I have struggled with my domestic machine for many years. I would have stops and starts of sewing - the stops sometimes lasting for several months. When I started bag making, my problems intensified as I realized my machine could not handle multiple layers of vinyl very well and/or I wasn't experienced enough to know what I was doing. The fix, of course, was going to be a new machine. Visions of perfectly top-stitched bags danced through my head, as my seam ripper would sit neglected and hidden.
After much research I chose the semi-industrial Juki TL2000Qi. My criteria included in no particular order:
- No space for a full-size industrial and the big table (Patricia has an 1181)
- I sew a variety of things - garments, home decor, quilts, and bags.
- Not computerized (my Viking is)
- Price point
- Reviews beyond star ratings
- The machine case is aluminum with no plastic parts. Be warned: it is heavy. Though it has a handle to lift and move it, this is not a portable machine.
- Straight stitch only with stitch selection up to 6mm.
- The extension table easily slides in place or removes.
- The bobbin is side load and the extension table has a door to access the bobbin section
- Two spools for easy change up for stitching
- Threading is simple - I just keep my diagram taped to the table right in front of the machine until I get it memorized. The flat side of the needle is to the right, instead of the back.
- Automatic cutter - press your heel on the foot pedal, or use the button
- Lock stitch reverse button
- Feed dog drop for free motion quilting
- Automatic needle threader - beginner's luck the first time - still learning
- Presser foot pressure adjustment
- Limited 5 year warranty
Accessories included - not full list.
- Standard presser foot
- Even feed foot (walking foot)
- Needles and 5 bobbins
- Screw driver, oil, etc.
I started off with winding the bobbin, which was fast and even. The bobbins hold a lot of thread! Threading is a little different from my domestic, but not difficult. I pulled up the bobbin thread after initially threading, but that doesn't need to be done repeatedly, and says so in the instructions. Eliminates long tails at the beginning of stitching.
You have to manually lower the presser foot before sewing, and you can set the needle down. That is taking a little getting used to. The automatic thread cutter is great and keeps you from dealing with all those long threads at the end of stitching.
I haven't taken it up to full speed at 1500 stitches per minute, but it's nice to know that when I'm stitching long lines on a quilt that I'll be able to do that. The faster stitching speed is what gives you the nice straight lines of stitching.
The stitch plate has markings of 1/4", 5/8", and 1" along with the usual markings.
Additional accessories can be purchased, including a 1/4" quilting foot, free motion foot, a thick fabric throat plate, and a thinner fabric throat plate. If being used heavily, the machine needs oiling frequently.
I am super happy with this machine and can't wait to get started on my next project - not in the middle of the night! Check out the Juki TL2000Qi on the Juki website.
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Can you use the tex 70 threads in this machine? I know to make strong bags you need the heavier thread… but domestics can’t handle that.
Although it’s not my main machine, I’ve had my Juki TL2010Q for years and – I love it. It’s a well made, sturdy machine that is built to get the job done whether sewing linens, jeans or bags.