Sunday, April 20, 2014

Juki Review … ;-(

Sadly … the problems with my Juki TL-2010Q continue …

I spent 3 years looking at machines before finally jumping in last year and purchasing a Juki.  I looked local (Seattle) but wasn't able to find a dealer (apparently I didn't look deep enough).  But based on the great reference from Rachel at Stitched in Color and her online shopping and service experience.  I gave it a go with the same on-line vendor and purchased this beauty with a 5 year warranty …

Juki TL2010Q

Within 2 weeks, the problems (and service problems) started.  The lower thread guide broke while I was sewing … I contacted the people I bought the machine from and began the "well which part is it" exchange of emails.  They are on the east coast, I am on the west coast, so there was never a time where I could sit at the phone and have a conversation with them about it.  After pouring through different manuals they sent me. etc. I finally zeroed in on the correct piece.  They ordered it, I waited a month and then it arrived and I had no idea how to install it … yup … more emails.

During the time this thread guide was missing, I made adjustments to tensions so I could continue to sew … BIG mistake … it's never sewed properly since.  

The plastic knob on the top came off in my hand in December … the stitching was still poor … so I decided to contact the vendor I purchased the machine from … I was told that they would only service it if I had the original packaging and shipped it back to them in the original box.  A) would have been nice to know from the start might have tried to save packaging and B) ship it back … isn't Juki a national company with a product still under warranty?  No dice, and I might add, little interest in helping me.  Seem's when you have a blog with a large following like Rachel … vendors are a bit more focused on helping you then when you're just someone who saved for 3 years to buy a new machine.

Giving up on them, I opted to pay for repairs, took it to my local shop where they said they don't fix Juki's, but sent it out to someone who does and it came back $0 charge as it was still under warranty!!!  How excited was I.  Finally, a machine that works properly.  Kinda … the stitching still wasn't as good as my 40 year-old portable Pfaff … but by now I was resigned.

Fast forward to last month … used my walkingfoot for the first time this year and it completely turned the shaft that holds the needle … yup, not the part that holds the needle, the ENTIRE shaft.  Needing to get a quilt completed, I ripped out what I had stitched and started again with a free-motion foot.  But unfortunately, the twisted shaft was hitting the foot.  Desperate, I grabbed pliers and completely turned the shaft back to where it belonged.  Worked fine, if you consider breaking thread every 60 seconds fine, but at least it was stitching with the free motion foot on.

Juki TL2010Q twisted shaft
Juki TL2010Q twisted shaft

 I contacted Juki national and was told it likely had to do with needing stitching adjustments due to the fact that I had turned the shaft back straight … what ?!?!?   I fiddled with it again and got it back to mediocre stitching.  I then asked for them to help me get this fixed or replaced … it is a lemon.

That's when I discovered my problem isn't just with the vendor I purchased it from … it is with Juki.  First they started down the return it in the original box challenge.  I seem to have gotten through that and they are going to send me a box to ship it in … but apparently I am responsible for any damage that may occur in shipping it EITHER direction.  

Totally frustrated and leaving for Paris … I let it sit.  Until today.  Today, I put the walking foot back on and within 169" of quilting on a new quilt, had completely shifted the shaft again which you can see in the photo below.

Juki TL 2010Q shaft shifted by walking foot - side view
Any of the problems that I have had in isolation would just be part of owning a new machine … the challenge is that they are non-stop and this machine is about to hit 1 year, ending the warranty.  And for those of you following my blog this year … you know I haven't done that much quilting due to family issues in 2013.

Terribly disappointed by the whole thing … the machine is a lemon, the online purchase racket is rife with issues none of which are disclosed up front and the e-mail communications I have had with Juki's Assistant Sales Manager, North America, are focused on "rules never disclosed" and little to no interest in helping a customer with major challenges with their machine.

The Pfaff Grand Quilter is looking better every day … 

All the best

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A quilt in use ...

I don't get to see my quilts in action very often … so delighted that John captured a few pics of the quilt that I made for his cousin for his recent trip to the UK

She's halfway through her treatment for breast cancer and it was great that he got to spend a few days with her, diverting her attention for just a short little while …

Sometimes it's just the love that goes into a quilt that really matters …

All the best,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Well done !!!

I don't have children … but I suspect the joy I feel at watching my husband over the past 3 years somewhat mirrors that of a parent as they watch a child accomplish something they thought unattainable …

Three years ago, my husband told me that he was toying with the idea of running a full marathon for his 70th birthday … for someone who hadn't even started running until he was 63 … I was impressed, but I must say, not confident …

Then 18 months ago he heard the dreaded words … you have prostate cancer.  He was treated in Feb 2013 … and by summer, he had resurrected his dream … only this time … it had a destination attached to it … Paris.

I am pleased to report that on Sunday, April 6th, he ran his first marathon in Paris with 50,000 other souls.  Finishing in 4 hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds.  While it was slower than he had hoped, he placed 15th in his age group out of 103 men and was fast enough in his first marathon that he has now qualified to run Boston, New York and/or London marathons in 2015.

@ 1km

@ 12km

@ 30km
Just a reminder … NEVER say never ;-)

Oh … and then we had a fabulous week in Paris and I am sure … will live happily ever after …

More quilts soon!

All the best,

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A wedding surprise ...

… well … not really … because it didn't get done in time (separate story).

Very keen on how it came out … for those of you new to this quilt … I saw an inspiration quilt a few months ago which I LOVED!!!

A colleague of mine is getting married next week … very exciting week for her as she and her fiancĂ© merge their two families to become one.  I haven't been to her home … so I don't know colors … I tried snooping of Facebook and all I could see was a red couch … yup … a red couch.

So I figured anyone brave enough to put a red couch in their decorating scheme must have a modern movement in their sole … and thus I found a home for my favorite new inspiration quilt!

The quilting was new for me … I used the tutorial at Crazy Mom's Quilt to figure it out …

Sadly, I wasn't able to finish it in time to give to her before she departed, as I had continued challenges with my new Juki TL-2010Q.  [ I will do a separate blog post about this machine when I get back from Paris and have more time … but suffice to say, I am far happier with my 30-year old Pfaff portable sewing machines that I have been with my new Juki ].

From the back.

All made from Kona Solid Cottons.  Each of the blocks is 9.5" … so the squares are 18 across … with a total of 9 squares in the quilt.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

All the best

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Up until tonight ...

I had always basted with pins ...

I am thinking that's about to change!  I am really loving the smooth flat surface you get with the spray.

I have decided to quilt this in the same way as the inspiration quilt … I know ... I need to get more original … but this is a quilt that's had my eye for a while … and as long as I give credit where credit's due … I want to be able to try some of the tricks and tools that I believe made the inspiration quilt SO effective.

I found this great tutorial on how to straight line quilt within blocks over on Crazy Mom Quilts.  She uses the free-motion foot … who would have thought?!?!?  Every time that I had tried this before I was a stuck with a bunch of loose threads that I couldn't manage effectively.  Her tips make loose threads a thing of the past.

I ran created a test mini-quilt last night to give it a whirl …

Going to give the "real" quilt a go tomorrow night … wish me luck!

All the best

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A nice surprise ...

I buy nearly all my fabric at the LQS in my Ballard neighborhood in Seattle.  But when I need solids … I still find my Kona Color card and the internet to be my best option …

I picked up some cotton solids to make this quilt … ordered a 1/2 yard and they sent a full yard with the JACKPOT sticker … what a nice surprise!

Quick question:  Does anyone have suggestions on the color thread for the quilting?  It will be meandering (the only quilting that I am currently able to do well).  Here's the inspiration quilt.

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

All the best

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The undesirable club quilt ...

John is off to England next week … he's heading over early to acclimate to the time change prior to his Marathon in Paris

He's going to visit his cousin "M" … this is for her …

"M" was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall … chemo is behind her … surgery and radiation remain.  This is somewhere that both John and I have experience … the "undesirable club" … the cancer club …

I wanted to make something bright to tell her we care, we understand, and we love her.

I used some of the new Lotta Jansdotter fabrics with some solids I had in the cupboard and lots and lots of Kona Sateen White.

Madigan … had to have her chance to approve the quilt …

You can see I have trained her well … "No" simply isn't in her vocabulary … not to worry … it went into the wash after the photo op.

The pieced back -- here I used some of the prints, along with a sea of Kona Ash.

The message.

It's ready for John to tuck into his suitcase next week.

Hope you had a good week!

All the best


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