Tag Archives: Janome

When RR’s away…

… Lynne Pusscat will play!!!

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve just waved a fond farewell to RR, who is off back to the UK for work. I’m joining him at the end of the week, and we will visit family and friends, watch 2 rugby games, eat a lot of curry (and Fish and Chips and Chinese takeaway and Jam Doughnuts…), go and see the Lego Movie, and drink copious quantities of tea, before returning to Switzerland happy and exhausted and several pounds heavier.

Incidentally, not 5 minutes after RR had left the apartment, Mr Boy had claimed his side of the bed and is currently revelling in his new status of “Man of the House” ūüôā I don’t think he’s too distraught at the departure, do you?

Mr Boy on bed

RR’s driving back, as he’ll be in the UK for 2 weeks. So I sent him off with my sewing machine, which is in need of a good service. There are no Janome dealers here in Switzerland, and the local sewing machine store wanted 300 CHF ( around $340, or ¬£200) and 3 weeks to service my machine. ¬†300 CHF??? Three weeks???! Dear Lordy me! So, she’s off on holiday to Bath where, for around a quarter of the price and a turnaround time of 1 day, she’s going to get a jolly good service and tune-up by a proper Janome dealer. Hooray!

In the meantime, I shall be playing with my lovely new machine.

Oh yes, a new sewing machine!

I took advantage of the January sales to invest in a lightweight sewing machine that I can take away on quilt retreats and to classes. My MC11000SE is a wonderful machine that does everything I have ever asked of her, and more, but lightweight she’s not! She weighs in at around 50lbs (23kg) – and is way too heavy for me to lift. Not a great feature when I want to take her places…

So meet my new machine – the Janome MC5200.


What a little beauty!

At a weight of 18lb (8.5kg) she’s infinitely more portable than her big sister, but has plenty of features to keep me happy. I’ve not had a chance yet to have a proper play and explore exactly what she can do, as I’ve been busy finishing The Quilt from Hell, but now I have five blissful days free to sew, sew, sew, before I join RR in England!

So RR’s en route, the kitties are settled in their accustomed spots in my sewing room, the apartment is clean and tidy, the freezer is full of food, and I have a stack of projects in my head and a lovely cup of tea at my side. What more could I ask for?

Let playtime commence ūüôā

All good on the sewing machine front

As you all know, I’ve been having issues with my sewing machine ever since Mr Boy and Mimi Bubba decided to chew their way¬†through my foot pedal cable. I can still sew, using the stop/start button, but this is tricky when I need both hands to guide fabric, and in any case all this button pressing was starting to drive me a bit nuts.

Then RR had the genius idea of taking my machine into the little electric shop in town, to see if they could fix it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I thought, so off I toddled to see what they could do.

The shop is actually a little bit scary. It only appears to be open about 3 hours a day, and has shelves covered with things like old kettles and toasters, teddy bears, and (bizarrely) a very furry, slightly worn¬†dog bed. It smells a bit like cabbage and old peoples’ homes, with a faint whiff of indoor cat thrown in. And the man who owns it is rather odd, and has a strong accent. A very strong accent. I may be pretty much fluent in French, but even so it was rather tricky to understand him. Especially as he went all technical on¬†me. Now I’m not really the technical¬†type – according to RR, I believe that everything is powered by friendly little electricity pixies who live in the plug sockets in the walls, and he’s probably not too far from the truth there!¬†But¬†the slightly-odd-strongly-accented shop¬†owner¬†seemed to be saying that he would do what he could, leave the pedal with him and come back tomorrow.

Tomorrow duly dawned and I went to collect my pedal. He’d stripped it back to the wire, soldered it, and taped it back up again, for the princely sum of 10 CHF.


So I took it home,¬†plugged it in and started sewing¬†a test piece of fabric. It worked! Woo hoo! My jubilation lasted only a few seconds, though, until I took my foot off the pedal, at which point I realised that it wouldn’t stop sewing. It just kept on going. I¬†pumped the pedal – nothing. Panic set in, as I frantically tried to unplug the foot pedal from the machine. Sadly it appeared I was Back To Square One and Sewing-By-Pressing The Stop/Start Button, whilst Mr Boy stretched out unconcernedly behind my machine, dreaming of what else he can destroy…


It was at this point that I did what I should have done right¬†at the beginning, I rang up the incredibly helpful Monsieur Stecker at¬†Ets Stecker in¬†Belgium, and ordered¬†a shiny new foot pedal. Apparently it will be delivered in time for Patchwork in the Peaks next weekend, this means I will actually be able to sew properly¬†whilst on my quilt retreat, which is always a¬†bonus…

Whilst I was on the phone, though, I did happen to make some enquiries about the brand spanking new Janome 15000, and a possible trade-in of my current machine.¬† And I was delighted to learn that, contrary to what I had always believed, my 11000 SE has an automatic dual voltage function built in. So I can plug in a standard Swiss or European cable and it will work just fine. What’s more, M. Stecker refused to sell me¬†the specific¬†Janome European cable on the grounds that I could pick one up in any electrical store for a couple of euros, rather than paying over the odds for him to send¬†me¬†a branded one …

So good news all round! I’m getting a new foot pedal. It looks like it’s going to be easier¬†than I’d originally thought¬†to sell or trade in my current machine. I no longer need to lug the blasted transformer around with me. And with such great customer service, I’m pretty sure I know where I’ll be going when¬†it’s time to¬†upgrade my¬†machine…

All’s good on the sewing machine front. Thanks, Monsieur Stecker, for making my day¬†ūüôā

Oh dear, this could be expensive….

Last week a mini-catastrophe befell me. Or rather, it befell my lovely sewing machine. And I have a horrible feeling that it might turn out to be rather expensive…

I’d been having problems with my foot pedal for a while. Sometimes it wouldn’t stop sewing when I lifted my foot up, sometimes it wouldn’t start sewing when I pressed it down. But as it would invariably work on the second attempt, I just thought this was down to me, and all the problems I have with my feet. Maybe I wasn’t pressing down hard enough on the pedal to get started, or maybe my foot wasn’t lifted up enough to stop sewing. In any case, it still worked.

Then, last week, it kind of stopped working. And then worked only intermittently. Oh dear ūüė¶

Upon closer investigation, I discovered this…


Of course, given Mr Boy’s penchant for gnawing everything in sight, and Mimi Bubba’s habit of hiding herself away in the bottom of my sewing cabinet, I immediately suspected dastardly feline involvement and called them lots of Very Bad Names Indeed. However, expert opinion¬†(RR)¬†now has it that it was Actually¬†My Fault and that the problem with the wire was caused by me Shutting It In The Sewing Cabinet Door… Hmmm, I remain to be convinced, but in any case by the time I had unplugged it, examined it closely, cursed out the kitties and plugged it in again, it had stopped working entirely.

Fortunately, my machine also has a start/stop button, so I can still sew at a pinch, but it’s not ideal, and it’s absolutely¬†no good for free motion quilting. And¬†I do have rather a lot of quilt tops to finish…

So I went online to search for a new footpedal. And discovered that Janome are about to release a brand new machine, the Memory Craft 15000. Now, I truly love my machine. She has always done everything I ever asked of her, and more besides.¬†Until last week, I’d never once thought about replacing her. But OMG the spec of the new one!!! Bigger! Faster! Shinier! Oh my!!!!¬†And you can control it remotely from an iPad!¬†And if the¬†kitties hadn’t munched their way through my foot pedal cable (yes, I’m still blaming them…), I would never have known about it!

Janome 15000

Of course, there’s no information anywhere about pricing (it’s not released until next week) – but you can bet your bottom dollar that it won’t come cheap… And it is, of course, a given¬†that if I ever get to try it out I will Absolutely 100%¬†Need One, and that to even be in with a shot at affording one I will have to sell or part exchange my current machine.

Which brings me to my little¬†problem. We live in Switzerland (220V). My current machine (a beautiful Janome 11000SE) was bought when we lived in America (110V). Now, I don’t have a problem with running her off a little transformer, but I’m guessing that¬†some people might, so I may well have a problem trading up for a zoomy new machine….

So here’s my dilemna – do I dare go in to look at one of the new 15000s, in the hope that I either win the lottery, or¬†can¬†find a (European)¬†dealer who is happy to part-exchange against my wonderful (American) 11000? Or should I just resign myself to daydreaming about what might have been???

I think we all know the answer to that one ūüôā

Mr. Boy and Mimi Bubba – you may well have a lot to answer for….