Jul 082013

Now that I think I’ve finished troubleshooting my Juki TL-2000Qi (yippee!), I wanted to summarize everything I fiddled with, just in case it might be useful to other new Juki owners.

Problem: The foot pedal only let me sew at full speed.
Solution: Open up the foot pedal and turn the plus sign thingy so it will let you sew at slow through fast speeds.
Juki TL-2000Qi foot pedal, inside (zoomed)

Problem: The free motion foot put too much pressure on quilts and the hopping action annoyed me.
Solution: Remove the hook at the top of the foot that rests on the presser foot shank’s screw (this gets rid of the hopping) and raise the foot with a bit of folded cardboard (this lets the foot float over quilts).
juki fmq foot

Problem: The walking foot straight up didn’t work properly.
Solution: Oil the heck out of it!
Juki walking foot oil points - bottom
Juki walking foot oil points - side

And then some general stuff:

1/4 inch seams
The included quarter inch foot is really cool, but gives me a super generous 1/4″ seam. Similarly, the 1/4″ marking on the plate makes me sew exactly on the quarter inch line, which means my seams are a bit too wide once they’re pressed. I’ve been using the edge of the standard presser foot for great scant 1/4 inch seams.

Foot pressure settings
I generally only sew with quilting cottons and home dec fabric, so I don’t have to change my foot pressure settings much. I’ve been using this for my standard foot and quilting cotton:
Juki foot pressure setting - standard foot

… and this for my walking foot:
juki foot pressure setting - walking foot

It would be nice if this could be helpful to someone else, but at the very least, now I have quick pictures to look at when I forget what my foot pressure’s supposed to be. 😀

ETAReminder to myself for the future: buy top stitching 100/16 needles and lower the top thread tension if the top thread is breaking.

Jul 012013

Again with my Juki TL-2000Qi… I wasn’t happy with how my walking foot was working, because it wasn’t! (This is the included walking foot.) It was acting like a normal presser foot and pushing the top layer of fabric way forward in quilt sandwiches. I tried every pressure level for the foot, but there wasn’t a magic setting that made things better. Then I used the hand crank so I could watch what the walking foot was doing, and I discovered that the little top grabbers weren’t popping up and grabbing new fabric with every stitch. Instead, the grabbers would ride along backwards for a stitch or two before popping up again to walk the fabric along. Ah hah!
Juki walking foot grippies

I popped off the plastic cover so it was easier to see what was going on, and then I oiled all the points in the walking foot where I thought there might be friction. I oiled the moving metal hingey joints, including the space next to a black round bit.
Juki walking foot oil points - bottom

I also oiled the outsides of the black grippy bits, even though they seem to be made of plastic. I think this helped the most! They do rub up against the metal parts of the presser foot along the outside, and they popped up easier after oiling.
Juki walking foot oil points - side

After all of this, my walking foot worked much better! The little grippers were grabbing fabric on every stitch. Yay! I only had time to test on a small bit of quilt sandwich, but I’m hopeful that this will finally make my Juki able to do some nice straight line quilting. 🙂

Jun 132013

Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh you guys — my Juki finally works! My fancier machine is a Juki TL-2000Qi that I bought a year ago, and I’ve been wanting to use it more, but I was really discouraged because I wasn’t able to vary my sewing speed using the foot pedal. No matter how lightly I pressed down, I’d always go from off to full speed ahead, and I’m not a good enough sewerer to be able to make things at full zoom.

After a lot of me doing unproductive things, I finally asked Mr. Yazoo to take a look at it. (I read something about how sewing machine pedals use varying voltages to attain different sewing speeds, and he’s an electrical engineer, so I just pass anything onto him that has electrical words associated. :D) He opened up the foot pedal, and this is what it looks like inside:
Juki TL-2000Qi foot pedal, inside

Normally, when you press the foot pedal, the white piece at the top end of the spring gets pulled up along that gold-colored plate attached to the circuit board. Husbo tested it out by hand and found out that my foot pedal was indeed acting only as an on/off switch, with no slow speed in between. Then he used a Phillips head screwdriver to turn that grey plus sign thingy clockwise, and voila! My foot pedal worked properly with different speeds! Yay!!!
Juki TL-2000Qi foot pedal, inside (zoomed)

I’m so happy that now I can use my Juki a lot a lot a lot! However, I’m not so pleased that this means it came to me set up improperly — it makes me wonder how many other people received their foot pedal in the same condition, but won’t know to adjust it. Yay for the internets and google, hopefully. :}

Oh! If you’re interested, Mr. Yazoo said that the thingy in the foot pedal is a potentiometer. blingledebloop. 🙂

Jun 072013

My goal this month is to finally finish my Full Swing quilt that I started almost exactly two years ago…! It’s taken me this long because I sewed and unpicked two attempts at straight line quilting before I came to my senses and just did my passable loopy fmq.
full swing fmq

I had so much trouble with the straight line quilting! My second attempt at it was on my Juki TL-200Qi, and I could not keep the lines straight. I haven’t been able to go anything less than full zoom, and I think that’s why I had so much trouble. I also read someone’s opinion that the Juki’s included walking foot isn’t good, so maybe I can blame a portion of my problems on that. :> Anyhoo, Mr. Yazoo’s going to try to fiddle with my Juki’s foot pedal to see if he can adjust the voltage whoozit to make it easier for me to sew at different speeds, and I’m going to keep my eye out for a new walking foot.

I did adjust the Juki’s fmq foot so that it wouldn’t hop, which made my quilting more enjoyable because it was easier and quieter.
juki fmq foot
See the little part off to the side there? That used to be at the very top of the foot, and part of it sat over the screw on the presser foot shank so that when it went up, the foot would hop. I saw on a quilting board that someone had cut off the bit that hangs over the screw so the foot would no longer hop, so I took my foot over to my dad-in-law (He Who Has Tools) for a little doctoring. But then he noticed that that piece is held on by a screw and just unscrewed it! heh.

I also stopped using gloves while I was doing fmq, and that made it so much easier to move the quilt! I’ve read many people who love their grippy gloves, but I forgot to think about how they live on the cold, dry mainland, while I live on a warm, humid island AND tend to have sweaty hands. I didn’t have any problems keeping hold of the quilt, and no gloves meant I felt more dexterous.

Anyhoo, so all I have to do this month is attach the binding. Yippee! I thought I should have a modest goal for June since a lot of our time will be taken up with moving out of our eeny house so we can sell it. 🙂