The Janome Memory Craft 6500 P is a sewing and quilting machine that has definitely stood the test of time. If you are like me, you often wonder what people who own sewing machine stores use for their own personal use.
I got an answer one day… at least from one store owner… while talking with Faye Nicholl, owner and manager of Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida. Her machine of choice for the last 12 years has been and continues to be the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P.
Faye likes this machine so much, she has two that she uses in the store when making quilts for customers, making display items and working on any other sewing other project that requires her attention during the work day.
At A Glance
You know there is something special about the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P by its construction. You could immediately tell that both of the machines in the store were special by the slightly worn paint on the metal work surface.
Any sewing machine that is used so much that the paint begins to wear off is one that is used quite a bit.
The Janome Memory Craft 6500 P has an on board needle threader, a retractable chrome thread guide, a monochromatic LCD screen, on board seam guides etched onto the needle plate, adjustable stitch length and width controls and a series of function and control buttons, including edit and memory buttons, stitch selection buttons and a series of function buttons above the needle: start/stop; needle up/down; reverse/lock stitch; and tie off/thread cut.
There is also a presser foot adjustment control with a window which allows the user to see the precise setting at a glance, a variable speed control slider and a knee lift. The drop feed control lever is located on the very front of the Memory Craft 6500 P, on the lower right hand side.
- 135 decorative and utility stitch options
- 7 One-step buttonholes
- 4 Alphanumeric fonts (block or script – with or without European accents)
- Automatic thread tension control
- On board needle threader
- Needle up/down
- 5 Piece feed dog
- Drop feed
- Automatic thread cutter
- Start/stop button
- Locking stitch button
- Reverse button
- Twin needle guard
- Variable speed control slider
- 5 Memory banks
- Individual and combination stitch editing
- Last stitch recall
- Knee lift
- Auto declutch bobbin winding
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Monochromatic LCD screen
- Presser foot pressure adjustment
- Horizontal full rotary hook bobbin system
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Vertical thread delivery system with dual thread guide bar
- On board cone thread guides
- On board stitch selection guide
- On board help
Working on the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P
While it might at first appear as though threading the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P might be a challenge, the on board thread guides simplify the process for you.
In addition, the owner’s manual does a very good job of giving a detailed written description of each step. There are also guides which take you through the steps necessary to winding the bobbin and its proper insertion as well.
Once the machine is threaded and the bobbin is in place, the steps involved in selecting the desired stitch starts with referring to the on board stitch selection guide and identifying the mode or the menu where the desired stitch is located.
There are four different modes: 1) frequently used utility stitches; 2) patchwork and quilting stitches; 3) buttonholes and additional utility stitches; 4) alphanumeric fonts.
For this review, I sampled several of the utility and decorative stitches in the quilt mode, simulating a real quilting situation with quilt batting sandwiched between two layers of fabric.
I even toyed with one of the applique stitch options to attach an applique. The results were spectacular. It didn’t matter which stitch option I sampled, every one of them came out with precision. The Janome Memory Craft 6500 P is solid, quiet and does no vibrate at all.
Although I didn’t use it during this review, I was genuinely impressed by the fact that the drop feed control is on front of the machine, right at your fingertips.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 13 Snap on presser feet
- Zigzag foot
- Overedge foot
- Rolled hem foot
- Zipper foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Blind hem foot
- Cording foot
- Overcasting foot
- Automatic buttonhole foot
- Basting/darning foot
- ¼ ” Seam foot
- Even feed foot
- Open toe satin stitch foot
- Flathead screwdriver
- 4 Sided screwdriver tool
- Extra needles
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
- 2 Spool holders (1 large/1 small)
- Extra bobbins
- Standard quilting bar
- Quilting bar for even feed foot
- Cloth guide with screw
- Owner’s manual
- Accessory storage case with presser foot storage compartment
- Knee lifter
- Ribbon sewing guide
- Quilting attachment kit
- Pintucking cord guide
- Horizontal spool holder
- Extra-large foot controller
- Buttonhole stabilizer plate
- Optional Presser Feet
- Piping foot
- 3-way cording foot
- Applique foot
- Beading foot
- Binder foot
- Adjustable blind hem foot
- Blind hem foot
- Border guide foot
- Button sewing foot
- Invisible zipper foot
- Edge guide foot
- Fringing foot
- Gathering foot
- Set of hemmer feet
- Pintucking foot
- Ribbon/sequin foot
- Roller foot
- Rotary even foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Sliding buttonhole foot
- Sliding guide foot
- Straight stitch foot
- Ultraglide foot
- Screw on zipper foot
- Open toe satin stitch foot
- Low shank free motion quilting foot
- Ditch quilting foot
- Open toe satin stitch foot
- Low shank open toe darning foot
- Open toe foot with attached quilting guide
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
It was very easy for me to understand why the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P is a favorite of this sewing machine store owner. The P stands for ‘Professional’.
Some might mistakenly believe it is made for industrial use only. While the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P feels like an industrial machine and is excellent for use in a tailor shop or for professional alterations, it is designed for home use.
This sewing and quilting workhorse reminds me of the sewing machines made before the middle to late 1980s… the ones that were handed down from generation to generation.
The Janome Memory Craft 6500 P has just enough features to make sewing a major source of enjoyment and pleasure for anyone who appreciates a well-built sewing machine.
It does not have a free arm, but since it is designated as a quilting machine, a free arm is really not all that necessary. Besides, if you want to use it as a straight sewing machine, there are ways to achieve all of the tasks one performs with a free arm with just a few minor adjustments in technique.
I recommend the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P for anyone above the age of 10 years of age who sews. With this in mind, I concede that some, but not all children younger than 10 will be able to use this machine as well.
However, because of the extra steps required to make a stitch selection, I think younger children would get bored or frustrated.
The Janome Memory Craft 6500 P is so easy to work with, so sturdy and such a reliable sewing and quilting machine, I do not hesitate in recommending it for anyone who wants a machine that can do just about anything and is not concerned that it is not ‘the latest model’.
I have often said that the true test of a sewing machine is not how it operates when it is brand spanking new, but how it stands up after several years of constant heavy use.
The mere fact that for 21 years it has served the owner of a sewing machine store and she continues to be a dedicated user is enough testimony to convince me that the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P stands heads and shoulders above all other sewing and quilting machines in its class.
This is no lightweight or portable sewing machine. While it is not made with all metal parts, every one of the critical components are made of metal, not plastic.
Like all other sewing machines with computerized components, the Memory Craft 6500 P requires servicing by an authorized Janome service and repair specialist at least once a year – more often if it is used heavily.
No doubt, because it works so great, you might be tempted to forego the annual visit to the shop, but this is the only way to assure that all of the components work at optimum capacity for the life of the machine.
The particular machine that I reviewed has been in use for 12 years. I have no doubt that 24 years from now and beyond, the Janome Memory Craft 6500 will still be in service, providing many hours of flawless sewing and quilting.
Its performance and handling actually remind me of the sewing machines of days gone by. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Faye’s grandchildren inherit these Memory Craft 6500 P’s and when they do, they will still be in perfect working condition.
The good news is you can purchase a brand new Janome Memory Craft 6500 P from your local authorized Janome dealer for a very reasonable financial investment.
If you are in the market for a reliable sewing and quilting machine that has a proven track record for being an excellent addition to any sewing room, you owe it to yourself to take a long hard look at the Janome Memory Craft 6500 P.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- 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 – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Stands the test of time
- More than 130 on board utility and decorative stitch options
- No free arm