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!

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 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!

Clean Up with JUKI!

When was the last time you gave your machine some TLC? Today we’re going to go over some general tips on how to keep your sewing machine maintained and ready to sew! If your machine needs a deep cleaning, take it to a nearby sewing machine technician.

Let’s start with the basics: cleaning, oiling, and changing the needle.

External Cleaning

The best place to start cleaning is the outside of your machine. Turn all power off and unplug your machine before removing the needle and presser foot. This is a safety precaution to save you from being pricked.

Grab a microfiber cloth and dampen just a little and get to work! Stay away from using any harsh chemicals on your machine or solvents. We recommend a small amount of dissolved detergent or dish soap if you find a stain that won’t come out.

For those hard-to-reach spaces, we recommend using your craft pipe cleaner. It’s best to do this at a slow pace to avoid unnecessary damage to your machine, especially near a spot with wires. This way, you can avoid bending or wrongly adjusting anything.

Internal Cleaning

Once the outside of your machine is looking clean, let’s move on to the needle plate area. While each machine is different, your manuals will display how to remove your needle plate. If you find yourself without a physical manual, remember JUKI places digital manuals on our websites.

Begin by removing the screws from your needle plate using a T-shape screwdriver. Next, place the screws somewhere safe and secure. We don’t want to lose any!

Once you have removed the needle plate and secured your screws, it’s time to dust! Here we recommend using the brush your machine comes with or grabbing that craft pipe cleaner to remove the lint and dust. If you find any loose threads, use your tweezer to capture those stray strands slowly.

*Never use canned air on your machine. This will cause dirt and lint to be pushed further into your machine rather than clean it.*

Once you’ve dusted the general area, it’s time to focus on your bobbin area. Your first step is to remove the bobbin case and shuttle hook. Once that’s removed, you’ll be able to clean the space behind it where lint and dust fall. Remember to be gentle in the process, your machine has many parts and tricks, and it’s best to go slow and easy when cleaning.

Our best recommendation is to service your machine regularly. A professional sewing machine technician will safely clean out those spots you might have missed and access parts we wouldn’t recommend doing yourself.

Needle Plate & Bobbin Area for DX-4000QVP

Oiling

The first thing to know about oiling is not all machines will need it. The best place to find your answer is in your manual. Remember, if you find yourself with a lost manual, JUKI uploads our machine manuals on our website!

Something to keep in mind is that non-computerized machines, like our TL series, need regular oiling. However, our machines like the DX series are computerized and self-lubricating, so you do not need oil.

We recommend checking out our video here for maintenance and lubrication knowledge for our TL series.

If your machine requires oiling, your JUKI machine will come with a plastic container of sewing machine oil. You can also purchase this from your local sewing machine shops. Remember, your manual is your best friend! Requirements on where and how can be found there when it comes time to oil. We recommend applying one drop of oil to each arrow point shown above for every 4 to 8 hours of sewing. Use machine oil (New Defrix Oil No. 1) or similar supplied with the machine.

Changing the Needle

One of the most important things you can do is change your needle. Needles can dull, get bent, and become damaged, and it’s one of the most significant factors in your machine performance. We recommend changing your needle every 8 hours of usage or starting a new project.

A tip to keep in mind is that the flat side of the needle will usually face away from you on our DX series machines and face towards the right on our TL machines.  Recommend checking your manual. Always confirm that your needle is pushed up and that your screw is tightened to secure the needle in place.

Remember, depending on your project and fabrics is how you choose your needle. You want to make sure you’re using the right one for the job between different types of needles and sizes. This will lower the chances of needle breakage and machine error. Things to consider when choosing your needle are the fabric type, project idea, and thread.

When it comes to maintaining your machines, it’s best to take your time and go slow. If you’re ever in doubt about how to clean your machine, visit us on our JUKI Home Sewing Youtube page here.

You’ll be able to find maintenance videos on many of our machines and more! Don’t forget to stay tuned as we continue to launch new videos on JUKI machines and more.