This post is one I’ve been working on in my head for a year and a half. I have had reservations of how to word things, how to post about it, how to not make it seem like you need to sell your sewing machine if you like it, etc etc etc.
I jumped on the Juki bandwagon after being ready to upgrade from my beginner-level Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. I couldn’t get a decent 1/4″ seam, things pulled to the left when I sewed long seams, I didn’t have a walking foot. These were all growing concerns as I participated in bees and things that required a consistent seam. I like to quilt a lot of my quilts on my home machine and it was not possible without a walking foot.
At that point in time, I believe 2016, Juki was all the rage among home sewists. They were relatively inexpensive, seemingly indestructible, and fast. They were rumored to be a workhorse with very little issues beyond needing to maintain them by oiling frequently.
I purchased one and I remember it arrived on Easter Sunday. I got it out of the box and worked on figuring out how to thread it. It was a doozie. Eventually I mastered that and was on my way sewing.
A few months later was when I had my first issue with tension. It was always a guessing game. I’d go through the same checklist and sometimes the problem fixed itself, sometimes it didn’t. I could never understand why the issue righted itself and why sometimes it persisted. New needle, new bobbin, re-threaded, cleaned and oiled it, turned it off and on again. It grew to be incredibly frustrating.
I took my Juki in to be serviced at a Juki dealer and 1 day after their 30-day guarantee, it broke. I spent a few hours on the phone with Juki headquarters and they told me to mail it to them and their guy would fix it. He did and it worked well for a few months. Then the tension issues creeped back in.
Sensing my ever-growing frustration, my husband suggested that I look into a new sewing machine. His grandma had a Bernina that his sister still used. Was it too good to be true? I went in to my local Bernina dealer and tested out the Bernina B 475QE. It felt smooth like buttah. I compare sewing on the Juki like a pick-up truck. It has its job and it does its job well, until it doesnt. A Bernina is like a luxury car. It is a JOY to sew with and a really amazing machine.
I have now had my Bernina for almost 2 years and I have never had even 1 tension issue. My stitches are perfect every single time I turn it on. I do miss the large throat space that I had on the Juki, but I miss literally nothing else. I gladly trade that for a machine that does exactly what I ask it to do every. single. time.
I love that I can purchase feet for a specific job (like making piping for my vintage chair reupholstery). I love that I can buy a straight stitch plate to help me not need leaders/enders. I love that I can use a blanket stitch around applique on the rare occasion I applique. I love the beautiful stitches I get even without the Bernina Stitch Regulator upgrade. I love that I have a built-in zigzag stitch for making frankenbatting. I love everything about my Bernina and I know that will continue as I use it more.