Juki TL-2000 Qi for sale

First I want to thank everyone who commented on my post yesterday, I am overwhelmed with your kind wishes and encouragement! I am very sad to inform you all that I have to sell my amazing Juki, but it must be done.

TL-2000Qi_lg copy

Yesterday hubby came home early and we went car shopping for my new business, (Durham Dog Walking and Pet Services) and got THIS:

BAM!

BAM!

A 2003 Volvo V70 AWD with leather seats, sunroof and A/C, I LOVE it!! Renamed the “Durham Dog Waggin'”, this über safe vehicle will assist me as I shuttle my pet pals around town.

So while I’m building my new business, Juki will need to find a new loving home where he can be loved and appreciated. (Sorry, local pick-up only.)

Don’t forget that all affiliate proceeds from the sale of Michelle Patterns till the end of May will be donated to LotsaDogs Rescue!

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If you’re blogging, you’re not sewing!

My hands have been busy with hand quilting and sewing and I finally used Gracie Queen quilt frame and Juki TL-2000 Qi but sadly no updated photos yet. It’s been snowing here for a number of days, grey and wet so I have nowhere to take pictures.

What I’ve been up to:

  • Modern Mable  hand quilting complete, I just started putting the binding on today.
  • Parcheesie has finally been bound and ready for it’s new home with my Mom!
  • Chicopee Log Cabin is quilted and waiting for binding. I had some tension problems so there’s loops on the back, it’ll be living on our bed.
  • Les Fleurs Bleu is partially quilted and needs binding.
  • Birds & Berries was quilted on the Gracie Queen frame and I screwed it up so I need to rip out all the quilting!!
  • Star Blossoms is one of my favorite quilts, I don’t have backing fabric for it yet.
  • Oh Deer! doesn’t have a backing yet either.

What’s New?

  • I purchased my first wool batting and I’m so excited to try it out! It’s Hobb’s Tuscany Wool and oh so soft and spongy.
  • I joined my first Flickr Bee, Simply Solids: A Modern {Bee}, looking forward to sending out blocks and choosing one myself!
  • Signed up for “Lucky Stars” paper piecing block of the month.

On the back burner is “Constellation” from Quilter’s Academy Vol.4.

I guess I’ve been busier than I thought!! Happy 2013!

Parcheesie

 

 

Gracie Arrived

Click to enlarge.

My new Gracie Queen quilt frame arrived Friday afternoon, it took hubby and I four hours to assemble, the instructions were clear and concise and all components were accounted for. Unfortunately when we put the carriage on the rails, it fell off where the crib and queen sizes met. We loosened the frame, adjusted and re-tightened to no avail despite using a square and level because the aluminum rails were off by meer millimeters. Our resolution was to remove a washer from two of the rear wheels on the carriage so when the frame expanded, the carriage, with the weight of the sewing machine, had enough play to stay on the tracks. The original 8 foot plastic tracks which you insert into the aluminum however, were damaged in shipping, they are made of a hard plastic and were crushed under the weight of the frame so that they kept popping out of the aluminium rails. Hubs replaced the portion of damaged track with the 3 foot crib pieces but it causes a problem when you move the crib over the joint. I’ve requested new tracks  be sent.

Once we got the carriage problem worked out, I used old poly/cotton sheets from the cottage for practice as well as a flannelette sheet for mock batting. When I first put the backing sheet on the rails, there was no tension, when I tightened the takeup rail, the backing rail would simply follow so I’d have too much fabric hanging between the rails. It wasn’t until I added the batting and top that everything tightened up — almost too much now. When I want to advance the quilt, I have to first loosen the top then the backing and make sure to lift the batting up for slack.

I hated pinning the quilt to the leaders. A little while ago I found a video on YouTube by Sharon Schamber about velcro leaders, makes life so much easier. I posted this on Kathy Quilts’ forum but the moderator argued against it repeatedly. I’m going to make velcro leaders as soon as I possibly can because if I have to waste time doing that again, I’ll scream. Also, I had mentioned the side leaders which makes a heck of a lot of sense. Not only does it eliminate the problem of running into the side clamps, it also gives the sides even tension. Again, the moderator argued against it saying that the new Grace Company side clams were better. I beg to differ, strongly.

Finally, at long last, I got to sew! The Juki TL-2000 Qi is awesome, I really love it, you have to treat her right though. Check your bobbin tension often, she HATES Gutermann thread, shreds it and creates ugly nests. I had to switch to a finer thread. I loaded the bobbin with Superior Threads’ Kimono Silk because I know one bobbin will last and last and last and swapped out the Gutermann with some left over Aurifil in dark grey. She was happy as a lark, humming and sewing beautifully.

In addition to the Gracie Frame, I also purchased the SureStitch Stitch Regulator which, IMHO, is grossly over priced — $559.95 from The Grace Company. The plastic feels über cheap but regardless, it works – so far. You attach sensors to one of the wheels on each of your upper and lower carriages so it speeds up and slows down depending on your movements. The stitch regulator on my Bernina is much more sophisticated but I don’t know how other stitch regulators work on longarm machines so I really have nothing to compare it to.

Free Motion Quilting using a Juki TL-2000 Qi on a Gracie Queen quilt frame IS better than wrestling a quilt over your shoulder/lap/sewing machine throat.! MUCH easier!! This set-up isn’t perfect but it is better than nothing. The carriage moves relatively smoothly but when I attempt to create swirls and circles, the carriage wants to make squares or something between a circle and square. However, the more I practiced, the better I got. You really do need to learn free motion quilting all over again. The machine moves so easily and is more challenging to control and if you go too fast, the frame starts to rattle, vibrate and shake. With this particular set-up, I find it easier to quilt straight lines, boxes, stone walls, etc… Although I’m going to continue practicing curves and swirls, I will change and hone my style to work with this carriage. I may look into other carriages further down the road.

One thing you never read about with longarm or shortarm set-ups is the mess behind the machine. Each component you add to your kit requires electricity; 1. sewing machine; 2. lamp; 3. stitch regulator. And the cords must be long enough to reach from one end of the machine to the other. Something to think about if you choose to go this route.

For my preliminary summary, I would say that the Gracie Queen quilt frame set-up is no walk in the park and certainly not a picnic to get up and running. It’s not a simple matter of putting it together and sewing straight away, you have to make adjustments, tweaks and realize the possibility that something might get damaged in shipping. After all, aluminium is pretty flimsy and easy to bend, unlike steel. The wood on this frame is not finished, there is no wax or lacquer. My first choice was the Grace Start-Right frame which is all steel but The Grace Company would not ship it to Canada “because of costs” but they would ship from Utah to Main. Go figure, this makes no sense to me, especially when I’m paying the shipping/duties/taxes!! I was told that the wood would not be affected by conditions in a basement but I have my doubts. Only time will tell.

Kathy Quilts included a goose neck lamp, 30 bobbins and 50 universal needles to my purchase for which I am grateful though I don’t think I’ll be using the universal needles opting for Superior Threads’ Topstitch needles which have a larger eye.

This review is an account of my personal experiences, thoughts and opinions.

Received! Juki TL-2000 Qi

I received my Juki TL-2000Qi Friday afternoon but there were issues regarding the dealer which I may or may not reveal depending on resolution. Let me just say that I was not impressed with the state of the machine when it arrived. If I were to do it all over again, I would buy locally.

However, this is a great machine, you can really tell the difference between a domestic and this machine, it sounds different, it feels different, it’s quick and super responsive. It reverses when you want it to reverse, there are no surprise extra stitches backward or forward, it’s super accurate. The feed dogs are fantastic, they grip and hold the fabric moving it straight and true, as they should. I love the reverse lever, it’s BIG, you can’t miss it unlike typical domestic machines where you may or may not hit the correct button. I’ve often hit the wrong button on my Bernina to reverse, which sometimes doesn’t work and sometimes takes too many stitches. When I first turned on the Juki, I was unsure there was any power to the machine because there was no noise, no movement, nothing, it was just ready to go.

Click to enlarge.

So far my only complaints are that the lighting, although LED, is very, very dim and the 1/4 inch marking on the bed is not accurate. As you can see in the image, the difference between Nancy Zieman’s 1/4″ and Juki’s 1/4″ are off enough to make a difference in your piecing, this would be considered a very generous 1/4″! But this machine won’t be used for piecing, it’ll be mounted on a Gracie Queen quilting frame and used for free motion only. This model comes with a “compensating presser foot” which I haven’t tried yet, I don’t know what the seam allowance is with this foot as I haven’t tried it yet and to be honest, have no idea what it’s intended for, it doesn’t say in the manual.

This morning I did some free motion quilting, I had to fold up a piece of painter’s tape and wedge it above the spring of the quilting foot to raise it a little, there was too much pressure and I couldn’t move the fabric freely. So far in my quilting experience, I’ve only FMQ on my Bernina with the stitch regulator.  Winging it without is a blast, quite frankly, I love it! Can’t wait to get it on the frame!!

BTW, I need help!! I have no idea how to quilt my log cabin quilt, if you have any ideas or have seen other log cabin quilts quilted online, please send me a link. I thought maybe a simple meander or water pattern — after all, it is a “guy’s quilt” and I don’t want any flowers or swirly girly stuff on it.

My Gracie Queen frame is due to arrive this Friday if the crazy hurricane doesn’t interfere. Have a great week and stay safe!

Shortarm Quilting

No, I don’t have my Juki TL-2000Qi or Grace frame yet. For those not in the know, I ordered the Grace Start-Right frame from KathyQuilts.com but The Grace Company does not ship this particular frame to Canada (although they will ship it across the U.S.). So, I am getting the Gracie Queen frame instead. the Gracie queen frame has wooden sides and aluminium bars which are lighter and less expensive to ship. The Gracie Queen is height adjustable whereas the Start-Right is not. There seems to be more flexibility with the Gracie Queen than the Start-Right. I was dubious about the wood warping in our basement but Lynn assured me that this wouldn’t happen.

Last week I discovered Sharon Schamber, an award winning quilter and big proponent of Juki straight stitch domestic machines. She has a video about side leaders so that the quilt bed does not interfere with the side clamps when quilting on a domestic machine. This is one of the first things I’m going to make for my new set-up. I’m also going to take the velcro route for attaching quilt backs (same video) for a smoother quilting experience and quicker loading.

This afternoon I received my first Flickr “Monthly Fabric Swap Group” package and I couldn’t be more thrilled, I love the fabrics AND the chocolate!! The balance between dark chocolate, sweet and salty is PERFECT, OMG, delicious!!

Swap from Mama Missa

Thank you so much Mama Missa, I love the fabrics, chocolate AND thread! I’ve been struggling with green lately, I have a love/hate relationship with this colour, but I really love these prints and I’m determined to make a green + ? quilt with them. I hope you were as happy with my package as I am with yours!

Grace Start-Right + Juki TL-2000Qi: trigger pulled!

That’s right, I pulled the trigger today (with DH’s blessing as birthday/Xmas gift) for the Grace Start-Right queen size quilt frame, Juki TL-2000Qi and stitch regulator. KathyQuilts.com bundled it up with a ton of goodies including bobbins, spare needles, goose neck lamp, laser pointer, e-book and a slew of video tutorials. Lynn and Kathy are dedicated to making your quilt experience with the Grace frame as positive as possible and provide amazing support and service. Thank you Lynn & Kathy!!

Kathy Quilts also has a YouTube channel with a number of videos on the Grace Start-Right quilt frame. This is an excellent bargin for those who want to quilt on a frame but can’t afford a longarm set-up. Linda Teddlie Minton wrote a nice review of the set-up on her blog, read it here. There is also a Yahoo group for Grace quilt frames here.

Image from Kathy Quilts

Thank you Honey, for the wonderful birthday/xmas gift!

Now I have to find a great job so I can start purchasing fabric again! ;D

WIPs Galore!

All quilting is suspended until I have my quilting frame & machine (and a LOT of practice), which leaves me with many WIPs and new projects. As mentioned yesterday I’ve been invited by Heather & Megan of Quilt Story to participate in their Holiday Tutorials Thursdays so one of my WIPS is to work on my tutorial!

One new project I started last weekend is what I consider a “guy’s” quilt using Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt, Robert Kaufman Essex linen and log cabins. Love the fabrics in this line! I’m using Superior Threads’ Kimono Silk for piecing and quilting which gives me super flat and strong seams!

   

Another project I’m working on is a baby quilt for one of my girlfriends, she is currently 6 months along so I only have four months left to work on it. I don’t know if she’s having a girl or boy (I’m guessing girl) but thought I’d play it safe  by making it for a boy or a girl by using two Aneela Hoey embroidery patterns from her new book, Little Stitches. Her designs are so sweet and book is fabulous, great for embroidery beginners like myself.

Last but not least, I’ve been hankering to make a bear’s paw quilt and have decided to once again pull out Backyard Baby fabric by Patty Sloniger. I’m not a big child’s fabric fan but I adore this line, it’s obviously for kids without being too cutesy.

On a side note, I’ve started using my Sony NEX 5-N instead of my iPad, I really need to use all of the features available, it’s a great camera but I need to work on my white balance as well as other things.

In case you haven’t noticed, I have new a hair style, it’s very similar to the last style. I’ve decided that I really, really love short hair (so does DH!), so easy to care for, I haven’t had to use a blow dryer or straightener in months, which is so much healthier! I just need to ignore my parent’s and strangers comments — my Dad loves long hair but he doesn’t have to take care of it. ;D

Have a great week, keep on sewing!

Linking up with The Needle and Thread Network and Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced