Tag Archives: products

Juki Update

Almost two years on and I’m still completely in love with my girl Suki, a Juki TL-98P. Seems I’m not the only one either, my previous post from when I first got this machine has been the most popular post on my blog ever since.

Juki TL-98P drop in table

She gets plenty of attention when we go out to, every sew day there’s someone who wanders over… “Oh, so this is the Juki!” and I tell them all about how awesome she is. She’s not light to carry around but now that I’m used to sewing with her it’s worth the effort. At home she sits in my “proof of concept” aka hacked together drop in table, more on that and my new sewing space in an upcoming post!

I’m now lost without my knee lift when I jump on another machine (though I kind of wish it was a little bit further to the right, and maybe not so low). I’ve also mastered the knack of the needle threader, yeay! All in all, she’s awesome and we really understand each other now.

Juki TL-98P drop in table

As a follow up I contacted Juki to ask if there was any update on the possibility of an equivalent to the TL-2010 Q (available in the US) being released for those of us on a 240V power supply, but unfortunately there are no plans for one (I’m getting better with pedal control but would still love the speed limiter).

That’s ok, the TL-98P is still a great machine and I’d buy a new one in a heart beat, hopefully when I do Suki can go to someone else who wants to try the Juki without committing to the full purchase price of a new machine, and they’ll fall in love with her to.

The rep from Juki Singapore (a Juki subsidiary and regional HQ covering Oceania and Asia Pacific) was really helpful and also let me know they would be at the AQC Show in Melbourne this year, April 16-19 2015. They’ll have the Juki TL-98P there to see, and will be introducing the TL-2200QVP (a long arm quilting machine), along with their other machines. If you’ll be there go check them out.

If you can’t make it to the show, the official dealers in Australia are:

I have it on good authority that Capron Carter in Sydney also sell them and I’m in the process of contacting some other stores to find out where else you can get a Juki TL-98P, the most common thing I hear is that no one has ever seen them in a store. It’s true they’re not readily available but it’s worth the extra effort to find one.

If you have a Juki, I’d love for you to get in touch, leave a comment or shoot me an email. If you have questions about the Juki TL-98P, just pop them below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Edit: I’m so happy to hear that Juki now have an Aussie Brand Ambassador, my friend Molli Sparkles, who’ll be down at AQC to help demonstrate the TL-98P and all their wonderful machines!

Sydney Quilt & Craft Fair 2013 – Part 2: The Loot

If you don’t know about the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair, go check out my previous post, where I share how my interest and experience has changed over the last 4 years.

On top of the gorgeous quilts and great workshops & seminars, there are aisles and aisles and aisles of stalls selling just about everything for sewing, quilting, knitting & crochet, card marking, scrapbooking, beading and other crafty things, you’ll also find a lot of amazing gadgets and products you never knew existed.

Before heading to the show I put together a list of the things I was looking for and did a bit of research on some options before hand so that I was prepared. Included on the list were:

  • A good desk lamp for my new sewing area
  • Creative Grids 18 degree wedge & 60 degree triangle rulers, recommended in Sarah Fielke’s Craftsy class
  • A supreme slider & new quilting gloves
  • Some perle 8 cotton in pretty colours
  • Some mini scissors & another thimble since I’ve lost mine somewhere…

It was a great show and very successful for me, I found almost everything I was after and of course, a few things not on the list as well. I didn’t manage to find the rulers, but did find a vendor and have since bought them online.

On to the loot! How pretty are these Perle 8 Cottons?

Perle Cotton

Perle Cottons by Valdani (top row) and Presencia (bottom row).

I got a great deal on the lamp from the Daylight Man stand, it’s perfect for my new sewing space (more on that soon). It’s a Daylight Slimline Table Lamp which clamps on to the back of my table and has a flexible arm so I can get it wherever I need it. It uses an energy efficient daylight bulb which is great for colour matching, easier on the eyes than normal lights and the bulb will last for ages. I love it so far and the difference in colour between the lamp and other lights is amazing.

I may have also found some fabric I just had to have from Material Obsession – an Alexander Henry print, Atzlen, from the same line as my first quilt back which I’ll be using to back the brother of my quilt.

Alexander Henry - Atzlen & Fiesta Firecracker

Alexander Henry fabrics – Fiesta Firecracker as my quilt back (bottom) and Atzlen (top) for the back of another quilt to come.

Another favourite vendor is Kelani Fabric, every year they have amazing fabrics and patterns, this time I picked up some Echino bicycles, I’ve already used a piece of the green in a cushion back. It’s always lovely to chat to Saffron Craig at her stall and I can never resist her fabrics.

Echino Nico CyclingSaffron Craig - Valley View

Left: Echino Nico Cycling in Chocolate, Fuscia and Green. Right: Valley View by Saffron Craig

I got a couple little presents for friends and decided to get a decent mini iron & rest. I have a cheap mini iron which is super handy, but it has a collapsing handle which is really annoying and it doesn’t get all that hot, but I know I’ll use it so figure it’s worth getting a decent one, especially since there won’t really be room for a full ironing board & big iron where I’ll be sewing from now on.

By far my favourite not-on-the-list finds was some awesome washi tape.

Washi Tape

Super cute washi tape!

That’s it for another year of the Quilt & Craft Show. Maybe, just maybe, I might try to enter a quilt in next years show, and can continue to discover new aspects of the show.

I Love Binding Clips!

Do people really use pins to hold on their binding? Really? I stab myself often enough during the piecing & basting stages and I knew it would only get worse if I tried pinning my binding. Luckily I haven’t had to try it.

Clover Wonder Clips

I came across a few reviews of Clover Wonder Clips while researching the various stages of making a quilt and it just seemed like a no brainer, I bought a box of 50 clips (10 weren’t going to go very far without constant rotation). Granted, I’m a sucker for a good task-specific gadget but I’m also quite realistic about my abilities.

Given I’m only just starting out, I knew it would take me a while to get through binding a quilt. Could you imagine all that time with a quilt draped over me, with pins sticking into me, or falling out into the lounge for a nasty surprise later on. The standard binding clips wouldn’t last long either, it doesn’t take much to pop them open and I have trouble keeping them in my hair for a day, how would they hold onto the thickness of a quilt sandwich?

Clover Wonder Clips

The Clover Wonder Clips were perfect. They’re really strong (try holding one open for more than a few seconds) but they grab onto your quilt and there’s no way they’re coming off. They’re also really quick and easy to reposition, open them just enough and slide along or pop them on somewhere else. I used them to hold the binding all the way around the quilt to make sure my joins weren’t going to fall awkwardly on a corner, then in place of pins while machine stitching the binding to the front, and again to help hold the binding, and particular the mitred corners when hand stitching to the back. The pack of 50 also comes in it’s own neat little box.

Binding seems to be one of those love or hate things, it’s your favourite part or your most dreaded part of making a quilt. If you’ve been having trouble holding or positioning your binding, or have just been thinking of trying these clips, I would definitely recommend them. There are enough blood spots on my quilts as it is.

Introducing Suki: My Juki TL-98P

I love my new(ish) Juki! Her name is Suki, I bought her second hand about a month ago after debating for some time about upgrading my current machine, a Brother NS50. She’s now my main machine and gets to sit out on the dining table all the time. It’s a long story but with a happy ending, if you’re keen to find out more about the Juki and my experience, you might want to grab a cup of tea and get comfy.

Yesterday was the first time in a month that I’ve needed to zig zag stitch, I’d taken in a top and wanted to tidy up the seams, and wanted to experiement with making frankenbatting (which was awesome by the way) so I had the two out together, below you can see them side by side.

Juki TL-98P (right) and Brother NS50 (left)

The Brother NS50 is a great machine, it was simple enough to get started on with a few fun features for me to grow into from when I first began sewing. It does all the utility things I might need (button holes, overcast, zigzag, fancy stitches, has a free arm) so I’ll be holding on to it for some time still. I should probably name him to…

After quilting my first lap sized quilt and getting a really sore wrist while doing it I thought there’s no way I’m going to get anything bigger under here or have enough space to be able to free-motion quilt comfortably. I’m not saying it wasn’t possible, it just wasn’t easy. I want to be able to enjoy quilting and I know that sewing and quilting are going to be something I’ll do for a long time so about 2 years after I started on the Brother I was ready to invest in a machine that would make things a bit easier for me.

I’ll admit, I’d been sucked into the hype about Bernina’s and started investigating those after trying out a 440 during a free motion quilting class. It was as if the quilt was floating over the surface. I knew they would be expensive but I was prepared to make an investment so I started looking around. Turns out, the larger machines that would meet my number one request of more throat/harp space were beyond what I was ready to invest, and I didn’t see it as good value, I didn’t need more stitches and all the other nice-to-have features that were only a bit of an improvement on what my Brother could already do.

That lead me to put together the wishlist below of the things I really wanted/needed to make a new machine worthwhile.

  1. More throat space for machine quilting
  2. Needle down on stopping
  3. Knee lift for the presser foot, so I could keep my hands on what I was sewing
  4. Nice straight stitch
  5. Walking foot, 1/4″ foot and free motion feet included would be a bonus
  6. Extension table would be nice to have while I sort out my furniture situation (I hope to eventually have a drop in table, but don’t think I’ll be cutting a hole in my dining table any time soon).

Juki TL-98P

I’ve been seeing and hearing so many good things about the Juki TL98 machines, and the newer TL2010 machines, mostly from my favourite bloggers and while reading reviews. It’s pretty hard to find someone who doesn’t love their Juki or who has had issues with it.

It ticked all the boxes, and then some. It has a thread cutter with a button on the foot pedal, I didn’t think I needed that but now I’ve used it a bit it sure does come in handy. It’s got a reverse lever and feed dog up/down switch on the front where it’s easy to access. Foot and thread tensions will take some getting used to but surely can only improve my stitches. It also came with a knee lift, extension table and quilting related feet as standard. While it has all these great, relevant, features, it’s a really simple machine, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that I didn’t need or want, another huge plus for me.

It wasn’t long before I was convinced this was the machine I wanted, and I didn’t look any further. It’s a mechanical, semi-industrial machine (Juki make a lot of industrial sewing machines) it also goes really, really fast. I would have liked a speed limiter, I use that a bit on my Brother, but that was only introduced on the 2010 model which is not available here, so I’ll just have to learn to control my foot pressure, not a bad skill to develop.

My biggest issue is they’re not easy to find here in Australia. Over here we only have the TL-98P (Perfection), which I believe is the equivalent to the TL-98Q feature wise, but it’s built for 240v power supplies, used here and also in Europe. There aren’t any local dealers, when I contacted Juki there were only 2 authorised sellers listed and they were in different states. I have since found a couple places in Sydney that stock Juki and I didn’t get around to arranging a trip up to test drive any when I came across the listing for mine.

I ended up purchasing Suki from Sewing Machine Warehouse via eBay. She was a trade in from another customer who had a frame setup for quilting, tried it out for a little while and then decided to upgrade to a table top mid arm machine instead. I have to say, I was hesitant about buying a machine, particularly a second hand one, online without getting to try it out first, not even a new one of the same model. I asked questions about the machines history and saw a lot of good reviews for the seller, being a physical store as well gave some reassurance and ultimately the price was too good to pass up. They were easy to deal with and took extra care when packing the machine for delivery.

I bought my current machine new from my local sewing machine shop Vera’s Machine Center and couldn’t have been happier with the help I received in choosing a machine, learning to use it, and when taking it in for servicing. I’d absolutely recommend finding a good local dealer and buying from them if you can. In this case I couldn’t find the machine I wanted locally, but I’m hoping I can get my machine serviced through them and hope to continue that relationship.

So far, I’m really happy with my Juki. I’m still figuring out a few things and looking at a few additional accessories, extra bobbins etc and hope to share more as I get to know her better. If you have any questions about the Juki TL-98P ask away and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. It wasn’t easy to find a lot of information about the machine and how to purchase one in Australia so I’m happy to share what I know and hope it will help someone else.