This machine purchase totally snuck up on me - I honestly did not see it coming!!!! It's almost as if Miss Juki was determined to come home and live with me; believe me, I did not seek her out! I almost feel like I don't even know where it started or how it happened. But, I am in love, LOVE, LOVE!!!!
She's wonderful, just WONDERFUL.... She's like a Featherweight on steroids. So sturdy and trustworthy! I wasn't even familiar with Juki's until recently. Yes, Crazy Mom Quilts often referenced how much she loves her Juki, but it would always go in one ear (or should I say eye?!) and out the other, for I had no interest in purchasing another machine. But, after reading Allison's post about her Juki TL-2010Q, I started getting the itch. I just haven't been all that happy with my Bernina 710 for free motion machine quilting, even though it has a big throat space. Bottom line, I'm not crazy about expensive machines with bells and whistles. It seems nuts to spend a ton of money on a machine when all you're using it for is machine quilting, but I wasn't aware of any other options at that point. Then, I recently heard someone say that using an expensive computerized machine for machine quilting is like using your Mercedes to haul gravel when you really should be using a dump truck; that got me thinking about the wisdom of an industrial machine for machine quilting. All I want is some throat space, a good stitch, and dependability. Maybe I tend to prefer mechanical machines over computerized ones because I learned to sew on a Featherweight and used a manual Kenmore for years and years before upgrading to a Bernina "sewing computer"??
So, I read some more reviews on line and couldn't find anything but Juki LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
But, what totally sealed the deal for me was sitting next to Ann at our quilt guild's all day sew last weekend. I walked in, and there she was, sewing on her new Juki - the very one I had been researching. I couldn't believe it, especially since I didn't know anyone who owned a Juki. I sat next to Ann while we sewed pillowcases for charity all day. I plodded along on my Featherweight while she FLEW through hers. She was kind enough to let me sew on it for a bit, and I was blown away by how fast it sewed and how well it stitched multiple layers without a walking foot. I kept asking her questions as we sewed and couldn't get the JUKI thoughts out of my head....
So, first thing Monday morning I ordered my very own Juki!
My original intention was to use my Juki primarily for machine quilting, but I'm so loving how she performs with piecing that I haven't done any machine quilting with her yet. I'm not sure how convenient it will be to use her for both piecing and quilting, since my piecing area is in the basement, and the spot where I machine quilt is on the 2nd floor of my home. It may make sense to invest in a second machine at some point if I can find a used one at a good price.
Interestingly enough, when I upgraded from a Kenmore to a Bernina 440 a few years back, it took me almost a year to feel comfortable sewing on it after many years of sewing on my Kenmore. But, the adjustment period for my Juki was less than 24 hours - seriously!! It just took a bit of time to rearrange my sewing table, and figure out how to get a consistent 1/4" seam. In fact, I felt like I had committed sewing machine adultery against my beloved Featherweight, but those guilty feelings rapidly disappeared when I saw how quickly I could piece a quilt, like the one below.
I bought my Juki from a dealer at a great price. Yes, you can buy them on line at a comparable price, but I like having someone to go to if there's a snag, which there wasn't, thank goodness. The dealer's service was amazing - I called to order my machine on Monday morning in my pj's, and it was on my doorstep the very next day!!
I love my Bernina 440 for day-to-day alteration work; you can't beat Bernina's tension and its ability to sew a variety of fabrics. And for now, I do plan to hang on to my Bernina 710 for it's large throat space and large bobbin which are great when it comes to walking foot quilting (especially those circular designs!). I also love the using the 3-step zig zag stitch along with the walking foot; it performs beautifully for those applications. It's just too bad there's not a cheaper machine out there with those features.
Please know that that general consensus is that Juki's just don't do well when it comes to walking foot quilting. My guess is it's because the feed dogs aren't as wide as on a zig zag machine, so it simply can't feed as well. So, if you're considering a Juki purchase, keep in mind that you'll probably need another machine for walking foot quilting.
Also, she does require frequent oiling, just like a Featherweight. Daily, if you're sewing a number of hours each day. But, it's a breeze to oil her compared to oiling a Featherweight - no need to unscrew or remove parts.
Just had to show you a picture of a little quilt top I flew through this weekend, thanks to Miss Juki's speedy stitching and the automatic thread cutter. I sped through assembling the blocks for two other tops as well. I used to dread stitching borders and long seams, but no more!
(You can purchase the quilt pattern here.)
Thanks for inviting yourself into my life, little Miss Juki!!