Home » Product Reviews » Janome Memory Craft 10000, Part 1

Janome Memory Craft 10000, Part 1

A review of
Janome Memory Craft 10000

from Janome America, Inc.

Janome Memory Craft 10000
Janome Memory Craft 10000

There is so much to say about the new Janome Memory Craft 10000 that I have broken this review into two parts: The Sewing Machine, and The Embroidery Machine. The first part is below. You’ll find the second part here.

In addition to breaking the review into two parts, I also felt I had to limit my comments to features that are hard to appreciate just from reading the brochure. Otherwise, this review would have been in four or five parts.

So for the rest of the story, I recommend that you pick up a brochure or download one from Janome’s Web site to get a complete list of features. And I certainly recommend that you get a demonstration of this machine to get the full impact.

Part 1: The Sewing Machine

I have never used a sewing machine that is so easy to use, yet so powerful. This top-of-the-line computerized sewing machine from Janome, the Memory Craft 10000, wowed me with its extensive sewing and embroidery features. It impressed me with its flexibility. But it really sold me with its ease of use.

Janome’s changes to their computer technology make the Memory Craft 10000 the easiest-to-use sewing machine I have ever had the pleasure of using. Some of the changes are obvious — many new stitches and spectacular embroidery, for example.

But the changes that really matter are the ones that are built deeply into the way the machine operates. The way you start and stop the machine, for example. The way you light your work. The way you thread the needle. This is where advances in technology help you with everything you sew.

Smart Features Built In

The first thing I did was disconnect the foot pedal. I never used it all day. I ran the machine using a start/stop button and the speed adjustment on the front of the machine. The great part about that is I didn’t have to sit in one position all day chasing my foot pedal across the floor.

Janome put two halogen lights on this machine. One shines on the bed of the machine, the other to the left of the needle bed. This is bright white light coming from both sides of the work area, so there are no shadows or dark areas.

And if you have to leave your work, the Economy mode will darken the touch-sensor color screen and turn off the lights automatically. To turn everything back on, just touch the screen.

Automatic Threader

The lighting would be perfect for threading a needle. But the Memory Craft 10000 has an automatic threader. I pushed the button and the threader automatically lowers, pivots, and positions the threader hook in the eye of the needle. I just wrapped the thread under the hook and pulled it up through the thread cutter.

On the second button push the threader retracts, drawing the thread through the needle’s eye. I reached behind the needle and straightened the thread.

If I ever forgot how to use this feature, a complete step-by-step diagram and instructions display on the color screen to help. This is the easiest needle threader that I have ever used. If you have ever wrestled with trying to lower, pivot, and hold some of those spring-loaded needle threaders, you will really appreciate how easy this one is.

Automatic Tension

I always test lots of threads on every machine so see what kinds of problems I will have with the tension. Some machines’ “automatic tension” settings have trouble with some threads. Then I have to adjust the tension manually to make the stitch look good.

But that is not the case with the Memory Craft 10000. I switched from hair-like monofilament thread to heavy jeans thread without making any other changes. The stitch and bobbin tension were perfect on both samples.

The same was true about every type of thread I tried from every manufacturer. I got to the point where I didn’t even think about changing thread. I just put on the spool and started sewing. And I got perfect results every time.

I could set the bobbin-empty warning in any of five positions. I’ve used some machines where the warning was so close to the end of the bobbin that I couldn’t finish what I was doing. I’ve used others where the warning came with so much thread still on the bobbin that I just shut the warning off. The Memory Craft 10000′s settable warning seems to be the ideal solution.

Precision Stitching

Janome uses stepping motors to drive precision stitching. I was able to put my fabric under the toes of the presser foot in front of the needle, lower the foot, and start sewing. Every stitch, from the first to the last, was perfect. I even fed the corner of a triangle with no problems!

No more sewing little pieces of fabric at the beginning or end of machine piecing. No more holding the thread tails to get started. No wads of thread. My first stitch was perfect every time!

Between this smooth start and the included knee lifter that raises the presser foot using a bar operated by my knee, I could sew much faster and sew trouble-free.

Touch-Screen Controls

The Memory Craft 10000 works well not only with fabric and thread, but also with the sewer. Its large, full-color touch screen makes using the machine as easy as using your microwave. To make a selection, you just touch a button that appears on the screen and you’re ready to go.

You can even set how soft or hard you want to have to touch the buttons. This would be nice for fingers with arthritis. And it works really well, unlike the touch pad on my computer, which sometimes responds to barely a brush and sometimes needs me to give it a good poke.

The screen has little tabs at the bottom, like file folder tabs, with all the features organized in categories or folders. The three tabs you select most often are Sewing, Embroidery, and Computer Interface.

When using the sewing option, the Memory Craft 10000 presents another set of tabs for utility stitches, satin or filled stitches, decorative stitches, alphabets, and specialized groups of stitches.

Applique Stitches

The specialized groups gather together the stitches relevant to a certain type of sewing. There are twelve specialized groups, including three for quilting stitches.

The first of the quilting groups is the Applique group. I tried the stitches for blanket stitching. One is a heavy stitch that doubles every stitch by doing one forward movement and one into the applique design. I did this with rayon thread and it was beautiful.

The other version of this stitch is three small stitches forward and one small stitch into the design. This is good with cotton or heavier threads.

For my next applique test I chose the satin stitch. It looked perfect the first time I tried it. Usually I have to change the width or the density to get a machine’s satin stitch to look good, even if the stitch is preset at the factory. But the Memory Craft 10000 was perfect the first time.

But just out of curiosity, I did change the width and density to my usual preferences to see how much better the satin stitch would look. After examining the results, I decided I wouldn’t even bother to make that minor adjustment. The Memory Craft 10000′s factory settings for the satin stitch looked every bit as good as the settings I chose.

Patchwork Stitches

The second specialized group for quilting is the Patchwork stitches. These are straight stitches — one regular straight sewing, one with a locking stitch at the beginning, and one with a locking stitch at the beginning and end.

I would use the last two for doing set-in piecing when you have to start and stop at the quarter-inch point, and when piecing things that won’t have overlapping seams to lock them in place. I tested the quarter-inch foot with these stitches. My patch measured exactly right after the test.

The final specialized group for quilting is the Quilting stitches. This group includes a hand-look quilting stitch. I worked with this for a while, changing the tension until I liked the look. This was the only stitch where I thought my changes made the stitch look better than it looks with the factory setting.

The Free Quilting stitch is also included in this group. When you select it, it automatically drops the feed dogs for you so you don’t have to remember.

Some quilters say the noise of the feed dogs being up helps the rhythm of their free-motion quilting, but the Memory Craft 10000 is so quiet I don’t know if you would even hear the feed dogs under all those layers. But the walking foot does make a nice rhythm to help keep your free-motion smooth.

Testing Buttonholes

To test the buttonholes, I inserted my button in the buttonhole foot and put the foot on the machine. I pulled down the sensing lever and selected the type of buttonhole I wanted. Finally, I pressed the start button.

The Memory Craft 10000 stops automatically when it’s done making the perfect size buttonhole for the button that I inserted. I chose several different types of buttonholes, and all were equally easy.

I’ve tested a number of sewing machines for Quilter’s Review, and I’ve used many others, but the Memory Craft 10000 handled my tests so easily that I spent only a fraction of the time on my standard quilt machine tests.

So I spent the rest of the day just playing with the machine. By 3 p.m. I was demonstrating some of the machine’s features to a customer! She is a quilter and I knew what features would impress her.

I have never had such an easy day testing. Nor have I ever had so much fun.

Next week: The Memory Craft 10000′s embroidery features.


I would like to thank Dave LaValley at Bittersweet Fabric Company in Boscawen, NH for showing me the Janome Memory Craft 10000. Dave spent the entire day working with me so I could write a review of this machine.

Dave is a good teacher and he really knows his stuff. He gave me some good tips, too, that I will publish over the next few weeks.

I would also like to thank Janome for their excellent customer support. We called them with a question which they answered right away. They also called back a bit later with further clarification.

At the end of the day, the support staff called again to be sure we had all our questions answered and were doing well. They did this without realizing that I was doing a review of their machine. This is clearly a company that knows how to treat its customers.

- Sharon


Similar Sewing Machines I’ve Reviewed

Pfaff Creative 2144
Elna Xquisit
Viking Designer 1
Bernina Artista 180

All my sewing machine reviews

Where To Buy: Janome Memory Craft 10000

Click here to find a Janome dealer near you.


Readers’ Comments:

September 23, 2001
Marion M. writes:

I have the Memory Craft 10000. It is all that you say, and more! I also have a Memory Craft 3000 and a Janome MyLock 134D serger. The quality of my Memory Craft 3000 made the 10000 no surprise.

When shopping for a machine, ask about repairs compared to other brands, and the cost of repairs. Memory Craft has a tendency not to have repairs, and if ever any, I believe it is due to operator error (needing rebalancing because of hitting a pin was the example given to me). I’ve never had any of mine in for repairs.

When I got the Memory Craft 10000, I almost sold my 3000, but when it came right down to it I just couldn’t part with it. Now it is downstairs in my dining room, ready to grab for a day of quilting with friends, quilting downstairs if I want, taking to class…you get the idea.

What a treat to have you review my dream machine.

September 24, 2001
Linda S. writes:

I read your review of the Janome Memory Craft 10000, and wanted to cry! I just traded in my Memory Craft 8000 for a Pfaff 7570 and it was the worst decision I ever made.

All you said about the 10000 in terms of ease of learning to use it, etc. were true of the 8000, as well. I only wish I could say the same for the Pfaff.

My decision came from thinking that Pfaff was “the BMW of sewing machines,” and thinking that some day I had to have one. Boy, was I wrong!

It has been nothing but a struggle to figure it out from the day I brought it home. And the local dealer is not exactly user friendly, either, unlike the Janome dealer, who felt like family from day one.

Thanks to your review, as soon as I can justify the expenditure, I am going right back to the Janome dealer and trade that blasted Pfaff in for a truly great machine!

September 30, 2001
Judith E. writes:

I’m new to computers, but that didn’t stop me from trading in my Memory Craft 9000, which I purchased 3 years ago from Linda at Domestic Sewing Center in Warren, Ohio. My sister-in-law lives about 20 miles from this fabulous shop and when I purchased my MC9000 Linda was very accomodating in showing me how to use that machine.

I surely got my money’s worth out of that machine, so I had no reservations about trading my 9000 in on the Memory Craft 10000 this past August.

I was given lessons, both group as well as private, on this great machine. Since I live in Florida, Linda is just a phone call away, so I am very confident with my new machine.

Already I’ve done a quilt for my granddaughter, as well as some liturgical linens for my church. My husband just bought me this computer so I can really explore my MC10000.

November 8, 2001
A Quilter’s Review reader writes:

I regret purchasing the Memory Craft 10000 and miss my 9000.

My biggest complaint is with the automatic needle threader. I have been able to thread the machine only three times.

I have found it so frustrating that I just thread by hand. This means I will never use the embroidery function. My Designer 1 is much more user friendly and easier to use. Even my Pfaff 7570 is easier to use. Also, the mode buttons are extremely difficult to see.

I received the free 8000 embroidery designs and had high hopes of seeing them. For some reason, my new machine will not accept the PC cards. I have Windows ME and a brand new Dell computer and have the Easy Transfer. The dealer can’t figure out what is wrong.

I do like the quality of the stitches but my 9000 was just as good. I am just very disappointed in the 10000 and wish I had my 9000 back again.

November 12, 2001
Irene D. writes:

I agree with how wonderful the Memory Craft 10000 is. Only I wish I could get it. I own the 9000 and dearly love it. But I still would like to get the 10000. It would be wonderful to be able to do more creating beautiful things.

November 13, 2001
Karen M. writes:

I have had my Memory Craft 10000 since March and am quite happy with it. And the online upgrades are great.

I owned the 8000 for five years before trading up to the 9000 and owned that for almost six years before I purchased the 10000. I still own the 9000. Someday it will be my daughter’s machine.

The only problem I have had with the 10000 is the automatic needle threader. One day, in the middle of an embroidery design, it ground (that’s the noise it made) to a halt. I found out from my dealer that my machine has to be sent back to the company for repair.

I would recommend this machine to anyone interested in buying a new machine with embroidery features. It’s fast, fun, rewarding, and people love to receive the gifts I am able to make them with it.

November 13, 2001
Judi R. writes:

In response to the quilter that doesn’t like her Janome Memory Craft 10000. I couldn’t disagree with her more. I just bought my 10000 because of Quilter’s Review, and an in store demo.

I have very little computer knowledge and find that everything about the machine is easy. I suggest that you find another dealer that knows more about the machine to answer your questions.

Also use the online services of Janome.com. They have pages and pages of lessons, projects, and an online troubleshooting page. I received answers to my questions the same day I posted them.

Good luck.

November 13, 2001
Nancy M. writes:

I read your review on the Memory Craft 10000 and agree. I had the 8000 and 9000 and when I saw how easy the 10000 was to use I just had to have one. I love it and make quilts all the time.

November 16, 2001
A Quilter’s Review reader writes:

I have both the 9000 and 10000. I really love the 10000, except the needle threader. I like the 9000 needle threader — it’s easier for me to use. On the 10000, I end up threading it by hand most of the time.

With the hoops on the 10000, the pins keep stripping. I never had any trouble like that with the 9000.

As for the machine itself, all the features and sewing ability, it’s great (except for the two things I mentioned).

November 17, 2001
A Quilter’s Review reader writes:

I own the 8000 and I am disappointed that new software for this model is no longer available. A machine of this caliber should have a longer life span. Janome is too anxious to update their models and does not think of the sewer who cannot afford to buy this machine every few years.

November 19, 2001
Nikki K. writes:

I, too, had problems with the automatic threader at the beginning. It turned out that the little hook on the machine had broken off, probably during one of my first attempts to thread it. Also, I wasn’t reading the manual correctly, and when my dealer showed me how to literally “tear” the thread off, and then push the button, voila! It’s worked fine ever since.

One of the earlier commenters said: “My Designer 1 is much more user friendly and easier to use. Even my Pfaff 7570 is easier to use.”

Speaking as someone who demonstrates on all three of these machines to my students, I really am surprised by this comment. Especially with the comment about the 7570!

The same commenter found the mode buttons difficult to see. If you look in the manuals, you will find how to change the settings so that the buttons are “enhanced” visually.

Windows ME is a huge problem with regard to reading the cards. Every 10000 dealer should be aware of this problem and should be able to help you.

The stitch quality on my 10000 blows away any machine I’ve owned, or any I demonstrate on! Even my students tell me they are trying to duplicate it with machines that cost even more.

There’s a group on Yahoo for the Memory Craft 10000. I love the group because it helps me learn to work with my machine, as well as what problems are out there, and how to solve them. It’s where I heard about the Quilter’s Review of the 10000 in the first place.

November 19, 2001
Sheila W. writes:

I agree 100% with all you say about the 10000. I adore mine.

To the lady who has problems using the needle threader: Please go back to your dealer and get them to show you how to use it. It really does work great when you do it correctly.

To the one whose dealer says that the machine has to go back to Janome to get the needle threader repaired: I broke my threader (my fault) and my dealer’s technician was able to replace it.

November 27, 2001
Barb D. writes:

I, too, love my MC10000. I traded in my 4000 on it in January. I have had only two problems with it.

One was the needle threader, which was a known problem with the first group of machines. My dealer had mine replaced right away and even offered me another machine to use while mine was in the shop.

I also had a problem with the bobbin winder sticking. This happened after I wound 10 bobbins consecutively. I guess it must have overheated a little.

I normally use the NEB prewounds, which I think are the greatest thing! But at the moment, I was out.

Other than that, the user friendliness and extensive features of the machine greatly outweigh the two little problems I have had with it.

December 1, 2001
A Quilter’s Review reader writes:

I love my new Memory Craft 10000, for which I traded in my faithful MC6000. I just love the “cruise control” on the front of the machine. Full speed ahead for long straight seams, and slow for tricky bits. I no longer use the foot control.

I have just finished two winter coats with separate shells which I have embroidered. The embroidery is equally beautiful on both the heavy Yukon Fleece and the heavy poplin-type shell.

I have upgraded the software on the machine and Easy Transfer. My husband had to help me because I am a computer twit. However even I had no trouble transferring selected designs into the memory banks of the machine.

I have only one complaint, and it is a serious one. Why does Janome make great offers of freebies to purchasers in the USA only? Canadians use the same Web site and read the same magazines.

When I wrote to Janome to ask about this I did not receive any enlightment but a curt letter telling me they were happy I liked my machine. The marketing department has a lot to learn about good manners.

February 12, 2002
Evelyn W. writes:

I also purchased the Janome 10000 and traded my Pfaff 7570. I think the
10000 is wonderful and much, much easier to use than the Pfaff.

I read
the comment from another customer stating her needle threader was hard to
use. I find it the easist part of the machine and because my sight is
changing, it’s a neccessary time saver. Two big thumbs up for the Janome
10000.

February 22, 2002
Jeannie H. writes:

I, too, have recently purchased the 10000. I did not trade my Pfaff 7570, as I have been a Pfaff person for years, and habits die hard.

I had always extolled the virtues of the Pfaff dual feed and the quality of the stitch. However, I have had to eat my words.

I am looking at selling my 7570 because the 10000 is so much more intuitive in the sewing realm. The quilting and piecing is far superior to anything that I have done on the Pfaff, even with the dual feed.

The free-motion stitching is a dream come true, rivalling the quality of stitch of a long arm. (And I am not the most fluid of free-motion quilters, either!)

My only concern is the length of the bed. I wish that it were about an inch longer.

I would encourage anyone to consider this machine. It is an extremely well-kept secret. And the customer support is outstanding!

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4 Responses to Janome Memory Craft 10000, Part 1

  1. We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community can be grateful to you.

    • I can’t get the feed dogs up on my 10000 memory craft Janome.. Can someone help me. I have done everything that I am told to do in the manual and they will not come up…I have slide the bar on the back both ways and have gone in anc changed the screen information that you need to do. But they will not come up for me.. Please help..
      Thank you
      Jean Madsen

  2. I am unable to get the feed dogs to go back up…I got them down and now they will not go back up. I have moved the slide thing in the back and have adjusted the screen where it says to have them up or down. And nothing works. I was trying to do some quilting and they went down and now I can’t get them back up. I am a nervous reck, I don’t have any dealers near me and I need to get my machine fixed so I can finish a project that was due two months ago..
    HELP ME PLEASE,,,
    Thank you
    Jean Madsen
    jam1970@qwestoffice.net

  3. Touch computer not responding correctly. Is this repairable or replaceable at what cost?

    Thank you,
    Ronda

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