Best Janome Sewing Machine for Quilting - Janome 1600p

Learn more about the Janome 1600 home sewing machine in this series of informative quilting videos! Learn what comes with the machine and how to wind bobbins and take your first stitches.

Janome 1600 Sewing Machine Review

Are you looking for a fast sewing machine that can sew garments, piece quilts and machine quilt? The Janome heavy duty sewing machine stitches through thick and thin fabrics easily. In this detailed sewing machine review, 8 quilting tutorials showcase all the capabilities of this Janome straight stitch machine.

With the right Janome sewing machine accessories, this industrial sewing machine can do it all. Here are a few key features I loved about the Janome 1600p:

  1. High speed capable of 1600 stitches per minute
  2. Adjustable presser foot pressure dial on top of the machine
  3. Automatic thread cutter
  4. Built-in needle threader
  5. Excellent choice for quilting on a table or quilting frame

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Unboxing the Janome 1600p Sewing Machine

Janome New Home has made many previous versions of the Janome 1600p sewing machine. The Janome 1600p qc, 1600p dbx, 1600p DB, and Janome HD9 sewing machine are all extremely similar. The name 1600 refers to the top speed this machine can stitch per minute and the "p" stands for professional sewing machine.

Janome 1600 Sewing Machine Review Unboxing

Use the instructions in this video to learn how to use your Janome sewing machine if you own a similar version.

In this first video you'll see how this Janome quilting machine is like right out of the box. I take you through all the steps of winding a bobbin for the Janome 1600p and how to adjust the bobbin tension.

You'll also see how to thread a Janome sewing machine step-by-step. The 1600 is a simple, streamlined sewing machine. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. It does not have decorative stitches or even a zigzag stitch function.

Video - Unboxing the Janome 1600p Sewing Machine

This is a fast, straight stitch sewing machine. Let's see the basics on how it works to sew woven and knit fabrics in this sewing machine unboxing video:

I love unboxing sewing machines and learning more about all the feet and features that come with them. The Janome 1600p comes with only two presser feet as standard accessories:

  • General straight stitch sewing foot
  • Rolled hem foot

You also only get five metal bobbins, so you will likely want to purchase Bobbins for your Janome Sewing Machine. When quilting especially, you will run through bobbins of thread quickly.

As you can see in the video above, this sewing machine stitched both the woven and knit fabric flawlessly. I did notice some foot burn on the knit fabric because my presser foot pressure was too high. You can adjust this setting on the Janome 1600p using the dial on the top left of the machine.

One of my favorite features for garment sewing is a knee lifter. Yes, the Janome 1600 sewing machine has a knee lifter included!

How to Use a Needle Threader on the Janome 1600

It may take a bit of practice to use the needle threader on the Janome 1600p. The high speed needle used in this semi industrial sewing machine faces the left. This is different from the usual - most sewing machines have the eye of the needle facing the user.

I haven't used needle threaders on my sewing machines much in the past. I often find them a waste of time because they don't catch the thread properly, or worse split the thread and make a mess of it.

Video - Use Your Sewing Machine Needle Threader

This sewing machine needle threader takes some practice, but this is such a useful feature to have. If seeing the needle is an issue for you, make sure to watch this video to get the hang of the Janome needle threader:

You'll notice that I have my sewing machine on a quilting frame in this video. This is another fun option for Janome machines like the 1600.

Video - How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine

Machine maintenance is the key to beautiful stitches! You will need to keep this sewing machine clean and oiled. High speed, heavy duty sewing machines do not like to run dirty or dry. The Janome 1600 sewing machine manual details exactly where to oil this sewing machine to keep it running smoothly.

See all the steps I take to clean and where to oil this sewing machine in this video:

Cleaning and oiling your home sewing machine is not difficult. Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about oiling sewing machines. Yes, you do need to oil your sewing machine!

Unfortunately many sewists and quilters use the wrong oil. Using the wrong oil on a sewing machine can damage it. DO NOT use 3-in-1 oil, WD-40 or gun oil on a sewing machine or longarm machine. Sewing machines require sewing machine oil.

Click Here to find sewing machine oil on Amazon.

You only need one drop - just one - in the hook, on the needle bar, and sometimes (if there are holes) on the top of the machine. Find some sewing tools to help you maintain your machine here:

I bought a huge bottle of sewing machine oil many years ago. Sewing machine oil will keep for years when stored it out of sunlight. I put a small amount of oil into the microtip bottles linked above. I can easily apply one drop of oil exactly where it's needed.

Like I said in the video, sewing machines cannot have too much oil. A well oiled sewing machine works great, sounds great and stitches great.

But How is this the Best Janome Sewing Machine for Quilting?

I believe the 1600 is the best Janome sewing machine for quilting because of these features:

  • Streamline machine build with great visibility of the needle area.
  • High speed, straight stitch design makes free motion quilting and ruler quilting much faster.
  • Excellent presser feet that expand the sewing machine's capability.
  • Compatibility with many Grace Company products that will expand your quilting abilities even further.
  • Open arm and far less bulky build when compared to Janome Horizon sewing machines.

The one downside of the Janome 1600 is the harp space or throat space. The distance between the sewing needle and the motor is only 9 inches. Janome introduced the 1600 in 2004, and at that time, people considered a 9-inch harp space to be large.

One Limitation of the Janome 1600 Sewing Machine

Now in 2023, we have many large throat sewing machines. In comparison, Grace Company's new Little Rebel is a 13-inch throat sewing machine.

Little Rebel Large Throat Sewing Machine

Janome has also come out with wider throat sewing machines with the Janome Horizon series. Unfortunately Janome Horizon sewing machines are extra bulky around the needle and arm. This design feature almost negates their 11 inch throat space.

Sit down longarm machines have dramatically changed quilters perspective as well. 9-inches quickly becoming small in comparison to these larger throat sewing machines and longarm machines.

Still, even with these limitations, the Janome 1600 is one of the best quilting machines on the market. The speed, streamlined body, and available accessories make it a terrific choice for piecing and quilting smaller projects.

Quilt Block Piecing on the Janome 1600P

The Janome 1600p only comes with a general sewing foot and a rolled hem foot. Neither of these will work for piecing accurate 1/4-inch seams. The needle on this sewing machine cannot move because this is a straight stitch sewing machine. You will need to purchase an additional presser to piece quilt blocks easily.

I found it challenging to find a 1/4-inch piecing foot for this sewing machine. The name ended up being a little funny. Presser feet for the Janome 1600 sewing machines and HD9 sewing machines can have presser feet listed for "DB Hook Models."

Knowing this may help you when searching for more feet for your Janome 1600p, 1600p-qc, 1600p dbx and Janome HD9.

Click Here to find a 1/4-inch piecing foot for the Janome 1600.

Video - Janome 1600 Quilt Block Piecing

Now let's learn how to piece a patchwork quilt block using this presser foot:

In the video, I used a terrific 1/4-inch piecing foot, but I still modified it slightly to work better for piecing quilt blocks. I don't personally like having a guide bar on the side of my presser foot. Having the ability to unscrew the guide and remove it, without breaking the foot permanently, is a terrific option.

Looking for fun quilt block patterns to piece? Click Here to find the Mini Quilt Block Series.

Video - Janome 1600 Walking Foot Quilting

Now let's try using the Janome walking foot on the 1600. This is a special presser foot designed to evenly feed thick fabrics through your sewing machine. The base of the foot works much like a second set of feed dogs from the top of your project.

This foot will be a good choice for sewing leather and denim fabrics. This isn't a great choice for walking foot quilting and you'll see why in this quilting video: 

Unfortunately the Janome walking foot designed for DB Hook Models isn't great for quilting. This is the only walking foot compatible with the Janome 1600 and HD9 and it has a few flaws:

  • Narrow prongs on the foot base limit visibility of the sewing needle.
  • The foot base is very narrow. This creates only 1/4-inch spacing between your stitching if you use the edge of this Janome walking foot as a guide.
  • The presser foot package does not include a guide bar, nor does it offer options for attaching a generic guide bar.
  • This is the most expensive presser foot for the Janome 1600 or HD9.

I don't mind investing in a presser foot if it will help me stitch or quilt my project successfully. Unfortunately this Janome walking foot has limitations that make it virtually useless for walking foot quilting.

The narrow prongs of the foot block my visibility when stitching in the ditch. I also don't have guide bars to help space my walking foot quilting designs.

If walking foot quilting is the style of quilting you're most wanting to do, you may want to consider a different sewing machine.

Free Motion Quilting on the Janome 1600

As I've mentioned before, free motion quilting is a dream on the Janome 1600 sewing machine. The high speed, 1600 stitches per minute allows you to move your quilt quickly. In fact, this high speed machine will likely stitch faster than you can move your hands.

To begin free motion quilting on the Janome 1600, you will need to purchase a darning foot. The best Janome darning foot, actually the best darning foot ever designed, is Janome's Convertible Darning Foot available here.

Convertible Darning Foot for Free Motion Quilting

Video - Free Motion Quilting on the Janome 1600 Sewing Machine

In this quilting video you'll see:

  • How to set up your Janome quilting and sewing machine for free motion quilting
  • Tools and accessories that make freestyle quilting easier
  • How to use Janome's Convertible Darning Foot, the best darning foot ever designed!
  • Why the speed of 1600 stitches per minute may be faster than your hands can move

Would you like to learn more about free motion quilting? Stippling is a great design to begin quilting and you can find the Ultimate Free Motion Quilting Stippling Tutorial here.

Just in case you're interested in the free motion quilting tools I mentioned in this video, you can find them also linked here:

Ruler Quilting on this Janome Mechanical Sewing Machine

Did you know ruler quilting is a type of free motion quilting? All the same settings, tools, and accessories that we used for free motion quilting will work when quilting with rulers.

This is another reason I recommend the Convertible Darning Foot. All you need to begin ruler quilting is to change out the base of this foot and it will become a ruler foot! Click Here to find the Frame Quilting Foot Set.

Ruler Quilting Janome 1600 Sewing Machine

Definitely do invest in the proper ruler foot for ruler quilting. If you try to quilt with a regular darning foot, you will risk breaking your machine. The ruler can easily slip above or below the foot edge and make contact with your needle.

Video - Ruler Quilting on this Semi Industrial Janome Sewing Machine

As for the correct quilting ruler thickness, you need to use 1/4-inch thick or longarm rulers on the Janome 1600 sewing machine. The thicker quilting rulers are best for this machine and ensure you can press the ruler against the ruler foot safely.

Did you enjoy seeing how to do ruler quilting on a Dream Big quilt panel? I created a fun series of quilting tutorials on this beginner quilting panel in 2020. Learn more about this quilt along and find quilting rulers to use on your Janome 1600:

Where a Janome 1600 Sewing Machine Works Best for Quilting

Did you know you can use your home sewing machine on a quilting frame? This puts your sewing machine on wheels, making it much easier to move and stitch quilting designs.

The quilting frame also secures your quilt to the rails. This gives you open space for quilting with tension on the quilt sandwich so you don't stitch pleats on your quilt. You can quilt quilts of all sizes on a quilting frame, yes, with your home sewing machine!

Video - Janome 1600 Sewing Machine on a Quilting Frame

In this quilting tutorial, I share all the steps to moving my Janome 1600 sewing machine to a hoop frame and how to put a quilt on the frame. Seeing all the steps to this process will help you know if you want to try a quilting frame:

When quilting on a frame, the sewing machine is much easier and faster to move. You no longer have to fight the bulk and weight of the quilt.

Here are three Hoop style quilting frames that will be a great choice for quilting with the Janome 1600 sewing machine:

This is where the body shape of the Janome 1600 sewing machine is key. The streamlined build offers nice visibility of your sewing needle. You can see where you're quilting, whether you're stitching on a quilting frame or your machine is in a table.

I tried quilting with a Janome Horizon 8200 and that sewing machine was too bulky. I couldn't see the needle area without standing at a awkward angle.

Yes, the Janome 1600 sewing machine does have a tall enough harp space to fit on the Evolution Hoop Frame. This is a terrific quilting frame because it can grow with you as a quilter.

The Evolution Hoop Frame begins as a 66 inch long hybrid quilting frame. You can expand this frame up to a 12 foot rolling rail frame whenever you're ready!

Evolution Hoop Hybrid Quilting Frame

I mentioned at the beginning of this sewing machine review that the Janome 1600 was a great choice for frame quilting. This sewing machine has been around since 2004 and is compatible with many of Grace Company's quilting accessories.

You can add a Speed Controller to the Janome 1600p and be able to control the speed of the machine from your handlebars. This gives you a start / stop button where it's most convenient for quilting on a frame.

The Janome 1600 sewing machine is also compatible with the Sure Stitch Elite Stitch Regulator. This device regulates your speed so when you move the machine faster, the speed will increase. A stitch regulator keeps your quilting stitches "regulated" or the same size, no matter how fast you move.

Janome 1600 Sewing Machine Price

Pros and cons exist when using any home sewing machine for quilting. The Janome 1600 has the right build, speed, and presser feet to make it a great choice for these quilting techniques:

  • Piecing Quilt Blocks
  • Free Motion Quilting
  • Ruler Quilting
  • Quilting on a Quilting Frame

For an affordable quilting sewing machine, this is a great choice! In 2023, the Janome 1600 sewing machine has an MSRP of $1599. This is the highest price you should find this sewing machine listed online or from a sewing machine dealer. You can probably find it much cheaper on Amazon...

Keep in mind, the size of a sewing machine does directly relate to the price. If you are looking for a larger sewing machine, be prepared to spend between $2000 - $3000 for a larger throat space.

Even with a 9-inch throat space, for the price and compatible presser feet, this is still a great quilting sewing machine.

Be aware of the limitations with the Janome walking foot. If this isn't an issue for you, the Janome 1600 sewing machine will likely keep you happily sewing or quilting for years to come.

Let's go sew or quilt,

Leah Day

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