Janome Memory Craft 6600 Review

Janome Memory Craft 6600 Review
Janome Memory Craft 6600 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.

Introduction

Janome sewing machines are known for their precision and workmanship. The new Janome Memory Craft 6600 is no exception.

This quilting, patchwork and appliqué machine puts state of the art functionality at your fingertips at an incredibly affordable cost.

Janome Memory Craft 6600, art functionality at your fingertips

Janome Memory Craft 6600, art functionality at your fingertips

Pros

  • Dual feed
  • Quick reference guide mounted on machine head
  • French knot capability
  • Auto lock button
  • Stitch balance adjusting screw
  • Separate buttonhole lever
  • Speed control slider
  • Edit button
  • LCD screen with adjustable contract
  • On board tutorial

Cons

  • No free arm

At A Glance

Two things immediately stood out when we first saw the Janome Memory Craft 6600. First of all, there is a wonderful reference guide that not only displays all of the 99 stitch options, the reverse side shows the threading guide in a detailed graphic.

When mounted to the back of the machine, the guide stands just above the machine head, making it as easy as possible to look simply glance up for quick access.

The other thing that jumps out is the fact that there is no free arm. While the presence of a free arm is especially desirable for small things like pant cuffs, sleeve hems, children’s clothes and other very small sewing tasks, but when it comes to working on quilting and patchwork projects, the free arm really isn’t necessary.

Since the Memory Craft 6600 is built for quilting, patchwork and appliqué work, a free arm is not a requirement.

The easy to understand threading guide and reference guides make this machine an excellent option for beginners.

However, its many other features and accessories mean that the Janome MC 6600 is not just for the person who is just starting to get involved with machine quilting, but for the intermediate and expert machine quilter as well.

Features

The Janome Memory Craft 6600 is equipped with an extensive list of standard features that are often reserved for more costly machines in this class. Those features include:

  • 99 utility and decorative stitches
  • 7 automatic one step buttonholes
  • 2 alphanumeric fonts
  • Built in needle threader
  • Knee lift
  • Twin needle guard
  • 5 memory banks
  • 2 bright on board LED sewing lights
  • External dual feed adjuster
  • Adjustable speed control
  • Numerical touchpad
  • Help button
  • Mode button

Working on the Janome Memory Craft 6600

On board thread guides

On board thread guides

In our opinion, the highly detailed on board threading reference guide is only necessary for the person who is almost totally inexperienced at threading a sewing machine.

The on board thread guides make threading the Memory Craft 6600 so simple, we believe they are all that are necessary for a sewer at any level to thread the machine properly on the very first attempt.

Winding and loading the drop in bobbin is just as uncomplicated, and the separate bobbin winding motor makes it possible for users to wind the bobbin while sewing.

This is one of the greatest time-savers any home sewer could ask for, especially when working on very large projects.

It is always an advantage when you are able to sew and wind a cache of bobbins simultaneously.

We were really impressed with the adjustable contrast dial on the Janome MC 6600.

When working in a brightly lit area or working with lots of natural sunlight, the user is able to dim the backlit LCD screen and brighten it as the amount of natural light diminishes.

Adjustable contrast dial and LCD Screen

Adjustable contrast dial and LCD Screen

Dial in the stitch number on the numerical touchpad

Dial in the stitch number on the numerical touch-pad

As with practically all other reviews, we sampled several different stitch options. The stitches available on the Memory Craft 6600 are grouped together … utility… pictograph… decorative.

Selecting a specific stitch was as simple is selecting the mode and then dialing in the stitch number on the numerical touchpad.

Once the stitch is identified, the display in the LCD screen tells you which presser foot to use and helps guide you through any required adjustments and settings to execute the perfect stitch.

In addition to the reference guide, the on board thread cutter, drop feed button, auto lock, needle up/down button, knee lift and functional controls like the dual feed adjuster, stitch balance adjusting screw, speed control slider, stitch elongation, length and width controls are all conveniently located, and easy to access.

A guiding LCD screen to execute the perfect stitch

A guiding LCD screen to execute the perfect stitch

They all work together to ensure that sewing on the Janome Memory Craft 6600 is not only enjoyable, but comfortable as well.

A perfectly executed stitch

A perfectly executed stitch

No doubt, after working on this machine for a significant length of time, the user could conceivably engage any one of these functions without even looking away from their work.

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

When it comes to standard accessories, the Janome MC 6600 outpaces practically every other quilting machine in its price range.

The standard accessories included with this machine include:

  • 14 presser feet
    • Zigzag
    • Overedge
    • Rolled hem
    • Satin stitch (2)
    • Blind hem
    • Cording
    • Overcast
    • Standard buttonhole
    • Automatic buttonhole
    • ¼ inch seam
    • Darning
    • Basting
    • Dual feed
  • Extra needles
  • Screwdrivers (2)
  • Seam ripper
  • Bobbins (4)
  • Quilting bar
  • Fabric guide
  • Extension table

    Janome Memory Craft 6600 standard accessories

    Janome Memory Craft 6600 standard accessories

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean loopers 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 Janome Memory Craft 6600 is an exceptional workhorse. This is one of the most dependable sewing, quilting, patchwork and appliqué machines we have had the pleasure of reviewing.

Not only is it capable of working with thick layers of fabric, natural fabrics such as cotton, silk and wool, you can also work with those heavy fabrics on this one. So get out your denim, twill and upholstery fabric.

Regardless of whether you are working with the most delicate of silk or the heaviest twill, your results will be the same.

The Memory Craft 6600 gets the job done with equal efficiency and ease. we are particularly impressed by the fact that this one comes with built in spindles to accommodate cone thread, not standard spools of thread.

The ease with which this machine is threaded and operated makes it an ideal option for the person who is learning the art of machine quilting.

The extension table, large workspace, dual LED lights, visual presser foot pressure gage and adjustable contrast LCD screen not only make it a joy to work with, it is one of the most ergonomically designed sewing machines of its type.

When working on the Memory Craft 6600 we found that selecting stitches, adjusting stitch length and width, stitch elongation and manipulating the drop feed feature were made easier simply by the design of the machine.

The on board reference guide is a major plus when it comes to identifying and selecting stitch options.

On board reference guide for stitch selection

On board reference guide for stitch selection

In addition, the ability to edit individual and combination stitch patterns further enhances the pleasure of sewing on this machine.

The lack of a free arm, the manual tension adjustment, dual feed adjuster and slide balance adjuster are only very minor inconveniences.

While there are machines on the market that offer a free arm as well as automatic adjustment features, these controls on the Janome MC 6600 are easy to execute.

If there is any question about tension, feed or balance settings, the guide in the owner’s manual takes you through each function with clearly written step by step directions.

The Janome Memory Craft 6600 is a great machine for learners. Its reference guides, easy to use LCD screen, touch pad and easy to understand function controls make learning to sew a pleasure.

We do not, however, recommend this machine for use by anyone younger than 16 years of age. Although this machine is very easy to learn and operate, we believe it is a bit challenging for children.

This sewing machine however, is not just for beginners. It is an ideal addition to any sewing room. The advanced machine quilting enthusiast would love the Memory Craft 6600’s features and charm.

This machine is fast, quiet and gives you perfect results every time. You can even get French knots with the MC 6600 – an option that is not available on many more costly machines in its class.

The accessories box is the perfect size – about 6” x 6”. It is compact, easy to store and it is designed to comfortably hold all of the machine’s accessories.

Although it has a carrying handle, the Janome MC 6600 is no lightweight. Unless you are accustomed to lifting 30-40 pound weights on a regular basis, do not plan on moving this one around a lot.

Janome Memory Craft 6600 is no lightweight

Janome Memory Craft 6600 is no lightweight

A machine as sturdy as this one is ideal for a permanent location in a cabinet. After all, this is not one of those machines that you will be taking on vacation or to sewing class.

If you want really want to take the Memory Craft 6600 you will need a rolling cart or bag in order to do so without straining your back or shoulder.

To sum it all up in a nutshell, the Janome Memory Craft 6600 is functional, economical and dependable. With a manufacturers suggested retail price of $1199, we believe it is one of the best deals available today.

If you are a machine quilter who is in the market for a new addition to your sewing room, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this machine before making a final decision.

11 Comments

  1. love my machine. it was a mothers day gift.

    • There is a clunking noise when the stitching starts. Is there a reason for this? Another bit of information not relayed was the fact that the needle has to be in the down position in on order to raise the presser foot. Nowhere was this indicated. A service call didn’t even reveal this necessity. Is there a teaching manual that includes all the “secrets” for smooth operation? Thank you in advance for any information.

      • My machine also makes a horrible sound when I start sewing. Unfortunately I’m nowhere near the dealer where I purchased the machine. The stitch quality isn’t affected and I don’t have the problem with the presser foot. However I’m worried about the awful loud grating sound the machine makes when I put the needle down to sew.

        • Mary –

          Take your machine in for servicing at once. That noise you’re hearing is a warning that something is wrong. Your Memory Craft may work now, but without the attention of a trained service professional, it may not be working for long. The cost of the repair will be significantly more than the cost of servicing, so don’t delay.

          • I took the machine to a lic. tech.
            Paid the $100+ for the service call it still does the same thing. Called the tech back and was told it was in fine order. (Not so but what else could I do) Embroidery stitches do not work well on a quilted item either. There doesn’t seem to be any help in print Am thinking of getting another brand of comparable size. Not happy with this machine, so am putting it away till it decides to behave.

    • I’ve had my Janome 6600 for a year and I am heading into my 12th quilt! It has done pretty good. One thing I wanted to say is it needs to be cleaned out often, I have a tiny shop vac that works great. While you have the bobbin holder out there is a small hole under it for a drop of oil.

  2. Hi, Babs –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    The machine I reviewed made no ‘clunking’ noise. In fact, it was rather smooth and quiet. Nor was it necessary to have the needle in the down position to raise the presser foot. I suspect your machine needs to be thoroughly checked out by a certified Janome service professional. I suggest you visit http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/FindaDealer to find the nearest authorized Janome dealer in order to resolve the problem.

  3. This review has been very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

    I am looking at purchasing a second hand Janome MC6600 which the owner says was only ever used once. I wondered if there is some way of knowing how many stitches the machine has done as this will give me a sense of how often it was used? Also it doesn’t come with all the standard accessories you would expect to find when you buy it new. However, if the machine checks out ok then I can always buy them separately!.

    Would really appreciate any help regarding locating the stitch count on the machine somewhere!

  4. Trish –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight. Your question is a very valid one. Unfortunately, you are way ahead of the times. Unlike cars, where you can simply check the odometer, there is no way to gage how frequently or how long a sewing machine has actually been used. I would say that a good tell-tell sign that it may have been used more than once is the fact that all of the accessories are not available. However, that could be a case of not putting the machine away properly or of having used the accessories with a different machine.

    My suggestion is that you thoroughly check the machine’s operation. Is it clean? Does it operate properly? Does it make excessive noise? Does it vibrate too much when you operate it?

    If you are satisfied with the answers to all the above questions, then you may very well have come upon a great machine. If the price is right, I say go for it. Like you said, you can purchase the accessories later.

    Happy stitching.

    • Thanks for your comment Vernelle. I have contacted Janome head office in Australia for more information on this. Some of the newer machines do have the technology to record stitch count and hours of use but not sure yet whether the Janome MC6600 did or not. I will be sure to post again once I hear back.

  5. You mension that it cant sew throught Leather/suede, Fur, Reptile skin,
    Canvas/Twill, Plastic/Rubber!! If you watch the video on this page you can see it sewing through plastic, leather, cardbord, wood and even a pepsi can. Its really strong machine. Its a must watch video.

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