Research

I’ve been doing a metric shit-ton of sewing lately. My practice quilt is coming along and I’m getting more consistent with my seam allowances and all that jazz. It’s become clear that I definitely need more practice with my cutting but that will come with time as well.

No pictures today – but it’s really coming along. I finished all the 9-patches and laid out them out so I could determine how I want to stitch them together. Also, I decided to go with black sashing so I tested that out and it looks RAD.

However, since I’ve been doing more sewing, I’ve noticed a few issues with my machine (poor Harold). A lot of times, when starting to sew, the thread underneath gets all rat nest-y. It seems if I hold on to the top thread & bobbin thread when I start my stitches that mostly takes care of it but it’s pretty annoying nonetheless. Harold is a great starter machine and can do the entry-level tasks well but as I get closer to the actual quilting part, I know there are going to be issues.

For example: there is very little room in the throat for large projects. I’m excited to quilt my own projects and there likely won’t be room on that side. I’d also like to try free-motion quilting and I just don’t have that option with this machine.

So I’ve been doing some research on upgrading my machine!

Y’all – fancy sewing machines are EXPENSIVE. The ones that have the features I’m looking for are bare minimum, $800. I think. It’s almost impossible to find prices which is super annoying. I get that dealers want to keep it close to the vest so they can do what they need to do but I ALSO NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO BUDGET. It’s definitely going to be a while before I have the money to invest in that. But I thought I would share with you guys some of my finds in case you’re also in the market!

 

Husqvarna Viking Jade 20

Pros:

  • Price – This one just started getting sold at Joann’s along with dealers – in fact Joann’s currently has it on sale for $599.99 with it regularly priced at $799.99
  • Throat Space – Nearly 8″ of space to the right of the needle
  • Speed control – Sometimes I feel like I go too fast when I’m sewing so it’d be great to set a max speed while I’m still learning
  • Looks – I think it’s a real pretty machine. Probably the least important but there you have it.
  • Top loading bobbin

Cons:

  • No auto thread cutter
  • FMQ Presser Foot is separate
  • Extension table separate

Baby Lock Jazz

Pros:

  • Throat Space – 12″ OF THROAT SPACE!
  • Top loading bobbin
  • Automatic bobbin winder
  • FMQ foot & 1/4″ foot are included

Cons:

  • Only 28 stitches
  • No auto thread cutter
  • Price – Around $1,300

 

Janome 1600P-QC

Pros:

  • Throat size – 9″ throat size
  • Speed control
  • Auto thread cutter

Cons:

  • Price – MSRP of $1,499
  • Not a ton of accessories included

Juki TL-2010Q

Pros:

  • Throat Space – 8.5″ of throat space
  • Extension table included
  • Speed control
  • Auto thread cutter including being able to cut using the foot pedal
  • FQM feet included
  • Even feed foot included
  • Metal parts – no worries about computer issues

Cons:

  • Price – List price appears to be $1699 but can go as low as $999
  • Per some reviews, it can be hard to thread
  • Fewest bells & whistles

All of these can be found at my local sewing shop so when I get to the point of really wanting to invest, I will probably go test drive them. If anyone has any of these machines or tried them out and wants to weigh-in, I’d greatly appreciate it!

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