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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.

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

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