Janome Memory Craft 12000 Review

Janome Memory Craft 12000 Review
Janome Memory Craft 12000 Review
Author
Users
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease of use
  • Maintenance
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.

I had heard and read a lot about the new Janome Memory Craft 12000, but it wasn’t until I saw one at the Sunshine Sewing and Quilting that I actually had an opportunity to review it.

Janome MC12000

Janome MC12000

Pros

  • Real time computer connection
  • User friendly interactive software
  • Works with extra large embroidery hoops
  • On screen editing
  • Pop out LED light

Cons

  • Pricey – but less costly than other machines in the same class

At A Glance

To look at it, the Janome Memory Craft 12000 looks pretty much like any other sewing machine. Upon closer inspection, however, I couldn’t help but notice a magnifying glass above the needle.

Stitch selection guide

Stitch selection guide

Pop out light to illuminate the needle plate

Pop out light to illuminate the needle plate

There is also a large workspace which can be removed to reveal the free arm, an accessories case that opens without having to remove the work table and a series of conveniently situated function buttons – start/stop; reverse stitch; presser foot up/down; thread snips; needle up/down; and pattern stop. Just above those buttons, a little to the right is the speed control slider.

When the top of the machine is lifted, users have immediate access to the threading and bobbin winding mechanism as well as a quick reference stitch selection guide.

Just beneath that, on front of the machine is a pop out light that illuminates the needle plate and etched seam guide. That, combined with the magnifying glass make working on the Janome Memory Craft 12000 so easy on the eyes, one might be tempted to set their eyeglasses aside.

Features

The Janome Memory Craft 12000 is loaded with features that many of us have only dreamed of having at our disposal. The standard features that come on every machine in this line include:

  • 425 built-in utility, decorative and embroidery stitches
    • 13 one-step buttonholes
    • 338 Built-in embroidery designs
    • 10 Fonts with European characters
    • 2&3 Letter monogramming function
  • Built-in needle threader
  • AcuGuide automatic cloth guide
  • Memorized needle up/down
  • Automatic presser foot lift
  • One-step needle plate conversion
  • 7 piece feed dog
  • Stitch Composer stitch creation program
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
  • Start/stop button
  • Speed control slider
  • Locking stitch button
  • Stitch Composer stitch creation program
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
  • Start/stop button
  • Speed control slider
  • Locking stitch button
  • Twin needle guard
  • Easy reverse button
  • Adjustable knee lift
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • LCD Full color touchscreen
  • Presser foot pressure adjustment
  • Presser foot height adjustment
  • On-screen assistance and tutorials
  • Retractable High Light and AcuView Magnifier
  • Linear Motion Embroidery System
  • Programmable jump thread trimming
  • Adjustable speed while embroidering
  • Flexible stitch travelling by units of 1, 10, and 100
  • Auto return post thread break
  • Adjustable hoop positioning

Working on the Janome Memory Craft 12000

Stitch settings on LCD

Stitch settings on LCD

As with all other Janome sewing machines, winding the bobbin and threading the Memory Craft 12000 are possibly the simplest, most user friendly systems available on any sewing machine – new or old.

The addition of the magnifying glass and pop out light make threading even easier. The same holds true for the stitch selection process. Users have the option of simply touching the desired stitch setting on the LCD touchscreen.

To access stitches that are not immediately visible on the touchscreen, simply use digital dial by simply moving their finger around inside the red circle at the bottom of the touchscreen until the desired stitch is highlighted.

The quality of the stitches made on the Janome Memory Craft 12000 is remarkable. I’m not certain if I have ever seen stitch quality this good on a new machine.

The quality of the stitches produced by the Memory Craft 12000 is very much like the stitchwork on vintage machines that render only simple straight and zigzag stitches.

Zigzag sticthes

Zigzag sticthes

I marveled at the ease with which Fay, owner/manager of the Sunshine Sewing and Quilting programmed the Janome 12000 to execute a scalloped stitch pattern.

More stitch settings

More stitch settings

Scalloped stitch pattern

Scalloped stitch pattern

Storing it in the memory was equally amazing. Users have the option of saving their favorite, frequently used stitch sequences on the machine’s hard drive, on a USB memory stick or sending it to a PC.

When saving a stitch sequence in the sewing machine’s memory, you have the option of saving it with a default file name that is automatically assigned or of giving the file any name you prefer.

Among the many presser feet included in the accessories kit is the border guide foot. With this foot in place, creating uniformly spaced rows of stitches is as easy as 1-2-3.

First, select your stitch pattern; second, sew your first row; third, place the guide channel over the row, centering it between the two red lines.

Border guide presser foot

Border guide presser foot

The border guide foot has guide channels to the left and right of the needle, giving users unlimited flexibility in creating evenly spaced rows of decorative stitches.

In addition to the 338 built in embroidery stitch patterns, users have access to an unlimited number of embroidery stitch options via the Janome Digitizer MBX software, photo imaging and an infinite number of choices via clipart and other embroidery patterns available on the internet.

Photo imaging

Photo imaging

Embroidery design pattern

Embroidery design pattern

One is tempted to ask why anyone would want to use any designs other than those already loaded onto the Janome Memory Craft 12000. With 338 embroidery designs to choose from, I find it difficult to believe that additional designs would be needed, especially since the Digitizer MBX software can be used to change the original designs, combine elements from two or more designs and add text with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Digitizer MBX software

Digitizer MBX software

The process is made easy by Corel technology. Although I had never before attempted to use the Janome Memory Craft 12000, mastering the process was very easy. Anyone who has a little experience with Word Art or bitmap software will be able to use the Digitizer MBX to create their own magnificent machine embroidery designs in no time at all.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Janome Memory Craft 12000 comes with one of the largest embroidery hoops available for home use. Janome was the very first manufacturer to offer real embroidery capabilities to the home sewer.

While other manufacturers offer machine embroidery capability with the use of a separate embroidery table that is attached to the machine for embroidery only. Most sewing and embroidery machines are not capable of sewing with the embroidery mechanism in place.

Janome’s patented embroidery system does not interfere machine with any of the machine’s other functions.

The patented embroidery arm on the Janome Memory Craft 12000 is extra large, enabling users to create embroidery designs up to 9.1 x 11.8 inches without concerns about slipping or shifting.

Patented Janome embroidery arm

Patented Janome embroidery arm

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

The list of standard accessories that come with the Janome Memory Craft 12000 is even more impressive than the expansive list of features:

    • 43 Presser feet
      • ¼ inch seam
      • Ditch quilting
      • Straight stitch
      • Flex ¼ inch
      • Flex dual feed [twin]
      • Flex holder and foot VD [single]
      • 2 flex holder feet – 1 single/1 twin
      • Standard Zipper foot
      • Invisible zipper foot
      • Flex foot [single]
      • Appliqué
      • Automatic buttonhole
      • 2 beading feet – 1 narrow/1 wide
      • Binder
      • Blind hem
      • Border guide
      • Button
      • Clearview quilting foot
      • Darning
      • Embroidery
      • Edge stitching
      • Closed toe
      • Open toe
      • Extra large foot controller
      • Zigzag
      • Free motion couching
      • Gathering
      • Hat
      • 2 Hemmer feet – 4mm and 6mm
      • Open toe satin stitch
      • Overedge
      • 2 Pintucking feet – narrow/wide
      • Piping
      • Quilt binder
      • Ruffler
      • Rolled hem
      • Ribbon/sequin
      • Ribbon/sequin
      • Ultra guide
      • 3 way cording
    • Digitizer MBX
    • Digitizer JR
    • 6 Pintuck cord guides – 11000, 6500P, 6019QC, 6125 QC, 6260QC, 3160QDC
    • Embroidery bobbin thread
    • Embroidery metallic thread
    • Three boxes of assorted embroidery thread
    • Embroider A Cure collection
    • Button shank plate
    • Buttonhole stabilizing plate
    • Pre-wound bobbins
    • Quilting kit
    • 3 embroidery hoops
      • 9.1″ x 11.8″
      • 9.1″ x 9.1″
      • 5.5″ x 5.5″
    • Semi Hard Cover
    • Instructional DVDs
      • Hip Line Media – Pants That Fit Finally
      • Digitizer Pro/MB guide
      • Martha Pullen – Heirloom Sewing
      • Digitizer JR video guide
    • Jenny Haskins stabilizers
      • Cutaway magic
      • Hoop magic
      • Tearaway magic
      • Sheer magic plus
      • Web magic
    • Long quilting guidebar set
    • Assorted Scissors
    • Assorted needles
    • USB memory stick
    • Extension table
    • Rolling case
    • Knee lifter
    • Lint brush
    • Quilter bar
    • Screwdriver
    • Seam ripper
    • 2 spool holders – 1 large/1 small
    • Spool pin
    • 2 Spool stands – 1 to accommodate 2 different threads/1 to accommodate up to 5 threads
    • Jenny Haskins quilting projects
Accessories

Accessories

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

The embroidery and quilting projects created on the Janome Memory Craft 12000 are phenomenal. Fay shared some of the projects created by the staff at Sunshine Sewing and Quilting using built in stitch options only.

A sample design

A sample design

Embroidery and quilting projects

Embroidery and quilting projects

I’ve seen many quilting projects in my day, but I must admit, the quilts created on the Memory Craft12000 stand out among all the rest.

The Memory Craft 12000 works great with metallic thread as well as nearly every specialty thread from all of the top manufacturers.

This is by far one of the best sewing, quilting and embroidery machines on the market today. In my opinion, anyone who is seriously considering a new embroidery machine should take a very close look at the Janome Memory Craft 12000.

The MSRP is on the high end. Purchasing this machine would require a serious investment of capital. The cost is worth it, however, but only if you are committed to machine embroidery as a primary function.

The Janome Memory Craft 12000 is so user friendly a home sewer at the intermediate skill level would be very comfortable. An expert sewer will not be disappointed. The many desirable functions and exceptional features and accessories make this an excellent addition to any sewing room.

Some fine designs

Some fine designs

I do not, however, recommend the Memory Craft 12000 for use by beginners. The many features could be overwhelming for someone who is just starting out.

Besides, the cost should be prohibitive for anyone who has not yet decided if they really want to spend a lot of time creating machine embroidery projects.

Some creative designs

Some creative designs

If, however, you are already committed to machine embroidery and have the wherewithal to make the investment required to acquire the Janome Memory Craft 12000, by all means, visit your nearest Janome dealer and ask for a demonstration. Don’t forget to ask about payment options while you’re there.

7 Comments

  1. Thank you for doing these reviews. I have a 20 year old Pfaff (only straight and zigzag)that I looking to replace soon so I am glad I found your sight. I wish I could justify the price for this one, but I think it is out of my reach.

  2. Heather – Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    The MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price… emphasis on SUGGESTED.

    If you are really interested in purchasing this or any other sewing machine on this site, I suggest you visit your local dealer. You will find that the actual sales price is quite often significantly lower.

    They also offer discounts, sales, promotions, and other incentives. You may discover that buying a new sewing machine these days can be similar to buying a new car. Be ready to negotiate the price on very expensive sewing machines and don’t be afraid to ask about discounts.

    Happy stitching.

  3. Good review. I am trying to decide on a machine. Looking at brother quattro 2 and janome 12000. Can’t decide. Like both. I like the free arm flexibility for embroidery and quiet running. I like the idea of camera on quattro. Any comments. Which one sews best? Thanks

  4. Michelle –

    Thanks for visiting Sewing Insight.

    In my opinion, you might be happier with the Janome 12000.

    The idea of having a camera on the Quattro is an intriguing one, but I’m not sure they have had time to get out all of the bugs. Besides, the Quattro has a higher MSRP, and overall, the Janome brand is more highly rated than Brother.

    Happy Stitching.

  5. Thank you for writing about the Janome 12000. I have been considering it for $7000 verses the Praff for $8200.00.
    I have had a Viking #1 for over 20 years now. I refused to invest in another one.
    I also have a Juki 634 serger that has been pretty good but after 23 years I need to replace it too. I been looking at the Imagine Babylock for $1500.00 Any suggestions on what I am thinking about buying?

  6. I have a Janome 12,000 and it is wonderful. It sews through anything! It is so easy and straightforward to use. The embroidery is beautiful too.

  7. Hi all! I recently purchased a 12000 after having my 11000 for about 2 years. I fully agree with the review! I am a designer by profession and used to lecture for the local university, so i have used many many machines. I absolutely love my 12000 and would not swop it for any other machine on the market! It is by far the easiest most feature rich machine i have ever used. Quilting is an absolute pleasure! I also like to experiment with many mediums when designing the ultimate dress, and my 12000 supports me brilliantly all the way. Embroidery! Well all i can say is wow. The quality is really magnifying glass precise on the sewing and embroidery side. Only con was that it was a bit pricey, but i cannot say that i will ever regret buying it. Not at all. Infact given my experience with Janome, i would recommend this fantastic high end machine to any one who loves sewing and embroidery, and wants a machine that can do it all!

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