Honestly, I’m in love with my Juki J-150 QVP sewing machine. I’m excited to tell you why I love it, but also to make a couple other recommendations just in case this isn’t the best machine for you.
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I’ve been on the hunt for a new sewing machine for awhile now. I’d tried a bunch: Janome, BERNINA, EverSewn, BabyLock… But nothing had “clicked.” The best way to describe how it felt when I sat down at a Juki for the first time (which was the Haruka TL-18 QVP, actually) , was that it felt like home. Thus, as you can imagine, I’m over the moon to have a Juki in my sewing room now and to share about it with you.
Note bene: My machine is sponsored by SewingMachine.com and their generosity has allowed me to get to know the Juki J-150 QVP well enough to share my thoughts about it with you. However, none of the links to their site are affiliate links— they’re just for your convenience. If you have any questions about purchasing any of the machines I mention in this review, please contact them via the link above.
Basic Facts about the Juki J-150 QVP
-It’s an industrial straight stitch machine. This means it’s sturdy, fast, reliable, and a hunk of gorgeous sewing machine love
-It comes built into a table that has a leaf that folds up at the back. This allows lots of space for both piecing and quilting (48 x 42 inch total work area when the leaf is raised)
-12” throat space
-It is computer operated, so the tension, presser foot pressure, etc, are all controlled via touchpad
-Max 2500 stitches per minute
-Two customizable stitch settings for straight stitch and free motion
-Foot pedal control of the presser foot and thread cutter
-It’s fast. Screaming, driving a race car fast. And it holds a smooth stitch line while going along at full speed, making it surprisingly easy to keep an even seam allowance. This makes piecing a breeze
-It’s sturdy. No wobbles or bounces here. Nothing but quiet purring
-The foot pedal is built in, so it can’t “wander off.” This might seem small, but if you’ve ever found yourself “chasing” your foot pedal across the floor, it’s really nice not to have to jerry rig a solution
-It has a huge throat space. Seriously, at 12” I could just about do the limbo under this thing. And it, combined with the attached sewing table, makes free motion quilting a breeze
-Gorgeous stitch quality. I mean seriously gorgeous. It doesn’t have a stitch regulator, but I haven't felt a need for one at all because it can keep up with however fast or slow I want to quilt and gives me lovely, defined stitches every time
-Minimal Maintenance. Keep the oil reservoir full and brush out the lint from around the bobbin and this beauty will keep on purring for a whole lotta sewing.
-The manual sucks. Okay, that’s maybe a bit strong. More like the manual feels a bit incomplete and doesn’t really do the machine justice— there have been a few settings I’ve just had to fiddle around to figure out.
-Not at all portable. This is an industrial machine, so it’s designed to be set up and left alone. You can sew all day long if you want, but it’s not going on retreat with you (My recommendation would be to have a secondary machine for retreat. Maybe the Haruka TL-18 QVP which is basically a mini, table top version of the J-150 QVP or the Juki DX 2000-QVP which has more stitch options as well. Both have 8” throat spaces)
-Similarly, it’s big. This is a machine for a sewing room, not a dining room. If you sew in a smaller space or don’t have a designated sewing area, I recommend the machines I mentioned above.
-It’s straight stitch only. Okay, truth be told, I don’t really consider this much of a con because I do two things: piece and quilt. And those are exactly the two things this machine does really, really well. Personally, on the rare occasion that I need a zig zag or other stitch, I will pull out one of my other, smaller machines. If you use decorative stitches regularly but want the power and throat space of a Juki, I recommend the Juki DX 2000-QVP.
How I Really Feel About It
I FREAKING LOVE IT. Seriously, I could write a song about this machine.
“Big ol’ Juki, you’re the one. To make quilting lots of fun. When my world keeps spinning ‘round, we sew right here right now… Lucky I’m in love with my Juki; Lucky to have you, Jehoshaphat…” (apologies to Jason Mraz for a slight butchering of Lucky in Love. Also, yes, I named my machine Jehoshaphat)
Anyway, I adore it. It does and loves all the things I do and love, and 99% of my sewing happens here at home, so we’re basically a match made in heaven.
Also, I thought it would bug me that it’s controlled by a touch screen (I was planning to go all manual for my new sewing machine), but it’s turned out to be amazing because I can switch back and forth between piecing and free motion quilting so easily. And I can fiddle with my free motion quilting tension (we all know how that goes) without fiddling with the tension setting for piecing which means, over all, there’s a lot less fiddling. I’ve found that the machine holds tension well, too, even if I turn it off and come back later to keep quilting. I still recommend re-testing tension, of course, but it’s nice that there’s not a whole bunch of messing around every time I want to take a break and return to a project a bit later.
Also, I consider myself a “pokey piecer.” Meaning, I’m really not in any rush, and I just putter my way through. I don’t really like being puttery, but I don’t want to give up accuracy. There is no puttering with this machine. Because it goes fast and straight, I find myself making more progress more quickly because of the machine’s precision. It’s awesome.
A Little Note About Needle Down
For two weeks, it bugged me to no end that the needle didn’t end DOWN on the machine when I paused my sewing, and I’d have to hit the “needle down’ button to holding my project in place. This isn’t a big deal with piecing, but it REALLY MATTERS with free motion quilting. I searched the manual, no luck. I poked around in the menus of the machine no luck. So I asked my girl Sheila at SewingMachine.com about it. She wasn’t sure exactly what menu it was in, but she knew there was a setting that would fix it. I did some more poking around and found it. Hallelujah!
Rockstar, my gift to you is to show you how to change this setting (Just click thru the menus like I’m showing you):
If you work like I work (in my sewing room, with a heavy focus on piecing and quilting), this is an amazing machine for you.
If you focus on piecing and quilting, but you want a machine that is more compact and portable, I highly recommend the Haruka TL-18 QVP. It’s also straight stitch only, but it sits on the table top, is all manual, and has a lovely 8” throat space.
If you love dependability and affordability of Juki, but you want a large quilting space AND decorative stitches, I recommend the Juki DX 2000-QVP.
I think these machines are hidden gems on the sewing machine market. I’m not sure why I feel like quilters often overlook Juki when researching new machines, but I have been seriously wowed by the quality and affordability Juki offers. Honestly, I think Jukis could and should become THE machine of choice for folks who are passionate about free motion quilting on their domestic machines.