Continuing on with the subject of quilting, I thought I'd introduce you to my quilting machine. As you can see, it's a Juki TL-98Q. It's a simple machine with no computerized parts, but it's a real work horse when it comes to quilting.
When I piece, I work on a Bernina, but several years ago, my Bernina started having problems with free motion quilting, and a trip to the spa (aka repair shop) failed to completely fix the problem. So I started looking around for a solution and found the Juki.
The Juki is much too heavy and industrial feeling for me to enjoy piecing on it, although it pieces just fine--it's just my preference. When I bought the Juki, I paid around $700; now they sell for around $900, although since they aren't computerized, I think a refurbished used machine would work just as well. Still, you can probably see why a new Juki was a better option for me than a new Bernina, right?
I settled on the Juki for quilting because of a number of reasons besides the price. A Juki can be used with a quilting frame system. I really liked the idea of buying a machine that could be used that way in the future, if that's something I decide I'm interested in.
A Juki has a much larger throat opening than most machines, so I can quilt a king sized quilt without too much trouble. I took the photo above to illustrate the amount of room the Juki has--if you look closely, I think you can see the opening is 8-1/2" long . . .
. . . and 6-1/2" tall. Measure the opening of your machine to compare. I think my Bernina is about 7-1/2" long and about 4-1/2" tall.
I don't want you to think you can't quilt on a standard machine though. Before I got the Juki, I quilted a king size quilt on the Bernina. No, it wasn't easy, but it was do-able. The Juki just makes it a little easier.
A word of warning, though, if you're interested in getting a Juki: They're fast. My friend Imelda bought one and ended up selling it because she had a hard time controlling the speed; even buying a stitch regulator didn't seem to help. So if you're an "all or nothing" kind of gal who likes to drive with the pedal to the metal, . . . well, maybe you should reconsider. Or find a sewing machine store that sells Jukis and will let you try one out for an hour or two. Or, better yet, see if you can rent one! But I really do like mine and wouldn't want to give it up--except maybe if someone gave me a really nice long arm and offered to build a large room onto our house so I'd have somewhere to operate it. In the meantime, the Juki's the right fit for me.