For this month’s JUKI Tip, we’re focusing on adjusting the bobbin tension on your longarm machine like our Miyabi J-350QVP! A common question we hear from sewists and quilters is, “how do I adjust the tension for my bobbin on my longarm?” We’re going to start off today’s JUKI Tip by covering what bobbin tension is, how to get true good tension for your next project, and a tool we think all quilters and sewists can benefit from having in their tool kit!
Follow along below as our JUKI National Account Trainer Alba demonstrates setting the bobbin tension for her Miyabi J-350QVP Longarm machine and how she finds the perfect tension for her project needs.
The first thing we cover is what our bobbin case and bobbin look like. For our JUKI longarm machines, you’ll need an M-Class bobbin and bobbin case. Inside the bobbin case, you’ll find its spring, which prevents backlash as your bobbin turns inside. Always check on your spring when changing bobbins, confirming its blue color to ensure it’s good to go! If you notice the blue haze diminishing, it’s time for your spring to be replaced.
Now it’s important to take care of your bobbin case! Handle with care to ensure that the metal doesn’t receive any bumps or bending from drops. This will affect your tension in the long run and how the bobbin pulls on your thread.
Starting off with a full bobbin, we’ll place the bobbin thread inside the bobbin, ensuring to pull the thread to the right side, before placing the bobbin in the bobbin case and stretching the thread to where the slit is so that it falls right into that tension area. That area is what holds the thread tension when you’re creating. Now the two screws you see on the side can be used to adjust the tension. By turning the screws in 15-minute increments, as opposed to twisting it fully, you’ll be able to adjust your tension slowly to your goal tension number. Remember, lefty loosey and righty tighty!
There are two ways to test your tension. One way to test your tension is by hand. You can do this by setting the bobbin on your palm, making sure to face the bobbin away from you as it normally would in the machine, and then pulling on the thread. You’ll want to make sure you can pull the thread up, slowly lifting it from your palm without the bobbin releasing from the bobbin case. The second way, a technique that offers more precise measurement, is using a tool like the TOWA Guage.
The TOWA Gauge is a tool quilters will love because of the assistance it can offer when you’re trying to get that perfect tension. The goal place our trainer recommends is between 180 and 200. However, her favorite is a little lower at 150. On a longarm, you want your tension to be able to handle multiple layers of batting and fabrics, so you’ll want your top thread and lower thread to meet right in the middle of your batting for good strong tension.
Following along on our youtube video, you’ll notice how inserting the bobbin into the TOWA Gauge is like inserting the bobbin into your longarm machine. Make sure to listen for a click as your setting your bobbin to ensure it’s placed in properly. Next, stretch the thread and run it along the bottom side of the first wheel and up and around to the top; here, you’ll begin to notice the gauge move. As your thread goes into the thread guide and out to the side, pull steadily and even to measure the tension. From here, you’ll be able to decide if you need to adjust the tension number to your preferred goal tension.
Once you’ve finalized your perfect bobbin tension, you can focus on your needle and thread combination. Having the right bobbin, needle, and thread is what will help your projects finish successfully and beautifully, but we’ll cover those combinations soon!
Thank you for joining us in this month’s JUKI Tip, where we focused on how to adjust the bobbin tension on your longarm machine. What JUKI Tip do you want to see next? Let us know in the comments below!
Join us this month as we celebrate National Quilting month with some of our favorite JUKI quilting machines. Whether you’re working in a studio, or on your kitchen table, we make sure to have what you need to start creating.
Check out this month’s top quilting machines and contact your local JUKI dealer here to learn more about our machine features and projects you can start creating today!
Continuing from last week, today we’re going to introduce the final 13 shops from our JUKI National Accounts. At JUKI, we know that great feeling you get when you find your favorite sewing shop!
Whether it’s because they carry unique fabrics, accessories you need, or that JUKI sewing machine you love, they’re here to help you create. So follow along below as we finish introducing our current National Account dealers and how you can reach out to them today!
Lake Loveland Sewing Company
Located in Loveland, Colorado, come and visit the Lake Loveland Sewing Company! Offering various options from the JUKI sewing line, from long-arm machines to sergers, their team is excited to help your designs come to life with the suitable machine and accessories you need!
Check out their notions, fabrics, and classes offering the chance to learn new skills and create fun projects! To find out more about Lake Loveland Sewing Company, visit us here today.
McDougal Sewing Center
What began as a humble small store in the Houston Heights area known as Bob McDougal Sewing Machine Co. has transformed into today’s McDougal Sewing Center, one of America’s largest sewing machine dealers! Focused on building long-term customer relationships through honesty and hard work, customers can enjoy a sense of friendliness the second they walk through the doors!
On top of their customer service, their shop has benefits focused on the quilter advancing in their skills. Enjoy benefits like their no-risk, one-year trade-up program, unlimited machine usage classes, professional technical service, and more! If you’re in the Katy, Texas, area, you can visit their shop today! Check out their location and learn more about McDougal Sewing Center’s machines, services and classes by visiting our page here today.
NorCal Sewing and Vacuum
At Norcal Sewing & Vacuum Center, you’ll find a family-owned business ready to help you find the suitable machine for your needs! Offering sewing machine repair services, a diverse inventory of notions, parts, and accessories, and old fashion customer service, you’ll be able to learn more about the JUKI product line and which features and machines are best for you.
To visit Norcal Sewing & Vacuum Center and learn more about their customer benefits, visit here today!
Pocono Sew & Vac
If there’s one thing Pocono Sew and Vac has, it’s an experience! After serving customers for over 40 years and with a team of over 15 people, most with 30-40+ years of industry experience, you can trust that their team is ready to help you start creating! So test-drive their extensive line of JUKIs before you buy, attend classes in their growing education department and trust that your machine is in good hands when shopping at Pocono Sew and Vac, located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Need project supplies? Find 3,000 bolts of fabric from the best designers, collect your sewing notions and join their club to receive even greater savings on their already marked-down fabrics. Want to visit Pocono Sew & Vac? Visit our site here today to learn more!
To help you become the best quilter, stop by Quilters HQ the next time you’re ready to begin creating! Providing you with the best tools, notions, fabrics, and JUKI sewing or longarm machines, their team is prepared to help you get started today.
Since 2017, this family-owned and operated quilt shop has provided edge-to-edge quilting services, sewing and quilting classes, workshops, and a service and repair team ready to help you maintain your machine. Want a sneak peek of what Quilters HQ can offer? Check out their LIVE sew-along! Visit their Facebook site every Tuesday from 6 – 7 pm for tutorials, inspiration, new products, and more. To learn how you can visit Quilters HQ and meet their team, visit us here today!
What was once known as Perrine Sewing & Vacuum Center in the late 1960s in Perrine, FL, has now transformed into the beloved SEW-MINI Things in Lake County, Florida! Offering a variety of our JUKI Sewing and Long-arm sewing machine line, SEW-MINI things is ready to help you find the perfect machine for your project needs.
Here you’ll be able to find a diverse collection of 3900 bolts of fabrics, grab those notions you need for your next project, and receive expert assistance from their team when you visit their shop! To find out more about SEW-Mini Things, visit our website here today.
Southeast Sewing Products
Southeast Sewing Products, also known as Sewingmachine.com, first started in 1982 with one location in Atlanta, before 1995 when owner Mel Tramell expanded the business onto the online world! With two locations in the Atlanta area and a large warehouse, Southeast Sewing Products is ready to help you find the perfect machine by offering you the chance to test-drive your dream picks.
With over 60 years of business, owner Mel Tramell is an enthusiastic leader with a knowledgeable staff ready to teach you those tips and tricks to sewing and quilting on your new machine. Learn more by clicking here today!
The Fabric Center
Quilters all over the Midwest know about The Fabric Center! Located in Morris, Illinois, with over 7,000 bolts of fabric choices, a large variety of JUKI products, and a large assortment of quilting patterns, books, and notions quilters like you can visit knowing you’ll find what you need! In addition, their staff is ready to answer your sewing and quilting questions and help you test-drive and find the perfect machine for your space!
Enjoy the perks of buying from The Fabric Center by using their phone and in-person technical support, attending their post-purchase one-on-one machine lessons to get you comfortable with your machine’s ins and outs, and using their authorized service center when the time comes! Whether you’re a new quilter ready to dive in or an experienced quilter looking for fun new patterns and fabrics, The Fabric Center can help your project ideas come to life. Please find out more by visiting us here today!
The Sewing Machine Shop
Those familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area will love The Sewing Machine Shop! Located near many cities, this shop is ready to help quilters and sewists like you find the perfect machine and tools to help your project dreams come to life. Filled with our JUKI Sewing and Long-arm sewing machine line, you’ll easily find the suitable machine for your project needs and sewing space!
Enjoy their shop showroom and experience the machine before buying by test-driving on various fabrics and machine options. Also, sign up for their sewing class to familiarize yourself with your new machine! If a repair is needed, you can return to The Sewing Machine Shop and know your machine is in capable hands with their award-winning service department. To learn more about The Sewing Machine Shop and how you can visit, click here!
The Sew’n Place
Providing the community of Fayetteville, PA, with quilting and sewing essentials since 1982, check out The Sew’n Place! Family owned and operated, their shop goal is to help all customers that walk through their front door find the perfect machine for their project needs.
Check out their large selection of premium cotton fabrics, Horn sewing cabinets, sewing notions, rotary cutting tools, quilting supplies, books, patterns, and more! Here you’ll find the tools you need and a large selection of JUKI sewing and long-arm quilting machines ready to help you start crafting. With over 30 years of experience on their staff that offers repairs services, a wide range of sewing and quilting classes, and knowledgeable support, stop by The Sew’n Place to find your next machine! Visit us here today to learn more about The Sew’n Place and how you can visit.
The Stitching Post
Opened in 1986, The Stitching Post is here to find suitable sewing machines and fabric for your projects! Operating out of the heart of corn country, Washington, Indiana, you’ll find a wide variety of materials, books, patterns, and notions. As Southwest Indiana’s largest quilt store, they pride themselves as a space for quilters to visit and leisurely browse its extensive fabric collection and JUKI machine line!
From our long-arm quilting machines to our sergers and even direct to-garment printer RICOH Ri 100, you’ll find suitable machines for your dream projects here.
Welcoming visitors to their version of heaven, quilting in the country, you can learn more about The Stitching Post and how to visit them by going here!
Tops Vacuum and Sewing
A community name in the sewing and quilting world, Tops Vacuum and Sewing offers eleven retail locations with certified technicians and a variety of our JUKI machine line. With Tops, you’ll receive free delivery and set-up on all long arms in the continental US, free shipping on all orders over $50 in the continental US, a free Quilt Motion lesson, and so much more! These benefits make shopping with Tops Vacuum and Sewing fun and easy!
If you’re looking for a sewing machine or thinking about purchasing your sewing machine online, check out Tops Vacuum and Sewing and learn more by visiting us here today.
Village Sewing Center
If you’re located near Santa Rosa, California, it’s time to check out Village Sewing Center! Opened for more than 40 years, this sewing center offers hundreds of options for your crafts. Whether you’re working on quilts, embroidery, or creating garments, owner John Furtado pride themselves in having the basics you’ll need to get started.
Enjoy browsing a variety of JUKI sewing and quilting machine options, browse their large collection of fabric choices, and attend one of their sewing classes to learn a new skill or build a new project! Lastly, shop with comfort, knowing this shop is ready to handle your JUKI repairs and answer any technical questions! If you want to meet Village Sewing Center’s knowledgeable staff and browse their collection visit our site here for more information!
Why Shop at a National Account Dealer?
One-On-One Training: Throughout the year, JUKI trainers visit these dealers to keep their staff up to date on the newest JUKI home products to help provide you with reliable support during and after your purchase.
Qualified Service Department: JUKI’s National Account Retail Dealers maintain a qualified service department, which is trained on JUKI products and has direct support from JUKI America. They’ll be able to help you keep your JUKI expertly tuned up.
JUKI Access: National Account Dealers have access to the entire JUKI Home Sewing product line including direct-to-garment printing, compact commercial embroidery system, longarm quilting, and tabletop quilting along with a full line of sewing machines and sergers for you to experience.
Wherever you’re located, JUKI is working on bringing you the sewing and longarm machines you love and want! Our National Account dealers are a great place to start, thanks to their goals of being your one-stop shop offering notions, fabrics, machines, and so much more. To learn more about our National account dealers and how you can visit one, check out our site here.
Known for creating beautiful quilts, sharing tips and tricks for your sewing rooms, and her quilting podcast with co-host Rochelle Rice, we’re excited to spotlight Leslie Bercher, Quilter and podcast host for Inappropriate Quilters! Joining us for this month’s spotlight, we got to interview Leslie about her journey in quilting, the podcast’s beginning with co-host Rochelle, and how she created her brand.
It all started with Leslie’s grandmother, Helen. Helen was a member of a church that held Auxiliary Meetings where other members would quilt, crochet, and embroider. It took Leslie several years to watch her grandmother attend these meetings and see her create beautiful projects before picking up the hobby. So it was 2018 when Leslie, with two of her best friends, decided to take a class called ‘Quilt 101’.
“My first quilt was a log cabin, and I made two immediately. That was the beginning, and I haven’t looked back.”
Leslie began sharing her work online, finding a passion for creating and taking the time to build these quilts and designs. It was after a friend recommended she create a profile on social media, explaining she was missing out by not joining the online community when she opened her account. Opening herself up to the idea, she began posting and sharing her projects, excited to see how many beautiful quilters were out there in the world.
It was online that Leslie found a supportive community in her projects and offered her the opportunity to network and build relationships with new people! Consistently supporting one another in their ideas, and encouraging those who have lost their “sew-jo,” as Leslie says, has made the community, unlike any other group she’s been a part of.
This community has also been the inspiration for countless projects she’s created, inspired by other creators on social media. While not a modern quilter, she finds inspiration in all their designs picking from their color selections, patterns, and quilting textures. She also focuses on who she is creating, letting that drive much of the inspiration.
At one of these quilt retreats with the quilting community, she met Rochelle, someone who, according to Leslie, “has never met a stranger.” Leslie and Rochelle were placed in the same group, and their group’s theme was chickens! With their organized and over-the-top decorations, they couldn’t resist having a group mascot, Leon, the rubber chicken.
One day, during the retreat, Leon went missing! Leslie convinced Rochelle was to blame for the Rubber Duck disappearance, and she took it upon herself to ‘borrow’ Rochelle’s foot controller from her machine when she wasn’t looking. The joke would fall back on Leslie when Rochelle returned to the retreat the next day after a nice early night in, unaware her controller had been taken in the first place! They were fast friends after that, bonding over jokes and laughter.
A couple of years later, the podcast topic would come up between the two friends. During a dream quilt vacation, a sewing retreat where two of their favorites, Camille Roskelley and Angela Walters, would attend, they were having breakfast when the idea popped into Leslie’s head.
With only an idea and some research, Rochelle purchased all the equipment while on their retreat and had it shipped to her home for when they arrived back in town. Excited about their new project, there was only one thing missing, a name! But, as their friends joined in on the conversation, one name stuck out. Walking away from their breakfast table, their friend Angela turned around and offered up “Inappropriate Quilters,” the perfect name for the inappropriate duo!
“Angela was getting up from the table and casually said, ‘oh, I know what you should name it. Inappropriate Quilters.’ We looked at each other and said, “that’s it!”
From there, the show project was on! Weekly episodes, released on Saturdays, became the norm where two quilting friends could join together to discuss life and quilting. With no script in hand, the two friends meet at Leslie’s studio weekly to record before she finishes editing and schedules the episodes Saturday morning. Finding their way into other quilters’ studios through their speakers, their show focuses on just two friends who love quilting, allowing listeners to feel like they have friends in the room with them when they’re creating.
One topic Leslie loves to cover is the process of creating and organizing your studio space. As quilters and sewists know, having a space that encourages creativity and allows you to move and build your projects is important! As an advocate for ‘Function and Beauty,’ we asked Leslie what recommendations she can offer to those building their studio space today.
“You have to start with function. But if it isn’t cute, it better have a very good reason to take up your space!”
What else can you find in Leslie’s studio? Her JUKI! With her Haruka TL-18QVP, named Camille after Camille Roskelley, Leslie has been able to create beautiful quilts and projects she loves. With 95% of her projects involving straight-stitch, she chose a machine that fit her needs. Her top three features at the time were: consistent straight stitch, an automatic thread cutter, and speed! Her best recommendation to sewists and quilters looking for a new machine is to focus on what features are important to you, figure out what type of stitches you plan to create with, the speed, and visit your local dealer! A local dealer can listen to everything you may want and offer machine recommendations and test-sewing.
Leslie’s quilting has opened up a community for her, allowing her to be creative, meet new people, and enjoy her hobby! As she’s transitioned to a content creator and business owner, we asked what advice she’d offer to someone trying to build their brand. “There are so many little things that you didn’t plan. Be gracious with yourself in the process.” Setting up the government business aspects of a shop, like tax ID, sales taxes, and even finding a partner, can be challenging, but the final product is worth it when you love what you do!
We’re so excited to continue seeing Leslies’ brand and content grow, especially with possible plans of opening a YouTube page for creators to join! Listening to feedback from the community she’s created is vital, and she trusts them to lead her toward new and exciting project ventures. So even with her reservations about being on camera, you can expect Leslie to meet her community in the middle and find a way to join the video world!
From quilting to running a podcast, we had a great time getting to know Leslie and going behind the scenes for her projects. If you’ve enjoyed getting to know Leslie and want to keep up with her and Rochelle’s podcast and future quilt projects, join us in following her socials and websites below!
You may recognize this month’s spotlight from “Michael Miller Fabrics Making It Fun” or “Man Sewing,” we’re so excited to spotlight our JUKI Ambassador, Rob Appell, during National Sewing and Quilting month! In today’s blog, we get to speak with Rob about his journey in quilting, his passion for the craft, and how he came to be where he is today.
Robs journey in quilting began when he moved back home from college, spending his free time outside and snowboarding. His mother, the manager and eventual owner of the local quilt shop brought Rob into the business, where he started as a clerk. When his mother began bringing in machines to sell, Rob eventually shifted to machine repairs, and here is where he started falling in love with sewing!
Creating fun Hawaiian shirts as his uniform for the quilt shop, he found himself having fun making them and eventually began looking into patchwork quilting. A fun and easy way to pick up quilting, he began testing his skills in free motion quilting his projects. Again, finding himself loving the hobby. The rest, as they say, is history!
Since he began to quilt, Rob has accomplished a published quilt book, starred in and hosted multiple quilting YouTube shows, created a community for his teachings, and so much more! His videos encourage new quilters to be creative and enjoy their projects! With a focus on basic techniques, his hope when he’s creating for viewers is that they find something they can take away from his lessons and learn how to make their versions.
Recently starring in ‘Michael Miller Fabrics’ Making it Fun,’ you can follow along with his high-energy videos and view the different patterns and free motion quilting techniques Rob uses. While he offers some design patterns and templates for quilters, his work mainly focuses on organic creation. Going with the flow, his work often doesn’t follow design patterns; the finished design patterns he has sold usually come from these organic works he’s completed after the fact!
“The Free Motion Quilting, I prefer to go freestyle, no pattern, sometimes a plan, but usually pretty random and free.”
Quilting didn’t take him away from the outdoors he loved. Combing two of his favorite things, Rob is known for his landscape quilts. These beautiful pieces focus on nature and showcase views in bright colors. In fact, in 2009, Rob created 12 different quilts that featured faces of endangered species. Using the patterns from his work, he was able to fundraise and advocate for these species through sales that went toward endangered species charities.
He also authored a pattern book, “Making Waves … Adventures of a Surf Quilter,” a self-published print book featuring his landscape and seascape quilts. Early in his quilting journey, Rob was known for his scenic creations. Then, using free motion quilting and applique, he would add fun designs like fish, coral, rocks, lighthouses, ships, and more! Then, bringing in his love for surfing, he created a piece that intertwined surf terms with quilting terms, going above the average and setting himself apart.
Now, as someone who’s been quilting and creating those quilting videos we love for years, we asked Rob what keeps him going. “Videos are free and can be viewed over and over again if you’re learning from them. I love to present my passion for quilting.” Rob likes to focus on basic quilting techniques because he’s often reminded of how many new quilters have emerged in the community over the years. Thanks to video cameras and social sites like YouTube, where Rob hosts, he can teach how to construct quilts and the basic skills all quilters want to know. Keeping himself motivated with fun fabrics and the creative process has pushed him to bring that energy into each episode’s studio. Thankful for the following he’s gained on YouTube that keeps him going!
He recently created a new quilt, the “Synergy Remix,” designed by Kristie J. Smith in her pattern book, “Splice Magic,” that he loved! Always excited to try out new and different quilting techniques, like he encourages his viewers, Rob locked himself in the quilt shop, Stitchin’ Heaven, his latest collaboration where he’ll be hosting new quilting episodes, and went to work! In one night, he created a quilt and video, maligning the entire project and finishing it. Yet, this project places a smile on his face when he thinks about it.
While Rob has gone on to try other ventures, like his work in textile design with Free Spirit Fabrics, he vouches for his love of quilting. Sharing his love of fabric and free motion quilting, he focuses on his desire to quilt the top to push him through the construction process. Recently, he’s begun focusing on improving his precision in his patchwork! By creating little half-square triangles and trimming them up, he’s found joy in practicing his skills.
Always learning and growing, Rob has begun a new journey in his quilting career with Stitchin’ Heaven! As their new YouTube manager and Content presenter, he’ll be able to create a team of quilt lovers like himself who can share their passion for the craft while teaching others worldwide. Stepping back from handling all processes by himself, he’ll now have quilting friends who will help him create new and exciting projects for viewers like you. We’re excited to see the different techniques and quilting styles that will emerge from this new partnership!
“The thing I love most about the quilting industry is that there is so much for everyone.”
With the quilting community constantly growing as new members find their passion for the hobby, we asked Rob what advice he has for JUKI Quilters. “Get to know your machine, spend 7me learning the nuances, understand what the different feet do and when to use them. Then, remember – this is a hobby, not a race. Please slow down to enjoy the process.” When you enjoy the steps to what you’re creating and take a moment to appreciate each technique you’ve picked up, you’ll truly enjoy the finished project. As Rob mentions, so many people need something positive in their lives. Take the time to find your passion, teach and work with others in your quilting community, and enjoy the process.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Rob with us, and we hope this inspires you to join him on an online video one day and check out quilting! A hobby for everyone, we hope everyone enjoys National Sewing and Quilting month with a fun new project!