Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

My New Janome 3160 QDC January 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 5:24 pm

My sweet husband bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas! I was as excited as my 6-year-old self was, 30 years ago, to get a new purple bike called “Dusty Rose.” 🙂

My husband and I had been talking about buying me one sometime within the next couple of months, and when he kept pressing me to go to the store and figure out which model I wanted, I did suspect that he might buy it for me for Christmas, but I really wasn’t confident about it.

Here’s my old machine:

My old machine is a basic Singer, which my mother-in-law bought me when my husband and I were engaged. It has been a great machine, and I sewed for many happy hours on it, but the main reason I wanted to upgrade was that I wanted to be able to do free-motion quilting.

Here’s my new machine:

It’s a Janome 3160 QDC. I love this thing! I never knew what I had been missing! Here are some of the things I can do with this machine that I couldn’t do with my other machine:

  • needle up/down button (love this!)
  • an advanced feed system that keeps me straight, especially when backstitching
  • beautiful overlock stitches!!!!!! (I’ve decided that I don’t need a serger after all!)
  • the ability to drop the feeds and free-motion quilt with a darning foot
  • easy button holes
  • stretch stitches for knits
  • automatic cutter

One nice thing about buying from a quilt shop is that I get free classes. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about sewing, but in my first class I had a blast and learned a lot about using my machine to its fullest.

If you’re looking at this model, I recommend it. It has most of the features the higher-end machines have, for 1/3 the price. It is a lighter machine, which means it doesn’t have as much heavy metal inside, and anyone will tell you that the more metal inside, the better made it is. That did give me pause before choosing this model; however, this machine has the same warranty as any other Janome machine, and I have enough confidence in the company to feel like this machine will last me for many, many years. After all, I was very happy with my basic Singer for more than 10 years, so I think this Janome is going to suit me just fine for quite a while.

And my Singer still runs like a champ, so I’ve given it to my 8-year-old daughter, who is thrilled. I’m excited about sewing side-by-side with her.

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15 Responses to “My New Janome 3160 QDC”

  1. a. judy Says:

    hi addy–i’m so happy that you have a wonderful new sewing machine. it sounds like the possibilities are endless. can’t wait to see what creative projects you’ll turn out. love aunt judy

  2. Therese Says:

    Hi! I just found this post when I was googling about FMQ with a 3160 QDC (which I just got in February). I’ve only done straight line quilting on mine so far, but want to soon venture into the FMQ world! Mine just started acting up with the feed dogs (I think) pulling the fabric to the left, thus minimizing my seam allowance as I sew. 😦 I only use a walking foot, so I didn’t expect to run into this problem. I’m assuming it’s a feed dog issue so I’m having it looked at next week. Otherwise I like it a lot! How do you like yours now that you’ve had it for a couple months? Pros? Cons?

  3. Hmmm…That is weird. Glad you’re getting it checked out. I still really like mine. I have noticed that I have to turn it off and turn it back on to “restart” at times. Sometimes things just start going wacko with the computer, I guess, and a restart does the trick. I have noticed that it is not a tough machine as far as doing thick seam allowances (like when I made a wool skirt and was putting in the zipper…) Still, I am so pleased with it, and it is such an upgrade from my old machine. I feel like, for what I paid for it versus how much the bigger machines cost, I got a great machine for my needs. And the classes I took were so helpful and I appreciate that I have the support of the knowledgable lady who sold me my machine.

    You really need to get into FMQ! It’s so much fun! Do you have a blog that you could link to here? I’d love to see what you’re making!

  4. Therese Says:

    I don’t have a blog (yet)…I’ve been tossing the idea around for a while now. It’s been a “new baby year” as far as homeschooling, so trying to finish up this year with a 5 month old is taking up most of my time! Thanks for your input. My Janome is also a huge upgrade from my Singer from Target my MIL got for me as a newlywed 10 years ago!! I added your blog as one of my favorites so I will be around!

  5. Martha Says:

    I got the same machine! In January of this year. I have not got a draning foot yet What type or darning foot did you get?

  6. Anita Altman Says:

    I’m thinking of buying a Janome 3160. Do you still recommend it?

  7. Anita,

    Yes, I still love my machine. I felt like it didn’t do as well as I would like on thick seams (I was sewing a wool skirt), but I bought a walking foot, and that foot is a tank that will walk over anything! I just recently sewed a denim quilt, and it worked like a champ. I do quilts, clothes, bags, etc. and I really like how it performs.

    • Susan helms Says:

      I was looking at machines today at my local sewing center and the young man who does all their repair was showing me the 3160 janome. I wanted something that sews over heavy material so he experimented. He got some fabric canvas material and sewed 4 layers, then 8 layers, and then 16 layers and it still sewed without a problem. Pretty impressive. We did button holes, easy and asked it would goe over twice the same button hole for extra support and it did by just resewing.Price was $699 which seemed steep. Any thoughts?

  8. Addy Says:

    Mine was right around $600, I think.

  9. Debra Says:

    I love my Janome 3160QDC I bought mine about 3 years ago as a present to myself. I have owned several cheaper machines including my 1st machine given to me in jr. high school for home ec. class from my parents. It was a Singer; I gave it to my daughter who is 42 yrs old! the old machine still goes back & forth with a little zig-zag thrown in. My lovely Janome does it all!! I quilt, sew clothes, mend heavy levi’s with no trouble at all. NO more birds nests in the back of the material, no more stalling out, no more head-aches, no more dread of what problem might come up next. My Janome Has put the FUN back in sewing. I have had not one problem with my machine & would highly recommend the purchase of this machine; you will not be sorry. I paid a lot more for my machine than $600.00; believe I have not one complaint about what I paid for it is worth every penny I spent. Happy Sewing to all!!!

  10. Kathy Says:

    First I dropped of my white that was purchased in 1980 and I remember paying a whopping $900 for it. I remember cause my husband went on and on and onnnnn about it. For twenty plus years everytime he needed hemming on his pants done, he would hand me his pants and say something stupid like “can you hem my pants on your $900 machine”. Anyway…….I love that machine but lately it has to go in for something everytime I have multiple quilts and other projects going around xmas. Every friggin year. And it’s always $200+ to fix. So this year as I dropped it off and told the tech “if that tension cant be fixed for under $100, then forgetaboutit….and I’m not paying for a cleaning. Thank you very much. Then just down the street I stopped in at a Sewing Center and was introduced to this machine. On sale for $549 Canadian. I’m just waiting on a call from the tech and I will probably purchase this machine by friday.
    Are you still a fan?
    Alot of message boards mention the bobbin has to be reset lots?
    Other boards say it pulls left?
    And then I read somewhere that the seam allowance guides aren’t right?
    I spotted a brothers SE400 on a kijiji site and after texting back and forth with the seller I kinda sorta figured out that it was purchased off a Walmart loading dock. Seeing as she also had three other brand new “still in the box” machines that the lucky woman got as gifts. But somehow couldn’t return. Riiiiiiight. But it’s on amazon for $300. The brothers comes with a cable to access the internet and more stuff. But a small interal memory.
    I’m kinda torn, Yes it would be nice to have all those wonderful embroidery stitches without buying a machine that costs the same price as a Car. But can’t see that I will use a whole lot of them.
    I make scrap quilts..picture quilts etc..mostly….Alot of piecing of 1 – 2 inch pieces So the machine has to be a work horse of stopping and going and short stitching and tight tension to regular tension instead of reversing all the time. Will I be happy with the janome?
    Or frustrated do you think?
    Sorry for the long post…any review of your machine as of this date will be most helpful. I don’t want to buy another machine after I buy this one.

    • Kathy- I haven’t had any of the problems you’ve described. I’m still a fan. I haven’t had any problems at all. This machine is made to be a quilting machine, even though it works for everything else too. If you are especially interested in quilting, then I really think this is a great machine for you. The built-in cutter is fabulous, and you have a 1/4 inch foot that is great for doing quilt pieces. There is a typing-off stitch, so no need to back-stitch!

      On the other hand, I think that Brother is a great brand too. But I think the Janome will give you more “bells and whistles” that will really streamline your sewing. Best wishes to you as you make this decision!

    • Therese Says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Mine pulls to the left sometimes too, as I wrote above. If you can remember, can I ask where else you read that? It helps to unplug it and let it “reset” I guess. Also, I noticed when I have two skinny lengths of fabric that are the exact length, when I sew them together, the bottom one ends up longer than the top one. I always use a walking foot and I’ve changed the tension a lot to try and fix it. :/ I might take it in. I don’t think the seam allowance guides are right either. So I always have a piece of tape to show me the true 1/4 inch, etc. If I could choose again, I would look into the janome memory craft. I have to say there are a lot of nice things about it too, like the thread cutter and the reasonable accessory prices. Also, most of the time it sews straight (it’s only pulled to the left twice), so it’s nice to just let the machine take the fabric and I can be relaxed when I’m sewing.


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