Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Meet Marge

She is large and in charge. 

She’s my new sewing machine – a Juki TL 2010Q. 

Sadly, the Viking could not be fixed.  It needs parts that they don’t make anymore.  I could have tracked down vintage parts, but from what I found online it would cost about $250 plus mechanic’s fees.  I love the old girl, and she definitely has sentimental value to me, but if I had to spend that much money I would rather put it towards a new machine with a bigger throat for quilting. 

When we were cleaning up the study after the fire, my Mom and I found the receipt and warranty for the Viking.  I can’t remember the exact cost (around $400?) in 1983, but the warranty was pretty awesome – 25 years.  Not.even. joking.  That’s laughable today.  She was only 5 years out of date.  
**We saved the papers, but those are all getting cleaned/stored in a warehouse right now, so I’ll find it later when they’re moved back in and get a picture of it.**

Back to my story - I started hunting.  I was going to get a Viking since I had all the feet and bobbins and whatnot and loved the quality of my old machine.  But all their machines are computerized and have a gazillion stitches and auto tension and tons of bells and whistles.  And were $2,000 on sale for $1,799.  *Gulp*  The current lineup is nothing like my simple, mechanical old girl.  I didn’t need all the bells and whistles.  I needed a workhorse that can sew denim and diapers and quilt like a mo-fo.  And my husband pretty much drew the line on the price.  Which I kind of agreed on. 

So I kept looking and reading quilting blogs.  And I kept coming back to Juki.  I had thought about them before but written them off because there was no local dealer and no way to try it out before purchasing (the closest dealers are in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, about 5 hours away).  But the lack of local reps seemed to be the norm, and most of the ladies said it was never a problem and their local repairmen could service theirs with no problem since it was a mechanical machine.  And they all LOVED it. 

These were the pros that kept coming up in blog after blog after blog review:
  • mechanical (no computer) and metal
  • great tension
  • large throat space
  • could sew through anything (and in one case sewed through a finger – eek!)
  • fantastic for free motion quilting
Here is my list of needs:
  • can sew through anything – diapers, denim, home décor fabric
  • quilts awesome
  • big throat space
  • good tension
  • mechanical (less is more – I didn’t need 300+ stitches) and metal – not lightweight plastic
It was a pretty good match.  The only drawback was the straight stitch only, but I have my Brother CS6000i that does zig zags and buttonholes and fancy stitches.  Ultimately, I wanted a machine that could handle quilting.  And the Juki did that. 

I went for the Juki TL 98Q, but it was out of stock (it was the older model, which I chose for the lower price).  I did get $100 off the purchase of the newer model, the Juki TL 2010Q, which was a good thing.  And the package I found included 100 needles, 20 extra bobbins, plus some feet and cleaning supplies and such that usually come with it.  And a $50 gift card to the store.  All in all, I spent $950 on the machine, and I’m hoping she lasts just like my mom’s Viking did. 

So far, I’ve used Marge on my mother-in-law’s quilt and a quilt for my babysitter.  And lots of piecing.  I have to say, the extra couple of inches of throat space make a huge difference.  And the auto-thread cutter, needle down function, and speed control are pretty awesome.

Here she is next to my Brother CS6000i.  Marge is a beast.  The Brother looks like a toy.  :)

I also want to say, I was very disappointed with my local Viking dealer.  I was telling them that I really wanted a mechanical machine, something simple but strong, metal, etc. and that I wished they made one like the Juki because I loved my Viking and all the accessory feet and that they were fairly local but what I really wanted was something metal and heavy and simple.  They said I just needed to try a computerized machine and that the people who gave bad reviews online just hadn’t taken the classes for their machine.  ?!?!?!?!?!
Whoa Nelly.  I consider myself a fairly experienced sewist – I’ve put in a lot of hours growing up and over the last few years especially, so I shouldn’t need to take a class to run a sewing machine.  In fact, that is the exact opposite of what I wanted.  Yes, I know classes are beneficial to learn tricks, but you shouldn’t have to take one to operate the darn thing.  And the way they said it was kind of insulting to me.  Like I was stupid and just must not know better because I’d had a 30 year old machine.  It made me sad, because I did LOVE my old Viking so much and really wanted to stay loyal to the brand.  But after that conversation I was so glad to get my Juki. 

**Viking people, if you ever stumble across this – some of us want a simple, heavy machine like the Juki.  Make one!**

I ordered my machine from Sewing Machines Plus online.  The lady I spoke with on the phone was very nice, and my machine was here pretty quick.  The only hangup was picking it up, and it's more funny because it's an example of my crazy inner dialogue.  I had to sign for the machine but wasn’t at home so I scheduled to pick it up at my local UPS distribution center.  The lady couldn’t find it (yikes!) but I kept thinking it was the big box *right there, RIGHT THERE.*  Then when she found it (yes, that box!), she kicked it over to me – the box was 40 lbs.  As she was kicking and shoving it across the floor, I was mentally screaming “There’s a thousand dollar sewing machine in there!”  I was ready to kick her in the lady bits for kicking my machine.  Man was I glad to get my package out of there before my mouth said what my mind was thinking. 


  1. Love your sense of humor! I would have told her she was kicking a very expensive machine and made her carry it to the car. I got a viking emerald. Its all metal and mechanical, I really like it, but your juki looks much better.

    1. I know a lot of people who love their newer Vikings; they can do a lot of cool things. They just weren't what I needed this time around. :)



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