulations!

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  7. HA! You crack me up. The first thing I thought was, "Cool, Janome makes those Hello Kitty machines"! Congrats on the parntership...will you be giving away HK machines (jk!)?

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  8. Congrats, this sounds like a great collaboration. Bring more sewing to the masses I say! I've only ever used an Elna and a Bernette so I will be really keen to see your machine reviews.
    Now, is the Paper Fan Dress shown in the top left of that magazine ad? I really hope so because I got really excited when I saw that design - it's gorgeous!

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  9. Congratulations on your partnership with a fantastic company. I worked for one of our local sewing machine stores for several years (until they closed) and I own 4 Janome machines. They are the best and never need repair..just TLC with cleaning/oiling. I found you from twitter.

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  10. Kirsty, Yes, that is the paper fan dress!!! :)

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  11. I love that you are partnering with Janome. And you were in Orlando and didn't drop by 3 hrs away to see me? Just kidding... I was sewing with an inexpensive Singer for about 10 years, until a friend of mine told me about a friend who was selling a 13 year old Janome Memory Craft 9000. Her mother paid 3000 for it back in '97, only to use it one time, and I bought it off of her for $200. I am so happy with it. My only complaint is "the bobbing thread is almost gone" beep that happens every time I press the foot control. :D I barely need more than a simple straight stitch. After all, you have converted me to handquilting, so I don't need all the fancy quiliting stitches! Anyway, I'm very happy you have agreed to partner with Janome and even more people have the joy of AM!

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  12. My first and only sewing machine is also a Janome. As a very very rank beginner, I did my research and when the purl bee recommended the Janome Jem Gold (with the quilting kit!) as a wonderful beginner's model, I was sold. Two years later I have yet to be confronted with something this wonderful machine can't handle. I love it, and I love that you are beginning this collaboration. Can't wait to check it all out!!!

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  13. How exciting, what a great collaboration! Suits you perfectly. :)

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  14. The Hello Kitty is my Daughter's first machine :o) Such a beautiful blue! I have an old Janome Memory Craft that I love and use too. Excellent machines!

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  15. Oh Anna,
    I love your quote "...in all the hours and hours of sewing together, not one of us talked about our machine or machine brand. We talked about our quilts, our fabrics, our projects and our families." I sew on my mother's Elna and while it is my tool to creation, it is also more than that. Thanks again for another wonderful post. And congrats on the Janome partnership. I believe your fans are as excited as you!

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  16. I have a Janome - got it as a birthday gift two years ago which replaced my 15-year-old White which I have now passed down to my daughter (it's a work horse). I love the Janome but there is something to be said about the machine you started with and worked with for so many years. Congrats on the opportunity. I hope you come up to Maine as we have a Janome dealership nearby and I'd love to meet you!

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  17. How exciting, congrats on your new collaboration!! Janome is lucky to have you!

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  18. Amen is right. Hello Kitty sewing machine--that was a brilliant idea.

    I'm so happy you've partnered with someone you feel so excited about. And I'm in complete agreement with you on the issue of what you sew is more important then what you use to sew it.

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  19. Good for you and good for them. I just bought a "new" 16 year old sewing machine and I'm hoping to have the same type of relationship with it that you do with your Janome! I read lots of reviews and people are dedicated to it like you're dedicated to your Janome.

    They got a great partner. And I agree, I'd much rather talk about my quilts or my family, or think about who I'm sewing for.

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  20. How exciting! My four year old has the green hello kitty janome (I know, a little young, but she loves to sew!). In case Janome is reading these...can you please come out with a finger guard? I slowed the machine down by gluing a piece of wood to the back of the pedal, but it'll be forever until I can trust her alone with it without a finger guard. I've tried a few, but none fit since it's a 3/4 size machine. Just thought I'd throw it out there!

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  21. congratulations on your partnership Anna- I think it really says something about the company that they chose to work with such a brilliant gal- they have such good taste- (hello kitty good taste!) I had a Janome as my main squeeze for a few years before winning my Bernina sewing machine a few years back- I still have and use the Janome as a back-up machine as it came with so many more accessories like a walking foot that the Bernina didn't. It would cost me nearly as much as I paid for my Janome for a walking foot for the Bernina! OUCH! It is a great little machine that has always worked like a champ for me- I wish more companies would pay attention to the fact that expensive add ons are prohibitive for most of us home sewers. While I love my Bernina I would never have replaced the Janome if I hadn't won it as a prize- I loved it, and still do.

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  22. I bought my firs sewing machine a Janome about 2 years ago and though I am still partial to my mothers 40 year old Husquarna I love it. So simple so manageable. I hope it will be with me for 13 years. And I know when it comes time to replace it no other machine will measure up.

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  23. Never dealt with a Janome before...my love is an old Bernina I got second hand. :o)

    Thanks to you, however, My 8 year old will be getting a Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine from Santa this year - almost half price on that *overstock* website (can I say that here?) So excited!

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  24. Martha, GASP did you just say OVERSTOCK?! hahha, of course you can say that.... I think Ive seen them at Target too. But wait till you see the new ones.....

    xo,AM

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  25. Woo hoo! I love my Janome Horizon, so it's very exciting that you're going to be doing some work with them. Hey, I know it's a long shot, but can you please talk them into sending you to the Riehl Sew & Vac dealer in Anchorage? Pretty please? I'll lend you a big down coat and show you around :)

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  26. Krista, ask me again when the temps hit 100 :) sounds exciting actually!

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  27. Seems to me only men would sit around talking about their machines and how the bobbin whirls! ;0)

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  28. Jennifer- trudat.

    xoam

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  29. Congrats! you really inspire me ....I love your pictures with the machine. Looking great!

    www.baboonastore.com

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  30. Oh, I love my Janome(s)! I started sewing on a Gem years ago and have since upgraded to a Memory Craft 6600. Love them both :) The only thing that I would change is the color.....I'd die for a super cute pink machine!

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  31. when we bought our first house 25 yrs ago, my mom sent me a montgomery ward portable sewing machine. i used it for 23 yrs to make window treatments, little girls' holiday dresses, little boy's holiday outfits, halloween costumes, etc, etc. loved that workhorse. my next machine, yup, just a couple of yrs ago was a janome. didn't know i could enjoy another machine, but you're right, it's not the machine, (although i do love the janome)it's the joy you get from using a good machine to do what you love to do.....sew! Congrats on the new venture! :D

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  32. I am a big time Janome fan, I sew on their Horizon, and it is one of the best machines I've ever worked with. I also have a smaller Bernina, which I love as well... They both turn out great quality with major reliability and are easy to use! That checks all my boxes :)

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  33. Love janome! Have to stop myself from looking repeatedly at the horizon, but my MC6500 is so good I would feel bad replacing it. I started on a 4800 qilters companion by Janome and felt bad upgrading! Congratulations to you on teaming with them, they sound like a good company

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  34. I have had a Bernina Activa for 5 years. I also have the Janome Hello Kitty machine as a back up. However, lately I am doing all my sewing on the Hello Kitty machine. It's super!

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  35. I have sewn on a Janome 4000 for over 16 years and it hasn't let me down. It recently started making strange noises and after having it serviced it was returned to me with a bag of enough fluff to make a fur coat for a mouse! Oops, when I cleaned my machines I had forgotten to clean under the bobbin case!

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  36. Congratulations on your new partnership! I have made all of my quilts on my Janome Décor machine and it has done so well but I need to upgrade to something bigger. I have considering switching to another brand that friends rave about but I have always loved my Janome and think I'll stick with the brand!!

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  37. Misha5:55 PM

    My baby brother(RIP) gave me a Hello Kitty Janome 4 years ago for my birthday. I've only used it twice and really just need to get over my fears and SEW. But I'll be honest, I wanted a sewing machine and the fact that it had Hello Kitty on it landed it FIRMLY on my wishlist. Thank you for inspiring me. I WILL start sewing.

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  38. CindyG6:28 PM

    I think one of the most frustrating things for people learning to sew is a crappy machine. Janome's low end machines have a good reputation. Looking forward to what you create and more pictures of you hair in the bobbin winder! :)

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  39. Wish I started with a Janome - I won't mention the name of my machine - but Oh brother (get it) it's given me a bit of problems. Someday soon I hope to get a Janome. I've only heard great things.

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  40. Now this is such a coincidence. Within the past few weeks, after lots of research (including talking with the smart and friendly folks at Purl SOHO, I decided that the time had come to give my 1967 Singer portable a rest and ... I bought a Janome Gem. What a lovely, dinky (as an affectionate compliment) machine it is.

    I am still working my way through the various stitches described in the excellent handbook, but have already finished one trial project.

    And now...I see that you also advocate Janome. Bravo to both of us, and also, of course, to Janome for its excellence.

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  41. That's so exciting! I'm a Janome girl too. I have two, and I use them all the time. They are total work horses and I've never had a problem with them. I have two other machines that aren't Janomes and they don't compare at all, in my humble opinion. I can't wait to see all the great things that come out of your collaboration with them!

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  42. Janome had a booth at the Chicago holiday art show I went to with Cindy from Studio Be. I was hooked and got it on the spot. Love it!
    Any demos in Nashville?

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  43. Janome has one of the best web sites with some really nifty projects.

    How much time per day do you allot to sewing? Just curious.

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  44. What a great opportunity! I love, love, love all 3 of my Janome machines. I'd love to have a super duper top of the line one one of these days!

    If we can ever coordinate one of your Janome events with the Music City Modern Quilt Guild, we'd love to have you! Please let me know if you have any ideas on how we can help out!

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  45. This is exciting news and an exciting relationship too, I'm sure! I am a sewing instructor and we use a manual Janome machine that I just L-O-V-E! Our Janome's have turned out to be quite reliable and strong machines! The machine I use for my personal sewing is not a Janome but I could easily be persuaded to trade what I use for a Janome. So, I'll be keeping an eye and ear out for your thoughts and opinions. :)

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  46. Yay! New free sewing projects from you? Awesome. Plus, I'd love to hear your thoughts on other machines...mine is also considered ancient but she does her job so who cares right? Thanks for your frankness...it is what I keep coming back for!

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  47. flowerchild8:35 AM

    I saw the video on the new Horizon machine, just to see what the new one was, but like you said it was the sewing I was looking at on the video and all the baby stuff they made on the video with your fabric was just wonderful. I never thought of using that fabric in a baby's room. I will keep using my Janome DC3050 (great workhorse of a machine) and hope I can get the Horizon 7700 sometime (I just love that you don't have to change the needle plate from a zigzag to a straight stitch plate). Now chattanooga is not too far to make a visit to for a Janome dealer visit, and Henry who runs the place is a great guy!

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  48. Sounds exciting, Anna Maria. Congratulations!

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  49. Hi Anna,
    Long time reader here!
    I love my sewing machine and it's also a Janome (harmony 8080) purchased in 2003. I have not send it to a repair center yet. It works perfectly and I've learned all about sewing on this machine!
    I love when they make durable things...
    Congrats!

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  50. 19 1/2 years on mine. It was my high-school grad gift, back when they were New Home. Love it, no plans for anything "newfangled" in my future.

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  51. Anna
    Love your new Janome page! Love my Janome Sewing machines. Even my 28 yr old daughter wants a Janome "Hello Kitty Machine!" I'm so excited to learn that you love & sew Janome,too!!
    Penny

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  52. I have a janome MC 6500.I bought it on ebay 3 years ago for $500. I love it and will never part with it. I have sewn on singers, brothers, and vikings(and still have all of them, in working order) but, this machine is by far the best.

    I have consistently sewn more with this machine

    But,I think I want a hello kitty ---even just for decoration.
    I am going to look at your janome page now

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  53. Here we all use Janome... can't beat 'em!
    xxx Achaia

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  54. A wonderful match that I do care for... You and Janome!
    I love my sewing machine, and I look forward to seeing what you whip-up with yours. Congratulations on this new venture.

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  55. Awesome to know you are partnering with Janome! I haven't used many machines, but my third purchased machine is my Janome 625E. I adore it so much, it is my main sewing machine. I even "pimped" it with stickers. Third time is the charm? Haha!
    I wish more folks new more about Janome and I'm happy to hear you use one too!

    :)

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  56. audrey8:14 PM

    This is so funny; I'm a beginner quilter using my 16 year old Janome Myexcel that does everything it is meant to do. The few starter quilts I've done, people think I splurged on a Thousands dollar machine. Nope. I loves my reliable old Janome. There is only one feature that I wish it had that the new machines do is the needle down button. But even then, you adapt and get used to manually lowering the need at the end of any free motion quilting. Congratulations on your new found project. I totally get why they approached you :).

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  57. Anna, it was a pleasure meeting you in Orlando! I love that Janome produces quality machines and that function and features are easy to use regardless if you sew on an older model or a newer model. I love my Janome too and super excited about the new MC12000 being released. Look forward to seeing you in the Spring! Take care, Carrie

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  58. Congrats on your new venture! I have sewn on a Janome Memory Craft 4800 for over 6 years and I have never considered getting another machine. Can't wait to see your projects!

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  59. Am I the only Kenmore girl here? Bought my first machine with my tax refund check (also some nike shoes) twenty five years ago. I din't know where you could buy sewing machines back then other than Sears.

    If a Janome just sort of showed up here, I'd love to give it a whirl.

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  60. I am so excited to hear of your new relationship with Janome! Anna Maria and Janome, two of my favorite sewing staples!!!
    Congrats.

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  61. How fabulous is that? Congratulations, and I look forward to your projects.

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  62. Carrie Picott9:48 PM

    I love that you have found a company that will help you help us ;) I hope that they will bring you to Houston!

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  63. My almost 11yo loves her Janome Hello Kitty machine (purchased for a steal at Target on clearance for $24.99!) and only reluctantly shares it with her older sisters (they're 20, 26 and 28) since they want to take it home and keep it for a few days. We are both looking forward to seeing the projects you come up with.

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  64. I often check on your pages.I'm surprised at your machine which is Janome, because I don't know it using in other countries.
    Janome is Japanese maker.
    Ja means snake,no means 's, me means eye.
    so,that company name means snake's eye in Japanese.Bobbins are looks like snake's eye,so it's named.
    I'm so excited to hear of your new relationship with Janome!

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  65. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I use my Janome constantly - it is one tough machine. I bought Hello Kitty machines for both my girls and those machines are way more awesome than I ever expected. I've taken them to school quilting bees and costume workshops for my kids school play. One mom sat down at my daughter's HK machine and sewed an entire furry squirrel costume - no problem.

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  66. I love that you have a history with your machine. I mean, why must we always have something newer, just for the sake of having something newer?!

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  67. This is so exciting! Like one of your other fans I bought a Janome Jem Gold off of purl bee's recommendation and I haven't looked back since. It works great! My mom had an bernina that would constantly jam up all.the.time. Never have that problem with my Janome! Glad to see that you will help spread the message about how great these machines are!

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