National Sewing Machine Day: Interview with Donna!

Miss Donna has been teaching sewing and quilting for many years. She has taught classes around the country and, more locally, in our store. Recently, I sat down with her at her sewing studio to ask her a few questions about her sewing machine in honor of National Sewing Machine Day on June 13, 2022.. 

Our chat focused primarily on her latest machine, the Janome M7. This is one of the top of the line Janome machines and I wanted to hear for myself from a consumer what they thought of this beast of a machine.

Let’s begin…

Carmen: “Miss Donna, if you have to narrow down your top 3 favorite features of the M7, what would you say they are?” 

Donna: “Oh, wow so many, but I would say the large throat space! I also LOVE the ability to switch from ruler work to Free Motion Quilting so easily. Quilting on this machine is so easy and I have never skipped stitches. The detailed manual has helped me familiarize myself with all of the features available. I have highlighted this entire manual. Can I tell you more favorites?” 

FACTS About the M7:

  • A total of 13.5-inches from the right of the needle to the end of the throat space and 5.5-inches from the base to the harp (top to bottom)
  • Over 145 pages for the manual
  • A workbook is also available- This workbook includes patterns for quilt squares and how to assemble those squares into a quilt using techniques that may be known and some that may be new to the user. Really, what better way to get to know your new machine than to sew on it?

Carmen: “Before you share more favorites, can you explain what is your secret to Free Motion Quilting with no skipped stitches and how do you make it look so easy?”

Donna: “The secret is pedal to the metal. By keeping your speed set to 20-30%, you’ll be your own stitch regulator. No more skipped stitches!” Isn’t that the truth! That is the 100 million dollar tip to gorgeous stitch formation while quilting.

Carmen: “What other secrets can you offer us while doing FMQ?” 

Donna: “Don’t stop on the curves if possible, stop on the straighter areas and on a gentle curve. Move that fabric in those areas too.” Wow, that’s awesome to hear!”

FACTS About the M7:

  • Extra large Foot controller with a separate cutter with a remote thread cutter attached.

Carmen: “Ok, so what else do you love about this machine?”

Donna: “I love that it’s not a combo machine and I can focus on my quilting while I embroidering on my Janome 550e. I used to have a combo machine but now that I have a room dedicated to sewing, I can have both machines and I can work on several projects simultaneously. I also love the LED lights. There are two lights around the needle, as well as a light built into the neck of the machine. These lights are also adjustable.”

Carmen: “Miss Donna, tell me about the accessories that come with the Janome M7”.

Donna: “The M7 comes with 23 feet and 3 needle plates. These options make it easy for the sewist to choose the correct foot and needle plate for the project.  For example, a single hole for piecing projects helps me sew with lighter fabrics and not worry about fabric being sucked into the larger hole.  As a bonus, the needle plates are magnetic so with the press of a button you can change out the needle plate with ease and not have to worry about losing a screw along the way!” 

FACTS About the Janome M7:

  • The M7 has an extension table of 26.77” X 15.75”.  As an added bonus, the work table has a built-in drawer so that you can keep all of your favorite accessories at your fingertips.
  • What is super cool about this machine is the new SFS-i intelligent feed system. This system is designed to keep the feed dogs down and out of the way, so that you can easily position your fabric where you want it to be. As soon as you start sewing, the feed dogs come up and perfectly grab the fabric.

Carmen: “Breakdown the foot controller with the thread cutter for me.”

Donna: “The foot control for the M7 is adjustable and customizable.  A separate thread cutter switch comes with the foot control and can be attached to a base.  The foot control can be placed on either the left or the right depending on your preferences.  The cords can also be wound and stored in the base of the foot control when not in use.  If you prefer not to use a foot control, there is an auto start/stop button that can be used when the foot control is not attached to the machine.”

Fact about the Janome M7:

  • 400 built-in stitches, including 13 different styles of buttonholes (and with Stitch Composer your stitch count is infinite) and Eight fonts.

Carmen: “Tell me more! I love to hear it from your view.”

Donna: “One of the features the M7 offers is a sensor in the bobbin case that lets you know when your bobbin is running low.  This is incredible!  Imagine never running out of bobbin thread again, especially when you are quilting.  I love this function when I’m quilting because I am not able to see the bobbin case.  Speaking of bobbins, you can wind bobbins independently.  You heard that right.  You can wind a bobbin while you are still sewing, and you are able to adjust the speed at which the bobbins wind.”

Later on we chatted some more and these are the notes I took:

One of the features Donna really loves is the stitch settings, especially the ease at which you can make and save your favorite stitch adjustments.  She really likes the taper function when satin stitching.  The M7 has a stitch width of 9mm, and it is possible to elongate or make decorative stitches look hand stitched as well.  Donna says the M7 sews smooth and even and the stitch quality is beautiful and wonderful.

The M7 is a smart machine. For every five hours of use, your machine will let you know when you need to clean the bobbin case; you never have to guess when the last time you cleaned your machine was. We all know a lint free machine is a happy machine!

I personally remember the first time I was introduced to the M7. I literally got goosebumps. Nope, I am not kidding. I was at a Janome convention and they turned off the lights and played some awesome music and had a spot light on the machine. It was unbelievably beautiful. Its slick modern look with its incredible size was so impressive. It was love at first sight. We took classes that week and I personally enjoyed so much free motion quilting on it and the ruler work was just a breeze. I believe that was my first time doing ruler work and I was hooked.

Janome really has gone above and beyond to create an amazing machine full of features that would be perfect for the sewist or quilter. This is just the tip of the iceberg as to all the features the M7 has to offer.  She is a beautiful machine that brings a smile to this quilter’s face every time and, like Miss Donna says, “I LOVE my M7 and I think you would too”.