Making perfection even more perfect

I’ve been sewing on Janome machines for over five years now. There are so many fabulous features to love about these high-precision yet user-friendly machines. These machines are without a doubt workhorses, yet they handle the most delicate and intricate of stitches with impeccable accuracy. (You can read my earlier review of the 9400 HERE.)

Whether I’m sewing on the top of the line 15000 with the completely automatic needle threader (it had me at “hello”) and brilliant true-color lighting, or the new top-of-the-line (non-embroidery) 9400, I have always been able to achieve a perfect scant 1/4″ seam using either the clear piecing foot with guide which involves moving the needle position to the right (the OV foot), or my favorite foot, which keeps the needle in the center position (the OM foot), and I’m still trying to convince the good folks at Janome to re-name “Kimberly’s Favorite Foot.” After all, they were kind enough to put my picture on a large banner at Quilt Festival in Houston outside my classroom this past fall, so maybe they’ll name a foot after me. (Well, I can daydream, right?)

One of the new features on the 9400 was the addition of the HP throat plate and presser foot. I’ve known about the concept of the HP plate since the 9400 was first released and I had heard many times the knowledgeable Janome educators say how great it is, but because I have always had such terrific results using the OM or OV presser foot, I hadn’t actually tried the HP system myself. I thought, “How much better could it be? I’m getting fantastic results using a clear piecing foot with a guide. If it isn’t broke, why fix it?” My 1/4″ seams were always accurate and I was happy with the ability to move the needle to one of more than 90 positions for even more accuracy.

The OM foot (left) and the OV foot (right)

But one day last week, just for fun, I decided to try the HP throat plate and presser foot on my 9400. I snapped the throat plate in place which adjusted the presser foot to a left position, and I changed the presser foot to the HP foot. Then I pressed the foot pedal and stitched some simple pieced units. 

OH MY GOODNESS! The HP system blew my socks off!  My first thought was, “Where has this miraculous system been all my life?” I couldn’t believe the marvelous, unbelievably PERFECT stitches! Just when I thought Janome couldn’t improve on perfection, they went and DID improve and made perfection even more perfect! 

This is exactly what a scant 1/4″ is supposed to look like! The stitching line still “touches” the 1/4″ line on the ruler, but it falls to the “scant” side of a full quarter inch. Piecing perfection!

Let me put it to you this way: If you want the most perfect, scant 1/4″ seams on the planet, use the HP system (available on the 9400 and new 15000) for ALL your piecing. 

I asked Regena Carlevaro, Education Manager for Janome of America, what makes the HP system so special and this was her reply:

“In laymen’s terms, Janome Tokyo’s R&D department has always designed our embroidery machines to sew embroidery with the needle in the left side position. This has to do with the needle and bobbin rotation relationship, which creates a better stitch when in the left position. So they created a plate and industrial type foot that will give customers a better stitch too. Most drop-in bobbin machines,  all across the different makes and models, straight stitch on a bit of a slant, and the left side position reduces that slant. The plate also helps with sewing curved seams.”

This small block is supposed to measure 5 1/4″ UNFINISHED. It’s always been tricky to achieve because of diagonal seams and bias edges. But with the HP system, just look at those perfect seams! And my block measures accurately.

Wow. Just wow. You can bet I’ll be using the HP plate and presser foot for ALL my piecing from now on. The thread tension is perfect. The stitches are balanced, even and beautiful. Stitching is quiet and oh-so-smooth. This system is THAT good. 

So if you’re in the market for a new machine or even mildly curious as to “what the fuss is about,” do yourself a favor and visit your local Janome dealer (CLICK HERE to find your nearest location) or attend a regional or national quilt show in your area where you can see and try the HP system for yourself. I promise you will be absolutely amazed. 

Just hang on to your socks!

UPDATE: For those of you in the Southwest region of the US, Janome has a major presence at the Road2CA show going on now through Sunday, January 21st in Ontario, CA. Come to their booth and check out ALL their fabulous machines — and be sure to test the new HP system for yourself. Plus, they have some FABULOUS deals on many of the machines!

  1. Thanks Kim, I bought the 9400 from Dave at vqf last year. Since he is in New Hampshire and I not, I am going to apply your info in this blog. Very helpful. Hope all is well, barb

  2. Wow! That is awesome! I have a Janome MC 6300, I wonder if this system would work with that model! Will be doing some research! Thanks for sharing! ????

  3. I updated my 15000 last fall but have not tried the HP foot because I was in the middle of several projects and didn’t want to play with something new when I didn’t think what I had was broke. Guess I will change over to the HP plate and foot today! Thank you for the review.

  4. I ❤️ my 9400 and the HP foot is what I’m using on my 6″ Farm Girl Vintage blocks and they come out perfect every time.

  5. I wonder if these will be available for the Janome 12000? Sure would love the hp system too. Not ready to update my machine for it though lol I just love Janome. I own 3 now.

  6. Sounds wonderful, does my Memory Craft 8900 QCP have this option available?

    • No – I had that model but upgraded to the 9400 which has the plate she discusses here

  7. Be sure the needle has reset to the middle before you try to FMQ. Ask me how I know. Didn’t realize the needle had shifted so far to the left. Now I know!

  8. Does HP plate mean single hole ? And you put the setting on patchwork?

  9. I have the OM foot, however I had not heard of the OV foot, what is it’s purpose? Is it for the accufeed?

  10. Pardon my ignorance, but I read this whole article and all the comments hoping someone would say what an HP plate is, as well OV and an OM foot. All I can think of for HP is Hewlett Packard.

  11. I tried my HP plate and foot for the first time and my tension is awful. Top thread just sits on top of the fabric. Switched back to my regular plate and foitbsnd my tension is perfect. What would cause it to do this? I’m stumped!!!

    • Jan –

      I’m so sorry to hear you have had tension issues when you tried the HP plate! That’s not typical…. So, let’s troubleshoot. When something like this happens to me, many times it is an easy fix; such as unthreading and rethreading the machine and the bobbin. Turn the machine off before snapping the HP plate into place and then turn it on after it has been installed. When was the last time you changed the needle? If you can’t remember or it has been more than 8 hours of use, try a new needle. If, after trying all these minor things, you are still having an issue its time to visit your local Janome dealer and ask them to take a look at it, which i’m sure they’ll be happy to do and soon you’ll be sewing with perfect tension and stitches!

      • Thank you so much for your quick response!! I will definitely try your tips!! I love my 9400 so I’m sure I will get it straightened out!! It’s a fabulous machine!

      • I just tried what you said and it’s working beautifully!! Thank you so much!!

  12. Hi Kimberly. Thanks for writing this! I have had the 9400 for a few years and never tried the HO plate and foot. OMG love it!!! Works perfect!
    See you at VQF!

  13. That’s HP not HO

  14. I think Janome should have a slogan that reads “Kimberly Einmo says when you use a Janome you “put your best foot forward”. The the HP system today. It will knock your socks off.


  15. Aww. That last comment should have read “Try the HP system today. It will knock your socks off.”

  16. When I tried to use the HP plate and foot, my feed dogs went down and it wouldn’t feed my fabric at all. So I took it off and went back to my regular plate and foot. I am going to try Kimberly’s tip of putting the plate and foot on before turning my machine on and see if that helps. The feed dogs aren’t supposed to go down are they?

    • Paula — You are correct, the feed dogs are NOT supposed to go down. Try attaching the HP foot and plate while the machine is off and then turn it on. If the issue persists, by all means contact your local dealer! I’m sure this is something that can easily be fixed!

  17. Kimberly, thank you for this article! I really appreciated the quote from Regena Carlevaro, Education Manager for Janome America, explaining why the stitch formation with the HP foot and plate are different than the straight stitch function on other machines. Wow, now there is a reason for using the technology in the HP foot and plate. Thank for and I look forward to any more information you can share with us about our wonderful 9400 machines (I also have a Janome 12000 since 2012, and I am learning things about this machine since owning my Janome 9400!).

    • I’m so thrilled to hear you loved the explanation by Regena; it sure made a lot more sense to me when she explained it! I’ll be sharing much more in the coming months about these fabulous machines; stay tuned!

  18. Hi Kimberly,
    I have the Janome 9450 and love it! I’ve been using the HP foot with the HP plate for piecing my latest quilt, but find that when I use these, my tension is off. I’ve tried rethreading several times and changing the needle. I have made an adjustment on the tension and it works, but still doesn’t seem as smooth of a stitch as in the regular mode. I’ve been using the Quilting mode. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you.

    • Kathy – That’s certainly NOT typical and shouldn’t be happening! Rather than tinker with it, I highly recommend you taking it to your dealer and ask them to look at it so they can make the proper adjustments so it will sew absolutely perfectly in HP mode!

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