For some time I have been wanting a sewing machine that would make quilting larger quilts easier. Since my husband wouldn’t let me take over the master bedroom for my studio (giggle) there is no room for a Long-Arm machine so that was never in the mix.
For a while I was excited about the Sweet Sixteen sit down machine but realized that I didn’t have a place to leave it set up so I would have to put it up every time I was ready to quilt something. Then I started wondering if I wouldn’t just use my regular machine on smaller quilts rather than pulling out the quilting machine. Did I REALLY want to spend $5000+ on a machine that I would probably only use a few times each year.
I mentioned my dilemma to my creative group and Fay suggested that I might look at the Juki line of machines. When I first started checking for them, I could only find Industrial Machines and was disappointed. After we got back, I looked further and was excited to find the Juki 2010Q machine.
I found a store in Atlanta that sold them so I drove over to give one a test drive, accompanied by fellow quilter, Sylvia. I started sewing, really liking what I was finding but was told that this model was being phased out and replaced with the Juki 2200QVP Mini.
Long story short, I bought the machine ($1,200), brought it home, returned the next day to buy the table that was designed for it and am now happily sewing away!!
This is a mechanical machine…..no computerization around. It only does one thing (sew a straight stitch), but it does that beautifully!!! I realized that I didn’t need tons of special stitches since I have had my Viking for over 15 years and have only used 4 or 5 of them in that time!! And, I still have that machine if they are needed in the future.
It has a manual dial controller for stitch length which I really like when I am using a walking foot and starting with tiny stitches but moving to a good quilting stitch. It is easier to turn a dial rather than having to hit a button over and over again.
It has a marvelous thread cutter that leaves only a small thread tail but somehow manages to start stitching again without unthreading the bobbin or the needle!!!
It always stops in the needle down position and the only way to get the needle up is to push the button. It took a bit of practice to get used to the fact that I couldn’t raise the needle by lightly tapping the foot pedal.
The reverse bar is large and easy to get to and the feed dogs are easy to raise and lower.
Finally, it has a speed control and, when set on “rabbit”, it can FLY!!!
The threading mechanism is a bit different….it starts with a pre-tension bar, winds its way thru a series of hooks, ending with a marvelous needle threader. I figure that any extra time spent with the pre-tension is saved by not having to manually thread the machine!!
There is also a presser foot pressure knob that is easy to get to.
I also really like the spool holder and adjustable thread guide, especially since I use a lot of large cones……
The bobbin is larger and holds a lot of thread however it is side loading and it has taken a bit for me to get used to it. There is a handy-dandy door in the table to allow access to the bobbin…..
The foot pedal is large and is designed for your entire foot to be on top of it……much more comfortable than having my heel on the floor…..
The thread cutter can also be activated by the foot, simply by pressing your heel down. I think that this can be good, but I was having trouble hitting it when I didn’t want to. Fortunately, this newer model includes a rubber base that you can put on the pedal so that the cutter is not activated….a lifesaver for me!!!
It has a Knee lever for the presser foot but it will not work when the machine is in the table. Since I have never used one, that doesn’t bother me at all!!
As one reviewer put it…..it is a thirsty machine and requires regular oiling. It is not hard to do and I will just have to get it into my head that I need to do it!!
It came with a bunch of feet including a regular foot that is a scant quarter inch from the needle. There is also a quarter inch foot that has a bar that prevents the fabric from moving out too far…..
And, the seam is VERY accurate!!!
The walking foot is heavy and a bit loud, but it sews a magnificent seam……
I was a bit worried about not being able to see down the long foot but it is actually easy to use since the sides provide a guide for sewing placement.
The machine came with THREE free motion feet but I am not sure exactly what to do with them all. I was excited that this model came with an open toed darning foot and it works great.
I also purchased a ruler foot but have yet to get the tension adjusted when using it. If I tighten it down closer to the fabric, it gets stuck on the seam allowances, but if I lighten the pressure, the stitches don’t catch. I need to spend some time playing with it until I figure it out…..
The final perk for the machine is the extended harp space (between the needle and the machine). This isn’t as big as some machines but gives me 4 extra inches from side to side and another 3-4 in height. It has made a huge difference in the quilting that I have already done. I cant wait to try it out on a queen size quilt and just happen to have one basted and ready to go.
I am also happy that I made the return trip to purchase the table. It is designed specifically for this machine, although my Viking will fit in the opening as well. It has a drop down extension that is marvelous when I am quilting…..
When the machine is not in the table, the extension to the left of the machine s1ts on folded legs, making it easily portable.
I did a lot of quilting on a UFO that I wanted to finish and will show that in another post, but also pieced a charity quilt to try out the 1/4 inch feet……
I feel like I made a good purchase and hope that I will have MANY years of quilting on it!!!