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Janome Week: Embroidered Table Linens with Free Design Downloads

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Yesterday during Janome Week it was decorative stitching; today it's embroidery. While nearly all sewing machines include at least some decorative stitch options, only embroidery models can create embroidery designs. Janome has both embroidery-only models: such as the Memory Craft 350E, as well as sewing and embroidery models, such as the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 and the Memory Craft 9900. For our project today, we're using the brand new Janome MC9900 (click here to see our recent review of this model). Although there are many, many built-in embroidery designs on the MC9900, and we'll be playing with some of them later in the week for our Apron project; today we wanted to show you another wonderful option you have with Janome embroidery models: bringing in a design from an outside source - it's so easy! It could be something you create yourself with embroidery software, something you purchase on an embroidery CD, or something you download from the hundreds... no... thousands of embroidery design resources on the Internet. We have two custom Janome-compatible designs as free downloads today – just for our Sew4Home visitors!

Embroidery can take ordinary home décor items and turn off-the-shelf into off-the-charts. In this case, we purchased a simple set of linen placemats and napkins in a neutral tone to which we'll add beautiful custom embroidery. Our placemat measures:19¼" wide x 13½" high; our napkin measures 17¾" x 17¾".

Of course, you could also make your own base linens. Check out our Project Index for table linen tutorials.  

You will also need:

  • Embroidery designs of your choice
    NOTE: Creative team member, Michele Mishler digitized two crisp, clean floral designs for today's sample. She was kind enough to provide her designs as free embroidery downloads. Since we are working with our Janome models, we have the free download in the Janome .JEF file format only. 
    Napkin Design JEF file
    Placemat Design JEF file 
  • USB flash drive for transferring designs from your computer to your machine
  • Stabilizer; we used tearaway for the napkins and water-soluble sticky stabilizer for the placemats
  • Embroidery thread in colors to coordinate with your project
  • Bobbin thread

At Your Embroidery Machine & Ironing Board

NOTE: It's Janome Week, so our files and instructions are specific to Janome models


  1. Select your embroidery design. 
  2. As mentioned, we used the Janome Memory Craft 9900. The manual includes easy step-by-step instructions for all types of file management. In summary here are the steps for bringing in a design via USB flash drive:

      • Turn on the machine.
      • Insert a USB flash drive. 
      • Remove the flash drive. This will create the folders the machine needs for embroidery. 
      • Place the flash drive in the computer. 
      • Go to Start and then Computer to find the USB flash drive. Open the folder to view the files. You will see two folders, EMB and ORD. Double click on the EMB folder. There will be a Embf folder. This is the folder for saving designs. 
      • Download the JEF files and save to the Embf folder on your flash drive.

  3. Select the appropriate size hoop. 
  4. Hoop two layers of tearaway stabilizer. 
  5. Place the hooped stabilizer on the machine and secure.
  6. Select the Trace button, then select the option for a basting stitch.
  7. Baste through the stabilizer layers.
  8. Position the corner of the napkin over the basted stitch line so the hem is just outside the line. 
  9. Baste a second time through the fabric.
  10. Start embroidery. The design will be perfectly positioned in the corner.
  11. Snip and remove the basting threads.
  12. Gently pull the fabric away from the stabilizer. 
  13. Press the embroidery from the wrong side.
  14. Placemat

    1. As above, bring in your selected embroidery design and select your hoop.
    2. Mark the lower edge of the placemat for the five embroidered motifs. Our marks are 2" from the lower edge and 3½" apart.
    3. Hoop the sticky stabilizer. Remove the paper from the stabilizer to expose the sticky surface.
    4. Place the hooped stabilizer on the machine and secure.
    5. Position the placemat over the stabilizer, dropping the needle to match it to the marking on the placemat.
    6. Raise the needle and smooth the placemat into place.
    7. As above, baste the layers together for extra stability.
    8. Embroider the motif. 
    9. Repeat for each marking, alternating colors as shown on our sample.
    10. Remove the basting stitches. Remove the excess stabilizer. Press flat from the wrong side.


    Project Concept: Alicia Thommas  
    Sample Creation, Technique Notes and Custom Embroidery Design: Michele Mishler



    Comments (38)

    Donna Hamende said:
    Donna Hamende's picture

    I am wondering if I could still download the designs. I have a 1100. I have owned 4 Janome machines. I at one time worked for a Janome dealer in Largo, Florida. 

    It has been a long time since I had been to this site. 

    I belong to several embroidery and sewing sites. Only one is Janome. All the others are other machines. It's a little downhearting because it's a great machine but doesn't get the recognition it deserves. 

    I just can't wait to try some of these projects and post them on some of the sites and the Janome. The sites are on Facebook. 


    Donna Hamende 


    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @Donna - Welcome back to S4H. Yes, the two links above to the .JEF files still work. Simply click to download. As mentioned above, this particular project was sponsored by Janome, so the files were only made available in the .JEF format. If you can use the .JEF files, once downloaded, simply drag the files directly onto your machine or onto a memory stick to insert into your machine. If you cannot use the .JEF format, this particular project won't work for you. However, we have quite a few other projects with free embroidery design downloads in all the major embroidery formats. Have fun browsing the site!

    Marilyn Zelinski said:
    Marilyn Zelinski's picture

    I am interested in downloading the placement and napkin design posted on April 24, 2013.  I is a design by Michele Milnier for Janomedesigns.  There is one similar on the built in designs on the 9900, but it is too larger.  Is it possible to download this design at this late date?

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Marilyn - Yes, the links above for the two .jef files are still working. Simply click the link(s) to download. Then open to bring into the machine as described. 

    António said:
    António's picture

    Eu Tenho Uma maquina de bordar 5900 de 4 Agulhas ha Algum bastidor Pará bordar Chapéus. Tem Algum saite Pará Baixar Desenhos gratis.


    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Antonio - We are having some trouble fully translating your question/request, but we believe you are looking for websites with free downloads for your particular machine. I'm sorry, but we do not have such a list. Your best option is to simply search online or ask your sewing machine dealer for help. 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Ann Nile - I'm not 100% sure if this will work with the Janome 10001. I looked up the retired machine on the Janome website and it appears to use the .JEF+ file format for embroidery. Our seamstress only did these files in the current .JEF format. You would likely know better than I if you can make that format work. It's free to download... why not give it a try :-)

    Wendy Duncan said:
    Wendy Duncan's picture

    Recently bought a 350e and loving it! Thanks for such a lovely modern design......thrilled 

    maria carmela mascia said:
    maria carmela mascia's picture

    sono molto contenta d'aver comperato  la mia janome 9900 desidererei più disegni ...non potendo spendere molto ....grazie se ne avete metteteli in rete.......non ò bambini ...e purtroppo sono ...nella età...del ...pensare...grazie

    yvette said:
    yvette's picture

    do you know if these designs will work in the singerXl400.

    they look lovely.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ yvette - As we mentioned above, since Janome was kind enough to sponsor this feature, we on;ly had the designs produced in the Janome .JEF embroidery format. Your Singer likely has a different format. We are not familiar with the Singer embroidery machines. If you have a digitizing program, you could bring in the designs and re-save them in the proper format.

    Geri Edwards said:
    Geri Edwards's picture

    Just tried again and hey presto!!!!!!  Designs now safely downloaded - no idea why they wouldn't before.  thank you.


    Banderson said:
    Banderson's picture

    Oh my goodness - after reading the last 3 posts, I am hooked on these!  Who needs a retail store when you can do this at home!  Wow, Janome has really allowed people to be designers and customize products to meet their needs.  Thanks again for showing us all of the amazing things these machines can do.

    Ruby95 said:
    Ruby95's picture

    I really like this project. I have a MC 9500 and I am suprise how much has changed in the newer machines. Thank you for the designs I look forward to using them on my next project.

    Stacey Wilson said:
    Stacey Wilson's picture

    I have coveted the 350E for quite a while now.  I don't have the time or mental resources for an embroidery machine right now (small children!), but I WILL get one in the future!

    Amy Johnson said:
    Amy Johnson's picture

    I understand where you're coming from, but seasons pass (and the season of little kids pass in a flash even if the days are loooong) and new seasons emerge....then you can stitch away when the time is right for you!

    Debbie T said:
    Debbie T's picture

    Perfect!  Thank you for trouble shooting and for the lovely designs 

    berninafun said:
    berninafun's picture

    I can download the design but it will not open in my Bernina software, JEF is about the only format that will not open. Too bad, really cute.

    lindad224 said:
    lindad224's picture

    I'm a Bernina girl too and I got them to open in a software package I have.  I could send them to you in ART or EXP depending on your machine if you like.

    berninafun said:
    berninafun's picture

    Thank you for your kind offer. After some thought, I was able to work around the JEF format with another program.  I appreciate the offer.

    vickit said:
    vickit's picture

    Thank you for the beautiful designs and project. They will be very good for gifts.

    Also, as far as the designs I had no problem downloading or opening them with my VIking software. Thankfully my software will read all file formats other than .art. I was told also that my newer machine is capable of reading any format as well and doesn't require the .shv format any longer as my old machine did.

    Thank you again.

    vickit said:
    vickit's picture

    Also to add all I did was click each file and the 'save' or 'save as' download came right up allowing me to save these files and then open later in my embroidery software.

    I don't understand why others are having a problem. Has anyone having the problem attempted to download any other files that are not zipped to see if they have a problem with those also today? Also, if those having problems are treating these as zip files which they aren't that could be the problem also. I know many will right click zip files and then click open then save only those formats they want. While this is only one format, it is not a zip file so right clicking to open a zip will probably cause an error as it's not a zip file. Try right click and then save as again. Maybe there was a glitch at the time you attempted before. Stranger things have happened.

    Savannagal said:
    Savannagal's picture

    Downloaded fine for me, though I don't have an embroidery machine. I hope to own one some day, so I'll just save the files.  The design is lovely.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    We have tested and re-tested and added some code to insure browsers will simply save without first trying to open. It all works great on this end - so if you've had trouble this morning, please try again when you get a chance. Thanks to all.

    MarciaFlorida said:
    MarciaFlorida's picture

    These are so pretty -- wish could download them. I don't see why treating the file just like any other downloadable file (extension JEF of course) would not work.  File transfer regardless of extension shouldn't be an issue, even if actually using the file requires the applicable Janome PC software.  There is conversion software that can be purchased that converts formats from one make of a machine to another.  I haven't used it but had a class with a woman who has an embroidery business and uses conversions frequently.

    These are beautiful! 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ MarciaFlorida - so far all our "save to download" tests are working fine on this end. We are continuing to test. Make sure your computer is actually saving the file rather than trying to open it first. 

    Debbie T said:
    Debbie T's picture

    I am also having difficulty with downloading these designs.  When I click on them all I see is the computer language and no download instructions.  The problem is the download to my computer, not with my Janome machine.  Help, please

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Debbie T - as we've mentioned below - we are doing our best to determine the best way to maket the download smooth for all. We appreciate your patience.

    flygirl_j3 said:
    flygirl_j3's picture

    The JEF files are not able to be downloaded.  I left and right click on the file to save it to my hard drive, but neither function works correctly.  I would like to be able to save this file and then transfer it to the computer with the software that uses my JEF formats.  When I left click, it opens the "machine language" on the screen, and when I right click, it wants to save the file in html format, not JEF.  Options to save this file in JEF format are not a possiblility with the link set up the way it is.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @flygirl_j3 - our tests are still operating correct. A right click on either link saves it to the download folder from which the file can be moved to another folder or a memory stick. However, we are trying some other tests in other browsers and will continue to check for options that might make the download more intuitive.

    babs4008@yahoo.com said:
    babs4008@yahoo.com's picture

    Thank you so much for these designs!  I am fortunate enough to have a Janome 300E embroidery machine and a Janome 6600P sewing machine.  I am so in love with these machines!  I downloaded the embroidery files without a hitch, and I just happen to have yards of neutral linen with which I can make the napkins and matching placemats.  This is another terrific project from Sew4Home.  I always look to your site for terrific instructions and inspiration.  Thanks again!

    momsantoni said:
    momsantoni's picture

    04-24-2013 Yes, an absolutely beautiful and elegant table linen set by Creative team member, Michele Mishler- however the embroidery design file links do not work.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ momsantoni - we have tested the .JEF files and they are operating correctly. You do need to have the proper Janome machine application in order for your machine to recognize the file. As we mentioned above, since we are focusing on Janome models, we only provided the design in the Janome .JEF file format. If your machine uses another embroidery file format, it will not be an option for you.

    Geri Edwards said:
    Geri Edwards's picture

    Like several others I am unable to download these perfect designs!  I have purchased and downloaded  many designs to my laptop with no problems.  Are you still looking into this?  Meantime keep up the fabulous projects.

    Geri Edwards said:
    Geri Edwards's picture

    Just tried again and hey presto!!!!!!  Designs safely downloaded - no idea why they wouldn't download when I tried earlier!!  Thank you - look forward to trying them out.