Okay folks, I'm ready to dish. I've had my lovely Juki TL2010Q for a good three weeks now. Lots of sewing, straight line quilting and free motion quilting too. Am I still in love? Yes. Has everything been perfect? No. Most relationships aren't. I'm going to share all the hairy details here, hopefully for your benefit. Here goes!
I shared before that the needle threader was an initial disappointment. My lovely new sewing machine seemed temperamental in this department. One helpful reader said to always make sure my needle is in the fully raised position and my presser foot down when using the threader. I practiced under those circumstances and was able to thread using the threader by my second try and then, another day or so later, by my first try. We went a full week with effortless threading on the first try every time. Success! I couldn't wait to tell you.
And then we had a bad night together.
I set out to quilt the Starbright quilt with organic straight lines. On goes the included walking foot... only, does this look right?
See how the foot is not centered over the needle hole? However, after checking carefully with the hand wheel, I confirmed that the needle would not strike the walking foot. So, I decided to forge ahead. All went beautifully for about 45 minutes of awesome, speedy quilting and then I noticed a different, clanging sound. The clanging metal sound got louder. I checked the hand wheel and confirmed that it was not turning easily - somewhere metal was grinding. Gasp! My poor machine. I was so sorry to be treating her badly!
Close examination of the walking foot showed that the bar that goes around the needle screw was grinding on the needle screw itself instead of riding where it belongs. You can see the nasty evidence here. A defective walking foot, right?
And then I went to thread the needle and my needle threader wouldn't engage. Instead it just dropped straight down past the needle. So sad.
Oh, and the automatic thread cutter started unthreading the needle. Noooooooooo! I love that feature. Noooooooooo! It had been working perfectly for weeks and was now unthreading the needle about half the time. I noticed that my almost-empty, large Guttermann spool seemed to pop up and down sometimes when the cutter was engaged. Could the thread be the problem?
An S.O.S. email to SewVacDirect.com came back with some very useful advice and happy news.
on the Walking Foot
"The walking foot not aligning quite straight is an easy fix. Just grasp the front edge of the foot and twist it slightly to the side and the presser foot bar should move into position as it should be. It's not a rare occurrence on any brand of machine for a walking foot to show a slight misalignment in the presser foot bar."
Really? I would have been hesitant to man-handle a foot that way. But I tried it, and it totally worked! With that correction it looks like the walking foot bar is well clear of the needle screw. Hurrah.
on the Thread Cutter unthreading the needle
"The issue of it unthreading with your large spools when they are almost empty is the thread is not pulling smoothly off the spool any longer. Adjusting the tension on the machine will have no effect since the thread is actually momentarily hanging up and stopping for a split instance as it tries to pull off the cone."
Folks, this is what I expected. I switched to a new Guttermann spool and the unthreading completely stopped. Right now I'm using Aurifil, which has the open spool top, with no problems. I'll probably be buying more Aurifil since even an almost-empty Aurifil spool shouldn't give the thread cutter any trouble.
on the Needle Threader
"The needle threader issue is not one I have ever seen on a Juki TL series machine even as far back as the TL98 machines. But what has happened is the internal stop has moved upwards on the needle threader bar for some reason."
So, yes, it's broken! Maybe I'm hard on machines? Bad Rachel. I certainly do sew A Lot.
"I am going to send you a new machine, that would be our normal response to nearly any customer of ours, due to you having the machine less than 30 days. We will also send UPS to pick up the machine you have now."
Score! SewVacDirect.com paid for shipping on the new machine and return of the old machine. My new machine arrived yesterday, which is less than a week since I contacted them about my problems! I just checked the walking foot and it aligns perfectly with the needle hole. So we're off an stitching! My goal today is to piece the first two rows of my Ziggy Strings quilt.
I am most definitely pleased with the service I've received from SewVacDirect. If you have any questions for me, go for it!