Know Thy Machine

November 21, 2012

Hi Everyone! I'm the 23rd stop on the "Know Thy Machine" bog hop. This is such a fun hop to be a part of, and I hope you enjoy you stop here in my little world. Before I get started, I have to apologize. I missed my scheduled day for Monday Nov. 19th. I'm so sorry. I had my dates completely wrong, and didn't realize that I was a no-show. 

I'm going to be answering Shruti's questions about my handy dandy Juki TL98-Q. When you get the chance, make sure you hop back over to Shruti's Blog to see more bloggers and to have a chance to win some prizes.

Most of the time, you'll find me sewing on my Juki. I fondly refer to her as "Daisy". I do have other machines: a Bernina (solely used for decorative stitches), a Husqvarna serger, and an old Husqvarna Designer 1 embroidery machine. They each have their uses, but Daisy is my beast, my workhorse, and very reliable.

I grew up with my mom using industrial Jukis in her dress factory. As a little girl, learning to sew on one of those huge, and extremely fast, machines was like initiation by fire into the sewing world. I learned how to control it, and the sewist in me was born. 
Meet Daisy - She's a workhorse!
1. What machines do you have? Brand/model?
I mentioned it above, but no harm in saying it again. Mostly, I sew on my Juki.

2. Why did you buy this particular model?
Juki machines are a part of my sewing soul. For it's purpose, there is no other option for me. It only sews straight. I use it for all piecing, quilting and other sewing. It's strong, sturdy, requires little maintenence. Daisy does like to be oiled. I have to keep her pretty hydrated to keep her happy. Other than that, she's pretty low maintenence. Also, a new Juki (the TL2010Q) is less than $900, new. Jukis tend to be easy on the pocketbook.

3. What do you like about your machine? Have you named it? Have you made a cover for it?
I could go on an on about what I like about my machine. It pretty much rocks. As I mentioned, I named mine Daisy, but I haven't made a cover for her, yet.
Here are a few specific things, that as a sewist and quilter, I find to be very important features of the Juki:
  • One little thing about the Juki, that most don't know or realize the importance of, is that as the fabric is feeding through the foot and feed-dogs, the feed-dogs stop feeding when the needle is down. Most machines keep feeding while the needle goes up and down, which is necessary for machines that do decorative stitching. Because the Juki only sews straight, it feeds only when the needle is up. This makes it more powerful and makes for better stitching. Pretty cool, huh?

  • The Juki is perfect for quilters because the space around the needle is high. This lets you see in reverse, as you're quilting. SO smart!! The needle plate is a single needle hole, so your needle doesn't flex around inside the space. And, as your feeding any quilting or piecing projects, your fabric won't get sucked down into your machine.

Free-Motion detail from Maggie's String Quilt
4. Does your machine give you any problems? Can you tell us a few?
Overall, Daisy is a good girl. Most recently, the check-spring broke. It was an easy fix, less than $20, but she was in the hospital for 3 days. I had a lot of sewing to do, so it was just really bad timing. Otherwise, in the 5 years I've had her, she has only needed a couple of tune-ups and a new light bulb.

5. What do you sew on it, mainly? How much time do you spend sewing on it? What are the features of the machine that let you improve your work?
If it requires just a straight stitch, Daisy will get the job done. I make quilt tops, simple blankets, pillows, tote bags, cloth diapers, aprons, dresses and skirts for my girlies, and do free-motion quilting with Daisy. There are weeks that I will sew almost every day. I have lulls, too. I've been home from Quilt Market and Festival for two weeks now, and she's still resting in her storage bad. Sad, huh? I miss her.

I noted a couple of features of the Juki above. In addition to that, I like that when my needle is down, I can still raise my foot up to pivot, the thread tree is fantastic, and the shank of the foot is industrial, so it's tough and sturdy. 

I made this sweet little dress with Daisy
 6. What advice would you give others about which machine to buy?
Most often, I suggest that people take into consideration the main purpose of the machine, what their budget is, and whether or not someone nearby can service the machine correctly. Take your time, and make the best choice for yourself.

7. Will you share with us a special memory associated with your machine?
Of course!! When I was little, I used to sit on top of my mom's sewing machine table while she would sew (it was a big table). That made me feel close to her, safe. I loved the hum of the machine; I'm sure it lulled me to sleep as a baby. As a mom, I love that my kids are finding their own love for sewing, and appreciate what I make for them. In the picture below, my daughter was quilting part of a sleeping bag for her stuffed animal. My husband, my son, my daughter and I all did a little quilting on it. Now. that little sleeping bag is a special family heirloom.
My Little Miss - A Quilter in Training
8. If you had unlimited resources in the world, which machine would you choose to buy and why?
I'd keep my Juki TL98-Q, of course, and add a Juki Exceed, for decorative stitches, and the new Juki longarm machine. I'd love a new embroidery machine, so I'd invest in a fancy one of those. Maybe a Brother, Janome or Bernina.

Thank you for visiting!! I hope you come by again soon.


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