Monday, April 16, 2012

New Machine

And boy do I have questions ;)

     Well, I have had it for about a week now, Juki Exceed 400, and I have to say I am totally in love with it so far.  I have basically just done piecing with it. I am working into it slow to make sure I am comfortable with it before I move on.  So, no problems with the basics, it sews so quiet and smooth. I love the thread cutting and needle threading. I like that I touch one button to move the needle into a position to make it so that the 1/4" mark is the edge of the presser foot. The speed control is a really nice feature. I know no matter how hard I am pressing the foot control its top speed will go no faster than I am comfortable with and wont go out of control on me. The feed is so smooth and easy to control. You don't have to stay on top of it to keep the seam going straight. It is just a comfortable smooth feed.
 I  now feel ready to learn how to machine quilt. It is funny, back in the day, when I started to quilt, it wasn't really an option. I don't remember anyone doing it at all. Things have changed so much.
So I have some questions if anyone will take the time to answer for me I sure would appreciate it.
1. When stitching in the ditch which is the best foot to use?
2. How do you get your stitches to look hand sewn? I have seen some quilts where there is more space between the stitches that make it look had sewn.
3. For straight line quilting which is the best method and which foot do you prefer?
4. Do you do this with feed dogs up or down?
5. With free motion do you cover your feed dogs or just drop them?
Ok, well, I think that is enough questions for now. :)  
I hope you are all having a wonderfully happy Monday


  1. 1. Stitching in the ditch: I use very fine thread (like Bobbinline), quilting/darning foot, feed dogs down or at zero (with presser foot tension lowered), and hand guide along the seems.
    2. I hand quilted for a couple of decades so I don't expect a machine stitch to look like a hand stitch (at least none I've ever seen).
    3. I still hand guide straight stitching. My machine had a quilting bar, but I didn't find it helpful.
    4. Feed dogs down. If I use a machine that doesn't not have the capability of lowering feed dogs, I lighten presser foot pressure and set stitch length at zero (and just ignore the feed dogs--I find they do cause a bit of drag, but I have friends who don't notice the difference.)
    5. Free Motion: Feed dogs down if I have tht option.
    Have fun stitching.....

  2. I have a Juki 98Q and simply love it. I have had it 4 or 5 years...I had a Pfaff which I didn't think I would ever give up for putting bindings on...but now my daughter has it. I also have a Viking #1...not the #1+--both it and pfaff are older models and good in their own way, but I use the Juki almost all the time for everything, unless I happen to have it set up for something and don't want to change it.

    Anyway, sounds like you are going to love your 400 the way I love my 98--only my 98Q only sews straight stitches.

    As to your questions, I don't ever stitch in the ditch...

    I think the machine stitching to look like hand stitching has to do with the settings of your tension...I haven't tried but think you could google it and find it.

    I always put my feed dogs down...though I have heard some people actually prefer them up....with a hopping/free motion foot on it would not be as noticeable I suppose. But I have just always lowered mine.