already been a little over 2 years since I got the beast…the beast that is my
sewing machine, that is!!
I’ve been getting asked a lot what machine I sew and quilt on, and I remembered I would share a review of my new Juki with you. Well, not new anymore, I got her back in April of 2016, so, really not new. But she still feels new to me!
I still get that excited “want to keep her as shiny and unmarked as the first day I got her” feeling. Like a new pair of shoes you don’t want to get scuffed!
I spent the better part of a
year researching and weighing my options in the overwhelming world that is
testament to the technological advancements this industry has seen. And yet,
for all those new bells and whistles, things are weirdly the same. Let me
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White sewing machine. She’s definitely an older machine but conjures lots of
nostalgic memories of my mum sewing when I was a kid. I wasn’t really into
sewing at this point, it wasn’t until my mid thirties that I took an interest
in sewing and a whole new world opened up to me.
tackled were stocking bags for the family. I didn’t have a pattern. Had never
sewn a bag before. But in my minds eye, I knew exactly what I wanted to create.
machine was a little fiddly, but I could tell she was well made. There were no
bells and whistles. No fancy stitches and certainly no automated anything. But
she worked, and I learned a lot about tension and threading and all that jazz.
project the hubz decided to buy me my own sewing machine. A little entry level
Singer Inspiration. It was cute and new and worked like a charm. As time went
on and I used her more and more for my business, it seemed the issues kept
stitching along when all of a sudden, the tension would go wonky. Gah, so frustrating!
I hadn’t changed anything. My fabric thickness hadn’t changed. So why was my
tension all of a sudden off? I would then spend a good 30 minutes re-threading
and testing to get it back. This started happening more and more frequently and
was beyond annoying.
quilting. And, while piecing wasn’t a problem (minus said tension issues),
she was impossible to top quilt on. The throat was WAY too small and my walking
foot jiggled every time I had to stop, leaving little wiggles in my quilting.
The results were less than stellar. And I started to feel like I was ruining my
understand what my requirements were in a new sewing machine.
Up first was the throat size
(or the harp size as it is technically called). This was the determining factor
as to whether a machine even made the list. It’s a good thing too as it
narrowed the field a little.
of quilters on Instagram and blogs, I knew there were several models that
seemed to be preferred by quilters. This helped me narrow the field down even
further. I mainly looked at Bernina,
Janome, Baby Lock and Juki.
variance between these brands and price was definitely a factor for me. I
couldn’t justify spending over $5K for a Bernina, as much as I’m sure I would
have loved it. Baby Lock proved to be a challenge to find locally, so that left
me with Janome and Juki.
things simple and shied away from anything computerized, as I’ve heard this can
be problematic down the road.
was immediately hooked. Plus, she was about half the price of the Janome
Horizon that I was considering. Which, if you know me, I’m all “that’s a whole
heck of a lot of fabric I can buy!!”.
Let me count the ways:
Larger bobbins (holds a good amount of thread reducing the number
of bobbin changes)
Lots of feet (no need to go
out and buy more)
Large harp space (as in 8.5″
long by 5.9″ high of space to make quilting at home much more enjoyable)
quilty friend reached out and mentioned they had real issues quilting on their
Juki, so much so, they went for a Janome instead. I do now recall having some
puckering issues on the backing fabric and impressions from my dog feet left on
the top of my fabric. I solved this by reducing the pressure of the foot. When
I’m piecing, it’s at the mid point, but I turn it all the way to the top when
I’m quilting. If you’re having puckering and dragging issues, try this change
and see if that helps.
button and on the pedal – SO cool!
can’t tell you how much I love this feature. It’s amazing when quilting.
with my Singer where I would lose oodles of time to getting my tension settings
right (even mid way through stitching a seam – ugh), with my Juki I just set it
and I’m done. I only ever fiddle with it when I’m quilting with a different
colour thread in my bobbin.
pieces (which I keep getting questions on as I tackle my #100daysofsfDminis). Because she’s a straight
stitch only machine, the needle hole is not as wide, so less opportunity for
your machine to eat your fabric (something my Singer used to do ALLLL the time).
table she comes with. Perfect for both piecing and quilting.
didn’t mention some of the draw backs:
not a problem when I’m chain piecing).
it out! But I seem to be unique in this challenge 😉.
to use a screw driver to change feet. It does ensure for a nice tight fit
walking foot makes a ruckus – I thought it was broken until I asked my quilty
friend Izzy (of Dizzy Quilts)
if hers did the same, and it does.
really have a problem with, but I know it can be a deterrent to some. Plus, I
have had issues of getting random spots of oil on my quilts while quilting –
ugh! But I believe this might be my own fault from over oiling. The best trick
I’ve found is to clean around the top of the needle holder and needle threader
where it seems to collect.
recently when I wanted to do some raw edge appliqué on my Bohemian Garden Quilt and had to do needle-turn appliqué instead.
I can’t tell you the number of hours I’ve spent at this
machine and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve even attempted free motion
quilting, which worked like a charm with the ¼” free motion quilting foot that
came with the machine. You can see the results of that in my Hexie Stripe quilt.
it. Once I settle on a setting, she just stays there. I’ve gotten to the point
where I don’t test after every bobbin change like I used to on my Singer. The
hours this has saved me is incredible. It’s really nice to have confidence in
your machine. That she’ll just do what she’s supposed to do.
bobbin with great results. There were no hints of the bobbin colour showing up
on the top of the quilt. This wasn’t something I could ever consider with my
Singer. I’ve done it a few times now, but you can see the results in my
Reverberance Quilt (pattern available here).
some TLC. You can read more about my weekly Studio Maintenance (which includes cleaning
my iron). I also tackle this cleaning more frequently when I’m doing intense
sewing – say, every 3 bobbin changes, especially when I’m quilting.
all piecing) and 90/14 (for quilting).
TIPS ON BUYING A SEWING MACHINE + FREE CHECKLIST
How much do you want to spend?
narrow the field and also keep you focused when out shopping. It’s easy to get
enticed by the fancy machines out there, but if don’t need all those extra
features, then you’re paying more for something you won’t use. Moreover, it’s
better to stay within your budget so you have some extra funds to splurge on
tools and notions (see my favourites here) and, of course,
Is there a specific brand you like?
have a brand that you trust. Nothing wrong with staying with a company you
like. Plus, you may already have some feet that are interchangeable with the
new machine, saving you from having to buy extra parts.
What are the main types of projects you will be working on?
machine will definitely suit your needs. However, if you plan on sewing
garments as well, then you’ll probably run into some limitations. Unless, of
course, you have a serger. And if you want any decorative stitches, then you’ll
need to find a machine that offers the ones you’ll use.
quilts at home. The amount of wrangling you need to do to get your quilt
through the throat is seriously reduced. But this may not be a concern if you
plan on sending your quilts out to a long armer, or you plan on quilting small
quilts at home. In which case, a large harp space may not be a concern of
yours. She does piece like a dream though, so even if you only plan on piecing
with your sewing machine, this one does an amazing and fast job!
What features do you need/ want?
down, automatic thread cutter, large harp space, non-computerized, automatic
needle threader. Think through the features that matter the most to you. A
sewing machine is typically a longer term purchase and you’re the one who will
be stitching with her. So, spend some time thinking through what you absolutely
need from a machine vs. what would be nice to have. This will also help you
stay focused when shopping and limit yourself from being swayed by fancy
features that you many not even use.
Test her out before bringing her home.
someone (myself included) raves about a machine, if it doesn’t FEEL good to
you, then you won’t enjoy your purchase. And having awesome sewing sessions
starts with loving your machine. So, test her out. I brought my own project, so
I could get a true feel for how the Juki quilted with the types of fabrics I
Don’t impulse buy.
would be buying the Juki, I still walked away and thought about it after my
test drive. The fact that I kept dreaming of how awesome she stitched, I knew I
would be heading back to buy her. But it’s important to give yourself some
space between looking and testing and actually buying. If you’re still
convinced that machine is the one for you after a few days, then you’re all
Where will you have it serviced?
health of your sewing machine. You have a couple of options here. The place you
buy it from typically offers service on site and often include free service
within the first year. Or you can find a local freelancer. A great place to
find the latter is through your local guild. And comes in handy if you
purchased your machine online.
with your purchase which you can download by signing up here.
WHAT OTHER QUILTERS HAVE TO SAY
ton of quilters before I purchased my Juki. To help you in your sewing machine
purchasing journey, I reached out to some of my quilty friends who also use a
Juki to ask them for some quotes on their experience. Here’s what they had to
|Nicole Kroesen from @nkroesen
|Debbie Jeske from A Quilter’s Table
|Melanie Traylor from @southernchamquilts
|Yvvone Fuchs from Quilting Jet Girl
|Isabelle Jean from Dizzy Quilts
JUKI TL-2010Q VS JUKI TL-2000QI
was super kind to provide a comparison of the Juki TL-2010Q vs. the Juki
TL-2000QI for those of you considering these models.
got the 2010 first in Feb 2015. I love it, it was a game changer for me, more
power, speed, throat space, and I could more easily free motion and walking
foot quilt my own quilts. In November
2017 I picked up a used grace frame and decided to purchase a TL-2000Qi machine
to keep in the frame and not have to move the 2010 back and forth, in and out
of the frame.
and I didn’t need the few extra features the 2010 has.
in 2015 it wasn’t exactly clear the differences and I noticed most people I saw
had a 2010 so I got the 2010. In hind sight I would have been fine with a 2000.
differences, the 2000 doesn’t have or come with that the 2010 does:
don’t notice or miss the sub tension dial. I never use the speed control I just
control with my foot and leave it in the highest position which is the same as
not having speed control.
2010 comes with and always use my hinged zipper foot P363 or the Zipper feet
P36LN or P36N.
bunch. Definitely buy this if you get a 2000 machine.
use and always use the 1/5″ quilting foot which you get with both
machine for a month in place of my 2010 to test it out in full. Now the 2000
lives in the Grace frame and I have quilted a bunch with it, no issues. I do
like all the parts are interchangeable on my 2 machines just in case.
control with your foot just buy a 2000 and save the 300-400 and then purchase a
few extra feet.”
Whether you go for the Juki TL-2010Q, another Juki model
or an entirely different machine, I hope this overview has helped you narrow
down your decision. Ultimately, no one can make the decision for you. You’re
the only one who knows what features are key for your style of sewing. I just
hope some of the tips and feedback help you think through your purchase, so you
end up super satisfied with your purchase. After all, that’s what’s most
comments below. I’m always happy to share my experiences to help you out.
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