So my Bernina is in the shop. Good thing is she thinks it will only be a couple weeks and not the usual 4 to 6 because well, everyone is holding onto their machine during holiday season.
Plus they will replace the door and the thread holder and service it for about $130 which is less then I was originally told.
In the interim I did something stupid and totally unlike me and bought a cheap ($130) Singer from JoAnn's to have as a back up machine. The minute I took it out I could tell the difference. I know people use them and blah blah and some can't understand HOW anyone can spend $2000 and up on a machine when blah blah.
I am convinced that none of these people have ever used a high end machine. There is a huge difference is quality and workmanship from the bobbins to the casing to the motor. I'm not passing judgment, but it does get my back up when people who choose use low end machine's behave as if using a high end is some crazy choice based on nothing more then a desire to be 'fancy'. I'm pretty sure if they spent a few hours with my Bernina they'd get it. Or at least lose the weird sanctimony.
The Singer was a piece of crap that out of the box refused to work properly and I'm not a sewing novice. Bear in mind I'm also not a part time seamstress, this is a tool I need in order to make what I sell. To make it even better, Joanns won't take the damn thing back, so it's going on Craigslist. I'm sure someone can make it work.
I still needed a back up machine. So I got a refurbished Juki. I prefer to buy refurbished when possible because my experience is that they always work out of the box having been put through rigorous testing. With a higher end machine you aren't saving more then usually $100 but I know it's been tested, oiled and all that good stuff. You still have the warranty, Juki's have a 5 year warranty which is pretty good.
This Juki is a quilting/semi industrial machine. All it does is straight stitch. Which for most of what I do is fine. But, the fantastic things about it are huge foot pedal which also cuts the thread, the pressure foot knee lift and the needle down position.
The needle down position option is crucial for people like me who make plushes. It's a deal breaker and while my Bernina has it, the other Bernina's I was looking at (higher end) don't. That was a bit of a surprise. Juki also has a handy reverse stitch lever and a HUGE extension table. This saves me $45 for the custom inset for my table.
I'm very pleased, it's top quality and aluminum. The extension table is heavy duty thick plastic.
Again, I have nothing against regular old sewing machines, although I will never buy a Singer again. I do think you should buy the best tools you can afford. Do I sound defensive? lol I'm sure the Singer will make someone very happy, although the reviews I've read since buying it don't bode well.
As for me, I'm satisfied and looking forward to seeing what this little beauty (or not so little) can do. I may even start quilting again...
Juki TL98Q Quilting Sewing Machine
The new TL98Q lockstitch machine was developed by Juki to preserve the inspiration and design sewn into every quilt. The TL-98Q performs truly consistent, smooth, even stitching to secure quilt seams.
Today's quilters can now streamline projects as they operate basic sewing functions by foot pedal, simplify chain piecing by raising and lowering the presser foot by knee lift, efficiently trim threads quickly and enjoy a wider work area for larger quilts. The TL98Q sews at high speeds up to 1,500 stitches per minute, is equipped with drop feed, an automatic needle threader, easy bobbin replacement and an extension table as standard. Also provided are two great new quilting feet for free motion and embroidery, a 1/4 seam piecing foot, a walking foot for difficult-to -feed materials, and additional feet for hemming and zipper attaching.
Two Types of Quilting Foot / Drop FeedTwo types of quilting feet are supplied as standard accessories with the machine. A 1/5 Quilting Foot is used for basic quilting and the 1/4 Quilting Foot for precision sewing with 1/4 inch stitch width.
The feed dog can be raised and lowered simply by depressing a switch. When quilting, the drop feed allows you to sew curved stitches with ease.
Even Feed FootWith its reliable feed, the even feed foot ensures the machine's ability to produce beautiful seams when sewing difficult-to-feed fabrics, such as georgette and velvet, as well as heavy-weight materials such as leather.
Automatic Thread TrimmerThe machine is equipped with an automatic thread trimming device that simultaneously cuts the needle and bobbin threads at the sewing end by lightly pressing the push-button. It uses the thread trimming mechanism that is similar to the industrial sewing machine type.
Foot Pedal Switch for Thread TrimmingAs with an industrial sewing machine, the thread trimmer can be activated with the foot pedal switch. It greatly increases sewing efficiency.
Easy Bobbin ReplacementA new bobbin case latch and an enlarged bobbin case are make it easier to remove and replace the bobbin.
Automatic Needle ThreaderThe push lever automatic needle threader easily threads the needle without eye strain and allows you to start sewing quickly.
Knee Lifter LeverThe knee lifter lever allows you to lift / lower the presser foot without using your hands.
Presser Foot Pressure AdjustmentPresser foot pressure can be adjusted according to the fabric being sewn by turning a regulator located on the top of the machine.
Heavy-Weight Materials are Sewn with EaseThe speed control mechanism, operated by microcomputer, allows the machine to sew material at low speeds. This provides for accurate feed and perfect stitching when sewing heavy-weight fabrics, quilting and multiple layers of materials.
Predetermined Stop Position of the NeedleTo move the needle up or down as desired, simply press the needle up/down button. When the button is pressed continuously, the machine sews stitch-by-stitch at low speed.