Know Thy Machine

This is the second stop on the Know Thy Machine blog hop! Today I'm answering questions about my two sewing machines, my BabyLock and my Juki. Check back at Shruti's blog to see the full schedule and to answer questions for a chance to win Fat Quarter Shop prizes!

1. What machines do you have? Brand and Model.
I have two sewing machines. I purchased my BabyLock Symphony and Juki TL-2010Q in 2011.

2. Why did you buy these particular models? 
I purchased my BabyLock machine at Sew Much More in Austin, Texas. They have wonderful service. The main reason I picked this machine is the fast speed, the accuracy of the walking foot and the advanced pivoting feature. The Quiltmaker September/October 2012 issue lists this machine as $3,600. I paid much less since I traded in three of my used machines for part of the payment. I purchase my Juki machine at a local store in Austin, Texas. I picked this machine for its fast speed and simplicity. The sewing machine was approximately $950.

3. What do you like about your machine? Have you named it? Have you made a cover for it?
I love both of my machines. They are both fast and I never have trouble with tension or bobbins, which I have had issues with in the past with other machines. I haven't named my machines or made a cover for them.

4. Does your machine give you any problems? Could you tell us a few? 
There are two changes I would make to the BabyLock. The thread tail is a bit long so I have to trim after cutting from the auto-cut feature. And when you turn the machine on you have to click onto the computerized screen to start sewing. I wish I could just start sewing without touching the screen.  I had problems with the quarter inch foot that came with the Juki. It wasn’t an accurate 1/4”. I purchased a new foot from Sew Much More and have had better luck with the tension and the accuracy of the seam.

5. What do you sew on it mainly? Quilts, Clothes, Bags etc. How much time do you spend sewing on it? What are the features of the machine that help you improve your work?
I piece quilt tops on my machine, attach binding and make pillowcases and pillow shams. I sew on my machine at least 5 days a week.  For my BabyLock, I love the accuracy of the 1/4" foot for perfectly-sized piecing. The pivoting feature allows you to raise the 1/4" foot with the needle still down. I can turn the fabric, then when you press the presser foot the machine automatically starts sewing, which is so helpful for binding.  For the Juki, I love the speed and simplicity of the machine.

6. What advice would you give others when deciding about which machine to buy? 
I would think about all of the features you want on your machine and take that list to the store. Eliminate any machines that do not have those features and that will give you a good starting point on what machines to try out. For example, when shopping for my machines I was in search of simplicity, speed and style.  I always take some precut pieces and pins with me to the store and try sewing a block together. That will help you determine what the machine does or does not do when you are actually making something.

7. Will you share with us a special memory associated with your machine?
My Babylock and Juki and me have created some special quilts together. The Vintage Modern Designer Mystery quilt is one, my boys’ bed Cat in the Hat quilts are another and four quilts from our new Simply Fat Quarters Book.

8. If you had unlimited resources in the world, which machine would you choose to buy and why?
I love the machines I have and wouldn't trade them for any other machine. It took a lot of old machines and research to find my Babylock and Juki.