Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Sewing Machine Adultery

I've just been reading some sewing machine reviews by Rebecca Lynne. This gal has a great blog and a real knack for reviewing. She calls her reviews "Sewing Machine Adultery". I like her style. I found the reviews really helpful and I liked the comments from other people too.

So today I'm suggesting that you visit Rebecca Lynne's blog and see what she has to say about the Juki. Rebecca Lynne lives in America and the Juki 2010Q that she mentions is very similar to the Juki TL98P that we have available here in the UK.

Juki TL98P perfect for machine quilting on our New English Quilter frames
I love my Juki! I have a TL98P that I use for machine quilting on a frame. It has all the features that I need and it's not cluttered with loads of features that I don't need.

There's plenty of room for the fabric pole under the arm of this Juki TL98P
  • Space - the arm is longer and TALLER. Lots of new machines are longer now, but only the Juki is taller too. On a machine quilting frame, I need the height.
  • Speed - I need speed to get a flowing line of stitching. The Juki TL98P goes 1500 stitches per minute effortlessly, it purrs. 
  • Simplicity - it only does a straight stitch, but it does that perfectly. Being simple it is easy to tension, easy to maintain, easy to fix.
  • Strength - it's a workhorse, metal semi-industrial, built to last a lifetime.
Like a few of the gals who commented on Rebecca Lynne's review, I have 2 machines. I use the straight stitch JUKI TL98P for machine quilting on a frame and I use the Juki HZL Exceed 600 for piecing, appliqué, general sewing, mending and everything else. The cost of both of these machines together is less than many people are spending on the newer computerized sewing machines. Heck, for some of them you could throw in the cost of the frame as well and it would still cost less! These Juki machines give you value for money. Computers begin to be obsolete the minute they hit the shelves.Likewise computerized sewing machines have a built in obsolescence. These Juki machines are timeless classics built to last.

Juki HZL Exceed 600 perfect for piecing and everything else!
Franklins Group are the UK Juki Distributors
Give Laurence or Gary a ring. They'll answer any questions 
and let you know the JUKI sewing machine dealer nearest you.

Laurence ~ 01206 574758
Gary ~ 01245 346300

Saturday, 27 June 2015

A needle pulling thread...

It's easy to forget that our piecing and quilting is all about 'a needle pulling thread!'

This GIF is brilliant for showing how a sewing machine really works. Mesmerizing! It shows so clearly just what good tension looks like and how the top and bottom threads come together to make a line of stitching. I'd like to focus on the needle. Look how the thread passes back and forth through the eye of the needle 4 times for every stitch! That's why the size of the needle's eye is so important.

The eye of the Topstitch needle is nearly twice as long as any other needle. This elongated eye allows the thread to pass easily as it moves back and forth through the eye. If the needle's eye is too small it will cause friction and shred the thread!
If you are free-motion quilting use a 100/16 Topstitch needle. If you are machine quilting on a frame use a 100/16 Topstitch needle. If you are using speciality thread like metallic use a 100/16 Topstitch needle. If you are having trouble with thread shredding change to a 100/16 Topstitch needle.

The extra large eye really helps, enabling the thread to move easily through the needle's eye as the fabric moves every-which-way for free-motion quilting. The wider and deeper groove protects the beautiful speciality threads that I love to use for machine quilting. The sharp point easily pierces through the layers of the quilt sandwich, even through bulky seams. It's easier to thread too!

Now the new titanium coating extends the working life of the needle. The ultra thin layer of titanium nitride will keep the needle sharp for 40 to 60 hours. That's a lot of quilting! It's neat that now home quilters get to enjoy the same technology that the professionals have been using for years. Thank you Superior Threads.


100/16 and 90/14 Superior Threads Titanium Topstitch needles are available here in the UK from our online Machine Quilter Shop. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

2015 Festival of Quilts

The 2015 Festival of Quilts will be here before we know it! Come and test drive JUKI sewing machines on our New English Quilter frames. We'll have a big selection of Superior Threads too.
We're on the JUKI sewing machine stand A55
 Thursday 6 August through Sunday 9 August

See you there!

Rosie and Emily showing young quilters the New English Quilter frame
visit us at JUKI sewing machines Stand A55

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

SuperBOBs - pre-wound Bobbins

True confessions. 
"I hate winding bobbins!" 

That's why I love the Bottom Line pre-wounds from Superior Threads. I know that some people just love winding their own bobbins and more power to them. Bottom Line comes in 3,000 yard cones  just perfect for gals that like to wind their own.

But my own bobbins often ended up wonky and usually I would mis-calculate how many were needed to complete my project.  I'd be stuck in the middle of quilting and need to stop and wind some more bobbins. Grrrr!! Anyway once I tried the SuperBOBs pre-wounds I was totally hooked and I've been using them ever since.

Bottom Line pre-wounds hold 118 yards of thread. That's more than twice as much as on the bobbins that you wind yourself. So I can quilt twice as far as I did before without running out of bobbin thread. These factory wound bobbins are even and perfectly tensioned too. They will run smoothly even at high speeds.

Have you ever noticed that plastic bobbins keep on spinning even after you stop? That can cause bird's nests underneath. These SuperBOB pre-wounds are cardboard sided which gives just the right amount of resistance to keep the bobbin from spinning on once you've stopped.

Bottom Line SuperBOB pre-wounds come in 46 colours. Whether you're looking for neutrals, pastels or brights,  you'll be able to find the perfect match for all your sewing, quilting, binding and appliqué projects.

Bottom Line real thread colour card £3.50 available from ore  shop Machine Quilter site 
Bobbin Earrings?  Kinda funny but would be a good use for my bobbins now that I use pre-wounds

Now we've got the Bottom Line pre-wounds
 up on our shop.machinequilter website.

You might get hooked too. Then you'll have to think of something else to do with your old metal bobbins! 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Father's Day

My dad with my twin sister Peggy on the left and me on the right

My Auntie sent me some old photos a few months ago and this shot of my dad with me and my sister Peggy was one I'd never seen before.

We've been so blessed with the best dad ever!

He looks so young in this picture. I love it!

I'm also  blessed to have a twin sister. It's like having your very own built-in best friend right from the start.

Peggy lives in Baltimore with her husband Dan and their 6 grown up children. Now Peggy's oldest son is just about to become a father and of course the new baby must be welcomed with a quilt.

I've 'fussy cut' 4 inch squares from my brights and kiddie prints
I made one of my very first quilts for Peggy's first child, Patrick. It was tiny bright squares with flannel on the back and much too thick polyester wadding in the middle. Back in the early eighties we didn't have much else in the way of wadding or batting to choose from.

This time I wanted to do something similar. So I fussy cut 4 inch squares from my brights and kiddie fabrics. Now I'll go with a lovely breathable needle punched cotton wadding. I've got it all pieced together now just waiting for my lovely flannel backing to arrive from America. If you're looking for a great online site to order fabric from America try fabric.com

They offer a fantastic selection of quilting and apparel fabric at reduced prices. If you keep your order below £15.00 you will not get caught in customs when it gets to the UK.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Happy Customer

Lesley and Ian came up for a free demo a few weeks ago. 

Lesley decided to take the plunge and purchase her very own 6 foot New English Quilter frame

She ordered a 6 foot table too so we could custom the table legs  to get it to just the right height for Lesley to quilt in comfort. Using a quilting frame means that Lesley will never have to baste, pin or tack a quilt together ever again! The frame holds each layer of the quilt sandwich steady and perfectly tensioned.
Lesley also purchased a new JUKI TL98P lockstitch sewing machine and a set of Nifty Grip speed control handles to replace the foot pedal.

Now lesley can glide the sewing machine over the top of her quilt effortlessly creating beautiful and bold lines of stitching. The speed control Nifty Grip handles are ergonomically designed so that guiding the machine is comfortable and puts no stress on Lesley's neck or back.

Lesley and Ian came up on Monday to collect her New English Quilter Frame, 6 foot purpose built table and Nifty Grip speed control handles. She brought her new Juki TL98P sewing machine that she'd purchased from Franklin's so that we could get it tensioned and running smoothly. We give a free workshop to customers who choose to collect their frames. Our free workshop gives Lesley the chance to run the new sewing machine through its paces and get advice and tips for getting started. When Lesley and Ian went home they were able to get the frame up and running in no time.

Lesley emailed today to say;

"I’m having such fun. 
I love my frame
 it's fantabulous!!!!!!"

Lesley is delighted to have the benefits of a long arm for the fraction of the cost. She's happy that the frame just the right size to easily fit into her car and her sewing room. 

All the after sales support from the Machine Quilter team means that Lesley will have the help she needs to become a fluent machine quilter in the weeks and months to come.

Lesley's husband Ian, just emailed me this photo of Lesley's very first 'play' on her 6 foot NEQ frame. It's such a good idea to begin with some scrap fabric and launch into some playful line designs. Well done Lesley. A brilliant beginning!

Lesley's very first play on her new frame