Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reviewing My Janome DC2011

I posted about a week ago that I had ordered a back-up machine.  It's the Janome DC2011.  Who knew they make a machine model to correspond with the year?  I didn't!

Your next comment may be that it is very pink.  Yes, it is, but I really like it.  I like to think that I am a hot pink type of quilter!

I have not tried out all the features yet, but I think I have tried enough of them to report on my overall impressions.  I have nothing at all to do with the company or the seller.  I am just reporting this from my own viewpoint.  Mostly it's because I tried to look at all there was to be found about the machine as I shopped so maybe someone else will be interested in these comments.

There are two things remaining that will determine whether I send the machine back or keep it.  (It can be returned during the first 30 days which was a nice feature when ordering over the internet sight unseen.)  The first item is that I have not tried the walking foot yet.  That needs to work to my satisfaction.  The other problem I see is that this machine has an automatic foot pressure which seems to interfere with its flow as it stitches from a single thickness of fabric to the other side of a seam (where there may be three layers of fabric.)  I am working with it and trying to get used to the feel.  I may try to contact Janome and see what they say.  My other machine is a Bernina with adjustable pressure on the foot so I have never had this issue before.  It may be something I need to adapt to - but if it continues to be a problem, that is a deal breaker, too.  We quilters stitch from thick to thin and back all the time!  I keep saying I am like the old dog having to learn new tricks here.  I have had my same machine for about 11 years and this is an adjustment.

Lots of feet came with this machine and that was a plus.  Some of those were because of a special offer on the machine.  I have not tried all of them.  I also got needles, bobbins, a hard sided carrying case/cover, and a manual - the manual is pretty good, but I would have liked more - especially details about the quilting features.  It sure tells you everything you might want to know about making buttonholes!  I found that the diagrams were not quite detailed or large enough for my taste.  (The manual does, however, include several languages if you are into that kind of thing!)  I would love it if an instructional DVD was included as well as the manual.  I suspect that would be a big plus for someone brand new to sewing. 

Goodies that came with the machine

Hard Sided Carrying Case

Other than the issue about the foot pressure, the machine stitches beautifully!  I don't think you will find a nicer stitch on a straight stitch  - when going over similar layers of fabric!  It also stitched nicely when I dropped the feed dogs for free motion quilting (using the darning foot which is clear and open-toed and I like that - just need to remember to keep my fingers away from the needle!)

The quarter-inch foot is very accurate and nice to sew with.  The machine has a "needle up and needle down" setting as well as a button for reverse and one to "complete the stitch" (Auto-lock button) - which is very useful when doing decorative stitches.  There is a slide control for the sewing speed and it is very conveniently located.  I have enjoyed using it as I ease into some new features.  However, the control to drop the feed dogs is very inconveniently located.  It took me awhile to find it!  The needle position can be adjusted, but I have not tried that yet.  I believe there are 50 stitches that can be selected on the machine.  I have only used the straight stitch and zigzag stitch so far.  My Bernina has as many decorative and specialty stitches as I could want so the extra stitches were not a selling point as far as I was concerned.  They are perfect though if this will be your one machine.

I especially like that you can look down into the bobbin holder (all clear) and see how much thread remains on your bobbin. The bobbins wind nicely and with no problem.  Also, there is a needle threader on the machine.  I know I sound pessimistic when I say "which works for now."  I never seem to have much luck with them holding up.  (Maybe it will on this machine.)  A needle threader is a wonderful feature - I just worry about how durable they are.

You can raise the presser foot on this machine to an extra high setting.  That will be useful if quilting something with thick batting - and is even helpful when changing the feet.  (Many of the feet simply slide on which is nice, but others, like the walking and darning foot require that you unscrew the foot and screw the new one on.  That is much harder than the "easy to change feet" on my Bernina.  I am getting better at it though.

Here's the view of the bobbin area

Foot and Needle

 There is an additional feature that I really like.  There is an extra spool pin that can be inserted near where you thread the machine (to the back of where you see the picture of the spool) and it can be used to wind a bobbin without unthreading your machine - or to work with two needles and different threads at the same  time.

As you can see in the pictures, it's pretty easy to see how to thread the machine and there is a control for the thread tension.  The light provided on the machine is good.  I usually have a second light - an Ott light that I use for my sewing area regardless of the machine.  The length and width of the stitches can be adjusted.  There is a storage drawer which holds most of the feet.  That is convenient and that extension table/accessroy box can be removed for free arm sewing.

Well, that's all I can think of to report on.  If I decide to send the machine back I will let you know why.  I think it is going to be a "keeper."  Really my big issue right now is dealing with the lack of a manual adjustment on the presser foot.  Many people probably prefer the automatic feature  I haven't read about it being an issue for anyone else.  I will continue to familiarize myself with the Janome 2011.  All the reviews I read online about this machine before ordering it were outstanding.  Oddly enough I think the only negative comment I read it was about the color!

 If anyone else has this machine or a similar one, let me know your impressions.


  1. Jeanne- I am glad you like your new machine so far. I love the pink-that would be the selling point for me! I, on the other hand, don't read instruction manuals! When I bought my machine I intentionally bought one like a friend and she came over and showed me how to thread it and use it!

  2. Visiting from over at Linda's blog (Eat,Sleep,Quilt) - enjoy your new machine, you are on the right path in learning all it's features. I own an older model Janome and it is my workhorse!

  3. Thanks for visiting, Vroomans' Quilts!
    Everyone has such good comments about Janome. Oddly, the machine is now doing about 50% better with going over the seams that have some bulk on one side. Either I am getting better at how I sew through them or the machine needed some 'break in time." I plan to try the walking foot today.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.