Monday, January 14, 2013

My new friend

I never really thought I'd be the kind of person who owned a bunch of different sewing machines, but I'm apparently now on that path. I bought my second sewing machine over the weekend, a fully mechanical industrial Juki TL-98. I've been half-heartedly looking for a backup machine that I could really trust, for when my Husqvarna Viking Sapphire is in the shop or for carting to guild meetings, and when I saw this Juki pop on Craig's List recently, it was hard to resist.

Hello new friend

First of all, I know of a ton of people who have this machine, or the newer edition of it, and absolutely adore it. Secondly, it's not computerized, and is easy to take apart to clean and maintain at home rather than through a dealer. Thirdly, this bad boy is fast. 1500 stitches per minute, which didn't seem super crazy on paper, but in person, holy cow, it's like having one of those industrial machines on Project Runway! The speed difference was especially noticeable yesterday, as I moved back and forth between the Sapphire and the Juki, and the Sapphire is no slowpoke either.

FMQ is a breeze!

Now that I've got the Juki home, my Sapphire is on the way to the dealer next weekend for a thorough cleaning. It's only been a year since the last cleaning, which I know isn't a long time, but I can tell that there's some linty gunk that needs to get taken care of by someone who can get to every nook and cranny in the machine. Normally, I'd just take the darned thing in and live without my machine for the few days or week it takes to come back to me, but I seem to have stacked my January and February calendar with deadline after deadline, so I really can't be without a machine. Thankfully, my dealer is typically quite swift with cleanings. If you're in the Tampa area,  I highly recommend them - they are the Tampa Bay Sewing Center Citrus Park office.

Beautiful stitches, without any muss or fuss

So far, I've managed to do a bit of sewing on the Juki, but admittedly not very much. First impressions? Piecing was very easy, as was finding the sweet spot for the perfect scant 1/4" seam. I need to do a bit of homework on the feet available for the Juki, to see if there's a 1/4" foot with a metal guide, like I have for my Sapphire, but the piecing foot that I have so far worked quite well. I did a little bit of FMQ, which was super smooth and required exactly zero adjusting. Not a single bit of tension adjusting, which really surprised me. Now, this machine is a straight-stitch machine only, it cannot do zigzags or anything like that, but honestly, I so rarely use that, I don't think it will be a problem for me. Today's task is going to be figure out how to thread the darned thing, wind some bobbins, and figure out how to load them, as the bobbin mechanism is super different from anything I've used before. I will definitely write more about this machine as I use it more! Wish me luck!

Threading the needle looks a bit intimidating

32 comments:

  1. Now you can call yourself a "real" quilter! :) Congratulations on selecting a machine that fits your needs perfectly.

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  2. I bought the Juki HZL-F600 a few years ago and sold it to get the Juki TL-2000 Qi. Juki really does make fantastic machines, my repair guy loves them too. I also really love the hummm of my Juki!

    The "compensation foot" is the PERFECT 1/4" for the Juki, see it here: http://bendingpins.com/my-juki-tl-2000qi/

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  3. How fun, two machines isn't terrible...and you can definitely put them to good use! I'm sure that it was a great investment. Have fun playing with it!

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  4. I'm so excited for you! I have this exact machine, and LOVE it!
    The 1/4 inch foot with the metal guide that I ordered with my machine isn't quite the right size (just over 1/4 inch!) -- so I just use the edge of the piecing foot as my guide.

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  5. How exciting! Can't wait to hear how you like after using it for a bit. This is one of those machines that caught my eye.

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  6. Enjoy the new toy! I seriously need to suck it up and use my backup machine and send my main for for its 4 month overdue service, but the backup can't do big quilts as it's got a tiny throat, and it can't digest bags very easily either, and I seem to have a few of them on my 'immediately to do' list *sigh*

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  7. Cool! You will love so much having two machines you can leave set up. :) I have a Sapphire, too, which I use for fmq and attaching bindings, etc. My other machine is for piecing and traveling. It's awesome.

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  8. I see machines on CL all the time. I like to stare at them, see what they have to offer and then click out of it! I always think if I find one at a great price and fits me then hook line and sinker---BUT who knows!

    Have fun with your new machine!

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  9. I also bought a machine on CL. It turned out to be not a great fit, but I ended up reselling it on eBay almost 2 years later for $600 MORE than I bought it for! Made enough to buy a new machine! Congrats on yoru new baby! I ended up going from a machine, much like your Saphire to a more industrial machine (Janome 6600). LOVE it!

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  10. Nice! I am sort of in the market and have my eye on a Juki as a possibility.

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  11. Good luck! I LOVE my Juki. I actually miss it when I don't get to sew on it for a few days. Threading it is a piece of cake - you'll be able to do it in your sleep and the bobbin winder is easy-peasy too. Have fun with your Juki - I know I do. Top list of things I love in my life: husband, our dogs, my Juki and my motorcycle. Sometimes, not neccessarily in that order :o) Have fun!!!

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  12. You are going to fall in love with this machine! I, too, bought it as a back-up/binding/machine quilting machine quite a few years ago. It is now my 'everyday' machine - and I love my Bernina, but I love the Juki more o:) if this thing did a zig zag, it would be the only machine I'd use! Woo hoo for you!

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  13. You'll love it :) So glad you got it! And what a great deal!

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  14. congratulations!
    I have an older machine waiting for me if the main machine is on service. But it's really different and so. much. louder....
    I rarely use anything different than the straight line stitch. The zigzag sometimes but rarely anything else. If I could buy a new machine knowing what I know now (after 3 years of using my main machine) I would surely have different things that are a must on my machine. Less decorative stitches, more throat place. For example.

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  15. Hi Elizabeth! I think you have now perfect couple of sewing machines! Happy sewing! x Teje

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  16. You are going to LOVE this machine. I got mine 2 years ago and don't know what I would do without it. I occasionally have tension issues where the bobbin thread pulls real tight on curves, but if I rethread all is well. I also found since it goes to fast I must use telescoping thread holder from spool or else the spool flys off. Have fun!

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  17. Thanks for sharing your initial impressions of the machine. I'm pretty much sold on a Juki but just trying to find dealers in Oz is painful, we apparently have a TL98-P which is equivalent to the Q but is built for our power supply. Now I'm trying to find out if there is or will be an equivalent to the 2010Q as I use the speed limiter on my current machine and thought it would be a handy thing to have. Do you or any Juki owners have comments on speed control?

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  18. I've had my Juki for a few years, I love it. no crazy computer to fight with. It works great slow or fast. It's simple and hard working.

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  19. I just got the Juki 2000QI and I love it love it love it.... it is so much bigger for fmq then my Bernina- bigger throat that is, and the speed is incredible. I use it in my quilt frame that my BF built me and it gives me 6+ inches of space to fmq on the frame- it is almost as good as a longarm- a great inbetween option- I am glad to hear you like your Juki too, I also have a Juki serger and I love it as well- they make great machines!

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  20. Oh my heart! :) This is Juki Janice's twin sister! I'm glad you love her so far. I can't get over how much I love mine. It's the same model and everything. There is a 1/4 foot - but I don't care for it at all, it catches sometimes and I just don't care for it. My two suggestions - 1) Oil it very regularly. 2) Don't sew at full speed when using the walking foot - the foot will break (wonder how I know). Happy sewing!

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  21. Smart girl. I was in the last 3rd of quilting a quilt (the first) for my daughter and my backup machine decided it was done! Unfortunately my beloved Bernina has been sick for a while! I used to teach so I have a few extras but nothing as nice as my Bernina or even my backup. Yours looks amazing. Keep your girls busy they live for it!
    Have a good day,
    Sherry

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  22. Very cool! There are so many Juki fans out there!

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  23. I congratulate you on choosing such a good machine, and probably for a good price if you bought it through craigslist. I bought a Pfaff Grand Quilter the same way (through craigslist, for a steal), and I believe our machines are very similar. You will absolutely love it for FMQing. (I use my Bernina for all my piecing.) In fact, if you watch any YouTube videos of Sharon Schamber's award-winning FMQing, you'll see she uses a Juki too. Enjoy!

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  24. And here I am thinking that I have to spend $2500 on a brand new Janome so that I can learn how to FMQ. Silly me. I think I will take another look at what's out there and what can be done on it.

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  25. Oh... I have the Brother version of this machine and just love it!

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  26. That looks like a great second machine for a quilter. Especially if you can easily pick it up to take it places. It is also, since it is mechanical, probably unlikely to be so delicate that moving it around messes it up.

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  27. Wow, what a find! I would just love a machine that sewed much faster.

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  28. Nice find on Craigslist! I'm so glad you found a new friend :-)

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  29. Jessica asked about speed control... One of the improvements the 2010Q has is a speed control. You can set it to full-on or all the way down to slow. I find with some FMQ I have to turn the speed down to maintain control, so I really love this feature. The 2010Q also has a very bright light, and a "pre-tensioner" (which just confuses me, so I don't fool with it much). I love my 2010Q. It's so strong and powerful. It sewed straight through my left index finger the other day, without even breaking a needle!

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Thank you for leaving a comment for me! I appreciate each and every one of them and try to respond when time allows. Your comments totally brighten my day :)

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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy six year old boy and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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