Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Meet My New BFF Ethel

I got a new friend and I will say she is wonderful! Before I tell you more about her, let me explain the story of how I ended up bringing Ethel home with me.
(photo from Juki no affiliation)

My other BFF is Bobbie and she is a Pfaff gal. I too have a Pfaff and had one 20 years ago too. So Bobbie and I had Pfaff machines in common among other things. Bobbie wanted to try out a certain computerized Juki sewing machine after reading a lot about it, but sadly there are no Juki dealers here in New Mexico. While 2 dealers claim to be Juki dealers, neither of them sell Juki machines, so we couldn't go to those places to try them out. Bobbie had thought about going on a road trip to Colorado where there are Juki dealers (I told her there was Juki dealers in Arizona too), but the travel time would be about the same.

Meanwhile, Bobbie did not want to attend the Rusty Barn Quilt and Sewing show this year that was here in May because she didn't want to buy more stuff. I was okay not going as I had enough stuff myself and didn't want to spend any more money. I got emails about the show coming and wanted to see what vendors would be at the show and found there was going to be a Juki dealer at the show. Well I told Bobbie that I didn't want to enable her to buy anything, but since Juki would be here, it would save her a long trip to our neighboring state. It didn't cost anything to test out a machine or two and satisfy our curiosity about Juki's. I contacted Mulqueen Sewing Center (the Arizona Juki dealer who would attend the show) and asked what Juki machines they were bringing. They hadn't decided for sure other than a few he told me and none of those were the ones Bobbie had wanted to test. We decided to get out of the house and go to the show anyhow. My job was to keep Bobbie from spending too much. (Did that happen???)

We tried all kinds of long arm quilting machines too just for fun from all of the brands and models from the various dealers. I tried a few other sewing machines too. Then we came to the Juki booth. The machine Bobbie wanted to test wasn't there, but they had the next one up from that, the Juki DX-2000QVP. It has more bells and whistles than the one she had researched. We tried sewing on it and oh my! Felt so precision like a Pfaff. I knew by Bobbie's look she wanted it. The machine msrp is $1999, but they had a show special and we got additional savings because we each bought one and paid cash, so we saved a lot more $! This Juki was too good a deal to pass up, considering all you got with the machine. I can say it is the best machine I have ever had or sewn on before. I still love my Pfaff (and Bernina), but the Juki is brand new and the Pfaff and Bernina I have are both about 30 years old, even though I bought them used a few years ago.

Bobbie and I had been joking that we were Lucy and Ethel on a road trip. So of course we had to name our twin machines Lucy and Ethel. That is how she came to have the name Ethel. I had never named my sewing machines before, but Bobbie has.

Ethel came to live with me on May 17. I have been sewing on her and playing each day since and have figured out how to use her pretty well. I love all the decorative and utility stitches she has.

This Juki has what they call a box feed system, which grabs your fabric and pulls it along better than a normal feed dog system. It comes with a lot of presser feet and bonus feet which includes a couching foot for couching yarn. I tried this on a scrap of fabric and it was fun to sew.

(photo from Juki)

You can even push a lever and make the stitch plate sew for a straight stitching only instead of having to change the cover plate. There is a telescoping thread guide and a cone thread holder that sits on the back of the machine which is great! I have a ton of thread on cones and usually need my separate thread stand, but now I don't need the separate stand.

(photo from Juki)

It has an extension table too, but I have Ethel set into a table. There is a pivot function that every time you stop sewing the foot raises up and when you sew again the presser foot drops down again. This can be disabled if you don't want it. The foot pedal comes with the default setting that if you press down on the pedal with your heel it will sew in reverse, however you can change this setting to go other functions instead or no function. I changed it to cut the thread and raise the presser foot when I push on the pedal.

The throat space is 8" wide and 4.4" tall. It has 2 LED lights, one at the needle and one in the center of the tall space.
(Photo from Juki)

There is needle up/down, thread cutter button, a needle threader that works great, a drop in bobbin, separate bobbin winder motor.

Ethel can sew through thick layers too! So for making bags this is a huge plus! When we were at the show, Bobbie sewed through 12 layers of cotton fabric and it sewed it like butter. Even several layers of denim it sewed through without hesitation.

The only thing so far I have found that I am not wild about is that the lever for dropping the feed dogs is not in a convenient location. I have to remove the gizmo that holds the presser feet and tools and slide it off in order to move the lever to drop the feed dogs. I have to do this on my Pfaff too, but on my Pfaff the bobbin is front loading, not top loading, so I need to put a bobbin in anyway and can drop the feed dogs at the same time I put in my bobbin. A little inconvenient on the Juki, but not a deal killer.

I have seen other machine brands that have similar features and they cost several thousand dollars. This Juki also sews quietly too, like my Pfaff. Because Juki is still not as well known as other brands out there I think that is why they aren't as expensive (yet). You are buying the brand name and reputation of machines like Janome and Bernina, etc. and name recognition usually costs more. Juki started out mostly selling industrial machines and sergers. So they are the newest in selling home sewing machines. I am a Juki gal now! (No affiliation). I just love this machine.

Did I do a good job and keep Bobbie from spending money? No! But she loves her Lucy and I did save her a long drive to test one out. Plus she ended up with the upgraded machine at less than she would have paid for the one a step down from this machine. I had no intention of buying another machine, but after sewing on this Juki, I knew I had to have her. I have never felt like that before. Usually I get overwhelmed looking at machines and trying to decide what brand, what model, etc. But since I didn't need a new machine, I knew I wouldn't feel pressured into buying one because I had to have a machine. That made it easier to decide. If this Juki wasn't any better than what I already owned, I wouldn't have bought her. But in my opinion she was heads and tails above the competition and for several hundred if not thousands of dollars less than other brands. All of this is my honest opinion and review. I am not an affiliate of Juki or any other machine and I get paid zero/nothing/nada for my review.

Oh and while we were there we each tested their Juki sit down long arm machine (which was less $ than all the competitors long arms) and the Juki long arm purred like a kitten! It quilted so smooth and was so quiet. I did stop Bobbie from buying that machine, lol! But believe me I was tempted myself! If I had a larger house, I would have considered it. Oh well there is always a road trip to AZ to test those again or the next quilt and sewing show? What am I saying!!!!

Time to sew, here I come Ethel.
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  1. Congratulations! I wish you and Ethel (and Bobbie and Lucy!) many years of happy creating.

  2. Oh what fun!!!!! I name all my sewing stuff, lol. I love the Lucy/Ethel angle :)

  3. Oooh this machine sounds fabulous-if I was in the market for one I would have to check it out even though I am a Janome gal through and through! So do you think the auto raising of the presser foot would became a pain? I know you said it can be deactivated but I also think it could come in handy! Is it hard to reactivate it when needed?

  4. Hi Daryl,
    I have wanted a Juki myself but ended up with Ellie the Elna instead. I tested out the sit-down Juki - oh man, that was nice! If a dealer had been closer for servicing, it may well have gone home with me. I know you will enjoy Ethel for years and years to come!
    Happy Tuesday ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. She looks pretty! May you both have many happy years together.

  6. Ethel is very pretty - congratulations Daryl!

  7. Your a dangerous friend to have, now i want a BBB Juki too. You make it sounds so wonderful i can't wait to meet Ethel. You have a wonderful way of describing what you like and don't like about the machine. Its so helpful.

  8. Congrats on your new sewing machine Daryl and thank you for sharing all of the great info! Now I want one!! Have you done any free motion quilting on her yet?

  9. So excited for you and Bobbie!!! What fun to share with a great friend!!!

  10. LOL @ the Lucy and Ethel story [oh how I loved that show :)] but when I first read that you had called her Ethel, it reminded me of a Ray Stevens song ... people of a certain age might remember which one I'm referring to, LOL! Hopefully you and Bobbie weren't doing "that" at the show ... although it would have been pretty funny! ;) Congrats on your fun new purchase - what will you/have you worked on to test out her skillz?

  11. You have a wonderful writing style. I really enjoyed your review. I have had my Juki DX2000qvp for a year and a half and, after I got used to it, I just love it. Even though, it has so many attachments, I did find it necessary to buy another one--a magnifier--so I could do some micro stippling on a quilt. There is a hole made to insert the magnifier in the front lower left of the needle area. It really made a difference for that and other precision sewing.

    1. Susan, your comment ended up in Spam because you are a no-reply. So I do hope you return here to read this. Anyhow, thank you for the compliment and telling me about the magnifier attachment! I am going to need one of those I think. My needle threader stopped working after a couple of weeks and I cannot see to fix it. Not worth taking the machine in just to get that fixed right now, so when Ethel needs to go to the spa, I will have that looked at too.


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