I'm so excited to show off something fun today... my new Juki T-2010Q! I first tried this machine over a year ago at Quilt Market 2012. I was impressed, but at the time I wasn't quilting very much and my Bernina 1530 had everything I thought I could ever want in a sewing machine.
She is wonderful for sewing clothes and bags and all kinds of other things.
But not to be mean, her tension goes nuts when I put the feed dogs down to free motion quilt. I can barely tell if the walking foot is working sometimes, and there is very little harp room (the area between the needle and the body of the machine where you must stuff or roll your quilt).
These things were not a big deal until...
Fast forward and over the past six months I have caught the quilting bug... badly! I piece quilt blocks nearly every day and have a growing stack of tops that I don't dare put under that Bernina. Suddenly I was thinking about that Juki from Quilt Market and reading blog reviews about it.
So... enough about the why. Here's what I love:
It seems like the people who designed this machine thought, 'lets put everything in here that will make us quilt faster, and nothing else!'
This machine goes so fast that it kind of scared me at first. Keep in mind, it is straight stitch only. But if you don't care about zig-zag (or other fancy stitches), there are other conveniences that even my Bernina doesn't have. Like that loud thread cutter. Wow. I had no idea how much time I was wasting cutting thread. The thread cutter is engaged by rocking backward on the foot pedal. I thought I might inadvertently cut my threads when I didn't want to, but that hasn't happened.
And it always stops needle down. Perfect. When you use the thread cutter it also puts the needle up so you can use the knee lift to take your fabric out at the same time.
This machine is mechanical and semi-industrial. It is heavy and metal. The tension dials are not computerized or automatic. Yay! Yes, that means that I have to adjust them sometimes when I switch projects, but it's very easy to do. It is a bit more complicated to thread, but after learning to work a 5-thread serger, it's not a big deal.
The dial goes click-click-click when you turn it to adjust stitch length. It's very satisfying like it could never break. In this picture you can see ALL of the non-tension controls besides the knee lift.
Like I said, everything you need and nothing you don't. Stitch length, needle up/down, thread cutter, speed control, backstitch, and feed dogs.
The telescoping thread guide is perfect for those large spools and finicky threads.
I received this machine last Saturday and after I got over my initial intimidation, I was up until nearly 2 am sewing this quilt top. I just couldn't stop! But you know how much I love to un-pick. So really on Monday I unpicked some, and added some, and now this is the end. I promise. But I sewed it all in about 8 hours and that's much faster than I could piece before.
Then today I straight line quilted this little quilt with the walking foot. The stitching was very consistent and lovely. Sigh. So happy. And plenty of room in the 9'' harp space.
I haven't free-motion quilted, except on scraps but so far so good. Couldn't tell the front from the back. I'll update you on that when I fmq an actual quilt.
So here are some things I miss about this machine:
- the feet are screw on and take more time to change. I know, I'm spoiled by the quick-change Bernina feet.
- the light is bright but it casts strange shadows in pictures. This is annoying to a blogger. I'm going to buy another ottlight and then see how things look.
- there's no built-in or included storage container for your feet and accessories. I had to re-organize a bit and now I have a little plastic dresser thingy nearby for that. I think you can buy one new for around $10 so it's really not a big deal.
I'm very lucky that I have room for multiple machines in my sewing room and of course I will keep using my Bernina 1530 for topstitching (I love the '0' foot for topstitching), fancy stitches, and anything that needs a free-arm. If you only have room for one machine, this particular Juki might not be the one for you.
But my Juki TL2010Q makes me feel so confident starting quilts because piecing is so much faster and more accurate now. And I can quilt them myself without fear! I am so, so happy about that.
One thing to note if you decide to buy this machine: there are 6 (yes six) places to oil. The manual states you should do that right out of the box before you sew. Whew! But 5 of the places are little holes within easy reach and the last place is on the hook race so it really is easy. Since I do sew daily on it I have gotten into the habit of oiling and sewing on a scrap at least once a month. It's no big deal and I really want to take care of this baby!
Update: Since I wrote this post, I bought a Grace frame for this sewing machine. Yes, quilting becomes a habit you can't quit. Read more here.