Beginning Your Sewing Journey with JUKI

Have you been watching sewing videos? And find yourself interested in patterns and crafts? We’re here to help you find a suitable computerized beginner machine with JUKI! Finding your first machine can be daunting, especially with all the features and products out there, but we’ve all been there!

To help you learn about machine features, accessories, and more, we’ll dive in on some key things you should keep in mind when searching. Buying a suitable machine doesn’t mean buying the most expensive machine, but instead the best machine for you.

Let’s start this guide by reviewing what a computerized sewing machine is.

A computerized machine offers the most effortless experience for the new sewist in today’s world. Ran by a computer, all functions on the sewing machine can be easily controlled. Precise and loaded with multiple features, these machines can offer unforgettable experiences.

Every feature can now be controlled with a computer. From stitch length to the order of decorative stitches you use, it is all broken down at a touch of a button. For those that find themselves growing in their sewing journey, a computerized machine is an excellent tool for having versatile options for creating.

What Stitches Do I Need?

Choosing a suitable machine will depend on what projects you’re creating! This is why it’s essential to know what type of stitches you’ll need. While computerized sewing machines come with many stitch options, below, we’re going to list some key ones you should keep an eye out for, as well as some extras!

The Must-Have’s

The Straight-Stitch: Adjustable from 0 – 5mm, the straight stitch can be used for locking stitches at 0mm or moved to 5mm for basting and gathering. The average stitch length will be 2.5 mm for most projects. Remember, you’re going to be trying your hand at different projects when you first start, so make sure you’re versatile in your projects by changing the stitch length.

Zig-Zag Stitch: Adjustable in length and width, the zigzag stitch is used for stretchy materials.

The Add-On’s

Buttonhole Stitch: An automated version of the zigzag stitch, a buttonhole stitch will secure your buttons well when creating.

Stretch or Knit Stitch: Plan on sewing with knits? The stretch or knit stitch is the ideal choice. Stretch your knits without worrying about popping stitches once stitched using the feature. Zig-zag can get the job done, but stretch or knit stretch will make the job easier.

Blind Hem Stitch: No matter your project, a blind hem stitch is a great feature, which basically hides your hems on skirts, pants, and more.

Let’s Talk Features

After you’ve decided on what stitches you’ll want, think about what features you’re looking for. Now in days, many machines offer features that make sewing easy and fast. While these aren’t needed, think of those features that will improve your experience. To start you off, we’re going to go over some top features all sewist love!

  • Lighting: make sure to find a machine with good lighting! From needle threading to seeing your stitches, we want to be able to see our project come together.
  • Needle Threader: Make life easier with these features! This feature offers you a chance to thread your needle without the work.
  • Needle Up/Down: Use the needle up/down feature when turning fabric or pivoting.
  • Adjustable Speed Control is another feature that is perfect for new sewists wanting to experiment with different speeds.
  • Moveable Needle Position: Attach zippers and top stitching easily with the ability to move the needle position.
  • Built-In Free Arm: Attach sleeves, work on tight projects, and more using a built-in free arm, usually found when removing the accessories box.

Don’t Forget Accessories and Presser Feet!

Accessories from HZL-70HW-A

Depending on what projects you plan to create, it’s best to have the right accessories and presser feet on hand. So let’s go back to that question from earlier, what do you plan on creating?

If you’re working on apparel, look for presser feet like the Zipper Presser foot, Buttonhole Presser foot, and Button Attaching Presser foot. These three accessories will save you headaches in the future and allow you to create professional-looking garments.

Quilting is easier done when you have the right feel with you. So look for presser feet like the ¼ Guide Foot and a Quilt Guide. While your machine may not come with these two accessories, they will help you when you begin creating your projects.

Are you looking to create home décor? First, search for presser feet like an Invisible Zipper Foot, Applique Presser Foot, or Gathering Foot. As long as your machine is compatible with these feet, you can now add professional finishing touches to your table mats, pillows, and more.

Our JUKI Recommendations

If you’re looking at JUKI for your first electrical and computerized sewing machine, we have some great options all beginner sewists can enjoy!

The HZL-70HW-A and HZL-80-HP-A

Compact and easy to use, the HZL-70HW-A and HZL-80-HP-A offer easy storage and travel! So take this sewing machine to your classes and retreats as you begin your journey. With features all sewists enjoy, like the automatic needle threader, needle up and down, and dropping down the feed dogs to free motion quilt, it offers the chance to grow in your skills and make your experience fun.

Equipped with 80 or 197 stitch patterns (depending on the machine you enjoy best), buttonhole patterns, and a variety of accessories, it offers beginners the opportunity to create various projects. It also includes the zipper foot, decorative stitch foot, blind stitch hem foot, and so much more, helping you build your accessory kit from the first purchase.

The HZL-LB5020 and HZL-LB5100

What we like to call a beginner’s dream, the HZL-LB Series is user-friendly and comes with a complete range of features in a small compact size! Experts and beginners can enjoy features like an automatic needle threader, stitch control, drop feed, needle up/down, and more. So whether you’re focusing on quilt creation or taking on your couch pillows, it can help your projects become a reality.

Simple in its design, the HZL-LB Series offers 20 to 100 stitch patterns (depending on whether you love the HZL-LB5020 or HZL-LB5100 more), allowing quilters and apparel sewists to create seamless designs with ease on their projects.

The HZL-G120 and HZL-G220

Moving to a fully computerized machine, we’re moving onto an option some beginners might shy from, but it does include those features they’ll love! The HZL-G Series offers you the chance to take on big projects while being easy to use and beginner friendly. It also provides a box-feed system, allowing you to create beautiful seams even at a beginner level.

Still offering those features we love like the automatic needle thread and up/down. You also get a larger sewing space and a fine overcasting stitch.

The machine also offers the chance to easily work with heavy material, like denim, and has a large variety of presser feet options for garments, quilters, and home décor sewists to enjoy when they’re creating. JUKI even offers kits compatible with this machine curated for heavy users, quilters, and those that love adding a creative touch.

When It’s Time To Buy

Decided what machine you want to get and are ready to buy? Then, contact your nearest JUKI dealer here! We always recommend finding your local dealer when you can go for two big reasons: training and support.

Finding a dealer that can assist you in setting up and finding a suitable machine is essential when you’re entering the world of sewing. In addition, these shops can offer you sewing classes, maintenance support, technical support, and much more.

Now that you have a plan for what you’re looking for, we hope this helps you find the right machine for you!

JUKI Small Business Seminar: Marketing Strategies for the Small Business Owner

When you’re a small business owner, marketing can be challenging to do on your own. Many have trouble finding and reaching the right audience, and from there, getting that audience to visit in person or an eCommerce shop. If you’re having difficulty deciding how to market your product or services, follow along as we give options on the top strategies business swear by and how to use these strategies for your business. Having the right strategy can help you drive traffic to your store and increase shop sales.

These strategies are easy and quick to implement, making it easier to begin today and test what options work best for you and your business. So don’t get stuck on marketing, and find fun ways to get the work done right.

Strategies to Implement Today

Let’s review five strategies you can implement into your marketing plan today.

Email Marketing

Email marketing refers to those email promotions, newsletters, and advertisements you receive in your inbox from brands that you’ve subscribed to or shopped from before. You can use this as a way to inform customers of new products, promote sales, educate them on products or services you offer, and so much more.

Since this is a communication form owned exclusively by you, you can choose what’s implemented and how you will design and send these email marketing campaigns. These programs’ costs can range from $20 to hundreds depending on your needs. Below are some programs you can look into that are perfect for email marketing.

Email Marketing Programs:

  1. Constant Contact
  2. SendinBlue
  3. MailChimp
  4. ActiveCampaign
  5. GetResponse

Keep in mind that many of these services offer automated email marketing campaigns, making life easier for you and saving you time. Below are some examples of how you can use automated email campaigns.

  1. Emails upon Purchase: These can be sent after checkout and help send shipping information, customer service information, and anything else you feel is essential for the customer’s purchase.
  2. Promo Emails: Use these campaigns to promote new products, back in stock announcements for popular items, and sale promos your shop might be having like cyber Monday.
  3. Relationship Building: Use this platform as a way to share business newsletters. Share videos to introduce yourself, products, or services. Promote your blog or team members. Think of this as a road between you and the customer.

Finding Your Influencer/Affiliate partner

One of the best ways to market your service or product is finding those influences or affiliated businesses with a trusted customer base that resonates with your brand.

Influencers involve partnering with creators who align with your brand message and promote your product or services on their pages. They can bring high user engagement to your social network pages and website and create a relationship between you and your niche base. If you’re going to work with an influencer for your brand, the top-selling social media sites are Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Tiktok, and Twitter.

Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, is a business-to-business transaction. Usually, the affiliate you work with will help you generate those leads and sales you’re hoping for. These are often paid companies that find fun ways to promote your brand for you. They can share it on their blogs, podcasts, social media platforms, websites, and more.

Google Ads

This marketing strategy is a little more pricey than the ones we’ve mentioned, but let’s talk about how they work and their cost.

Misunderstood and labeled as tricky to use, Google ads can be one of the best ways to reach your customer base. The search engine can run your ads to those looking for products similar to yours by using keywords. For example, if someone searches “personalized t-shirt”, you can promote your products under this, bringing in new customers.

There are different ads you can run. One type is a text that commonly pops up after searching for a product or service. These are labeled as Ads and show up in a blue or green link URL. Another is google shopping and product advertising with images. You can place products in their shop with carousel images, prices, and reviews. These are also labeled with a small tag that says Ad for customers to be aware of.

When it comes to cost, you can go as low as $5 and higher. You only pay when your ads are clicked, and you have the ability to target your ads to the right customer base. By choosing preferences on location, search history, and more, your product has a higher chance of going to the right customer base.

SMS – Text Message Marketing

One of the new and fastest ways to reach your customer base, SMS marketing offers a new and innovative way to share sales, purchase updates, and so much more. With over 90% of SMS marketing messages opened, compared to emails that average 20%-30% opening rate, SMS is a great way to connect with your audience.

Like an email marketing system, you control what content your campaigns have. You can create promotions for sales, membership exclusives, campaigns, and more. These can also be scheduled and sent out at any time. A thoughtful and purposeful campaign can do well on an SMS campaign and bring in those sales you’re looking for. Look below for recommendations on your SMS programs.

SMS Marketing Programs:

  1. Clickatell
  2. ClickSend
  3. BurstSMS
  4. Trumpia
  5. SlickText

Get on Social Media

One of the best things you can do for your brand is exposed your business to social media sites. You can promote and sell your products and services by using social networks. You have the option to pay for your post to be boosted (non-organic advertisement) or to not pay at all and use tricks like hashtags and geolocations to bring attention to your socials (organic advertisement.)

Many social media sites are out now, and each one has its own audience and trend. To choose the right channel where you should market, pay attention to who is in your niche and how you plan to advertise to them. Choosing the right channel can also depend on the merchandise you’re selling and your goals.

Your goal when using social media as a tool for marketing usually falls along with the following:

  • Building a relationship with the customer base
  • Bringing in new leads
  • Showcasing your brand
  • Increasing sales

The best way to complete this effectively is by creating content, scheduling your posts, and automating what you can. Remember to take this a step further and communicate with your followers. Respond to comments, like posts that tag or reference you, repost relative stories, and keep up with customer-related questions. Building a relationship through these services is one of the best ways to create new and returning customers.

The Next Step

If you’ve been researching new ways to market your business, take one of these techniques and try it out! Trial and error can be the best way to see what works for your customer base and you when it comes to marketing. By taking the initiative to try new marketing tactics, you can follow the results and see what options are best for your sales and overall branding.

Some strategies will work better for others than you, and this is okay! Marketing is about finding your audience and reaching out to them on their channels—test techniques and channels to see where you can get the best response from shoppers.

Whatever technique you choose, don’t forget to change it up every while and explore new channels. Marketing starts with you and deciding what best ways will get your name out there.

Do you have tips for those marketing their small business? Let them know and leave a comment below!

JUKI Spotlight: Exploring House of Lilli with Anjori Halder

Meet small business owner Anjori Halder, creator, and designer for House of Lilli, a business that does embroidery a little differently. Known for her free motion embroidery work created by free motion quilting on the HZL-F600 sewing machine, Anjori has begun making a name for herself in the sewing world. From beautiful full portrait designs to small motifs that bring her apparel to life, let’s learn about how Anjori discovered her skills in embroidery work, where she began, and where she plans to go!

It all started with a wedding invite in 2010. One day, after becoming a bridesmaid to her dear friend Veronique, Anjori needed a crinoline slip for a themed dress! In her “I want to DIY everything” phase of life, she decided to take it upon herself to create a slip with the help of some blogs and a machine off Craigslist. Even after “crudely” finishing her first piece of apparel, her journey in sewing had truly begun.

Outfits created by Anjori through sewing, upcycling, and embroidery

“I call it my therapy and use it constantly to de-stress. But I also use sewing to keep my mind sharp.”

While the journey was on and off, Anjori would find time to complete refashions and housewares in her downtime from her career as a software engineer and project manager. It wasn’t until she transitioned to a stay-at-home mom that Anjori truly began immersing herself in sewing. Finding the need to do something and gain a sense of accomplishment, she threw herself into the hobby. However, she would soon find out that sewing could be toxic after experiencing the push of social media on her work.

“That need to sew turned toxic, though. Social media and the idea that you had to be creating content all the time to grow followers, to, in turn, grow your business took a toll.”

This moment would change the direction in which Anjori was running her business. After learning about slow fashion and revaluating how she was running her business, Anjori decided it was time to do things differently. Slowing down her work, she began creating again for pure enjoyment and not just for the sake of creating.

Outfits created for Anjori’s daughter through sewing, upcycling, and embroidery

Indie patterns and pattern testing brought the fun and creativity back to sewing for Anjori. She began by creating clothing for her daughter, honing her skills at a smaller scale, and was able to grow her confidence in garment creation. After sewing an Anarkali from a sari that her late mother had gifted her, Anjori’s confidence in garment creation for adults rose as well.

Inspired by those she was creating for, she focuses on how her creations will be used and enjoyed before sewing. Her favorite inspiration is her daughter, a strong-willed and goofy personality who had an obsession with construction vehicles! After her daughter requested a dress with a bulldozer on it, and Anjori had no luck finding one, she decided to test her skills in embroidery and make her one! Continuing to create for her daughter, Anjori focused on embroidering designs and sayings that would inspire her daughter in life.

House of Lilli showcases this with Anjori’s creations focused on positive & reaffirming messages. Her embroidered art shop concentrates on creating art with only a machine, thread, and her hands. Pulling from her heritage, she creates Indian garments, or garments with Indian motifs such as paisleys, peacocks, elephants, and tigers. Completed with free motion embroidery through the free motion quilting feature, you can see the pops of color and bright energy she pulls into her work. Described by friends as positive and always looking for the bright side, it’s no wonder she brings this into every project she creates, not letting mistakes in her projects hold her back.

“Mistakes are opportunities to learn and keep going or realize change is needed and pivot to something new.”

Free Motion Embroidered Designs

What’s our favorite part of her creative process? The unique use of free motion quilting as free motion embroidery! Gravitating toward embroidery work, even as a child, Anjori knew that adding images and designs would be the next step in going from homemade to handmade. Unfortunately, it was here where she hit a wall. Knowing that the cost of an embroidery machine could be high, she found herself at a standstill on what step to take next. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon creator Emma Giacalone on Instagram that she discovered the possibility of embroidering using free motion quilting.

A new door in creating had been opened, and Anjori walked right in! Finding a new way to bring her art to life, she was excited about how simple the process was to begin. All she started with was a sewing machine that could drop the feed dogs, thread, fabric, and a design. It would take time before she began using a darning foot, admitting to still skipping that step on some days!

Using the HZL-F600, she created her designs quickly and easily fill them in. Creating embroidery using the HZL-F600 is fun and different and has allowed Anjori the freedom of creation in embroidery while sticking to her budget. When asked about what she recommends for JUKI users out there who want to try their hand at free motion embroidery through free motion quilting, she advised having the following tools in your sewing kit:

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Stabilizer of some sort (washable or tear away)
  • Open toe darning foot
  • Heat erasable pen

While using a machine with ample throat space has been helpful, as well as her tools, she also advises to seek out training! After taking a sculptural embroidery class from Meredith Woolnough and learning new tricks and tips for her projects, she encourages others to invest in themselves and their hobbies.

“Never be afraid to invest in learning.”

While opening her small business has been a journey, she knows that planning and strategy are what build a business. As a small business owner, you are now the marketing manager, designer, producer, shipper, and so much more. Success can be different for everyone, so Anjori advises taking time to figure out what success is to you and not comparing yourself to other businesses. She also recommends getting to the nitty gritty and taking those “boring” business courses that can assist you in running yours!

Taking her own advice to heart, she’s recently taken a business course presented by Jan Ditchfield and has begun reworking her strategies and plan. So while we wait for the new and improved House of Lilli to rise, we’re so excited we were able to introduce her creations and technique!

Created using Free Motion Embroidery

Continuing her work in embroidery, Anjori hopes to keep instilling positive messages in her creations and sharing her work with others.

“Creating with my hands, whether it is sewing, painting, drawing, or knitting, is a treat for my soul. I find it relaxing and fun, with a sense of accomplishment when you complete a project. Of course, in the end, you usually end up with something nice to look at too.”

To learn more about Anjori and her journey in embroidery, follow along below for her social links!

Visit House of Lilli’s website today to keep up with her blog and sign up for her newsletter!

Keep up with Anjori’s free motion embroidery work on her Instagram here!

JUKI Spotlight: From Bio to Quilting with Jessica Dayon

From her days in biochemistry and biology to becoming an author, quilt creator, and pattern designer, we’re so excited to introduce Jessica Dayon! Author of three pattern books; ‘A Year in Solids’, ‘Season to Taste: Quilts to Warm Your Home All Year Long’, and the upcoming ‘Precut Parade’, releasing August 1st, we’ve asked Jessica to join us and talk about her life in quilting, and journey in becoming a pattern author.

Like so many of our readers, Jessica’s journey starts with a pull towards quilting. Coming from her background as a scientist, with a degree in Biology and Biochemistry, she hadn’t tried quilting before. But, with no connections in the quilting world at the time, she decided after her 4th child to dive in! After being bit by the quilting bug in the summer of 2017, she began teaching herself and fell in love with the craft. Her first project? A table runner for a birthday, one that was never even completed! It did, however, open the door to quilting and hasn’t closed since.

“The first day I started quilting, this little fire was ignited inside of me, and it’s been burning ever since. Quilting is my passion.”

With each day that passed, she continued to work on the aspect of making a quilt and improving her skills. Pushing herself to learn new skills for the sake of learning, she attempted new methods and tricks for quilting her projects.

In 2017, Jessica also decided to open her Instagram account to document her journey and share her work. She still remembers having less than 100 followers and the excitement that came when a new one followed. To this day, she is still in awe when she sees new followers join her page. Currently, Jessica’s following topples over 76 thousand followers, a community focused on inspiring each other in their quilting journeys.

“I work hard and I love sharing and engaging with my followers. I hope they feel valued and inspired by following me. I want to share the joy of creating every day with them. I’m grateful for the community that I’ve built there.”

As her skills grew, she decided it was time to start creating patterns. Working hard to understand pattern creation, she began designing patterns after only one month of quilting.

Sitting at her computer, Jessica would design quilt after quilt, constantly creating. Thinking of the design was the easiest aspect when she began writing patterns. With hundreds of designs currently saved on her computer, it’s no wonder she went on to author and design pattern books. Within a short timeline, she found the most challenging part of becoming a pattern author has been the time constraints from publishing. Teaching her to work quickly it’s now become a strength to begin and finish a quilt quicker than she would have imagined possible when she first started.

Fireworks – Contributed to Red & White II

Inspired by the freedom of creating, Jessica focuses on not pressuring herself to finish one project at a time. Instead, she allows her creativity and curiosity to flourish and wander, moving from project to project, not restricting herself to one at a time.

“When I’m at the sewing machine and I’m working on a project, sometimes my mind wanders to another block and I just have to make it. I don’t stop myself when the urge to do this arises.”

Knowing she’ll go back to her original project with a focused mind, she’s found letting herself have this freedom while creating removes pressure from her work. Even if a design doesn’t come out how she expects, she’ll just design another and another until she’s happy with the result.

Just like she creates, Jessica allows her designs to wander in style too! Not picking a distinctive style, she creates using her TL-2010Q sewing machine and a versatile collection of fabric types and patterns. Easy to take care of and use, Jessica loves recommending the TL-2010Q to quilters out there! While she chose the machine for its features and price point, she’s found the TL-2010Q to be highly reliable, accurate, and speedy.

Depending on her mood, she’ll select patterns and styles that speak to her and fill her up creatively. Instead of boxing her style and creativity, which Jessica believes would lead to burn-out, she focuses on her creative self-guide to create her designs.

Abloom – From ‘Season to Taste

As for her pattern books, Jessica focuses on creating themed designs! Allowing her creativity to flow; her books focus on patterns that inspire her while hopefully inspiring those who use them. For example, in her pattern book, “Season to Taste: Quilts to Warm Your Home All Year Long,” Jessica focuses on quilt designs for all four seasons! Centered on the seasons, with each season having three quilt designs, you can see her creativity flourish with each pattern being different and beautiful.

Her best advice for pattern creators trying to sell their work is this, “I recommend staying true to yourself and your style. There is room for everyone who wants to design patterns. Each person is unique, and you don’t have to do things like anyone else… it’s better if you don’t! Being your own, authentic self will get you far. Hard work will get you even further.”

As a pattern creator and author, she advises creators to be mindful of the work that comes with this venture. From marketing to IT, you will be the one to do it all when you first start your business. While it can seem overwhelming at first, taking each step one at a time has been her motto. Her recommendation is to write your goals down, like a skill you need to learn or a marketing project that needs to get done and work towards each one.

As we eagerly await Jessica’s next pattern book, to be released this upcoming August, we’re excited to share she has even more in the works! Keep an eye on Jessica’s social for future quilt-alongs, new pattern books, and possibly, even classes one day.

“Quilting is a major part of my life now. It is my passion – There are so many wonderful things to do in the quilting world, and I want to do them all!”

Scrappy Sampler

To learn more about Jessica, her pattern books, and her quilting journey click on the links below and join her socials today! We hope this spotlight encourages you to begin writing your own sewing and quilting patterns, and even possibly publishing them one day!

What theme would your pattern book have? Let us know down below!

Jessica Dayon’s Links:

Click here to download the Scrappy Sampler today!

Check out Jessica on Instagram today here!

Learn more about Jessica and her journey here!