Your Sewing Machine – Part 2!

This week I will look at Janome and Brother sewing machines. Both well known names in the world of sewing and both producing good machines from top of the range models with embroidery attachments to budget machines which will cope with most basic sewing needs.

Janome XL601

The Janome Sewing Machine XL601 is a 30 stitch version of the popular DXL603 and has similar features and qualities offering reliable computerised sewing at an affordable price. It is selling for £329 and offers a lot for the money.

The Janome XL601 has 30 built in stitches including 3 styles of fully automatic buttonhole (square, round end and keyhole) and a reinforcing tack stitch. The LCD display makes it easy to see which stitch you’ve chosen as well as the stitch width and length, which are fully adjustable. A jam-proof, magnetic, top-loading, full rotary hook system eliminates the need for a removable bobbin case. The hook cover plate opens at the touch of a button, and the extra needle penetration power of the XL601 lets you sew across heavier fabrics & multiple layers. The extension table also detaches for free-arm sewing. This machine also features a seven piece feed mechanism, a drop feed facility, automatic needle threader, a slide speed control and comes complete with a dust cover.

Definitely a machine to look at closely. A very good machine for the quilter!

Janome MC5900

This machine is more expensive at £699 but offers a whole lot more! Check it out and save £100! Includes sewing table and quilting feet!

The Janome Memory Craft 5900QC ( Quilters Companion) is a machine made especially for quilters. It has over 500 stitches and a host of features that makes it the perfect machine for dressmaking and home furnishing as well as quilting!

It has an extra large, backlit LCD display with easy-to-follow icons. Previous Setting Recall, allows the MC5900QC to remember the last stitch that was sewn–even after the machine has been turned off.

The full rotary, horizontal, magnetic hook system provides whisper-quiet operation. And, automatic thread tension assures legendary Janome stitch quality.

Janome HorizonJanome 8200QC

I love this machine! It offers so much to make sewing easier and more fun! At £1199 there is a saving of £300 + Free Thread Kit Worth £199. Got to be good!  This machine is very easy to use and comes with an instruction book and an instruction DVD plus a very impressive array of accessories.

The sheer length of the arm space is impressive at 11″ ( 280mm ) .. ideal for large quilts, bridal dresses and those bigger home furnishing projects. As with all Janome sewing machines stitch quality is a priority. With a built-in AcuFeed system for precise fabric handling and an easy change needle plate to enhance straight stitch performance .. rest assured this machine offers spectacular stitch quality. And we’ve increased the stitch width to 9mm !

Shadow free lighting is provided by 5 bright white lights whilst quick and easy stitch selection can be made on the large touch screen or keypad. Choose from over 200 stitches including alphabets and numbers, and 7 styles of automatic buttonholes. Memorise a combination of these and save them for future use ! Patterns can be elongated up to 5 times standard length.

Other special features include an automatic needle threader, a speed controller to set your maximum sewing speed and a stop / start button if you choose not to use the foot control. It also has a needle up / down button which programmes the needle to either finish in the up position or in the fabric … great for pivoting on corners !

It has a lock stitch button to ensure every stitch pattern is locked off at the end and even an automatic thread cutter to trim your threads.

Brother VQ2

Brother VQ2 Quilter’s Sewing Machine.  This machine is now retailing at £1999 but offers a lot for the discerning quilter.

Express your creativity with the Innov-is VQ2 long arm sewing and quilting machine. The 11 1/4″ long arm is perfect for larger projects like coats and quilts.


• 11 1/4″ (285mm) Long arm sewing and quilting machine

• Large colour LCD touch screen

• Up to 1,050 stitches per minute

• Extra wide stitches up to 40mm

• ICAPS – Continuous Automatic Pressure System

• Pivot function

• Multi-directional feed

• Automatic electronic needle threading

• Independent bobbin winder

• Knee lift


Brother Innovis V7

This is a top of the range sewing and embroidery machine which sells for £4999 but there is one ex-display model on sale for £3799 which is a real bargain!

The New Brother Innov-is V7 Long Arm Sewing and Embroidery Machine. Create beautiful embroidery, quilting and home décor with this new machine. The Brother Innov-is V7 sewing and embroidery machine has a wide choice of 531 stitches for all your sewing needs, Select the right design or stitch for you from the selection of applications including utility, quilting decorative, appliqué, heirloom designs, crazy quilting designs, vintage designs, ‘I Love You’ designs, multi-directional sewing stitches and lots of new designs from large intricate patterns to simple monogram fonts.

If you can’t quite find the exact stitch you’re looking for, simply use the stitch editing feature to adjust the height, width and density of many of the built-in stitches, which can then be saved for future use. The Innov-is V7 also allows you to be creative and combine stitches for decorative projects, letters for sentences or even name labels and memories for those special projects for the loved ones.


The Brother Innov-is V7 boasts an extra-long arm that measures an impressive 11¼” (285mm) this gives you more space than ever. The extra-long arm gives a wider expanse of space for those extra-large quilting fashion and home décor projects.

Try it out for yourself! It is a truly fun machine to use and you will get great results!

Brother £3799

Whatever sewing machine you choose do get in the habit of cleaning it regularly and having it serviced! Doing this will lengthen the life of your sewing machine! Christmas is coming and what better gift than one of a new sewing machine! Speak to Santa Claus! 🙂

Written by Val


A girl’s (or man’s) best friend….her sewing machine! Part 1!

If you are like me then your sewing machine is your best friend and as such it is important that you have chosen the one best suited to your needs. Here at the Sewing Studio in Redruth we have an enormous selection of sewing machines and there is sure to be just the one for you!  At the moment there are lots of offers on and your dream machine might be cheaper than you think!  There are several new models in which are well worth looking at; especially the Pfaffs and Husqvarna machines.

long view machines machines to window

The machine you choose should be suited to the sewing you do. A quilter will have different needs to a dressmaker and an embroiderer will require more than both dressmakers and quilters.  And you might be all of these so your machine will require quite a few features to make it useful to you. On the website the information on each sewing machine is fully documented so that you can see at a glance what features each machine has.  Make a list of the things you would like a machine to be able to do and then as you read the very informative pages you can tick off the machines that most match your list!

The most important thing for anyone who does a fair amount of sewing of any description is that the machine has the facility to change the stitch width and length manually and these arn’t programmed in.  This might be useful for someone who does little sewing or isn’t very confident but is totally frustrating for the average sewer.

Another important feature in my book is the ability to drop the feed dogs. But then I am an avid free machinist and this might not be of importance to those who just want to sew a fine seam. However if you are starting out and wanting to learn and do as much as possible then bear this in mind because you might want this feature in the future.

Many machines are able to control the needle with an up or down needle feature. Especially useful for quilters and for doing applique. And also there is a thread cutting feature which is very useful especially when one wants both hands free.

My favourite brand of machine is Bernina. I love Bernina’s because they still retain the vertical bobbin which as far as I’m concerned  makes free machining so much easier.

Bernina QE750 Bernina QE550

These two machines are especially designed for quilters but would suit any form of sewing.

Bernina sewing machines have been one of the market leaders in the sewing machine world for many years. They are to the sewing machine world what Rolex is to the watch world or Rolls Royce is to the automotive world! Quality, classy, elegant, refined, sophisticated are the words that spring to mind. Bernina are offering a 7 year warranty on new machines bought before the end of 2014.

The Bernina QE550 is £1750 and it does all of this:

Automatic buttonhole

Manual buttonhole

Button sew-on program

Needle stop up/down

Reverse sewing

Mirror Image

Total number of stitches 187

22 Practical stitches

155 Decorative stitches (incl quilt stitches)

24 Quilting stiches

10 Buttonholes (inlc eyelet and button sew-on program)

4 Alphabets

Creative consultant

Character/stitch pattern combination view horizontal

Pattern repeat 1-9

And has a knee lift to leave your hands free for manipulating your fabric!

At the offer price of £2695 the Bernina 750QE has more options and is able to have an embroidery attachment added to it for an extra £900! Check it out!

Britannia machine

This little machine is at the other end of the price scale with an offer price of £449. It has a lot going for it for the money.  And an embroidery unit can be added for only £299.

It includes the following features:

One Step Button Hole

65 Different Stitches

Max Stitch Length 5.6mm Max Stitch Width 7mm

Handy Stop Start Button

LED Sewing Light

Drop Feed Mechanism For Free Motion Embroidery / Darning

Hard Cover

A very useful little sewing machine!

pfaff no number lotus fold up

As well there are new Pfaffs in stock and Elna Sewing Machines in store including the very popular Elna Lotus at the offer price of £649. This is Elna’s most popular machine!

This machine features the following:
















In my next write up for the blog I will have a look at Brother and Janome sewing machines plus some of the other delights in the sewing machine world including accessories.  With Christmas coming up put a new sewing machine on your present list. I’m sure Santa will oblige!  🙂


Written by Val

A Wonderful Bargain!

This is an amazing offer from Janome. The sewing machine below, the Memory Craft 8200QC is being offered for £999 instead of the usual £1499 thus saving the buyer £500!

top closed

It is a lovely machine with a wide throat, about 11 to 12 inches,  to make quilting that much easier. It has a large selection of both useful and decorative stitches which can be view in the top cover for easy reference.

top open

The tool case slips off the machine to turn it into a free arm thus making dressmaking techniques such as putting in sleeves so much easier. And it’s a useful thing to be able to do when making bags!

free arm

The push button panel on the front is easy to see and access thus making each step of your sewing journey simple!

front panel

Bobbins and extra accessories can be stored in the integral tool case which makes them so handy.  The bobbin is top loading and easy to access.

presser foot view

Other attachments can be stored in the lid of the machine as shown in the picture below.

stitch panel

The drop feed for free machining is situated very conveniently on the right side of the machine just below the power switch and function buttons on the front. So there will be no hunting around for it because it has been tucked away on the back of the machine!

All the useful buttons are on the front of the machine above the stitch plate. So reversing, start and stopping and needle up or down buttons are immediately to hand. This is most useful!

Basic Features are:

  • 120 built in decorative and utility stitch options
  • 7 automatic buttonholes
  • 1 alphanumeric font
  • 7 piece feed dog
  • Accufeed fabric feeding system
  • Direct select keys take you to your favorite stitches instantly
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Adjustable knee lift
  • Change the needle plate in one step
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Two on board accessory storage compartments
  • Detachable accessories case reveals the free arm

The lighting is superb which is a bonus and it doesn’t take any pressure to work the buttons. It is extremely quiet with no vibration and is a joy to use!

From what I know of this machine I can thoroughly recommend it both to beginning sewers and to the more advance machinist. This is a brilliant machine for a beginner as it is so easy to use and the controls are so user friendly.  In fact even a child could use it! At this price too how can you go wrong!

Writtten by Val

Full Steam Ahead!

This is very exciting writing the first full post for the Sewing Studio Blog. I am Val and I will be putting in my twopenny worth on a weekly basis. If you have any questions or need help with a patchwork or sewing problem then just ask! The Sewing Studio in Redruth is one of, if not the largest,  fabric shop in Cornwall. It is expanding all the time and now sells wool as well as sewing machines, haberdashery and fabric.  The fabric collection is one of the most diverse! There have been a lot of changes in the shop recently to make life simpler for the customers! The fabric is now all upstairs as is the cutting table and till which means no longer does fabric have to be carried downstairs. A brilliant move which is sure to please everyone.  And the fabric displays are so inviting that it is going to whet your appetite and inspire you to design wonderful things!


And what could be more exciting than a new sewing machine, especially if it comes with a new overlocker as part of a fantastic offer! Instead of paying £498 for the pair of machines only pay £398, saving £100 on the deal!

Janome machine 8050


The Janome 8050XL is a  fully computerised sewing machine and has an amazing 50 stitches, 3 styles of 1 step button holes and variable stitch width and length, which is so useful for patchwork in particular!. Other excellent features include “Jam Proof” drop in bobbin, auto needle threader, speed control, needle up/down, start stop button and lock stitch button. This is such a useful machine with some very good features which will please quilters, dressmakers and sewers in general. And the fact that it is paired with a Janome overlocker makes it all the more exciting and useful!

Janome overlocker

The Janome 8002DX overlocker can be used as a 3 or 4 thread machine. Its colour coded thread guide makes threading easy. This machine also has a differential feed allowing overlocking of even stretchy fabrics, the knife can be disengaged for decorative overlocking and it’s rolled hem function creates beautiful neat edges.When I’m doing strippy patchwork I like to join my seams on my overlocker for ease of sewing and getting straight lines with even seams. It makes all the difference. And in these days of interesting threads it is possible to buy fluffy, crimped or thick silky overlocker threads which look good when the seam is to be used on the right side of the garment.  I wouldn’t be without my overlocker and I expect you will feel the same! Let me know what your favourite features are on an overlocker!  Mine is the rolled hem facility! Saves so much time!