Metrosene Silk Finish variegated red-white-blue (top stitching?) thread. Rather a heavy thread and it was on the top, with Connecting Threads Essential thread in the bottom in a nice blue. The walking foot is wonderful and the machine is fabulous. Cuts through several layers like they were butter. This set of quilts has the flannel on both sides, and it's a quality set of flannels, and the batting is Warm & Natural cotton and is just superb but a bit thick I think, so I didn't know how all this would go and it goes just fine!
Having finished the straight line quilting, I set up the machine for free motion quilting. I have both the regular bobbin case and the so-called free motion bobbin case with the bue spot. I won't go into all the trials and so on, but I tested the heck out of the various settings, and had no luck with anything with the heavier Metrosene variegated silk finish in the top with free motion. After several trials of various combos of Essential thread and the Metrosene, with both bobbin cases, I threaded the top with Superior King Tut variegated blues, and the bobbin with Masterpiece in a nice blue, and began again to test various settings. Well, to make the long story short, high top tension is needed no matter what bobbin case is in there. I settled on the blue dot bobbin case for FM only because it saves me about a .2 less tension on top. I have the tension on top at almost 7, FM bobbin case, foot pressure at 1, dogs down and all is a go and a good stitch. I made several testing sandwiches before I started so that each time I begin for a day or after a bobbin change, I can test out the stitching to make sure all is well. Better to test and test for an hour rather than to have all sorts of trouble on the quilt itself. And even then, you never know. So many things can happen, especially with a heavy quilt and this one is heavy. I guess I have to admit that for only the second and third quilting projects on this scale I wouldn't have started with flannel and heavy batting had I known, but it is great to have all this practice and learn so much in the process! Meanwhile, having admitted that threading up with Superior Threads is going to produce for me the best results I treated myself to an order of threads, including the thread holder cases. Conclusions: the bobbin case with the blue dot isn't a must have for me, but it's good to know about it. Another might find it works fabulously for them. There is an interesting blog post that talks about the Janome FM accessories with more authority than I. Gloria Hansen's blog. Excellent run down of her testing these items. Another conclusion is that even if I have to make fewer quilted projects, quilting them with mostly Superior Threads is the way to go with this machine. On my Pfaff, there isn't a threads issue. All sorts of threads do well in the Pfaff. But that is a vintage machines and I have a hunch it is also because the tension discs in most old machines are a bit worn, so they let more weights of thread through, and also the solid metal machines with the vertical bobbins are easier to regulate for this type of quilting. Just my own opinion. I want to do FM with the J6300, and that's because I want the knee lift and the cutter, and the needle up/down, and the option of several nice stitches and a multi-use modern machine.