04 May 2015

Sew I Bought a Machine

Lately I've needed to review where my sewing is going and what I will be doing and one of thought s has been about sewing machines. I had 3, my little workshop machine - a basic Janome which I bought about 4 years ago - nice and light mechanical machine. It's a bit noisy when it hasn't been used for a while but soon warms up and doesn't give me any trouble. It seems to like going out and about and I like the fact that I don't have to lug a big machine out with me. Most workshops involve patchwork or free machine embroidery, nothing fancy that it can't deal with.

My main machine is a Pfaff, which is a sewing machine with an embroidery unit which I bought second hand and is about 5 years old and I've had this for almost a couple of years. It is big, it stays at home on my sewing cabinet and I think is just about on the edge of the weight the cabinet will hold. I thought I would use the embroidery side of it much more, but not having the actual design software, or the fact that I've not taken any training to learn more about about designing means that I'm buying designs and  not really doing much at all and it seems a waste.  There aren't many sewing centres where I could get tuition and I was really wondering if I needed this at all.

In the back ground to this is my third machine, my big Janome, which the Pfaff replaced, but I never got around to selling although I had been meaning to. It's a Memorycraft 4800 and it is probably about over 10 years old.  It had been a good workhorse but I had some frustrations with it, which caused me to get some thing else.

My Pfaff has gone for a service, I dug the big Janome out which was ok and started sewing with that.  I did say that I had 3 machines - I now have 4.

We went to Salisbury on Saturday, just to a general shop and mooch around the town and I went to Franklins sewing shop, managed to resist the fabric and the wool and looking a the machines there. They stock several makes and we came across a Juki machine, the one model below this lovely. Not a flattering picture as the desk sits in front of the window

Juki are a Japanese make who specialise in industrial machines, but also make domestic machines that have recently been introduced into Europe. I remembered using one at Festival of Quilts year before last and finding it simple to use for free machining. So we had a demonstration, talked about it over lunch, went back for a test drive, now it's on my sewing desk. 

On Saturday evening I put some fabric together and quilted.  It does come with a quarter inch foot and walking foot but I didn't need either as there is a stitch number for moving the needle to get the correct seam width and the feed was so even that I didn't need to change to foot from the standard one. And yes, I even found the letters so I could sew my name on the bottom block.

Sunday morning was spent free machine quilting and applique and I'm really pleased how it's turning out. The running of the machine is very smooth and quiet. I've also found that the stitches stay the same length even when going over thicker layers of fabric, as other machines tend to get smaller stitches going over layers.

So the future for the Pfaff and big Janome is that I will sell on (eBay? Gumtree? Anything else I should go for?) I have found that I am still happy to be a patchworker and want to continue to down this road with making quilts and little bits like the pouches, bags and cushions which fit easily into my limited sewing time. I don't want to complicated things, just keep it simple. I think I may have found a machine that will fit the bill.


  1. Oh wow, good for you! If you fancy trying some embroidery before that machine goes let me know what you'd like and I can zap you a suitable design!

  2. It is always interesting to hear about sewing machine recommendations. I have never considered a Juki before. Does it have plenty of space for quilting?

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  4. Your free motion embroidery looks fantastic. I can't wait to see all your creations with the new machine xx


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