Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Janome 1600P and encoders

My quilting system consists of a Janome 1600P industrial machine on a queen size Grace start right frame.  I also have a Grace Sure-stitch regulator with it.  I love this system, it works really well for me, and the kind of quilting I do.  
Janome 1600 P on a start right frame
 Excuse the mess, I use the space under the frame for storage.  I made my own leaders out of a heavy duty fabric I bought years ago and didn't know what to do with (I seem to have a lot of that kind of fabric:).).  I pin my top and backing on, it just works easier for me than trying velcro or zippers.  
The frame came with the upgraded pro carriage, which is really nice:

 I use the slots on top for storing a needle threader and my scissors so they are always handy.  I have an apron I use sometimes for storing stuff when I am working, but everything is within reach so  I don't really use it so much anymore.  I have a clip on lamp for more light, and of course my sure stitch on the right handle.  When I first started frame quilting, I had the wooden carriage where you put your foot pedal on top, then pressed a handle down that put pressure on the foot pedal, and you had to hold it down!  That was a pain literally!  My hand would cramp so bad from having to hold it down.  From there I went to a speed control, which was great once I got it on the speed that worked with me.  Now that I have the stitch regulator, I am very, very happy.  I know some people who work better with just the speed control, I like the regulator because sometimes I want to do ruler work, or follow a pattern at a slower speed.  It just works for me. 
view of back regulator from under carriage.

side view of regulator
Also in my arsenal of tools is this book:
book of secrets, my daughter decorated the front.   
 I call this my "Book of Secrets"  In this binder I have my Janome instruction manual, all the tips I have printed out from the Yahoo groups I belong to (I highly recommend joining a group or more than one they are all great, and you can learn so much), as well as a printed out copy of Machine Quilting Magic. I got it a year or two ago from, and learned a lot just the first week!  Such as, I didn't know to oil my machine!  Honestly, I didn't know, because my DSM doesn't need oil.  I also learned about thread shredding, and how to adjust my tension for different threads, just all kinds of neat advice, and some wonderful pictures of quilts she did on a 9 inch machine!  I get inspired every time I reread it.
So, that's a glimpse into my system and my tools.  I hope this helps anyone who has the same system as I do, I know it gets confusing, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there without searching for hours.  A lot of what I have learned is through trial and error.  
Happy quilting, 


  1. I purchased a start right frame a couple of months ago and I have a brother 1500 with stitch regulator on it. Have you noticed any spots where your carriage wheels (with the encoders) don't spin?

  2. My sister bought a used system like yours and we have yet to be successful. The top thread keeps breaking and we have not figured out why. The machine has been cleaned, adjusted and set up by a dealer here. We have changed the bobbin, needles, thread and even the batting. The machine will do about a row and a half then the thread will snap. We are open to suggestions. Is this a common problem with quilting machines in general? Deb J

  3. My thread also breaks alot. I think it has something to do with tension or the needle being a little bit crooked and need of changing but I don't know...