Today I'm participating in a fun week-long blog hop, hosted by Sew at Home Mummy
and The Tilted Quilt
, called Meet My Machine. If you're thinking about buying a new sewing machine, this blog hop is a perfect way for you to get up close and personal with many, many different kinds of machines and find a good fit for you.
I'm excited to finally sit down and write about my new-to-me Juki TL98Q
. I found this machine on Craig's List back in December, after reading for the last several years about the awesomeness that is this semi-industrial sewing machine. I bought it from the previous owner after doing a thorough test drive and falling in love with it.
Juki TL98Q Pros:
This machine is fast
. No doubt about it. Faster than any other machine I've owned or test drove. And because of that speed, it sounds a bit noisy, perhaps a bit industrial. Very much like the machines you see on Project Runway, actually, which I don't mind a bit. The thread cutter, which is located on the foot pedal, is also a bit noisy, but I actually like that - so that I notice if I accidentally tap that part of the foot pedal! By the way, having the thread cutter on the foot pedal is positively genius. All sewing machines should have this feature!
The Juki is also super sturdy. The body and exterior is die-cast aluminum, as opposed to the plastic bodied machines that we're all so used to, so it feels like it could last forever. It's a mechanical straight-stitch machine, so no fancy computerized stitches or computer to deal with. As a result, this machine does an amazing straight stitch. Even the sewing feet are metal, including the compensating 1/4" foot. Because of all of that metal, it is hefty to lug around, but it's do-able.
This machine did come with a knee lift, so far, I haven't really used it. I do know that lots of Juki owners love the knee lift, it's just something I haven't tried out yet. I keep meaning to when I free-motion, and just keep forgetting to attach it.
Oiling the Juki is definitely necessary, and I try to do it every day that I sew on it. Fortunately, the oil is clear and I haven't had any leakage, but I make sure to sew on a test scrap for at least a few minutes after oiling the machine, just in case.
While the machine is semi-industrial, it does take standard sewing machine needles. So far, I've used mostly 90/20 Sharps and 100/16 topstitch needles (for my FMQ journey on this machine, see my post here
) on it without any problems. The previous owner of the machine said that I needed to use Organ needles, but I have not found that to be true. I've used Schmetz and Klasse needles, without any trouble, and one Organ needle, which caused a great deal of thread breakage. I've also found that the machine isn't particularly picky about thread, as I've used Aurifil and Gutermann on it without issue. I prefer to piece with the Aurifil, and the machine has a shelf on the back to set large cones, so that works great for my huge Aurifil cones.
Free motion quilting on this machine is beautiful. I use a Sew Steady extension table and a Topstitch 100/16 Needle
and just go to town with it. The large throat space makes quilting large projects a breeze, and it's got a needle up/down feature as well so I can make sure that every time I let up on the foot pedal, the needle stops in the down position.
Being a mechanical machine, the Juki is also the kind of machine that you can open and see every inch of. It even came with a repair manual! I feel confident after I clean out the lint from my Juki because I can see and get to all of the places the lint could pile up, unlike on my Husqvarna Viking Sapphire.
Juki TL98Q Cons:
The only real con that comes to mind with this machine is the lack of light - I do wish there was more light on the machine, but that's easily fixed by adding something like Mighty Bright Sewing Machine Light
, which is quite inexpensive and easy to install. I also use my OttLite Desk Lamp
to add some extra light to my workspace.
I'm still getting used to using a side loading bobbin, and I often have to dig out the manual to make sure I thread the bobbin properly and load it correctly. This isn't really a con, more that it's a challenge for me, since this is the first side-loading bobbin machine I've owned. It's getting easier, and I'm sure it will become old hat soon enough.
For those of you who are familiar with my other machine, the Husvqvarna Viking Sapphire 835, I do still own it. And I do still use it, from time to time, but the Juki has become my primary machine. All in all, I love my Juki. Piecing on her is easy and accurate, and if I had to do it all over again, I would definitely buy it again! I use it nearly every day, and more than that, I thoroughly enjoy sewing with it.
Not only can you link up your own machine post right here
as a part of this blog hop, but you can read more machine feedback throughout this blog hop at the following blogs:
SUNDAY, MARCH 17
MONDAY, MARCH 18
TUESDAY, MARCH 19
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20
THURSDAY, MARCH 21
FRIDAY, MARCH 22