Friday, 13 March 2015

My New Sewing Machine- Juki TL-98P

I have been the proud new owner of a Juki TL-98 P sewing machine for over a month now and boy do I love it! In this time I've been trying out lots of different kinds of sewing- piecing, paper piecing, straight line quilting and free motion quilting- I've done it all and now I'm ready to tell you about my experiences.

I thought that over the next few weeks I would take the time to share my impressions of the machine and to tell you about some of the features that I love. Some of them took me by surprise, others were as I expected.

Now before I go too far, I should tell you that before purchasing my Juki, I negotiated with Sew Frisco (the New Zealand Domestic Juki Supplier) and arranged to write some posts about the machine in return for a small discount. At the time that I did this, I knew exactly what I was doing and I was completely confident that I was going to love the machine. The content of these posts is completely at my discretion. I made it clear that no matter whether they gave me a discount or not, I was going to write such a post and that the content of the post would not differ.This is my unbiased opinion of the machine.

I'll start by saying that before buying my Juki, I knew that my sewing would improve if I got a new machine. What I didn't realise was just how much. When I initially dreamt of buying a new sewing machine I thought it would have the biggest impact on my free motion quilting, but honestly it has improved every aspect of my sewing.

My old machine was bought way back when I lived in Holland. I remember going into the shop and (in very clumsy dutch) telling the lady that I needed a new sewing machine. I knew nothing of sewing machines, had done absolutely no research on the matter and vaguely knew that my Mum had a Singer which was years old and still going strong.

The lady in the shop was very polite (if slightly bemused by my broken dutch and my insistence that I only needed the machine to sew some curtains). She showed me the absolute basic machines, the middle of the range machines and then pointed over to the Janomes and Berninas suggesting that I might one day get into quilting. I LAUGHED! The idea was ridiculous! I settled on a basic/ middle of the range machine.

Ummm ok... Maybe the idea of me getting into quilting wasn't that crazy after all!

This time round when buying my new machine, I did considerably more research. I wanted a good solid workhorse of a machine with quilting and piecing capabilities. I asked friends, did my research and even borrowed a Juki to see if it really was what I wanted.

There is no denying that cost was a factor. New Bernina and Janome quilting machines are ridiculously expensive in here New Zealand. I looked at them and was frustrated that for many of these machines I would be paying a huge amount of money and that much of that money would go towards features that I just would not use. The way that I saw it, an inbuilt computer meant more things that could go wrong. Beautiful as many of these machines were, they were not for me.

The Juki has no bells and whistles. No zigzag, no fancy stitches. It just sew straight lines (or wiggly ones if you're doing free motion quilting). But what it does, it does really well. To me, it is more than worth its NZ$1995 price tag. I will admit that I am slightly bothered about the lack of a zigzag stitch and I am glad that my old machine still works so that I can drag it out if ever needed. That said, my sewing these days is predominately quilting and I'm pretty sure that I can survive without a zigzag.


Next week I'll tell you a bit about quilting with the walking foot of my Juki and in the following posts I hope to cover free motion quilting and some of the other features of the machine that I love.

15 comments :

  1. Interesting Juliet - and great to hear you are loving your machine! I didn't even realise that Juki was available in NZ!!

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  2. I hadn't even heard of Juki until I started researching a new machine for myself last year, I like reading what people have to say about them. I think I will want a few fancy stitches when I take the plunge (my current machine is a 60s workhorse that really just does straight and zigzag, but will sew through anything I can fit under the foot).

    It sounds like you are really enjoying your new machine, I hope you enjoy it for a long time to come.

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  3. Yay - I know you will keep loving your Juki!

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  4. Interesting review Juliet. I think you made the right choice for what you need. A solid, non computerised machine is the best. I have my Nana's old Bernina 930 and it is like that and I love it terribly. I really like that it does a zigzag too as I sew clothes and accessories as much (or more) than I quilt. I also have a Singer featherweight which is my 'baby'. If I ever had to get a new machine I'd take look at a industrial machine, or a Bernina (yes, price!) or maybe a Juki, but it would have to do a zigzag. :-)
    I'll be interested to read your further reviews.

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  5. When I bought myself a new machine here I went for non computerised version too - more grunt for the same cost was my thoughts. I love my machine and I agree about not wanting to pay money for features you don't want. Although.... no zigzag definitely makes it a quilting/crating machine rather than clothes.

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  6. My Juki is computerised, but it's lovely to use; poor Bernie is feeling neglected! I've promised her I'll get her out once I finish my current historical project; she may need to remind me though.

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  7. I am another recent Juki convert and I was also surprised at how much it improved my sewing! The stitch is so straight and it really powers through tougher seams effortlessly. I am looking forward to reading your other thoughts on your new machine!

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  8. I didn't know you could get Juki's in NZ either. I'll be watching your reviews with interest (although I do use my zig-zag quite a bit!)

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  9. So pleased you got your new machine, i know how you desperately wanted one. I look forward to hearing more. P.S I do believe Cindy Needham has a Juki, she does the most amazing quilting on old linens.

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  10. I am so delighted for you that you got to make this dream come true! Can wait to hear more about your experience with it xx

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  11. Your story reads almost exactly the same as mine, when I bought my first sewing machine I laughed when they asked if I might need it for quilting to. It was barely 12 months later when I started and after struggling through my first quilt on it I got my Juki and I just love her to pieces. Looking forward to hearing the rest of your thoughts on your new Juki, congratulations!

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  12. Thanks for information on this popular Juki sewing machine.

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  13. I am also interested in this machine. I sew alot of bags & need something that can go through some of the thick areas! Can you tell me how high your foot goes ( so i know if my fabrics will fit under it ??

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  14. Great post, I too make bags, so am looking for something a little robust to get through all of those layers.
    But not only that my husband wants to make canvas items, and my little'ol machine hates canvas. So this Juki looks like it's ticking the boxes. It's very rare for me to want to use anything other than straight stitch, but I would still have the Husky if I wanted fancy stitches.

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  15. Want to buy one in NZ but can't find a supplier please help

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