The Janome Memory Craft 9450 – An Honest Review

Janome Memory Craft 9450

My search (at least for now) for the perfect sewing / quilting machine is over.


In my previous article I described the “train” that enabled me to reach the end of a long fabric tunnel – the train being the Janome Memory Craft 9450 QCP.

After using this machine on an almost daily basis (minus the two weeks for home renovations) I feel I can give a thorough review of everything – good and not so good – this machine has to offer.

For those of you reading this – and especially those that are in the market for new QUILTING machine and are unable to decide which one to purchase, I’ll cut right through the chase and shout from the rooftops: THIS IS IT!!!

The NUMBER 1 reason this is the best machine for quilting is the 11″ throat space.

Janome 9450 illustrating width an ddepth of throat space with and without a quilt on the quilt bed

I’ve stitched a variety of quilts from a wall hanging to Queen size and each time I’m amazed at how easy it is to slide, turn fold – whatever I need to do and easily access the area I want to stitch or quilt.

The SECOND reason: The lighting.

I so love the number and placement of each light however, the top selling point for me was the pull out light depicted below.

Janome 9450 showing pull out light with images comparing visibility with the pull out light on and off.

And yes, it also tilts to direct light more toward the fabric than the front of the machine. That’s how I should have taken the first image. You would have been able to see a greater contrast between the two.

Comparing this machine to my old Janome that had only adequate general lighting, I felt this additional task light would be essential however, I quickly realized that as great as this pull out light is, the lighting provided over the bed is perfect.

While I find I am using this pull out task light less, there are times when this extra light comes in handy and without it, I’d probably waste a lot of time re-stitching. I do enough of that already!

The THIRD & FOURTH reasons to choose this machine (couldn’t decide which should be #3 or #4) : The Push Button Thread Cutter and the Start/Stop Button that can run independently from the foot pedal.

Janome 9450 depicting auto thread cutter and stop/start buttons

A push button thread cutter is a feature I feel should be standard on ALL sewing machines. Aside from the sheer convenience of cutting threads at the end of a stitch line with the push of a button, the amount of thread this saves is unbelievable.

The start/stop button makes stitching long areas i.e., the perimeter of a finished quilt before binding and again when sewing a long strip of binding around the perimeter of the quilt. Sewing jelly roll strips is also a breeze. Once the foot control is unplugged, position your fabric under the needle, push the start button and off you go.


For the FIFTH (could also be #1) reason this is an ideal quilting machine: The numerous features that allow you to stitch that elusive, perfect 1/4″ seam consistently, 100% of the time.

The “100% of the time” is still a goal for me however, between the accurate 1/4″ presser foot and computerized needle placement and Accu-Flex feed system, my 1/4″ seams are more a reality than a dream!

Janome 9450 touch screen for stitch selection

The touch screen allows you choose the best needle placement, stitch length and even shows with presser foot to use. Any mistake you make is on the user’s end – not the machine!

So far, I’ve spoken only about the good features of this machine – and only three out of about a million good/great features. I could go on and on

CONS:

It can’t be all sunshine and roses…and while the PROS far outweigh the CONS, in all fairness I feel I should share a couple of issues that are really more of an inconvenience than a true problem.

Pull out Light: The light itself is not a problem (it is, after all, one of the reasons I chose this machine over others!) but the machine’s design that allows this light to be so seamlessly integrated causes the area that houses the needle, light, etc. to be rather large and cumbersome. This is an area where many of you may find you will do what I did – make the compromise between form and function. In a perfect world, this area would be as low profile as possible – an easier task when the machine has very few, if any, bells and whistles.

See the comparison between the Janome 9450 QCP and the Juki 2010Q:

Red rings comparing size of needle housing between the Janome 9450 and Juki 2010

The needle housing on the Janome is at least twice as wide and as deep as the Juki model. This design also explains why Janome felt the need to design an automatic needle threader which leads me to the next CON: – the Automatic Needle Threader. I’m not a fan…not in the slightest but the bulkiness of the housing almost requires this feature. I have however, found a work-around – just open the housing, swing the door all the way back and the needle is much easier to access:

Janome 9450 with needle housing door opened


Push Button Thread Cutter:

The only downside to this cutting feature I’ve run across is the length of tail remaining after it’s cut. Granted, it is much, much less than when I use scissors or another cutting device but still, longer than I was expecting. When you are doing the actual quilting and using a technique that requires a stop and start (i.e., free motion quilting, borders, etc,) these longer tails will show up on the back of the quilt and you have to go back with a pair of scissors and trim off these excess threads.

This wasn’t an issue for me when piecing individual blocks or when quilting in a continuous line from edge to edge.

It’s a small issue but one I’ve never heard anyone else speak about.

This concludes my honest review of the Janome 9450 QCP. Although an affiliate link may found elsewhere on my site, this article does not contain any affiliate links nor am I in any way compensated either by Janome or the Missouri Sewing Machine Company of Kansas City in exchange for this review.

If you found this information helpful or have any questions or comments please leave a comment! I’d love to hear what machines other quilters use and why!

24 thoughts on “The Janome Memory Craft 9450 – An Honest Review”

  1. I’ve long been contemplating the purchase of the 9450, as an upgrade from my 7700; the lure of extra lighting becomes more attractive as my eyesight dims. I’ve had absolutely no problems with the 7700, although I’ve heard many users moaning about its performance, but the lighting is basic, and I do need more these days. I also have read that there’s a built-in magnifier option, which would be so very helpful to me along with the improved lighting.
    As mentioned in the review by Susan, the thread cutter is quite handy, but the length of the tails left by mine are not an issue. I’ve also noticed other sewists have said that there’s a way to adjust this, so perhaps one could do that if the tails seem unusually long.
    Something that isn’t addressed in this review is the efficiency of the bobbin winder, which I’m hoping is less awkward than on the 7700. The thread path seems more complicated than necessary, and sometimes the bobbin doesn’t wind with proper tension, but I do know it’s a ‘user error’, not the fault of the machine.
    I, too, have found that the housing on the more upscale machines is quite bulky, and have to agree that it makes the needle area more difficult to access. I’ve often resorted to opening the cover in order to see the area better, too.
    I’m looking forward to being able to take a ‘test drive’ one of these days, when life resumes after our pandemic, and I thank Susan for her honest opinion of the 9450.

    Reply
  2. I just bought this machine when my 12 year old Brother PQ1500 was damaged by the movers when we moved cross country in February. I loved that machine and just wanted it repaired. The dealer was a Baby Lock/Janome dealer and she talked me into the 9450. It is WAY more machine than what I need and I’m strictly a quilter so a straight-stitch machine like my Brother was perfect for me.

    We’re in the middle of a 3-room renovation at our house so I haven’t had much time to get to know the 9450, but yesterday I was able to take the afternoon and finish up a table runner I had started before we moved.

    The piecing was fine but when I did the quilting and binding, it bogged down at thicker crossed seams and did a teeny tiny stitch in the same spot over and over. I had the dual-feed foot on but I still had to help guide the fabric through from the back of the foot so it would go forward. I’m not sure what I was doing wrong. I will be contacting the dealer today for help, but so far, I’m not impressed and I’m disappointed. I want my old Brother machine back 🙁

    Reply
    • Colleen, I have a Bernina 770 QE that I purchased about a year and a half ago. This machine does the same thing. I’m now looking for an alternative machine to purchase. The 770 has been back to the dealer several times, and I still have this problem. I’ve used an array of different needles, and produce the same results. The seam also gets smaller when the needle tries to go over seams that have intersecting seams. I’ve tried stitches in the quilting menu, and the stitches still are tiny going over the seams, and the seam wobbles inward. I’ve put the machine back in the carry case, and pulled out my old Pfaff. Did you ever figure out what was causing this to happen? I’d sure like to hear about what the dealer told you was causing this problem!

      Reply
      • Hi! It’s I just found your article about your machine having issues going through intersections, tiny stitches on one spot— I just purchased a Babylock Sorprano and same issues with mine!! Won’t start a seam with a HST without chewing up the seam allowance on the backside. Since writing the article- have you found a solution. My machine is only 6 months old and I’m fighting to get my money back. Interested to hear if you’ve had success also with another machine. Thanks!

        Reply
  3. The tail left on my automatic thread cutter is so short that it pulls out when I take the next stitch. I’m really looking for a way to adjust that! But thank you so much for your honest review! I agree with most of the points, and overall I love the machine. Another con is that I hate, hate the manual. It seems to me that it could be written in a much more straightforward way.

    Reply
    • Hi Tam,

      Thank you for your comment! As much as I love this Janome, I have to agree there are areas for improvement – the instruction manual for starters! Thank goodness for YouTube video tutorials. I’ve learned so much from YouTube! The short tails from the auto thread cutter are not a problem for me unless I’m doing free motion quilting.

      Reply
  4. On the 9450, I find it difficult to get the thread around the bobbin thread tension guide properly. You can’t see the thread path under the tension guide cover. Can this cover be removed? I don’t see any reason for it. Other than this issue, I love the machine…

    Reply
    • Hi Diane,

      Yes, it is somewhat annoying but I don’t think the cover is something that can be removed. It sometimes will take me a couple attempts to get it in correctly. Usually, the problem is I’m in too big a hurry – slowing down makes things a bit easier.
      Enjoy your machine! It is isn’t perfect but I’ve found the pros far outweigh the cons!

      Susan

      Reply
  5. The “automatic” threader on my 9450 has never worked for me! I haave had it “fixed” by my sewing machine tech. who sold me the machine. He has sold sewing machines for years and really knows them but will not acknowledge the crumminess of the threader on the 9450. After adjusts it, the threader works about two or three times once I get the machine home and that’s it. Love the machine; hate, hate, hate the threader!

    Reply
    • I also hate the threader. It was a feature I really wanted and am very disappointed in it. However I did have a Brother Innovis and they swear about their great threader and it broke so many times that I gave up on taking it in for repair all the time.

      Reply
  6. The “automatic” threader on my 9450 has never worked for me! I haave had it “fixed” by my sewing machine tech. who sold me the machine. He has sold sewing machines for years and really knows them but will not acknowledge the crumminess of the threader on the 9450. After adjusts it, the threader works about two or three times once I get the machine home and that’s it. Love the machine; hate, hate, hate the threader!

    Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, I hear ya! That automatic threader, in my opinion (and yours too, it appears!) is worthless! Fixed or not, the threader simply does not work. I understand the rationale for it’s inclusion as a basic element of the machine: as a workaround for the bulky design of the face cover that houses the needle, thread cutter, light, etc. However, I have found it much easier to simply swing away the face cover for easier access to the needle, thread then swing the face cover back in place.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Reply
  7. I have the Janome 8900 and love it. Now have the 9450( had it for two years waiting for 8900 to need a service, took that long! lol) Anyway,(8900) thread cutter when used frequently, will eventually die and jam your machines. Stopped using it on 8900 after first service, hence why it was 2 years for next service. Never used it since it jammed first time and all went well.
    Question: seems the 9450 is quite noisy. Sounds as though the cutter area is moving when the machine starts up and there’s a delay when pedal is pressed. Very very weird sounds. I will be going to dealer to see if this is normal. Again, machine is brand new, just started using it today(original
    box and taped last 2 years) Didn’t know about the pull out light (watched entire DVD) so i’m glad to have found this review!
    Wanted to know if cutter can be turned off but sadly can’t.
    ALSO was a USB suppose to be included in the machine? Never found one. Wanted to save stitches (won’t) but it changes every-time machine is turned off and needs to be re-programmed . No issue with 8900, it’s saves stitch length etc. Maybe I’m doing something incorrectly.
    Thanks for the help!

    Reply
  8. hi Susan,
    I am looking to upgrade my current Kenmore that I have had for years. I love the Janome and am torn on which one to purchase. I do like the price point of the 9450. Am I selling myself short? If I spend more do I really get more/better machine?

    Best
    Christina

    Reply
    • Hi Christina,
      I once had a Kenmore, it didn’t have many bells and whistles but it was a solid machine with metal gears and I loved it. It’s no longer in my possession but as memory serves, the 9450 is leaps and bounds better than the Kenmore I had. If you do a lot of sewing, quilting, etc., I would say you are definitely deserving of an upgrade! The 9450 is an awesome machine however, I do have my eyes on the Continental 7. If you do machine embroidery or are seriously thinking machine embroidery is in your future, and if you can afford it, I’d go with the Continental 7. However, if you do go with the 9450, it will be a purchase you will never regret.

      I hope this helps!
      Susan

      Reply
  9. I started with a Janome MC 450 recently pyrchased the 9450. I too have many problems with the threader (brand new machine). My dealer replaced the threader, but told me that it isn’t covered under my warranty. I followed the instructions from the manual and now it isn’t working again. So frustrated with this part of the machine.

    Reply
    • Hi Paula,
      I just gave up on it. The threader is a good idea but a bad design. I find it’s much easier to simply swing the door cover open. Once that is out of the way I can access the entire space much easier.

      Reply
  10. I own this Janome 9450QCP. I have owned it for less than 2 years. I hate it. The first one right out of the box, choose the tshirt icon for the apps, not one of them worked. I had to fight with Janome for a month to get it replaced because right out of the box this $6000 sewing machine did not do any more than the basic functions of a $200 machine. They replaced it and I thought it was going to be okay. However, I have spent hundreds of dollars on bobbin cases because a common problem with this Janome model is the jumping bobbin case. The bobbin case jerks, spins 180 degrees in the bobbin housing midseam. It will make your heart stop because it is very violent. When I spoke with the technician that Janome sent me to he knew about this problem with the 9450. I have had it repaired once for this problem, it is in the shop again right now because it ate 4 brand new bobbin cases in one day last week. $6000.000 for a sewing machine that eats bobbin cases that cost $30 a piece is not a practical machine, it is not a functioning machine either. I sew every single day. I need a machine that does not violently malfunction and cost me hundreds of dollars a week to operate plus the repairs and parts to fix it every time it does this a few times in a row. My husband got snowed by a salesperson on this one, I did not choose this machine. I would never spend $6000 on a sewing machine because it is 100% unnecessary and this Janome is not worth the money given the constant malfunction and cost to keep it running. Think about it, a brand new out of the box $6000 sewing machine costing you another $30 a piece in bobbin cases, $120.00 for bench fee, $240 parts and repairs multiple times. I do not want another replacement from Janome, I want my $6000 back so I can buy a reliable sewing machine. Common sense should tell anyone that a bobbin case suddenly jerking jumping and spinning 180 degrees is a serious problem that should never have left the Janome factory.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with this machine. Like buying an automobile, a lemon is bound to come off the assembly line now and then. It would be nice if these mid-range and high end machines came with a “lemon law” warranty like cars do. $6,000+ is a lot of money for something that doesn’t work.
      Let me know how this turns out.

      Susan

      Reply
    • I have this machine and have had the same issues with the bobbin case. My tech advised me to get a pad that dampens vibrations and that seems to have helped. I have also dialed back the speed at which the machine sews as the jumping seemed to happen more frequently for me when I was sewing at max speed. As you said, seems a shame to have to take these measures on such an expensive machine. I bought it when I had just started quilting, not sure I would make the same choice if I had it to do all over again.

      Reply
  11. I like my Janome 9450 so far. I bought it used. Everything works even the threader. What I found was that I have to clean the bobbin area more often being computerized it’s very sensitive. I was getting skipped stitches when doing my binding and cleaning the bobbin area and slightly longer length stitches fixed it going through the thicker layers.

    Reply
  12. I was told to turn the hand wheel to place the needle at its highest position before using the needle threader and it has worked fine. Try it. It goes up a little more than when using the up/down needle button

    Reply
  13. I bought a 9450QCP in January of 2022. I have had nothing but problems with the bobbin case. I have replaced the case at least 8 times. The repairman says it wears with use. It has never worked for me. I also had the power unit go out on me and I waited 3 months for a new one to come in. Finally i called and asked for my money back. They then got busy and took a power unit out of a new one and it was ready the next day. Now the bobbin case has gone out again. I am returning it tomorrow and want a
    different machine. This is a lemon and from what I am reading on this blog there are more lemons out there. What machine should I get that is reliable and silmiar to the 9450. I am so disappointed because I thought
    this machine was going to be something I had really wanted to switch to.

    Reply
    • Hi Anita. It sounds like you did get a lemon of a machine. Ugh… I gotta say though, you have a lot a patience. Replaced the bobbin case 8 times! Before purchasing the two Janomes I now use (DC 2014 and 9450) I only have practical experience with a Kenmore or Singer. However, I had used a Juki and I have to admit there have been a few times I wished I had bought a Juki 2010. I do mostly quilts and beginning to get into bag making. This particular Juki does only straight stitching but it has metal gears and I’ve never heard the same number of complaints as I hear from Janome or Bernina.
      Let me know what you decide to do!

      Reply

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