December 29, 2013

Free Motion Practice

Thank you so much for your opinions about the Juki TL2010Q and other machines.  If you are a "no-reply" blogger, I don't have your e-mail address, but want to thank you for your recommendation or opinions.  I did in fact buy the Juki.  I ordered it from Sewing Machines Plus

I finally had some time to play with it this weekend, trying out different threads and practicing free-motion quilting without a stitch regulator.  It's like learning to ride a bike without training wheels all over again, but with a little practice, I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.  I won't go into detail about the machine's features since there are lots of reviews already, but if you have any questions or need to be pointed in the direction of the reviews I've read, just let me know.  I will say that I LOVE this machine.  The tension is wonderful, and it handles any brand and weight of thread I've tried so far. 

I had an issue with the quilting feet that was easily resolved.  I love that the free-motion quilting feet are heavy and sturdy, but they rest a little low and don't "float" over the quilt.  I was having to work too hard to push and pull the quilt sandwich through the machine.  Leah Day is a courageous woman who fearlessly modifies her free-motion feet.  It makes perfect sense, but I'm afraid I would mutilate them and have to buy more.  Then I found this post by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I wedged in a few tiny pieces of cardboard and they work perfectly. 

Here are photos of my practice doodling.  Yeah, I got a little impatient and didn't press the fabric or baste the layers.  I'm thrilled that there are no knots and tension issues.  I think I'll be very happy with this machine. 

Thanks so much for visiting.  I hope you have a fabulous 2014!


December 8, 2013

Do You Have an Opinion to Share?

As if I didn't have anything more important to do, I spent the entire day yesterday reading sewing machine reviews.  My head hurts.  I haven't studied this hard in a long time.  I piece and quilt on a Bernina 440QE.  It's really a great machine, but I spend a lot of time changing the tension settings, adjusting the bobbin case, etc. when free-motion quilting.  Which also causes my head to hurt.  I've had the longarm argument in my head before, and decided that I don't have room for a giant frame.  And I have a full-time job already, so a longarm would be like another "toy" in my mind.  A very expensive toy.

Lately, a lot of quilters have been discussing the Juki TL-2010Q.  It's described as a "semi-industrial" machine with only a straight stitch.

  I read reviews of this machine and closely inspected photos of stitch quality until I fell asleep last night.  (To those of you who have taken the time to write detailed reviews, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Really.)   For the most part, the reviews were very positive.  Aside from seemingly isolated issues with a couple of features, and a more common issue with the needle threader, this machine appears to be exactly what I need -- great tension, dependable, and affordable.   Unfortunately, I don't live close enough to a store where I could test-drive one.   As I was about to click the checkout button at an on-line store, it occurred to me to ask for any opinions about this machine you might be able to offer.  I would really appreciate your thoughts if you have one or know someone who does, and whether or not you love it.  I'm not at all concerned with the lack of bells and whistles -- I'm keeping the Bernina.  I'd just like to know if it's a solution to my free-motion tension issues, and whether or not it's fussy about different threads.  Unless I'm warned against it, I'm doin' this thing.

Thanks so much for any help you can offer.  Hope you have a great week!