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I have owned and used the Juki TL-2010Q for a few years, and thought you might like to know what I think of it!
I first became interested in the Juki TL-2010Q when I saw it popping up in my Instagram feed from all sorts of quilters, including Sew Can She, Cluck Cluck Sew, and Crafty Gemini. Thinking that if these fabulous quilters would want one, maybe I would too!
Previous sewing machine
Before I bought the Juki, I had been sewing on a computerized Brother machine. My parents gave me the machine as a gift, and it was the first sewing machine I ever owned. It had a lot of sentimental value, but I was beginning to become frustrated with its stitch quality. I would describe it as a “jack of all trades, but master of none”. Meaning: it had a LOT of fancy stitches and other bells and whistles, but I didn’t find that it did any of them particularly well. I just wanted a sewing machine that would do ONE thing really well: sew a stratight stitch!
The hunt was on
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this or not, but I kind of live in the middle of nowhere. There aren’t many sewing or quilting shops around, so I do most of my shopping online. I imagined that I would only be able to find this particular machine in another province, and prepared myself to pay hefty shipping fees to get it here. I fell off my chair when I realized that I could buy the Juki TL-2010Q online in Canada, and was even MORE surprised when I learned that the store who was selling it was in Winnipeg. That’s a mere two hours away from me! So close!
Bringing it home
Around the time I was searching for this machine, Mum came out for a visit. I stopped in at the shop that was selling the Juki before I picked her up at the airport in Winnipeg and gave it a test drive. I was sold! It was everything I had hoped it would be, and more! Not wanting to make such a purchase on impulse (despite the fact that I had done a lot of research on it) I decided to take a bit of time to think about the purchase before buying it.
When Mum’s visit was over, we went back to Winnipeg to drop her off at the airport. I brought her along to see the machine as well. She was impressed with the quality of the machine (FYI: she has been sewing on the same Elna that she received as a wedding present in 1975 and has never seen the need to upgrade – the woman likes things that are well-made).
Naming a new machine
The skies opened up and a downpour started PUMMELLING the shop while we were in the store. It was so forceful that people were stepping away from the shop windows out of caution. I had NEVER seen rain like that. But we couldn’t have Mum be late for her flight, so we loaded the Juki in the back of my car in the pouring rain (against the advice of the store owners). I was SOAKED to the bone during the thirty seconds it took to carry the box to my car. Every stitch of my clothing was sopping wet.
And so I decided to name my new sewing machine Dany – because she was indeed storm-born. ” />
But y’know what? I’m not the kind of person who refers to her sewing machine by name. I have never once called it “Dany”. I usually refer to it as “the Juki”. Sorry, machine!
What I like about it
That’s enough silliness about how and why it came to live at my house! Let’s get down to the real reason you’re here: to spill the tea about this machine!
There are so many things that I love about the Juki TL-2010Q! I’ll break my top 5 features one at a time with a bit more detail.
My stitches come out perfectly. Every. Single. Time. I’ve never had any sort of tension issue – just beautiful, even stitches. It’s such a relief to sit down to sew and know that the Juki will do its job reliably. This was my main goal in purchasing a new machine, and I’m happy to report that while it only does this one thing, it does it VERY WELL.
Scant 1/4″ seams
I wasn’t able to get an accurate scant 1/4″ seam with any of the presser feet that came with the Juki TL-2010Q, so I purchased this additional foot at the recommendation of other bloggers. It was the answer to my accuracy prayers!
Take a look at the block above… I sewed it from a pile of leftover scraps from other projects. I didn’t take any special amount of care when assembling it, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it measured 12.5″ when I finished piecing and pressing it (its intended size). That’s a LOT of tiny seams! If any of them had been off, or if ALL of them had been off by a hair, this block would have turned out the wrong size. With my trusty new presser foot, my seams turn out accurately every time!
Man, this thing is FAST! The Juki TL-2010Q thankfully has a governor (speed control option) on it, and I like to keep my setting at 3/4 to “rabbit” which is still so much faster than any other machine I’ve ever used. I was grateful for this option when I had some nieces over last summer who were learning to sew. We cranked the speed control down to “turtle” and they sewed safely!
Quality of build
The Juki TL-2010Q is made mostly of metal, and it’s a BEAST! This is not a lightweight machine, and I appreciate its build quality so much. It has no electronic components (that I’m aware of), and feels like it could keep stitiching forever. One benefit of this is that if the power goes off while I’m sewing, I don’t lose any of my stitch settings. I just turn the power switch back on and continue sewing!
I also love the sound it makes as it stitches – you can HEAR the quality of the machine. It purrs! Maybe I’m not describing this well? I feel like you would almost have to sew with it to appreciate how solid it is.
It’s such a weird thing to appreciate, but I LOVE the thread cutter on this sewing machine! While it does have a run-of-the-mill button you can press to snip the thread, the magic is in the foot pedal-operated thread cutter. The pedal works like a normal one (press it away from you to sew, further away to sew faster), but if you rock the pedal backwards (towards you), it activates the thread cutter. I have absolutely no concept of how this is accomplished – I’m just happy that it exists (kind of like electricity!)
Warning: you will quickly become dependent on this feature. When I switch back to my other sewing machine, I am constantly pressing backwards on the pedal and become frustrated when nothing happens. I feel insulted every time that have to use my FINGER to push a BUTTON to cut the threads. Like a lowly commoner!
Bonus: Free motion quilting
I should mention that this machine is ALSO known for its great free-motion-quilting abilities. I used this machine the one and only time I attempted FMQ on a project, and I can say that it was a (fairly) painless experience. The stitches were hilariously uneven, but I think we can all agree that was due to operator error, rather than the machine.
I’m not really “into” FMQ, but if you are, the Juki TL-2010Q seems to be great at it!
Things I don’t love about it
Overall, I’m very happy with the Juki TL-2010Q, but I will admit that it does have some features that I’m not so fond of. Here are my ONLY gripes with this machine.
Straight stitch only
I realize it’s a bit hypocritcal to say above that I love this machine because it only does one thing and then to say that I don’t like that it only does one thing. But I would love it even MORE if it could do just a few more things! If it could do a zig zag stitch, I would use this machine for 99.8% of all my sewing. But then do you think I’d wish it could do a few more types of stitches? Maybe.
This machine only has three little LEDs that don’t illuminate much. They cast shadows on my needle area, and make it difficult to see any lines I’ve drawn on fabric. I quickly fixed this by buying a strip of LED lights that I stuck to the machine’s throat. Now I can see everything!
Let me preface this by saying that I know of many quilters who tell me that their Juki is wonderful for straight line quilting with its walking foot. But I am not one of those people.
I had difficulties with the walking foot from the get-go. It’s awkward, clunky, and LOUD. Loud as in: people would complain two rooms over about its noise. I would have gotten over it if I got good quilting results, but I didn’t. No matter what I tried, I could NOT get my sewing machine to feed the quilt sandwich together evenly. I always ALWAYS had bunching, shifting, and tucks in my quilts. I had not experienced this with my previous sewing machine, and it was SO FRUSTRATING!!!
Thinking that I was causing the problem, I first tried modifying my quilting and basting techniques in the hopes of finding a magic combo that would allow me to quilt with ease. I tried spray and pin basting, then I tried fusible batting. I had bunching and puckers every time. Then I modified my method of holding and feeding the quilt sandwich into the machine, thinking perhaps there was a problem with either too much or too little drag. I also tried every possible combination of dial settings on the machine, to no avail.
If the story of my life with the Juki TL-2010Q was a movie, this would be the part where there would be a montage of me trying every single possible thing to get the walking foot to work for me (failing every time and getting more and more frustrated). Sadly, there would be no triumphant moment at the end when I finally conquered the walking foot.
Once I felt that I had truly exhausted every option I had, I called up Juki customer service, hoping they would have some tips for me. The people that I spoke with were very helpful and offered to send me a replacement walking foot. I was overjoyed! I could not believe their generosity!
When it arrived, I was unrealistically optimistic. The foot APPEARED to be exactly identical to the one I already had, but maybe it was fundamentally different in some way that couldn’t be seen with a naked eye?? That could happen, right?? I think you can guess that it was NOT a magical unicorn of a walking foot, and my experience was exactly the same as before. Womp womp.
So what did I do? I struggled with it for years, dreading the part in the quilting process where I would actually have to QUILT items. Eventually I grew so frustrated with it that I bought another sewing machine. I relegated my Juki to a closet where it sat for years until I recently attended a workhshop and decided to bring along my “small” sewing machine. And you know what? I fell in love with it all over again! I have a machine that can do straight line piecing / stitching with ease, and *ahem* I also bought a long arm to do most of my quilting! So I’m very happy with my sewing machine lineup, and have recently found myself using the Juki TL-2010Q for all my piecing.
I’m so happy to be reunited with my Juki TL-2010Q! It’s a workhorse, and truly does ONE THING very well! My stitches are straight and perfect, and my seam allowances match up every time. It’s what I bought it for, and it delivers on its promise of quality.
If you’re considering purchasing this model, I can wholeheartedly recommend it for straight line stitching. But I believe you’d be taking your chances if you were buying it for straight line quilting.
Do you have a question for me about this machine? Pop them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer for you!