The Elna eXcellence 780+

What do I love about this machine? There are so many functions and applications with Elna Excellence 780+ that I use often that I will have to write more than one post.

The Elna eXcellence 780+ is a premium computerized sewing machine. One of many features I love is the Sewing Applications Menu (the T-shirt Icon). The Sewing Applications is a unique feature that facilitates twelve common sewing techniques. By selecting the desired function like “Quilting” the machine automatically adjusts the appropriate stitch length and guides you through the steps and choices of the presser foot and needle plate you require. The machine takes all the guess work out of choosing the right settings.

Check out the large LCD screen with ease of access to all the functions.

Another reason I love this Ultimate Quilting Machine is the large work space. The throat space is ideal for free-motion quilting and has great LED lighting. The extra-wide extension table is included too. Bonus! The eXcellence 780+ comes with four special presser feet for free-motion quilting, including the clear spoon foot which is perfect for applique quilting applique.

I can’t neglect to mention what really attracts me to this machine is the ease of removing and inserting the needle plates. No screws and fiddling around trying to change the plates. The three plates included are just a click away from changing.

The dedicated functions and accessories of the Elna eXcelence 780+ make it the dream machine for patchwork & quilting enthusiasts. What is even better is the price point. Contact your local Elna Dealer for more information.

Keep on Sewing.


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Christmas in July…… Get a Head Start on Your Christmas Sewing!

Picture courtesy of

I DO try, honest I do, but some years the wheels fall off for one or another reason so that despite my best intentions, December rolls around and I am nowhere near to finishing my Christmas sewing projects.

Why, in the first place, do I have Christmas sewing each year?? Well, that is easy to answer: because I am so passionate about sewing that I would rather make special one-of-a-kind gifts for family & friends rather than rack up $100’s or $1000’s on items bought at the malls.


Delightful Christmas Tree ornaments made by customers at one of our dealer’s stores for Christmas. These were created in the hoop on our Elna Excellence 830L Embroidery machine and then used to cover an ordinary Christmas ball to hang on the tree.

CHRISTMAS CARDS??    Now I no longer send out Christmas cards. I figure we live in an age of emails & online newsletters, etc, so to send out Christmas cards which end up in the recycling bin by January, is in my opinion a little absurd. I would far rather make a small personalized gift for some of the folk I would have sent a Christmas card to. Besides which, have you seen lately what it will cost to mail out Christmas cards? Each year I pick a small project or 2 and I start earlier in the year making these so that everyone has a little something from me. Some years I made a Christmas tree ornament in the embroidery hoop of my ELNA embroidery machine. Other years I sew luggage tag, little in-the-hoop zipper baggies or key fob on my ELNA sewing machine.

See pics below for additional ideas for Christmas gift sewing and home decorating for the holiday period.

What am I doing this year? Well, truth be told, I have not decided yet but I will make that high on my to do list or I may not be done by Christmas!

Picture courtesy of
Picture courtesy of
I used scraps of fabric decorated with machine decorative stitches and ric-rac, lace etc.
What about a cover for your Elna sewing machine to celebrate the holiday season?
Picture courtesy of
pic courtesy of all
Picture courtesy of all

But it is not only about sewing Christmas gifts in lieu of Christmas cards…….there is also the sewing of PJ’s for the little ones, making Advent calendars (which I did one year but need to restock them with little candies & gifts again this year); as well as Christmas decorations and home decor projects for the holiday season.

Picture courtesy of
Picture courtesy of s
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the yummy food ……and an apron appropriate for the season!
Picture courtesy of
I thought these were simply the cutest little shoes! Picture courtesy of
What a great way to use up your stash of Christmas fabrics: napkins for use at your Christmas meal or as gifts.
Picture courtesy of
Personalized pillow cases always make special gifts – AND they are so easy to make
Picture courtesy of

I think you get the idea……we GOTTA START NOW! I hope the pictures above inspired you to get sewing to make this a memorable Christmas of lovely home sewed gifts and décor made on your Elna sewing machines. It is so nice to receive a homemade gift rather than impersonal one bought in a crowded mall (assuming we can actually walk around safely in a mall come the end of this year. I’m making no predications as none of us thought it would last this long………

Originally posted on Janome Life by Liz Thompson.

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Rope Bowls

Today I bring you a quick and easy decor project! Rope bowls! These seriously have endless uses around the house. These are so fun to make that you won’t be able to stop making them! The materials are very affordable and easily customizable. I swear I’m not lying about the easy part either. The hardest part is at the beginning and end and I’m going to give you some tips and options to make those parts easier.


See the source image

The Elna Excellence 780+ is a fantastic machine to make rope bowls. Sews like it is sewing through butter.

  • Macramé cording in your choice of size and colour (larger diameter cord will be a softer more flexible bowl, smaller diameter will be more rigid)
  • Thread (I used Madeira Polyneon in Neons!)
  • Janome Sewing machine with zig zag capabilities 

Setting up your machine. 

You are going to want to play around a bit with some scraps of cording. You want to pick a zig zag stitch that you like the look of and that will catch the two cords, covering enough area where everything is secure.

Up first you need decide what shape you want your bowl to be. If you are looking for a round bowl you are going to start with a spiral and if your are looking to make a long bowl you will start with an oblong design (side note, oblong is a great word!)

This part is very important: No matter what shape you are making you want all the cord to be added to the right hand side of your bowl. This is way ahead of the game but the picture below shows how we will be making the sides go up. If you are adding cord to the left side of your project you will not be able to turn your sides because your bowl with be in the throat of your machine. 

Tips for starting with a spiral

This is a little tricky but hang in there, it is worth it. The issue with starting with a spiral is that it doesn’t all touch the feed dogs so it has trouble feeding at first. So my solution to this is, don’t start at the beginning. What am I talking about? Hang in there.

Make your beginning spiral and then keep adding rope and not stitching until it is big enough that it will reach more of the feed dogs. Then start stitching there and add a few rounds. This is going to hold everything in place. Now you can go back and finish all the way to the centre without a struggle. Then go back and keep adding more rounds. 

Tips for starting with an Oblong

This method is a bit easier than the spiral. Determine the starting length. You may have to play around with your cord a bit to figure out exact dimensions if you are looking for a particular finished size. Your starting length is going to be shorter than your finished length because you will be adding rounds to it. Once you have selected your starting length, fold your cord in half with the end on the left. You are going to start stitching at the fold, NOT at the end.

Next steps:

Keep adding cord to your base (try not to get dizzy) until they are the right size. Once you have the base at the right size you are going to move on to the sides. To do this, leave the needle in your project and pick up the base and tilt it upwards. How sharp of an angle that you lift it will determine the steepness of the sides of your bowl. For gradual side, just lift your project a few inches. For a sharp side lift your project completely vertical. Then keep sewing. It’s as easy as that!

Finishing the bowl:

To finish the bowl there are endless options but here are my favourite.

  1. Tie a knot in your cord and continue sewing until you are as close to the knot as possible, backstitch to secure and trim the cord to the knot.
  2. Cut your cord approx. 1.5” past where you want the bowl to end. Fold the end underneath and then stitch down. You will have to stitch it down in 2 sections as seen below.

Originally posted on Janome Life by AmandaBee.

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Sunday Sewing with Elna: Do you create Quilt Labels for your quilts?

Quilt labels are super easy to make with your embroidery machine! You can add multiple rows of text to a single embroidery design with all Janome embroidery machines! 

To make the quilt label, we oriented our text vertically in order to maximize our hoop space. 

We used 3 different pre-programmed font styles, in combinations of small and medium sized text. 

We also added built-in embroidery designs and stitched a border onto our quilt label using a decorative stitch from one of the built-in stitches on the ELNA eXpressive 830L. 


Your quilt will live a long life and having a label gives the history of the quilt. Who it was made for, why it was made, who created it and the date.

See the source image
Picture courtesy of Quilting Queen Online.
See the source image
Picture courtesy of Big B Quilt Labels.

Happy Sewing!

Originally Posted by Linda P.

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Sunday Sewing with Elna: Concealed Zipper Foot

Zippers can be like free motion quilting….they seem to strike fear into us! But like everything else……when you know how and have mastered the skill, you will wonder what was so scary about the thought of inserting an invisible zipper.


Invisible or concealed zippers are just that… can barely see where they are in a garment so they truly do conceal closures in skirts, dresses etc.

I made this skirt in a linen fabric with an ethnic/African print. I also made  a lovely mustard coloured knit top to wear with it. I obviously wanted the zipper to blend in and not be seen.  See below.

The CONCEALED OR INVISIBLE ZIPPER FOOT Z makes the task of inserting the zipper SO much easier.

Tip#1: carefully press the coils on the invisible zipper open a little to make the sewing close to the coils much easier. Take care as the zipper is nylon and could melt if the iron is too hot. You need to be careful you don’t burn your fingers either! Those silicone finger sheaths are a big help.

The concealed zipper foot has 2 grooves underneath. The coil is held open by the foot to make the sewing easy.


Here is a video of how to use the concealed zipper foot.

There are 3 different Concealed zipper feet: Z for 9mm machine models, Z for 7mm machine models and one for front loading Elna models. Contact your local dealer for the correct one based on the model of sewing machine you own.  

The first side of the zipper is attached, right side down, wrong side up.
The concealed zipper foot in action sewing the second side of the zipper.
The seam below the zipper is sewed closed AFTER the 2 sides of the zipper have been inserted. The side or center seams would need to be left open until then. It does help to hold the tails/ends of the zipper away from the seam allowance when you do this. It is also advisable to use a zipper at least 2-3 inches longer than the zipper opening as this makes the task much easier. The excess amount of zipper may be cut away afterwards or just left inside the lining of the skirt or dress.
A regular zipper foot is used for closing the rest of the seam so that the needle position can get as close to the previous stitching against the zipper coils so that the straight stitching is “seamless”.
This invisible zipper is on a patch pocket

Happy Sewing!

Originally posted on Janome Life by Liz Thompson.

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Should you Resize an Embroidery Design?

That is the question! Can a 7″x7″ embroidery design, be reduced to a 2″x 3″ embroidery design for example?

For basic resizing in all Elna embroidery machines, designs can be reduced or increased by 20%. The machines don’t have an internal stitch processor to add or take away stitches. At 20% resizing, the integrity of the design is maintained; 20% larger won’t have any gaps and 20% smaller won’t be too dense.

The Elna eXuberance software lets you increase and decrease the size of your design so long as it fits into your hoop. The software has a very powerful stitch processor that can add and take away stitches. But there is the question of integrity. For example a design digitized 2″x 2″ is tiny and won’t have many details or colour changes. If you were to increase that same design to 7″x 7″, the stitch count would increase proportionately but it may look a little ‘flat’ because there isn’t enough detail. The software can increase the stitch count but not add that extra detail.

small car
This antique car’s original size is 2.4″ x 2″ and 6,719 stitches.
large car
This version has been increased to 8″ x 6.5″ and 32,932 stitches.

It looks okay but for the size of the design, but there is not enough detail. There should be lines on the tires, shading on the body to give it more dimension and maybe even more detail on the grill.

The opposite would true for a larger design and trying to make it smaller. Say, you want it for a patch on a child coat.  The design is digitized 7″x 7″ with a lot of detail. The software will remove stitches, but there will still be the same number of colour changes with the same amount of detail.

Wolf 7x7
This original design is 7″x 7″ with 77,291 stitches and 12 colour changes.
2.75 x 2.6 wolf
This design is only 2.75″ x 2.6″, 46,178 stitches and still has 12 colour changes!

Some of the colour changes will only be a couple of stitches, especially the shading of the wolf’s fur.

Maybe this design shouldn’t be resized!

The examples I’ve used are extreme, as it is totally possible to increase or decrease a design that are less detailed and get amazing results. This is just food for thought because the more you know the better you embroider!

A little trick , I have used many times with the resizing tool on my embroidery machine,  is to enable me to rotate a design in the hoop! Some designs can’t be rotated it ‘hits the wall’ of the screen while rotating. By decreasing the size of the design to 80%, most designs can then be easily rotated. Once the design is in place, resize back up to 100%. PS – some Elna Embroidery machines do allow you to rotate your designs without “hitting a wall”.

We thought this post would give good information for those of you who are taking advantage of the current Elna eXuberance software FREE trial offer.

Don’t forget that it is not too late to register for the free trial. Click here for more info. Registration closes on 15th May. And you have until end of this month to enjoy using the software. We also have Part 1, 2 and 3 online classes on the Elna eXuberance software being offered on 13th; 20th & 27th May. Please contact your Elna canada dealer or Click here for more info.

Happy Sewing!

Originally Posted on Janome Life.

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eXuberance Digitizer Software

Exuberance Digitizer Free Trial Offer – May 1 to 31st

Back by popular demand, during the month of May consumers will have access to this creative tool for FREE!  Consumers who fill out the form will receive an activation code that will be sent to the user May 1st or within 48 hours thereof. The form must be filled out in its entirety. Incomplete forms will be considered null and void. Only open to residents of Canada and the United States of America. 

As before, near the end of the free trial, Canadian customers will have the opportunity to purchase the Exuberance Digitizer from their Elna Canada dealer at a great price.

Preregistration began April 15th 
Consumer preregistration and submission form can be found here available April 15 to May 15 only.   

Janome & Elna Canada will be offering 3 beginner ONLINE classes for this fabulous software program. (see details below). Any Elna Exuberance Free Trial participants or existing owners of the software are most welcome to register. Contact your local Elna CANADA dealer to register for Artistic Digitizer/Elna Exuberance embroidery software 1, 2 and 3.

Not sure which Elna Canada dealer is participating in these online classes? No problem…..just send us a message in the comment box below and we will put you in touch with a participating dealer so that you can register and pay for the course of 3 classes.

You get a set of substantial notes on the exercises covered in all 3 classes as well as a link to the class videos – all included in the class fee! Worth every penny for 9 hours of tuition on 13th; 21st and 28th May from 1-4pm Eastern.

At the time of publishing I don’t have the names of which dealers are participating but I will add this information to this post as soon as I have it. So please be patient. Check back here in a few days and we should have it for you by then. Or call your Elna Canada Dealer and ask them to contact Liz Thompson or their Elna Canada Sales Manager for more information.

These are paid classes (you register and pay the participating dealer). However, the cost is very reasonable for the expertise and top quality teaching you will receive.

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Spring has Sprung


On the EASTER weekend, my plan is to sew ….and sew….and sew some more. But hubby said the weather will be too nice to stay indoors so we will be walking at a local park. The lovely sunshine & spring flowers simply inspire me to go back to my sewing room and start sewing!

This is not new. I made it a few years ago but each year, I dig it out and use it again as I just love the bright yellows against the blue back drop…so fresh & spring -like.
A close up showing the thread painting over top simple fussy cut flowers from print fabric.
I got this finished a few months back…..and yes, it speaks of spring and the lovely lime green of new growth.
Or take one large fussy cut floral emblem and free motion all over with thread painting to create your own spring fantasy……this was for a class I taught a few years ago.

What are you inspired to sew this spring on your Elna Sewing machine??

Originally published on Janome Life by Liz Thompson.

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Sunday Sewing with Elna: Ruffled Serger Apron

Ruffled Apron Project: Rolled Hem

Fabric from Kiss My Stash Co.

I think you would all agree that every kitchen needs a pretty apron. Right? It’s the perfect time to pull out your fabric scraps and make a super cute kitchen accessory that you will love to wear. You will need the following supplies:

Apron Base fabric: approximately 24″ x 24″ (this can vary by an inch or two without distorting the project)

Ruffle / Waistband / Ties fabric: approximately 5″ x 40″ strips of 7 coordinating fabrics.

You will also need your serger, decorative thread for the upper looper, your sewing machine, sewing thread and the Ruffler foot if you have one. (If you don’t have the ruffler foot yet, you can gather your strips using a different technique).

Don’t you love a new box of thread? This is the Madeira Aerolock Boxed Set.
PERFECT for serger projects.

Don’t forget to iron your fabrics and grab your marking pens! Let’s go!
Do you know how to set up your serger for a rolled hem? It’s so easy to do on the Elna 864 Air Thread serger. It really is a one step conversion. There is a slider on the front of the machine, before the knife, that says R———S. All you need to do is push the slider forward, and then set the stitch length to R.

Along with the rolled hem setting, you can change the cutting width here
or lower your knife.
These knobs on the side adjust your stitch length and differential.

Rolled hem turns out much nicer with just one needle installed, so remove one needle and decide if you want a narrow rolled hem or a wider one (I picked wider, because I used some pretty Madeira embroidery threads in the top looper and I wanted that to show more.) Then, test your settings to make sure they are correct.

This shows a 3-thread stitch on the left, rolled hem with a solid gold color and
rolled hem with a multi-color thread on the right.

Once your serger is ready to go, you can start hemming! This part goes really, really quick. After you are done the rolled hem, you can switch back to a regular thread in the upper looper and do a 3-thread edge finish on the short sides of the ruffles, and the sides/bottom edges of your apron base. I did not hem the bottom of my base, because it showed the selvedge with all the fabric info and I wanted to keep that.

3 thread and Rolled hemming is so useful for all types of things, like skirt hems, napkin hems, even edges on appliques! Click here to see a video of threading the Elna AirThread 864 serger and the steps to rolled hemming perfection.

Isn’t this multi-color 3 thread hem pretty?

Originally posted on Janome Life by janomegirl, March 23rd, 2020. Edited by Anne Stitcher.

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Border Guide Foot

Having problems lining up or evenly spacing your border designs or rows of decorative stitching? Stitch building just got a whole lot easier to do! The Border Guide Foot helps you to easily match up your border designs with the red lines of the foot. No need to mark every row beforehand!

The Border Guide foot is available for both 9mm (Part # 202084000) and 7mm machine models (Part # 200434003) so we got you covered!

The secret to the border guide foot lies in the red guide marks on the foot. The two sets of vertical red lines are parallel to allow perfect spacing of rows. The horizontal red line matches the needle drop so you can line up the start & end of each row. The small red mark denotes the center of the foot and is perfect for lining up with a previously stitched row.

You can have a combination of elongated satin stitches with another daisy or star stitch. This was stitched using the border guide foot to achieve such regularly spaced and straight rows.

Want to watch a video showing how to use this foot? Here is a link. 

To stitch the in between lines, line up the 2 rows already stitched between the 2 inner red lines. The video link above shows more.


The Border guide foot Border Guide foot is available at your local Elna dealer. 

Originally posted on Janome Life by Liz Thompson.

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