Are You Ready To Upgrade Your Sewing Machine?

As we grow our sewing and quilting skills, we sometimes wish we had more features, feet accessory options, stitch options, and more. It can be hard to decide when it’s time to upgrade our beloved sewing machines, but an upgrade may be needed if you face issues like needle breakage, your machine stalling on large products, or not having enough space to create.

Today we’re going to cover upgrades in JUKI. From our beginner machines to more advanced options, we recommend the best upgrade options depending on your current JUKI. Whether you’re a quilter, garment creator, or focus on home décor, creating is best done when your machine is ready to handle your projects.

Things to Consider Before Upgrading

Before you search for a new machine, sit down and think about what features, presser feet, stitches, and more you’ll want to use on your sewing machine. Keeping these notes in mind, you’ll be able to begin your search with a clear idea of what you need, and then you can focus on the more bell and whistle options that you want.

Workspace

Do you have a dedicated space for your sewing and quilting? Or are you commonly moving your machine around to create? An important thing to remember when shopping is your machine’s size and weight. For example, if you’re a quilter with a designated room, you can plan for stand-up or sit-down machine options with large workspace areas. However, if your workspace is your dining table on the weekends, consider a machine that can be easily moved and put away.

Features and Accessories

If you’ve been working on a simple beginner machine, chances are you’re working with a small number of stitch options and a few features. However, sewing machines are now equipped with many features and capabilities that can make your sewing experience fun and easy!

Depending on the type of projects you want, features like button sewing, zig-zag stitch, and more can help you build your skills and create professionally finished projects. If you enjoy quilting, finding a machine with a dual feed function can be extremely useful when creating, helping you enjoy the process better. If you’re a common user of heavy fabrics, you’d want to find a machine that offers durability and semi-industrial strength.

Completing a Test-Run

Don’t forget to try it out before your buy! If you can test-drive your dream machine options, you can see if you like the features, power, and size of a machine before purchasing. When we upgrade our sewing machine, we’re looking for one that will be durable and long-lasting, which means this can be an investment. Before purchasing, you want to ensure that the machine can handle your current and future project ideas while allowing you to learn new skills and techniques easily.

5 Features to Keep In Mind

Finally, before purchasing your sewing machine, we want to share five features we believe sewists shouldn’t live without! Making your experience easier, these features were created to help you create your projects easier and faster while teaching you new techniques.

  1. Needle Down/Up

If you’re creating quilts, home décor, or even garments having needle up/down features can be essential in creating clean finished projects. By setting the machine, so it stops with the needle down in the fabric, you now have greater control and can turn or pivot the fabric you’re working on.

2. Automatic Buttonhole

Any project requiring a button can be completed faster and more efficiently with an automatic buttonhole. Machines that offer this feature usually come with a small variety of buttonhole options, allowing you to create pieces for garments, quilts, or decorations. Test-drive the machine before purchasing, test out the button holes to ensure you like the options available, and check out how easy this feature is to work.

3. Needle Position

While some sewists may overlook this feature, being able to change the needle position can help you achieve particular looks on your projects. For example, you can change the needle position from left to right if your machine has a zig-zag stitch. In addition, some machines come with multiple options for needle positions, like our DX-4000QVP, which allows you to quickly move the needle to the ¼ position with a tap of a button.

4. Automatic Tension

If you’re quilting or creating a garment piece, you know that changing tension between your project pieces can be a hassle and time-consuming when you first begin. A feature sewists appreciate is the Automatic Tension. Allowing you to switch between fabrics with ease, the machine will automatically pick up the tension it needs to be at for you to create your projects and lower the amount of work you need to do!

5. Dual Feed

Lastly, a Dual Feed feature is perfect for you if you’re a quilter. By allowing the fabric to feed from both top and bottom evenly, this feature can easily handle fabrics that shift or are bulky. So now, when you’re creating your family quilts, you’ll have less stress in dealing with shifty fabric or those thick seams.

Upgrade Recommendations

If you’re planning to upgrade your sewing machine, we’ve created a list below of machine recommendations depending on your current model. Whether creating quilts, apparel, or handbags, having the right features as you grow your skills will help you make those professionally finished projects you’re aiming for.

Quilting:

Suppose you’ve found more room to create and a designated space for your machine to fill, look into a sit-down or stand-up quilting machine! While a table-top quilting machine is perfect for many quilters, upgrading to a sit-down quilting machine will allow your projects to grow and flourish.

A sit-down machine like the J-150QVP offers straight-stitch and quilting like your TL-18QVP. This way, you can create your quilt pieces while working on other projects like your garment pieces and home décor. The throat space is larger on this machine as well! Now you’ll have a 12-inch spacious throat space and a 30″ x 30″ table where you can open optional leaves for even more room and easily create larger quilts!

For an even larger workspace, we recommend the J-350QVP! Like the J-150QVP, you’ll have a 12″ throat space for creating. However, your quilt space has just expanded immensely! You now have the option to convert your machine to a 5′, 7′, 10′, and 12′ frame. This frame will allow you to create quilts as large as king size.

If your focus is quilting, and you have a designated space in your home for your machine, we recommend checking out the J-350QVP Stand-Up! Upgrading from the J-150QVP to the J-350QVP will allow you to upgrade your quilt size and use new features like the Quilt Creative Touch 5.

The J-350QVP Stand Up offers options in 5′, 7′, 10′, and 12′ feet frames. From twin-sized quilts to king-sized, you’ll easily be able to free-motion quilt designs onto your quilts and enjoy the new digital aspect of quilting. Thanks to the QTC5 program that you can get as an add-on to your machine, you can now free-motion quilt with the tap of a finger.

The Quilter’s Creative Touch 5 is a user-friendly add-on that allows you to easily design and layout your projects using a Windows tablet or PC. Powered by quilt motion, the system will stitch designs onto your quilt with over 220 options. You can also master creating your designs and personalizing your quilts!

Sewing:

Creating apparel is fun and exciting, but it’s best when you have the right machine! If you’ve been working on clothing projects and notice you wish you had more stitch options.

Compared to the 70-HW, which holds 80 stitch patterns and five buttonhole patterns, the F Series begins with 106 stitches, including 16 professional buttonholes and three lettering fonts! Decorative stitches are a fun and easy way to add personality and texture to your garment pieces. Line your skirts, add them to your handbags or use them in home décors like table runners and pillows. The lettering options let you go the extra mile and personalize your projects!

Another bonus of upgrading your machine to the HZL-F or DX Series is the accessories available to you. Now you can use presser feet like the 1/4″ Guide Foot, Invisible Zipper Foot, Smooth Presser Foot, and more. These accessories will help your skills in garment sewing grow and allow you to test new techniques you couldn’t do on your other model machine before.

If you’re looking for a machine upgrade that goes the extra mile, we recommend the DX Series! Using a touchscreen, you can easily master the stitches and feature options on your machine. Beginners and sewists can enjoy the large selection of options available for decorative stitches, letter stitching, buttonhole options, and other features like needle positions and automatic tension.

The HZL-G Series is an excellent machine for a beginner sewist. Still, if you find your project skills outgrowing the capabilities of your sewing machine, we recommend upgrading to the DX series. While both sewing machines are computerized, the DX-4000QVP offers a 7″ touch screen that goes the extra mile for sewists testing new techniques.

While the G series offers excellent features like the automatic needle threader, free motion quilting, and powerful feeding for heavy projects, the DX offers these features and more that can ease the creation process. Now, with the DX series, you’ll be able to adjust stitch length easily, presser foot pressure, combine decorative stitching, and much more.

Designed to help you create everything under the sun, the DX series is perfect for the sewist ready to dive into their sewing journey! With the ability to make home décor, quilt, and sew garment projects, you’ll be able to excel in new techniques and project types while enjoying the ease of sewing due to the intelligent technology used in the DX machines. With features like a bobbin thread sensor and the visualization of stitches on the DX-4000QVP, you now have a concrete idea of your stitches and designs before creating.

Whether upgrading to a computerized or a stand-up quilting machine, finding the right one that can grow with you is crucial! It can be exciting to test our skills and create projects we’ve been dreaming of, so make sure to have the suitable machine and tools on hand when you need them. If you were upgrading your machine today, which one would you choose? Let us know down below!

To find a JUKI dealer near you, visit us here today!

JUKI Spotlight: Designing with Kiana Bonollo!

In this month’s spotlight, we are introducing Kiana Bonollo! Fashion designer, YouTuber, and TikToker, Kiana has grown in popularity in the last couple of years due to her videos showcasing apparel projects and behind-the-scene how-tos for new sewists. Follow along today as we talk to Kiana about her journey in sewing and how she grew to the 400k audience she has now!

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

From a young age, Kiana always had a curiosity for sewing. Her earliest memory was borrowing her mother’s sewing machine and altering her clothes while creating skirts from scratch! Later on, she would take her first sewing class, a week-long course on sewing basics, where she began with making pillowcases like so many of us do. Following her interest, she went on to take apparel classes in high school, finding she had a true talent for the hobby and diving into the journey. She began learning how to create patterns and learning complex skills she hadn’t tried before. College would be no different; continuing her studies in the fashion design industry, she has continued to grow her skills and talent, creating new patterns and projects for her audience and shop.

Using fashion as a form of expression, Kiana loved that fashion design allowed you to imagine anything you wanted and create it. Like so many of us, she struggled with inspiration in the past but finds that her favorite work to design are those pieces that she knows she will wear and show off in the real world! Focusing on projects that bring her happiness, her patterns range from loungewear to evening wear, a versatile selection that her followers love. 

When asked about how she chooses which patterns will be sold, “It’s really important to me that I take into consideration what my customers are suggesting and asking of me, so if a lot of my customers are asking for a prom dress- I’m going to make them a prom dress.”

Following her ideas and likes, she pulls from her customer’s suggestions and creates projects that align with their wants and her taste. It’s here that she’s been able to compromise on what’s highly requested and what she truly enjoys designing, creating that relationship with her customers, so many shops want to build.

Kiana describes her style as “edgy, but still tailored and chic.” However, finding it boring to stick to one aesthetic, she likes to dabble outside her comfort zone and enjoys mixing different design styles and aesthetics to create fun looks! With so many different style aesthetics and designs, she doesn’t let one style hold her in a box.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

With an audience of over 400k across platforms, it’s amazing to see what was accomplished in a couple of short years. Kiana’s page quickly gained popularity by opening her YouTube account in May 2020 due to her easy-to-follow and straightforward “how-to” videos and project compilations. When she first began her online page, she would put in 40 hours a week designing, editing, and creating, treating it as a full-time job. Feeling she needed to give herself a real chance, she dived into her work and focused on her dreams of working in social media and fashion design.

“I never imagined that my audience would grow to the size it currently is so fast, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has subscribed and liked my channel and followed me.”

For those out there who want to raise their following, Kiana advises finding your strengths and taking advantage of them! With so many talented artists and sewists in the world, it can be hard to distinguish yourself sometimes, but finding what you can offer that’s different or better from those out there will help you stand out. Kiana, for example, is known for her videos teaching sewist techniques and how to create different projects, focusing on her strengths of being a technical sewist and the joy she finds in educating others on her favorite hobby.

And a recommendation she has out there for those building their skills in sewing? Invest in a high-quality machine that you can also grow in too! Finding a sewing machine that can handle heavy-duty fabrics and stitches quickly and versatilely is perfect for those learning. They can upgrade their projects and skills without needing to upgrade their machine.

Kiana’s sewing table is always ready to work with her machines! Using the JUKI DX-2000QVP and a QVP serger, she’s prepared to create her silk gowns, cotton loungewear, and more. She loves recommending this machine to her followers who are serious about starting their journey. She states they’re great choices for intermediate and advanced sewers alike.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

Currently, her sewing table is being used for project requests and suggestions submitted by her followers. With the current pandemic closing shop for fashion shows in many cities, she’s been focusing on her customer base before planning to create another collection. Waiting for the world to feel a little safer, Kiana hopes to continue once fashion shows are back!

Besides her current wish for the runways to come back, Kiana hopes to launch a fashion design course one day and sell her fashion line. But for now, she’ll keep busy creating content for her followers and expanding her current business. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kiana and her fashion line!

To keep up with Kiana and her journey, click her profile below. And the next time you want to learn some fun fashion sewing tips, check out Kiana’s YouTube here!

Check out more from Kiana below!

Learn more about Kiana here!

Etsy Shop: Click here to visit!

Instagram: Click here to check out her latest projects!

Tiktok: Click here to see behind the scenes!

5 Things You Create On Your Direct-To-Garment Printer

Focusing on direct to garment (DTG) printing can be the beginning of a successful business venture! With this technology, you can now print quality images and graphics onto garments and have the ability to customize designs, fonts, and more. Using a machine like the RICOH Ri 100, you’re now able to create the highest print quality for the lowest cost per print. If you’re looking into starting up a business or upgrading your current one, DTG printing is the ideal choice. Let’s deep dive into some options you can create on your DTG machine today!

Custom Made, Personalized Apparel on Demand

A highly competitive market that’s constantly growing due to high demands is custom-made apparel. With the ability to print-on-demand small production volumes cost-effectively while quickly following market trends, you’re able to create your brand easily. These items don’t need to stop at custom t-shirts but polo’s, socks, aprons, tapestries, and more. There is a wide range of options for what you can create.

Memory Quilts

Are you thinking about creating or expanding your quilting business? An exciting venture is creating your unique fabric pieces for memory quilting. With the RICOH Ri 100 software, you can import photos of loved ones, graphics of their interests, and more to create a unique, personalized quilt.  In addition, you can provide fabric printing services to other quilters that want to create their very own memory quilt or are looking to make a quilt with their fabric design. DTG printers, like the RICOH Ri 100, use a wide range of colors, going as far as being able to print a photo taken in real-time with a webcam.

Fashion Textile Printing

DTG printers, like the RICOH Ri 100, use a wide range of colors, going as far as being able to print a photo taken in real-time with a webcam. With access to these unlimited colors, designers can make their fashion trends by creating prints for their projects. This can be a great niche to enter if you enjoy clothing construction and add more personalization to your projects. In addition, you can create on-demand accessories that users will love by printing limited edition fabric and using these on your projects. Some additions you can focus on are tote bags, socks, beach bags, and more!

Home Décor

We all enjoy decorating our home, and a fun way to do this is using personalized home textile! Using your DTG printer, you can create pieces like holiday-themed table runners for the dining room, tea towels with funny phrases for the kitchen, and monogrammed pillowcases for the bedroom. The possibilities are endless! You can also develop themes that transfer over different products, inviting shoppers to buy sets instead of one product.

Event Products

Marketing products are popular items to personalize and create for other small businesses, sports teams, school events, and more. You can also design pieces for birthdays, weddings, and other events that involve goodies being handed out. Follow your niche’s needs and open your business to personalized projects instead of creating designs or products. You can also offer up your services and attend events for onsite printing. Using a machine like the RICOH Ri 100, you’re able to take a photo and instantly print it onto a garment, creating a fun giveaway item for special events and shows.

Additionally, if you’re attending conventions or sporting events, you can take the RICOH Ri 100 on the go due to its compact nature! It can fit into a space as small as 15.7″ wide x 27.5″ deep, making it one of the smallest DTG printers. In addition, the printer and its finisher can be stacked to maximize functionality without sacrificing space.

With so many possibilities for creative products, the world of DTG is an exciting venture for many to enter. Creating personalized and commissioned pieces is also a perfect option for those who aren’t art savvy but enjoy creating otherwise. If you’re interested in starting your own DTG business, continue reading for tips on how to begin! What would you create on your DTG machine? Let us know down below!

JUKI Spotlight: Fashion for Dogs with Tiana Feng

What began as a fun project turned into a world of its own; meet Tiana Feng, the face behind The Bacon Collection and Bacon the Doggers! A digital marketer in the music industry and dog stylist by night, Tiana runs her little dog’s social media account under Bacon the Doggers. A miniature schnauzer who loves getting dressed and doing photoshoots with their mom, they love to feature dog fashion from creators all around the world!

Beginning in April of 2020, Tiana began to pick up sewing after finding herself with an abundance of free time due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Between research on the internet and plenty of YouTube videos, she began creating projects and continued to learn new tricks as time passed. The opening of ‘The Bacon Collection’ last year was inspired by human luxury fashion and street fashion. Bacon’s style has always been clothing that even humans would want to wear!

“The Bacon Collection is inspired by human luxury fashion as well as street fashion. That’s kind of what Bacon’s style has always been.”

Bacon was a natural model at the young age of 3! The first day he came home, Bacon was dressed in a sweater and loved it. Thus, history was born, and Bacon became an influencer without even knowing it! Wanting to learn how to make clothes specifically for Bacon, Tiana began designing and creating clothing. As she continued to grow and spend more time focusing on her hobby, she found that selling her designs and dog fashion would be a great way to support her next project. Inspired by her puppy, ‘The Bacon Collection’ was founded.

Opening up her Etsy shop in May, it would take a month before her first order. Slow at first, her shop began to grow as other dog influencers learned about her fashion sales and increased her viewership! Ballooning over 500 sales in a year, Tiana continues to be shocked at her progress from picking up sewing last year to her life now.

Using her JUKI MO-654DE serger and JUKI HZL-F600, Tiana plans to continue dressing more dogs in fabulous clothing and hopes to one day collaborate with some human fashion brands on projects. If you are interested in dressing your pet in beautiful clothing check out The Bacon Collection! Shop and social info down below.

Tiana Feng’s Instagram: @Tianafeng

Bacon’s Instagram: @baconthedoggers

Shop Instagram: @thebaconcollection

Shop Link: http://thebaconcollection.com

Blog: https://baconthedoggers.com/collabs/

JUKI July Sewing Challenge!

If there’s one thing our community loves, it’s a sewing challenge! If this is the first time hearing about a sewing challenge, it’s essentially a task set up on social media with rules as to how to complete your new project. These challenges can be for a day, a week, or even a month but all come with one main goal: you getting up and sewing!

Sewing challenges are a great way to be a part of the community. With so many people working on a similar project simultaneously, it can help you feel like you’re not sewing alone. The opportunity to join and share your work is always exciting! Using these hashtags to challenge yourself and show off what you create is part of the fun. Sometimes we all need that little push, like a challenge, to get us sewing again.

THE CHALLENGE >>

This month we’re making our own #JUKIJulyChallenge, and we want every one of you JUKI Lovers to join! Your goal is simple, create something that screams the beach! It could be anything from quilting to fashion that represents what visiting the beach (or lake) means to you.

Think of this as a fun new challenge to get your creative side flowing. Take the time to sit down and create something new with low pressure and think about what summer means to you!