Friday, June 4, 2010

In Search of a Sewing/Quilting Machine...

I have had my Juki TL-98Q for only a few months and I think I'm outgrowing it already. Bear with me as I go through in my head trying to justify getting another machine.

It sits on my sewing table with the extended worktop that it came with. It's my multi-purpose sewing machine: quilting, piecing, craft work, hemming, and fixing up clothes that need a little TLC.Despite the short time that I've had this machine, I realize that I need a machine with more functionality.  I have not decided what kind of machine or how much I want to spend yet.  Like I said bear with me as I go through my thought process :P.

Here's what is bugging me about my current machine and what I would like in a new one:
  • A bigger bobbin: I REALLY REALLY do not enjoying changing out the bobbin like 4 times even for a small baby quilt.  The bobbin is SMALL.  With this in mind I'm kind of leaning towards a quilting machine.  Perhaps splurge for that long-arm??? 
  • More functionality besides straight line stitching. As pretty as the Juki is with straight line quilting, sometimes it's nice to have another option.  The Juki TL98Q allows me to make very nice straight stitching for piecing and straight line quilting.  It also allows me to drop the dog feed - allowing for free motion quilting. However - I want to do MORE.  My Juki ONLY does straight lines - no zigzag, no fancy stitches - just straight lines.
  • Since this is my main machine that I use for everything, I will have to be taking it off and on the quilting frame weekly.  This is a pain and I would like to avoid the situation.
Things I really like about my current machine:
  • Knee lift - great for sewing and quilting
  • Nice straight lines - it's about the only thing it does but it does it well
  • Cheaper than other quilting machines.  It's pricier than regular sewing machines, but it has a nice big arm - well at least bigger than conventional machines.
  • Easy to use
Potential scenarios - with the space constraint:
  1. Get a nice sewing machine just for piecing and other sewing projects.  Use my Juki just for quilting on the quilting frame and removed from the frame just for quilting purposes too.  This is resolve having to always take the Juki off and on the frame. The new sewing machine will be able to handle all piecing, small project quilting without a frame, and other sewing projects.
    • 1 new sewing machine, 1 Juki, 1 old Brother machine
  2. Put away the quilting frame for now and continue using the Juki as my multipurpose machine.  When I absolutely must have the fancy stitching I will bring out my very old Brother sewing machine - it's not great but will do some other stitches besides straight line.
    • 1 Juki, 1 Brother
  3. Get a long arm quilting machine and put it on the quilting frame, continue using my Juki for non-frame quilting and piecing.  Use my old Brother machine for only fancy stitches until I could afford another machine.
    • 1 long arm, 1 Juki, 1 old Brother machine (potentially swapping that out in the distant future)
I don't know what to get yet and I don't have a budget in mind yet.  But I am under tight space constraints.  My husband help set up the quilting frame a few days ago - the Handiquilter than came with the Juki.  It's taken up about 1/3 of the small room and my sewing tables takes up another corner of the room.  I'm in the process of designing what to do with my sewing room setup with such a small room - it's about 10 feet  by 10 feet.  Hopefully by the time I finish my fabric organization project I will have a nice organized room to put it in too.  And I will be wishing upon a star for my home remodel so I could make a nice big craft room to house all this :).

Think right now I'll have to stick with choice #2 - the frugal and more practical one. 

    1 comment:

    Midnight Creations said...

    Great sewing blog, I too am getting a Juki it is on order. I opted for an industrial machine and hope to get another one for back up this year. I am sure to follow your blog.


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