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.