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!

Fabric, Thread & Quilting

I’ve started quilting my Parcheesie quilt by stitching in the ditch. The new generation thinks this is old fashioned and I thought so too until I took a course on free motion quilting. When you free motion quilt, wash and dry your work, your piecing  becomes distorted, the FMQ is more prominent and the piecing can get lost. Stitching in the ditch prevents your hard work from becoming skewed. In fact, it’s also recommend that you stitch around the perimeter of your quilt prior to FMQ so the edges of your quilt don’t become wavy. If you’ve never tried these methods, give them a whirl and witness for yourself, the difference these techniques make. This has really solved some common problems for me, especially the wavy edges.

In the case of my Parcheesie quilt, I want the piecing to be dominant, not the quilting, because it was a lot of work and I really love it!  In summary, stitching in the ditch isn’t a style choice but rather a practical choice, IMO.

Superior Threads’ Kimono Silk

On another note, everyone has been raving about Aurifil for the past year or so and I have to admit that I love it too but it’s just not available at my local quilt shops. Aurifil has done an excellent job of using social media to boost their profile and increase sales. Superior Threads, however, are available at the quilt shops around me. I recently purchased three spools of Kimono Silk; beige, white and light grey, the basics. It’s very fine and extraordinarily strong — more so than cotton, and great for stitching in the ditch because you don’t notice the stitches, it’s like a filament thread but a natural fibre, a great alternative to nylon (ew).

Lastly, I FINALLY received the backing fabric for my “Les Fleurs Bleu” quilt, I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to start quilting it — very simply, outlining the flowers I think, still undecided. Sadly I had to pay an additional $25.00 for customs on top of the shipping charges. I hate customs, it’s so random and unfair! On the other hand, The Fat Quarter Shop reduced my shipping fees from $26.00 to $13.00, YAY and thank you FQS!!!

See you next time I come up for air or when I have something to show you! ;D

Spa White Rose Vines and Flowers by Deb Strain

Free motion quilting marathon

I finally packed it in at 6:30 p.m. after an all day marathon. The basting paid off, I’m super happy with the back of the quilt as well as the front.

Free Motion Quilting

Click to enlarge.

So far this project has eaten an entire spool of Aurifil 50wt thread (piecing & free motion quilting), I don’t know how many times I changed the bobbin, I lost count. I also broke one needle when the thread got stuck.

No doubt I’ll sleep like a rock tonight, I’m bushed! How was your day??

Keeping up with the Joneses

I can’t, I just don’t have that much spare time and am away from home 11 hours a day. I’m dropping out of SewCalGal’s Free Motion Quilting Challenge, I missed February completely and March is more than half over with nothing to show for it. I will follow the tutorials when I can but I just can’t compete, especially when we’re having such beautiful weather.

I also won’t be participating in any more creative swaps — fabric swaps are easier and I’m considering the Charm About You’s Stale Stash Swap, I have some Joel Dewberry which needs rehoming.

Here’s the little mug rug I broke a needle on last weekend, I have one Microtex needle left, good thing Fabricland is having a birthday sale soon, I’ll be stocking up on thread as well.

I received my purchase of Flea Market Fancy Eyelet in grey, two yards as it’s an excellent basic, my first purchase of this line, I missed the first round.

BTW, this is my first post composed entirely on my new iPad (yeah, the new one that just came out) using Blogsy(I love it!), you can use it for Worpress or Blogger, comes with instructional videos built in so if you need help, it’s right there but everything is intuitive imo. I even took these photos with my new iPad!

This is going to be awesome for our trip to Germany in May!

More Applique and Free Motion Quilting

I finished this little pillow top this morning.

Bird perched on milkweed

My stitching is getting a little better, I used Tula Pink for the flowers and Joel Dewberry for the bird. While I was quilting yesterday evening, DH brought me some New Year’s Eve snacks.

New Year's Eve Snacks!

Today I’m going to start working on this tree, I may omit the bird.

Tree Sketch

Don’t Look Now Flower Garden

My full time sewing vacation is sadly coming to an end, I’m back to the office on Tuesday.

Working on the Flower Garden Pillow Tutorial  by Don’t Look Now yesterday was an absolute joy, I loved every step of the process from choosing the fabrics to cutting out the little shapes and arranging them on the pillow top. I need more practice free motion sewing the applique pieces, I don’t feel like I have enough control of where the needle lands. I like the fusible batting but it’s much stiffer than regular batting and doesn’t move as smoothly, especially when it’s scrunched up against the arm of the sewing machine. I’ll use up what I have but I think I’ll stick with adhesive quilting spray and plain cotton batting.

Flower Applique

My free motion quilting is getting better I think, I really love the small swirly daisy design and dense quilting. I used a variety of Patricia Bravo fabrics for the flowers and a variety of green fabrics from my stash for the leaves.

My shoulders, neck and collar bones were killing me after quilting, I had the heating blanket around my neck and shoulders while watching tv last night. All the tutorials tell you to relax but its easier said than done for a beginner!

Close-up of quilting

I’m going to create another applique design today using inspiration from the illustrations at Shutterstock. Judi of Green Fairy Quilts  is amazingly talented and although I’m not a long arm quilter, I’d like to try out a lot of the patterns she uses including her dragonfly.