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Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Featured, Works in Progress | 44 comments

Juki Blocks

Juki Blocks

Thanks everyone for all your great advice on my birthday post! I’ve been responding to everyone privately for the most part due to the personal nature of many of your messages.

juki3

In other news, I’ve been putting my new Juki through its paces, and I am loving it so far! I got it up to full speed once and that was a bit terrifying. I think it’ll take some time to work my way up to that.

straightline

Mostly I’ve been focusing on the thing I’m making for my SSM4 swap partner, which I can’t really show. (blah blah secret blah blah) But I managed to get all four panels straight-line quilted which you can see in the very exciting picture above. I broke out my Hera marker for this and I’ve gotta say I’m impressed. I’ll definitely be using that more in the future.

wovenstar

What I can show you is that I’m back at the Skill Builder blocks! I’ve finished up my two March blocks, the woven star and the woven chevron. I made modifications to both blocks just to give them a more woven look.

wovenchevron

The woven chevron might be my new favorite block! April blocks will be a bit, as they are EPP blocks and I’m waiting for my templates to arrive.

allblocks

I’m still playing around with getting a good scant 1/4″ seam on the Juki. It comes with a 1/4″ foot, but it does a generous 1/4″ which is the opposite of what I want. On my Pfaff I just tweaked the needle alignment to make it work, but there’s no needle alignment adjustment on the Juki since it just does a straight-stitch. I know I could just line it up with the edge of another foot or with the line on the needle plate, but I really like having the thing to press the edges of the fabric up to. It really does a lot for consistency (for me, anyway). I might have to get used to other methods, though. :)

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday!

orchidsig

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44 Comments

  1. Love the modified skill builder blocks and so happy for you about the new Juki. Haven’t used a Hara marker but it sounds like I should pick one up.

    • You can borrow mine if you want, just to see how it works. :) It makes a crease in the fabric instead of marking it, so there’s nothing to wash out or anything. :) I did my first lines with a watercolor pencil on white fabric and I can’t get it all out to save my life. :( I was not planning to wash it since it’s a wall hanging. I guess I’ll keep working at it!

  2. i just got the same Juki for my birthday/X-mas. As you I love love love it, but the 1/4 seam has been tricky. I found that if it is lined up just to the edge of the foot it is a scant 1/4″. If I line it up with the 1/4″ mark on the needle plate it is much more than 1/4″. I’m loving how fast it is though – I actually am enjoying straight line quilting. Oh, and I love you skill builder blocks!

    • Congrats on your Juki!! :D Straight line quilting is SO fun, especially with the knee lift and the auto-needle-down thing! Definitely taking a bit to get used to all the handy features. :)
      The Juki actually comes with a 1/4″ foot, but it’s called something like the “compensating” foot. It’s the one that has the thick metal bar thing to the right of the foot. But it’s also on the generous side, at least mine is. I’ll try the foot it came with and see if that works better for me. :)

  3. Glad you are loving your Juki. That’s interesting that you can’t adjust the needle position. I would never have thought you couldn’t do that. I guess I’ve never used a machine that is only straight stitch. If it is any consolation, I’ve struggled like mad to get the 1/4″ seam I want on my Janome and it DOES let you adjust the needle position. :D

    • Since it only does a straight stitch, there’s no reason for the needle to move. :) It means it has a really beautiful straight stitch, but also no compensating the cheap way. ;) You’d think sewing machine makers would realize that a decent size part of their market would like this feature! :)

  4. Good luck with your new toy! What a wonderful surprise. I think that fellow of yours is a keeper.

    I have a friend that is coveting that machine. It’s interesting to read how you like it. I’m also interested that your previous machine was a Pfaff. I sewed on a Pfaff for 20 years – until she swallowed a pin and then refused to do anything except straight stitch. It was a shame – I really loved her.

    BTW, let me just say your skill builder blocks are awesome. Love the low volume backgrounds. I avoided that QAL, but now I think I need to go back and revisit it, after seeing your blocks. Thanks for the inspriation.

    • Yah, I think I’ll keep him around a bit longer. ;) We’ve been together something like 10 years, but he still finds ways to pleasantly surprise me. :)

      The Jukis aren’t for everyone, but if you want a machine that isn’t computerized, has few bells and whistles (but has the ones that matter) and only need a straight stitch, it’s amazing! :D I didn’t want computerized (one more thing to go wrong), never use the bells and whistles (more things to break) and only used the zig zag 3 times so far. So for me it was perfect. :D

      Which Pfaff did you have? I have the Tiptronic 6122 (or tipmatic? tipsomething) and it’s still a great machine. :) I’m definitely keeping it!

      Thanks so much for the kind words on the skill builder blocks!! I’m glad you’re going to give it a go. :) The blocks seem to take more time to prep than actually sew, but I’m enjoying it anyway. :)

  5. I have the same machine. I found if I used the side of the 1/4 inch foot as my guide on the edge of the fabric I got a perfect scant 1/4″ seam. Hope that helps.

    • That definitely helps! Thanks Ruthann! I’ll give that a go in the future. :) I like having the bar thing to press fabric up against, but if I need precision, I’ll definitely try lining it up instead.

  6. i dream of your machine, lol i’m also glad i’m not the only person that is still working on Skill builder blocks. she only had 8 completed quilts at the end of the year :(

    • Awww, it’s surprisingly not expensive…well compared to the higher end Janome and Berninas anyway. ^_^ I got mine for $899 (well my family did, but I did the deal-making that got that price) which seems really reasonable for what it is. :) I hope you will be able to get one someday!

      I saw that she only had 8 completed quilts. :/ There’s a lot that can come up in a year, though, so I’m not too surprised. :) There’s quite a few people picking them up again it seems by the looks of the flickr group. I think we’ll be seeing a few more finishes in the next few months. :) I’ve been looking at the 2014 blocks as well. That’s been fun to watch as well. :)

    • Thanks Christine! I need to finish up this swap project so I can get back to working on stuff I can show. :)

  7. My Juki arrive the day before Christmas…love it!!! Since the machine isn’t computerized, I use a thick magnetic strip as my sewing quide.

    • Congrats on your Juki! :D I’ve heard the needle up/down and the thread cutter are computerized, but perhaps the parts are far enough away that the magnet won’t bother them. That’s a really good idea! :D

  8. That woven Chevron is gorgeous and I love the blues in your star. Happy belated birthday!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Ruth! :) I kind of want to make a few woven chevrons just to see how they’d look en masse. But it’s kind of a pain to sew. So I probably won’t. lol The blues in the star are all Kaffe Fasset shot cottons. They aren’t labeled so I’m not sure which ones they are, though.

  9. Love the shot cottons. Very striking.

    • Thank you! :) They’re on the thin side which makes them a little challenging to work with, but I love the way they look. :)

  10. Love all those blocks, Anne. They are all so well pieced. You and Juki make a great team!

    • Thanks Lorna! I really like the idea of being a team with my sewing machine. :) They do all have their own personalities, so it’s rather true, isn’t it!

  11. Your blocks are lovely – I’m tempted to get mine out again…. love the low volumes as background.

  12. Love your Skill Builder blocks. I have just taken delivery of a bundle of Oakshott cottons and they would be perfect for these blocks! Must check out the tutorials

    • They are just so pretty and shimmery in person aren’t they?

  13. Some of my favorite blocks here! The contrast from the shot cottons to the low-vol is fantastic!
    I love the star and the sound waves one, just gorgeous! And the magnum!
    And i love my Hera marker, i use it all the time!

    • Thanks so much! My foundation pieces for the next two blocks should arrive soon, and I’m looking forward to making some progress on this again. :)
      I got a Hera marker for some class and just never tried it out for some reason. It worked perfectly for this project, though!

  14. i love all of our skill builder blocks but that woven chevron is gorgeous. the colors just pop.

    • Thank you! :D I’m actually thinking of doing more with that woven chevron block (well, not that one, but the design). I’m going to post about it tomorrow!

  15. I love the Woven Chevron block. The rest are pretty sweet too.

    • Thanks so much! I am really happy with how that block in particular came out. :) I’m excited to start doing the QAYG on these!

    • Oooooh I’ve been drooling over yours on flickr for a while! It’s so awesome to see it done; it’s gorgeous. :D There are a couple of blocks that I think I might switch out as well. I generally see how I feel about them as I get to them and make changes accordingly. :)

  16. I adore my Hera marker – and I love the look of what you’ve got going on here! Happy belated birthday!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes! :D I really wish I’d tried the Hera marker earlier, it would have saved me some trouble getting my watercolor marking pencil out of the piece. The Hera marker is magic!

  17. WOW! These are all just incredible!

    • Thank you! :D I can’t wait for my foundation pieces to arrive so I can work on the next month blocks! I suppose I could skip ahead a month, now that I think about it.. But that’s just crazy talk. :)

    • Okay I am going to go try to find these tools, because after reading your post, I need these. :D I have actually found a lot of ways for testing the seam size of my machine, and I’m looking forward to doing some testing tonight to see where it’s at. :) Thanks so much for the link and the information!!

  18. So glad to see you’re still working on your blocks I feel like I’ll be working on mine for years yet. My “Hera marker” is an upside down old butter knife.

    • :O :O That is SO brilliant! Now I’m wondering why I bothered paying for a piece of plastic I keep losing! lol Now I know what to do when I lose it again. :)
      I just got the foundations for the next blocks, but I haven’t started them yet. :)

  19. When I was teaching my husband to make quilts we took tape and put it on his machine. But it is a double sided thick tape sort of spongy (I have no idea what it is called) and we did not take the paper off the top. That way he had something to line his fabric up to. His seams stayed straight and did not get to big.

    • That’s a great idea! I might need to pick something up like that. :) Or I suppose I could learn to line it up on the needleplate like most people do! :)

  20. I just got the same Juki and I love it too! Like the other commenter, I love the Qtools Sewing Edge. I use it in conjunction with the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide. It not only gives you that “edge” to push your fabric against, but it feeds your fabric in straight into the presser foot. You can read more about both of them on my blog post:

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