Monday, June 10, 2013

meet juki and a giveaway

 move over little (pink) brother . . .

and meet the new big sister, juki.
juki tl2010q, to be precise.

i'm feeling happy and blessed, and want to spread some of the love around, so i'm doing a giveaway. you can find it at the end of this post. read about juki first or just scroll on down to the bottom.

i first heard of the juki machines from rachel at stitched in color. she got one in march and wrote up a tantalizing review on it. i've had my brother project runway for about 2 years now. at $400, i felt like it was a pretty sizable yet doable investment for a solid entry level machine with some bells and whistles. it was beginner friendly with some room to grow with my skills. and little brother has been fun.

but lately, with a few more quilts under my belt and 3 waiting to be quilted, i was feeling the need to have more throat space and get a machine that was geared more specifically toward quilting. little brother was not super friendly to quilting. it's a project runway, after all. made for garment production, right? and i'll still be keeping it around for that and other projects.

as i began my fmq adventures, i really began hankering for a new machine. a big girl machine. rachel's review had me thinking juki was probably the gal for me. and then the amazon reviews cinched it. fortunately for me, there was a local dealer so i wouldn't have to mess with shipping (and waiting). all i had to do was get permission from the mr. for such a purchase. our marriage works like that: we confer on large purchases.

lucky for me, i had an ace up my sleeve in the argument: my 40th birthday is right around the corner. i could have waited to ask for it, but i started getting really antsy. mid-way through last week when he got home from 3 days of scout camp with our oldest son, he decided he missed the wilderness so much that he was going to take all the children except the baby on another mini, over-night campout, giving me 2 days home by myself with baby. with all that time to sew, i didn't want to waste anymore time with little brother. so as he was heading out the door, i pitched him.

and he said, "we'll talk about it when i get back."

after he'd been on the road a bit, i called him and tried again. i very kindly but firmly pressed him to let me get the machine now.

and he finally said, "yes."
bless him!
bringing the new baby home through the front door
i did not go to the store in my pseudo-pjs this time. no. i showered, kind of did my hair (no comment), put on a skirt (but didn't iron it), and dabbed a minimum of make-up on. one can shop for a bit of floss and some project boxes at joann, etc in one's pjs, but not for a big girl machine at the real sewing store. i made myself presentable.

i headed over to mulqueens for my birthday present. (you can shop them on-line, too.) i was helped by lynn on the sales floor. she showed me how to work the machine and helped me pick out a few accessories. i felt really lucky to get the machine for $100 less than rachel said it would be and $150 less than the amazon advertised price. (although when i looked at amazon's package again later, it included needles and bobbins in an amount that equalled the price difference.)

apparently juki is rather funny in that the dealer you buy from is your only warranty option. in other words, wherever you buy it is where you have to take it for warranty work if any is required. that means if you buy it on-line, you will have to ship it to the dealer you purchased it from if it needs help. so i'm really glad i got one locally.

at home and reading the manual
 once home with juki, i set her up immediately on the dining room table. i'm the type to read a manual thoroughly, which i did before turning her on. i noticed the words "professional machine" on the manual cover. gulp. am i experienced enough for this?! the manual definitely read like it was written for an experienced sewer. no hand holding here. it's only about 20 pgs long and all instructions are written in 3 languages, so there's not much there. but it was enough.

this lady has an aluminum frame and casing. she feels like an old-fashioned workhorse machine. and performs like one, too. she's very sturdy. i could not believe how quiet she runs, either: she purrs and hums at a whisper.
 i like how the casing opens up so i can see inside. little brother didn't do that and it bugged me. now i can look at the light or the tension more closely if needed. look at all those shiny, metal parts. beautiful.

 this is my first time dealing with a metal, side-loading bobbin case. very fancy for me. definitely a professional machine. the needle plate just pops right up to access the bobbin. even with the quilt table on it is easy to reach.

 the few buttons and dials on the machine are easy to understand, very intuitively marked. you can see the tension dial (so glad it's not computerized!), needle up/down button (needle and arrows), thread cut button (scissors), speed control lever (tortoise and hare: my favorite), reverse bar (u-turn), and feed dog lever (up or down). pretty simple. the only other control on the machine is the presser foot pressure dial, which allows control over how high or low the presser foot rests in a down position.

one of the reasons i liked the juki was that it is such a basic machine that performs the most important functions well. no unnecessary bells and whistles to dial through or have to reset every time you turn the machine on and off, which i do a lot since i sew with children around.

juki is a straight stitch ONLY machine. no zigzag or other fancy stitching. i have little brother if i need to do any of that. i can still use it for piecing, straight quilting, and for fmq.

 she accommodates large cone thread bobbins or regular household-sized ones. i've never had a machine with an antenna before. i hope she gets good tunes!

 juki has a knee-lift bar that allows you to raise the presser foot hands-free with your knee. i haven't got in the habit of using it yet, but i bet it will be really helpful when i start thinking that way.

 because it's a straight stitch machine, there is one hole only in the needle plate. to the right are several guidelines for stitching. the left side of the plate is lifted up to access the bobbin.
 the sewing stage is very well lit by the led light inside the case. super bright.

i'm just in love with this gal! some selfies with juki:

 cheesy, of course, but i'm giddy over her. i still have a girl's heart in this now officially middle-aged body.

 when the little sister of the establishment woke up from her diaper-only nap, i introduced her to juki. she likes her!

i've been working on my pom pom baby quilt with ms. juki but have yet to do any fmq. that'll come. so far, she sews smooth as butter. and is so quiet, like i said. it's dreamy. i don't have the table on yet in any of these photos, but it's nice and roomy, too.

i usually piece with my 1/4" guide foot on little brother. mulqueens did not have any juki guide feet in stock but they recommended the janome foot if i didn't want to wait to order one. they promised me it would be okay and i hope they're right. i did try using the plate guide to piece, but i did terribly. my seams were coming out more like 5/8" instead. so i put the foot on. so far, so good. accurate seams once again.

now i did not want this to be a brag post. i know most people don't get a nice, new machine every day or even for their birthdays, 40th or otherwise. so i want to invite y'all to celebrate with me by giving a gift out for my birthday. i'd love to give a juki to someone, but i'm not able to be that generous. sorry. instead, i picked up a cute quilt top kit at ETC to send off to one lucky visitor. it includes the pattern and fabric for one twin-sized quilt top.

to enter for the drawing, just leave me a comment on this post. (note: if you are a no-reply blogger, please include your email.) now closed

quilt top kit
a sample of the kit made up in the store
personally, i think i'd rather use that colorful chevron print for binding or the backing and put a solid between the pieced rows. but this will be your quilt, not mine, so feel free to make it up however you'd like. in reality, you could skip the pattern all together and just do anything you want with the fabrics. the kit includes 9 fat quarters and a little over 2 yards of the colorful chevron.

i will pick a winner from comments next saturday, june 22nd. one entry per person, please.

i linked up with "let's get acquainted" over at little and lots today. and sorry i didn't read the rules closely enough. my embarrassing quilt moment . . . definitely some tool purchases before i knew what i'd be doing.

thanks for coming to my birthday party. giveaway entry now closed.


  1. Happy birthday to you, girl! Good for you that you got a JUKI! I have bought myself a Janome just a few months ago ( still a few years to go before I reach 40, so I justified it with "mine... NOW" ) that has a knee thingy, and I love it! So much quicker than without! You will get the hang of it soon!!!
    Thank you for the gorgeous give-away too! Hope you have a great time working with your new machine!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

  2. Love to have a Juki, I have quilted 13 quilts on my Jamone and its push and pull, love that throat space!!! Also love that quilt kit-beautiful!!

  3. Where did all these posts come from? I love your HSTs (on my endless to do list), love the photos of the baby, love the look of that Juki. Your kids seem delightful!
    And Happy Birthday :-)

  4. Happy Birthday and enjoy your professional machine. You deserve it!

  5. YAY! I finally made it over here to see your new JUKI! Since we brought home our Juki's the same weekend, I have posted a giveaway as well!

  6. I am jealous. I really want a new machine. Oh, well Christmas is right around the corner.

  7. Happy Birthday & Congrats on the new machine! My regular machine is
    a Brother 6000i and it is great to use for my quilting. I also use a
    Household Treadle for piecing quilts~~it is lots of fun. Thanks
    for the chance to win!


  8. What a sweet prize! The ladies in my quilt guild looked at me ASKANCE when I told them I wanted a Juki. (Back in December, when I finished off my inherited 1990's Target Singer at a sew-in.) They were all, "but there's not a local dealer!" and "you really need to buy at a LOCAL DEALER" and "you mean you want JANOME, right?" I've wanted a Juki since waay before Rachel @ Stitched in Color got one, and your post just makes me want one even more.

    What I have: a Janome 3160 which, yes, I do love, and is more right for me right now, because I am sewing clothes too. But! The heart wants what it wants, eh?

  9. Such a beautiful machine! Happy Birthday!

  10. Great pics! I'd love to upgrade my regular machine from my old kenmore. Some day...... "sigh"

    chevybelair1 at juno dot com

  11. Happy Birthday and congratulations on the new machine! How are you liking it with some sewing days in?

    My machine is a very basic Janome. If I had to do it again I would have spent more to get a needle up\down button. That's the biggest thing that I miss. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. Happy Birthday! Mine is tomorrow =)
    I wish my budget included a new sewing machine, but the one I have works fine. I find it amazing how long sewing machines last. My Gma-in-law has 2 of the black and gold Singer sewing machines and they still run great. Awesome of you to include everyone in your birthday with a gift.

  13. Great machine! I know you will love creating fun quilts with it. Thanks for sharing a chance to win a wonderful give-away for your birthday. Happy Birthday!

  14. Happy Birthday! And thanks for the informative post... this is my dream machine! You lucky gal! Someday i'll buy one.

  15. You are so adorable with your new machine!! I love it! I bet it sews like a dream. Thanks for the giveaway too!

  16. Congratulations on your machine!! It looks wonderful and I do love me some metal :)
    May I also say you are incredibly beautiful, even reading a manual! The little one is a cutie too!
    Hope you have a wonderful birthday and what a great giveaway!

  17. Happy Birthday. I didn't realise I wanted a new machine until I read your post I love the idea of the simplicity of the Juki. Have fun with it.

  18. Happy Birthday and a big congratulations on your new machine - love your big smile :-) Thanks for a wonderful giveaway.

  19. Happy Birthday! What a great present - I'd love one, maybe someday???
    Thanks for a fabulous giveaway!

  20. You know I gotta say and I hope you don't hate me for bringing it up,you make turning grey look beautiful.

    I love all the pics of you,your daughter and the machine--priceless!

    Thinking I would use the zig zag in the binding as well.

  21. Ohmigoodness, you are so adorable! If I got a new Juki, you better believe I'd be taking photos like that with my newest love! :) Congrats on your beautiful machine!

  22. Happy Birthday!! What an awesome machine! I hope you had some fun sewing time! I am with you, I think the chevron would be better used for binding or the back and a solid where they have placed the chevron.

  23. congrats on the new Juki! I found you through Crazy mom Quilts and have been having fun reading through your blog :) those are some lovely fabrics in the kit, thanks for the giveaway!

  24. How generous of you! Congrats on your new Juki. You're going to have fun with her. Thanks for the chance.

  25. I love the colour combination of this fabric! And how much fun that you got a new machine. It's good to hear about other people's machines so that when I'm ready to buy a new one (in the distant future), I will have some ideas! thanks!


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