National Account Spotlight: Meet NorCal Sewing and Vacuum

On today’s blog, we got to sit down and interview owner Richard Montrouil from JUKI National Account shop NorCal Sewing and Vacuum in California! Learn about how NorCal came to be, and what customers like you can expect when shopping at one of their two locations.

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Richard Montrouil, owner of NorCal Sewing and Vacuum Centers.

Hi, my name is Richard Montrouil and I’m the owner of NorCal sewing and vacuum Centers located in Elk Grove California and we also have a store in Visalia California

What Is The History of NorCal?

Yeah, so I grew up in the industry; my family started in the 60s about 1965 and started as Kirby salesman, went into Singer sewing machines, I came into the business in 1990 when my brother owned a few stores in Elk Grove and Sacramento, and basically I was working through college and I kind of fell in love with the family business and went off to do other things but then came back and this location here my wife and I took over in 2011, and then we got into quilting machines about 2014. So we’ve been doing it for that long.

What Can Customers Expect When Shopping At NorCal?

So when you come into our store, number one the we we treat customers grea,t we treat them like family; you come in we make you feel welcome, we take care of you, we support our customers. If you have any questions we’re always there to help. We always guarantee and warranty all our repairs so if you bring repairs in we we fix them on a timely manner and we take care of you, and then we always give free lessons, free training after purchase. So when you purchase a JUKI from us we’re gonna sit down make sure you know how to use it correctly and we’re always there for you.

Why Did NorCal Choose To Start Carrying The JUKI Brand?

We saw a lot of JUKI sewing machines started coming into our store for repair, and we had a demand; well we were new to quilting in general so we had a lot of people asking about the quilting machines, the sewing machines, and then as soon as I was at VDTA one year and I could get a hold of a JUKI representative I wanted to carry JUKI; just so we could support our local customers because there was no one in the area that took care of JUKI. So we then we were able to get parts and fix long arms and sell long arms and that’s how we did it!

What Classes Can Customers Attend At NorCal?

So we do free one-on-one classes, and then a few times during the year we have these events where you can come. If you purchase from us, it’s free classes; we do hands-on events in our store about three to four times a year teaching you ruler work, different things and then of course you always have free one-on-one support; you just have to call and set up a time and then we’ll we’ll be here for you and do a one-on-one lesson.

What Makes NorCal unique?

You know what, we’re probably the only dealer in probably all of California, at least Northern California, that will actually go to the customer’s house and fix their machines there. So that’s really unique, I don’t think too many other dealers do tha,t they don’t have the staffing. I have seven technicians and we travel all around California and Nevada and fix long arms. We also, when you purchase machines from us, we do free setup and delivery; so that’s unique too. A lot a lot of guys will charge you twelve hundred dollars to deliver a long arm we do it for free.

What Do You See For The Future Of NorCal?

You know, I have three young daughters, well not young; I have a 15 year old, a 21 year old, and a 27 year old daughter. The future of NorCal is we’re a family business and I dream and pray that someday my girls take over but we’re going to be around for a very long time and you know we’re here for you guys.

How Can Customers Contact NorCal?

We have two locations to serve California; we have our main store is Elk Grove California, it is 8705 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, California 95624 and our telephone number there is 916-714-0904.

We also have a store in Visalia California, the address is 3340 South Mooney Boulevard, Visalia, California 93277 phone number is 559-372-7200

Our website if you want to go and look at products or email us through there is

How Can Customers Find NorCal?

Whoever wants to come, if you can’t make it to the stores in Elk Grove and Visalia to try out the JUKI quilt machines, commercial quilter here or the SAI 8 needles multi-needle, you can come and see us a few times during the year at quilt shows.Ssome of the big ones are Cal Expo in Sacramento in March, we’ll be in Roseville in August, and then in October we do the Pacific International quilt festival and you can come and try out JUKI longarms, come and meet us. So come and see us at quilt shows, come and try JUKI’s we’re ready for you!

To learn more about NorCal Sewing and Vacuum Centers, visit their website here! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Richard Montrouil, owner of NorCal Sewing and Vacuum Centers. We hope you get a chance to visit the next time you’re in the area!

National Account Spotlight: Visit The Village Sewing Center!

On today’s blog, we flew to California and went to visit our National Account Dealer, The Village Sewing Center in Santa Rosa, and got to meet their team and learn about their shop! Follow along as we meet up with Bernadette, a team member from the Village Sewing Center.

Opened in 1969, The Village Sewing Center is a well-known community sewing and quilting shop offering creators like you the tools, fabric, machines, and support you need to start bringing your ideas to life. Located in Santa Rosa, California, you can visit their shop filled with a variety of machines, ranging from your favorite home sewing machine, like our DX series, to our JUKI long-arm quilting J-350QVP Miyabi!

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Bernadette from The Village Sewing Center.

Hi, I’m Bernadette, I work at Village Sewing Center, and we are located in Santa Rosa, California at 506 Lewis Rd. We are a sewing machine store, and we also sell fabrics and notions for sewing and quilting.

What Inspired You To Join The Village Sewing Center Team?

What inspired me to start working at Village Sewing Center? Village sewing center is a very community-based shop. John, the owner, is a friend of mine, and I just love the way he is so knowledgeable about sewing machines and just this industry. It’s a great place to get together with friends, and there’s a lot of comraderies and just support from all of our customers, and a great place to collaborate and be creative.

In knowing that, it’s really fun to work here and be a part of contributing to that.

What can customers look forward to at Village Sewing Center?

When you come to Village Sewing Center, we try to welcome you when you come through the door. It can be a very busy place, so we try to acknowledge all of our customers, and if a customer has a special need, we will do our best to try to fulfill that need, and find what the customer needs.

if we can’t, we also try to offer resources that can help them out so they can have what they need.

What can customers expect when shopping at Village Sewing Center?

You can find great service! Our service department is here on site, and we got really good service people that are trained by John and very knowledgeable about all the different sewing machines. We actually sell six or seven different brands here, but we service all brands. So that is one of the things you can find.

We also try really hard to educate our customers. If they are doing anything to the machine that is putting a little extra ware and tear on it that is something that we try and educate. Also, when you buy a machine from us, we give you classes. We offer classes, we offer phone support, and also if you come in and you’re having issues threading the machine or something like that, we will take the time to go on the floor and spend a few moments with you and show you how to do that.

Because what we really want you to do, is love the machine that you have and have the machine that is the right machine for you. That’s really important to us. Also, just the support that goes along with knowing how to use your machine so that you can get the most out of it, and so you can be a part of that sewing community and love it.

What are the benefits of being a Village Sewing Venter customer?

Okay, so the benefits that we offer; not only do we take care of your machine here at the store, but we also offer classes when you buy the machine with us. You’ll get a free class with the owner John; he also provides online classes in case it’s harder for you to come in. Basically, those classes are exactly the same as what you would get in the store, just in a video format.

Great classes, very informative!

We also offer trade-up! So if you buy a machine from us, and we have a couple things that you get that are a bit unusual in that first year when you buy a machine from us. Your first cleaning will be for free, and that helps us to get a chance to kinda look at what’s going on with the machine and inform you of how you can help it last longer. The other thing we offer is if you buy a machine from us and within that first year you decide it’s not the machine for you or you want to upgrade, within that first year, you can get a trade-up.

It doesn’t have to be the same brand, you can get a different brand if you like, but we support that so that you can end up with the machine, that’s the best machine for you.

What is your favorite JUKI machine?

The JUKI machine, my favorite machine, that’s a really hard thing to do because I like JUKI machines a lot. One of my very favorites is the JUKI TL-18QVP, I love it because its kind of an in-between between a home sewing machine and a professional machine, and it comes with all kinds of extra parts, so it’s just like a great machine to have that makes your sewing a whole lot easier.

I also love the longarm machine that we have. We have a smaller one, it’s like a 5-foot, and that one is such a great one if you’re getting into longarming. It’s super easy to use and just would make; I mean, I’m not even a free-motion quilter, but it makes me want to have one!

How can a customer find Village Sewing Center?

we hope to see you soon at Village Sewing Center! If you need to get a hold of us, you can call us at (707)-544-7529. You can also find us at our website where you can also find our videos! And we are on Instagram, @VillageSewing also, and Facebook.

Thank you!

To learn more about The Village Sewing Center, visit their website here or socials down below! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Bernadette and our National Account, The Village Sewing Center. We hope you get a chance to visit the next time you’re in the Santa Rosa area.




Know Your Stitches!

When we first try sewing, our first idea is to learn from project and instructional videos or reading pattern and sewing instruction books. One of the top things you’ll need to know about is the type of stitches you can create and when it’s time to use them on your projects! Depending on what machine you’re working on, whether you’ll be able to complete every stitch we mention below, and how you’ll be able to create it.

Let’s Get to Stitching!

Straight Stitch: The straight stitch on all JUKI sewing machines is perfect for plain seams, darts, tucks, and topstitching! We recommend altering the stitch length to suit your project goals. The longer stitch lengths can be used for projects that require gathering or very long lengths for basting, making it easy to remove the stitches. Remember that your needle position should be set to the center of the presser foot for this to work.

Some machines will also offer a triple straight stitch. This is where the machines take 2 steps forward and one step back. This extra-strong stitch is excellent for crotches in pants where the seam is under extra stress.

Stitch Lengths to Know:

Seams and Majority Sewing: Length 2.0-3.0.

Gathering Fabric or Machine Basting Fabric: Length 4.0 is used for gathering fabric and machine basting fabric.

Double Needle Stitch: Add extra durability to your projects using this stitch! If you’re working on knits or stretch fabrics, this type of stitch creates parallel lines along the fabric and has the benefit of the fabric responding well to it.

If you’re working with woven fabrics, you won’t require this type of stitch, but it can be used to make a hem look more professional, giving your project that professionally finished look.

Keep in mind that twin needles come in a variety of sizes, and they have two number designations: one is the space between the needles, and the other is the needle size. So, for example, a 4/80 twin needle has 4 mm space between two sizes of 80 needles. Then for your extra needle, you’ll use your extra spool to place the second thread on your machine.

You can use this stitch to create decorative stitches, parallel rows of topstitching, and a coverstitch hem like those found on t-shirt hems or pintucks.

The Zig-Zag Stitch: Found on most of JUKI’s electrical and computerized machines, you won’t need to go over the fabric multiple times with this stitch! This stitch is solid and most commonly used to stop raw edges from fraying.

If you find yourself without a serger, this stitch is great for sewing knits as it has a built-in elasticity, meaning your stitches won’t break when pulled.

This stitch can also assist you in adding applique to your projects, like beautiful motifs for decoration.

Zig-Zag Width Setting Tips:

Sewing knits on the seams – We recommend a width of 1.0 and a length of 2.5. The stitch should be small and tight and look similar to a straight stitch.

Sewing knit hems – We recommend a width of 4.0 and a length of 3.0. The zig-zag should be much wider than the seams.

Finishing raw edges – We recommend a wide zigzag of width 4.0 and length 3.0 right on the edge of the fabric. This can stop your project from fraying and will increase the longevity of your creations.

Applique – We recommend a length of 0.5 and a width of 4.0. Again, you’ll want a very close zigzag stitch so that very little fabric shows between the stitches.

Blind Hem Stitch: This mix of straight and zig-zag stitches is perfect for hemming and mending your closet items! Nearly invisible, this stitch is used to either sew two pieces of fabric together or fold one fabric together.

A blind hem means you can’t see the stitching on the top of the outward-facing fabric. When done correctly, all you should see are little dots. These are the micro stitches, with all the visible stitching at the back. This stitch is perfect for skirts, dresses, and trousers with non-stretch fabrics.

You can also find presser feet accessories like the Blind Stitch Presser Foot to use in conjunction with this stitch option.

Bar Tack Stitch: This stitch was made for those areas that need extra durable stitches! Due to being in high-stress zones, you’ll want to use this stitch to reinforce project areas that are subject to stress and stretch, like your pant’s belt loops or pockets.

We also recommend this stitch for fabric bags because the stitch will provide strength to your stitches and the ability to withstand the stress of carrying multiple items.

This stitch does include the use of zig-zag and can be applied with a machine. If you want extra support, this stitch can be doubled up with a back stitch at the end of the seam.

The Buttonhole Stitch: This stitch can be used on a multitude of projects and depending on what machine you’re creating on you will either have one step to do, which measures and sews the buttonhole reinforcement for you, or take 4 steps and adjusts a few settings as it sews the 4 sides of the buttonhole.

You can use a zig-zag stitch for stitching buttonholes. Still, most sewing machines have the capability to create buttonholes with a special foot attachment or a pre-programmed buttonhole setting, like our DX-4000QVP.

 You can also use the buttonhole stitch to make sewn eyelets, attach applique to ground fabric for personalization, and as couching stitches.

Stretch stitch: Use this narrow zig-zag stitch when working with knit fabrics! While a straight stitch would break under the stretch of these fabrics, a zig-zag stitch stretches according to the fabric stretch. You might also hear this stitch called the lightning stitch or elastic stitch. This stitch can also be used to join elastic and the fabric or for mending tears in cloth!

Decorative Stitch: While not commonly picked, many electrical and computerized machines offer many decorative stitches that you can work into your everyday projects. You can experiment with different color threads and stitch options to be as creative as you want in your project designs!

We recommend stabilizers when creating with decorative stitches so that your designs don’t pucker or stretch on your fabric bases. This will help create a smooth, consistent stitch in your designs.

Keep in mind when working with decorative stitches the difficulty of removing them. These stitches can be very dense, making them easier to fix if you don’t like your chosen design. We recommend using a sample fabric to test your decorative stitch on the fabric and confirming which designs you want to use before beginning our project.

The Right Machine

When choosing your machine, remember what stitch capabilities it has and what you’ll need to create the projects you’re dreaming of. A basic sewing machine will often only offer straight stitching sewing, so if you hope to work with other stitch options like we listed above, you’ll need to broaden your machine options. To use more stitch options, like decorative stitches, we recommend researching an electrical or computerized machine like our computerized sewing machines that commonly offer a variety of stitches for your project needs.

Want to test-drive a machine and check out our stitch options? Contact your nearest JUKI dealer today here!

Meet Our National Accounts This May!

Meet our JUKI National Accounts ready to help you find the right machine for your dream projects!

JUKI’s National Account Dealers have highly desired JUKI models on display. This allows you and other customers the ability to see and try the machines at a National Account Dealer location to help you find the right JUKI for your sewing needs.

To find your nearest JUKI National Account visit us here

Industrial Account Spotlight: Meet The Fox Company

On today’s blog, we flew to North Carolina and got the chance to visit our Industrial Dealer, Fox Company in Charlotte, a shop that offers users like you industrial machine options, repairs from a certified JUKI team, and a hidden gem; their Sewing Machine Museum! Follow along as we meet up with Kevin Berzack, President of the Fox Company, and go behind the scenes.

Since its founding in 1932, The Fox Company has been specializing in machinery for the sewn-products industry and allied industries. They’re known to distribute leading international brands like JUKI and manufacture their own products! On our visit, we also discover their hidden gem, the Sewing Museum you’ll see we’re filming in today! This museum was started by Mr. Henry Berzack, father to the current president, who was a sewing machine collector that found machines from all over the world, excited to showcase designs that have long been changed.

Stay until the end to get a close-up look at some of the vintage sewing machines we saw while visiting, and watch as history changed the sewing machine we know today!

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Kevin Berzack, President of the Fox Company.

My name is Kevin Berzak, I’m the president of the Fox Company. I’ve been president for about two years since the passing of my father and the company is as a family-owned entity and I’m assisted by my sister Nicole who’s the vice president.

What is the history behind the Fox Company?

Fox company traces its roots back to the 1930s where Johnny Fox was a distributor for the Eastman machine company mainly focusing in the cutting rooms. My family bought the company from him in the mid 70s, so my family started in South Africa my grandfather was the first basically importer of industrial sewing machines to South Africa and way back in the 50s I believe started a relationship with JUKI and was the first company to bring JUKI machines into South Africa and southern Africa.

That relationship we carried forward to when we emigrated to this country when we started in the 70s. We approached JUKI and asked if we could please; because we had the experience, and the comfort with JUKI, that we could be able to distribute the equipment here, and luckily we were able to and we’ve had a great relationship since then.

What can a customer find at Fox Company?

Fox company obviously sells to some products industry. Our main selling item is obviously industrial sewing machinery equipment; of which JUKI and the other Japanese brands are the vast majority of our sales, JUKI being the number one product by far. And on the spreading and cutting side we get into cutting rooms across the country, as well as carry a huge amount of spare parts.

With Fox company you’re not just getting a machine in a box, you’re getting the complete package. As I started to say, we’re going to be there in the factory with you, we’re going to see what you needs are, we’re going to present a machine, when you get the machine it’s going to be sewn off to your specifications and more than likely one of our Representatives is going to follow the installation back to the factory and make sure that the machine is working to your satisfaction.

Fox company is going to continue to be a customer focused entity. We’re putting customer service number one. We will go where the customer is and where our customers are, and try to continue to gain experience from JUKI and other manufacturers and try to represent the equipment in the best light possible.

What is the history of The Sewing Museum we’re in today?

This happens to be my father’s passion, Harry Berzak, it’s his Museum and considered probably one of the top five to ten museums of antique sewing machines in the world today, encompassing many of the early American and European brands.

Where can customers locate The Fox Company?

We are located here in headquarters in North Carolina in Charlotte. We’re also available on the web. We have an office that basically handles our cutting products; including pool cut machinery and measuring machinery and other specialized equipment in Auburn, Georgia which is just North of Atlanta, and we have our offices in San Pedro Soule and Honduras

To learn more about the Fox Company, visit their website here! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Kevin Berzack and our Industrial Dealer, the Fox Company.