Two new sewing machines in one week! I am a lucky girl! I have been thinking of adding one more machine in my sewing studio. I have a Bernina 350 PE which I love and use as my main machine. It has wonderful stitch quality. I also have two Janome machines; a small Sew Precise which was my daughter's first sewing machine that we purchased when she was about 8 years old and a Memorycraft 9000 embroidery machine, neither of which are machines I like to use everyday for various reasons. The Sew Precise is a good little machine, useful for teaching or sewing group, and the embroidery machine I like to keep set up for embroidery only. Last but not least, I also have an Innova longarm (22" on a 12' frame).
While I love my Bernina I was looking for a machine that could handle the free motion quilting just a little better. Some projects are just too small to load on the longarm and a bit too big to do comfortably on the Bernina.
Enter the Juki TL2010Q! After hearing this machine mentioned so many times in blogland I had to check it out. The nearest dealer is about two hours away so last weekend my husband and I trekked off to take a look. The woman who showed the Juki to us was only somewhat knowledgable about the machine. At the store it was set up for FMQ. I took a spin and I liked what I saw (recognizing that I need a lot of practice to improve). She changed over to the walking foot and stitched a bit. She then wanted to show how the machine could handle several layers of heavy denim. Almost immediately the needle broke. The sales person said it was because she had the walking foot installed and should not use the walking foot for that kind of sewing (I agreed, so why did she try?). She place the compensating foot on the machine and inserted a new needle. She let me take over the controls and I stitched several lines noting the stitch quality was TERRIBLE! No way was I taking this machine home (and my husband concurred)! Since this is a very simple straight stitch only machine there are not too many buttons or knobs on it but the saleperson failed to recognize that the presser foot pressure was too light and that is what was causing the problem. Since I knew people just raved about what a great machine it is that there must be an adjustment needed to improve the stitches and I was right!
The only concern I had at that point was that the salesperson told me the compensating foot was the "regular" foot that came with the machine along with two FMQ feet and a zipper foot. I did not think I would like using the compensating foor for everyday piecing (it seems to me it for use on heavy fabrics?)...anyway I figured I would just buy separately a foot suitable for piecing. The good news is that when I picked up the machine and unpacked it, there was a piecing foot included!
So far I have only had a chance to learn how to wind a bobbin, thread the machine and do some simple straight stitching. The machine is meeting my expectations. It is fast and relatively quiet. I will have to get used to the thread cutter on the foot pedal. It seems somewhat awkwardly placed since I usually drive the pedal with my heel on the floor with my Bernina and in this position on the Juki I am often cutting the thread by mistake!
Many folks expressed disappointment with the needle threader (basically the only complaint I saw in the reviews I read) and I will agree on this point but that is my only concern and it is a minor one.
This weekend I will set it up for FMQ and see what I can do! Can't wait :)