A few years ago, Sew Mama Sew had a Sewing machine month, and they asked for folks to review their machines on their blogs. They’re doing this again, and so I thought I’d re-review my workhorse, as the last time I wrote about it it was relatively new to me! (Here’s the post with everybody’s information about their particular machine on Sew Mama Sew). So, without further ado, here’s the updated info on my Juki TL-98 Q!
What brand and model do you have?
- Juki TL-98 Q!
How long have you had it?
- Over 5 years now
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
- I’ve seen it on the internet for ~$850. I bought it from my local dealer for $1000 or so. They let me spend a whole hour making a trial totebag on it, and answered all my questions in detail. Love the service, and they’ve got a great technician, so it was totally worth it to pay the higher price!
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
- Quilting, home dec, bags
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
- 2-20 hours a week, probably averages out to 4/5 hours each week…? Maybe more?
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
- Love it! No, it’s just “My Juki”
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
- GREAT stitch quality, great SPEED, tremendous power – I’m making lots of bags from canvas and layers of interfacing and quilt batting, this machine pays no attention to it!
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
- I wish the feet were easier to change – you have to unscrew each one, and I switch feet multiple times/bag. I also wish it had better light – I’ve added a light to help with that, but it casts a bright light in a circle and then there’s a shadow.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
- Back in 2008 I finally had a few minutes to myself during regular business hours and I took an example of a handle I was topstitching down to my local shop to ask for advice on how to get the underside to look as nice as the top side. While I was chatting with the ladies about needle size and bobbin thread, their technician came out and joined the discussion. Gunter (not his real name, but he talks and looks like a Gunter…) said to me: “You, you have a Mercedes. But you would not move rocks with a Mercedes”. He was telling me that to use a Bernina to sew through all those layers for bag after bag after bag, I was going to wear it out faster! AAAHHH! I’d never considered that! So, I quickly came to the realization that the Juki was the way to go! Funny thing is, I’d wanted a machine like this for years, mostly for the increased room under the arm…but since I COULD quilt my quilts with my Bernina, I didn’t NEED to have that extra room. But hearing I was wearing out my “Mercedes” machine – eekks! Just the incentive I needed. And, with my little business becoming profitable, I could actually (just) afford to buy the machine with the money I’d made sewing! Voila – justification complete!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
- Yes. Great stitch quality, very sturdy construction, knee lift, needle up/down, thread cutter, incredible speed (1600 spm). I do believe the version they sell now has a better light, which is awesome!
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
- Knee lift, needle up/down, speed (spm)
Do you have a dream machine?
- Along with my Bernina (see this post), I’ve got all my bases covered! Maybe if I had a huge studio and lots more money, I’d look into one of the mid-size machines that mount in a table with the body to the back so there’s room for hand controlled free motion quilting on both sides of the head. But it would be an addition to the 2 I love now!
My hubby made me this awesome sewing machine table, it actually holds both my sewing machines, each in their recess so they sit flush with the surface. Tutorial for sewing machine table here.
Another great addition I made a little while ago was that set of Ikea drawers to the right of the sewing machine, they hold all my thread. The top drawers hold the feet for my Juki, as well as bobbins, needles and all the little tools I need all the time:
Sigh, I wish my studio were this clean right now:
but I’ve got a show next weekend, so it’s rather a mess!