Janome MC9450QCP Workbook Review
As with all sewing machines the Janome MC9450QCP comes with a user guide given you information on the basic machine options. However, Janome spotted there was a demand for something more advanced, taking it to the next level for keen stitchers. From that the Janome MC9450QCP workbook was born.
What is the Janome MC9450QCP workbook?
So, what is the Janome MC9450QCP workbook and how does it differ from the user manual? The workbook is a large, 171 page A4 book which I would liken to a series of sewing workshops in book form. It has practical exercises combined with fun techniques and a full sampler quilt to help you explore the full range of functions this model has.
The workbook can also be used by those who own the Janome MC9400QCP, the older version of the MC9450QCP (this is the model I have – read my review here). You can also purchase workbooks for the MC1500, CM7P and air thread overlocker AT2000D from your local Janome retailer or from Janome UK direct by contacting them on 0161 6666001. All £69.99 apart from the Janome MC1500 workbook which is £79.99
Many of us, myself included, have an excited play with the functions of the machine when we first get a new sewing machine. Then before we know it, we end up sticking to the same favourite stitches and feet. However, if you’ve paid over £2,000 for a top of the range sewing machine you really want to be getting the most for your money and the Janome workbook helps you do that.
It covers how to operate the machine, what the different needle plates do and how to change them, how to customise the settings, how to use Janome’s exclusive dual feed system AcuFeed™, how to sew buttonholes, sewing decorative stitches, applique, quilting, variable zig zag, the stitch composer software and many more functions.
Using the Janome workbook
The book is really easy to follow with step by step instructions showing pictures of exactly which options to press on the screen, which feet you need and which needle plates. It’s a very visual guide which I love, I find it hard to follow words alone.
The latter half of the book contains instructions and templates for a sampler quilt which incorporates all the skills you learned earlier in the book to make a beautiful 50 x 64 inch sampler quilt.
There is a Facebook group of people working through the Janome workbook here, many are going right through from start to finish in order. I decided to pick the bits that interested me most or had skills I wanted to learn, with a view to dipping in and out whenever I have time to do another section.
I started with one of the quilt blocks, the improv curves block as I don’t have much experience sewing curves. So I wanted more practice. My curves joined nicely, with a little pressing to remove any creases, but I did find the block ended up smaller than expected. However, that is the nature of improv, I did cut quite deep curves so I removed a fair amount of fabric from each strip. I added an extra strip in to make both sides of the block the same size.
It was the perfect opportunity to play with some free motion quilting, I did a different design in each section. Some I haven’t tried before. I think I’ll turn this block into a book cover or a pouch in the future.
Next, I went onto the decorative stitches, something I have to admit I haven’t used very much at all. I was amazed at how much you could do, I learned how to join different stitches, program stitch combinations, use text stitches, how to flip the designs and how to stack stitches using the border guide foot (an optional foot you can purchase to go with the machine shown below – make sure you buy the 9mm one).
I even used a twin needle for the first time ever to create the most beautiful dual coloured stitches.
Then whilst I had the twin needle installed, I did some serpentine channel quilting as well. I had no idea I could do all these things with my machine, and without the workbook I probably never would have tried them. The twin need decorative stitching is something I definitely intend to use a lot more. It would make beautiful decorative details on pouches and bags.
The 3rd section I tried was buttonholes. As a quilter and bag maker not a dressmaker I’ve never really had much to do with buttonholes, so they always made me a little nervous. But following the steps in the Janome workbook they were easy and I ended up trying several different styles. Now I just need to find a project with buttons holes to show them off!
I was a little worried that because it’s not spiral bound that the workbook itself might struggle to stay open whilst I was using it, but it does easily rest open on the page you choose. Plus, it has 3 holes punched into the side of the pages so you could remove the cover and put the pages into a ring binder if you prefer.
Overall impressions of the Janome workbook
If, like me, you are one of those people who tend to just use a limited range of functions on your machine this Janome workbook will really bring you out of your comfort zone and help you to make the most of your sewing machine.
Yes, it is quite pricey for a book, but if you paid for workshops to learn how to do all these things with your machine it would work out a lot more expensive. Plus you wouldn’t be able to do it at your own pace and when you choose. Of course it’s also always there to refer to so you can go back to it anytime you need a reminder on how to do something.
I will be dipping in and out of it for years exploring the little used parts of my machine and all the accessories that came with it. I’m torn between the stitch composer, or the quilting functions for my next one. Although I also love the embroidered dragonfly which is one of the first activities in the book. To check out what I make from the Janome workbook follow me on Instagram.
To buy your own Janome Workbook in the UK please contact Janome UK.
Update 2023 – Please note the MC9450 QCP has now been replaced with the MC9480QCP.