Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Juki Joy and String Blocks

My missing power cord and bobbin case arrived yesterday and I was more than ready to play!
Isn't he beautiful? I always refer to my Pfaff as she, but this guy is rugged! And I'm seriously crushing on him too. After threading him (talk about a precision loading bobbin threader!) and playing around a bit with different feet I got busy with my strings again. I wanted a repetitive project so that I could get used to using the knee lift and the thread cutter at the base of the foot pedal (look Ma no hands!). And, I wanted to push the pedal to the floor to test the speed with some easy sewing.
After adding 20 string blocks to my purple set last night I can say mission accomplished.1500 SPM (stitches per minute) is crazy fast! Each time I use the thread cutter it is a THRILL! Simply amazing! Knee lift? Love it~!

I oiled him up (ew!) this morning and I'm set for a full day of play. I'm going to wrap up my last 10 string blocks for a total of 60, clean up a bit and try out the walking foot on a couple of Project Linus tops.

One thing about working with strings - they are messy!
Something that really makes string blocks easier for me is using HSTs in the corners.  I keep a separate stash of the "not so pretty" squares I come across in swaps or while trimming my stash - mostly calicos, small scale prints or squares that are cut off grain. I use 5" and 4" squares. Sliced in half they make perfect corners.
See how nicely those corners work out?  The block on top isn't trimmed yet, the block on the bottom is.
Guess what?  My string bin still looks like this! I swear they reproduce overnight.

A quick trim using my 9.5" ruler and my small rotating mat.
I am hooked on string blocks - they are fast, easy and just plain fun to sew! It's amazing how beautiful they turn out, especially after trimming. The purple centers are 2" strings and the rest are anywhere from 3" to 1". I like to use strings that are not straight too(see the teal and the yellow stripe in the top left corner). They make the blocks interesting I think.

After a trim of stray threads these will be boxed up and mailed to Heartstrings Quilt Project where they will be assembled into tops, quilted and donated. I've committed to making 365 blocks this year so I'll only have 305 to go by the end of the morning!

I'm linking up to Fabric Tuesday@Quilt Story and Freemotion by the River.


  1. Yup - fabric scraps reproduce and multiply while we sleep. The same thing happens with dirty laundry.

    Love those string blocks!

  2. 365 wow! that's an awesome goal!

    I want to make my own string quilt this year. I am not sure what color to use in the middle. I have thought about not using one. We shall see what I decide on!

    yours are lovely!

  3. Fantastic machine and so nice to see he works...and he works fast! Great pics of your string quilt process. The thread cutter is such a cool idea! Enjoy!

  4. Everything you said - Strings grow once you take them out of the container. I can sew all day and it looks like I have more than I started with. I have been looking around for a used Juki since you started talking about it. I don't really need another machine, but I have the bug now. I can't wait to hear how you like it.

  5. These blocks are so nice and pretty. I've looked at them for a moment, and can't stop.

  6. I'm so glad you are enjoying your new Juki. The string blocks look lovely!

  7. Yup, these Jukis are workhorses! I have the 'twin brother' to yours and have loved it since day 1. As I have already said, my Bernina sets in a corner (quietly whimpering) and has yet to see major use. The Juki stole the spotlight and has kept it AND it is awesome for FMQ!!!!! You are going to love it (er, him)! Hugs, Doreen

  8. Those scraps are just like rabbits, they multiply and bring friends while you are working with them. I have made string quilts & crazy patch quilts and I know that there is more fabric in the pile then I started with -- LOL. Love your blocks.
    Beth in MN

  9. I've had my own 1500 SPM machine for several years, a Brother 1500. Our heavy-duty, straight stitch, work-horse sewing machines are wonderful to rely on. I've put miles on mine with piecing and free-motion quilting, & I've enjoyed it immensely. The large space for quilting (the harp?) is a great feature of these extended-arm, speedy machines. I have a Bernina too, sitting quietly in its case, waiting for its turn to stitch for me.

    How generous you are to make all those heart-string blocks. You've set an impressive goal for yourself.

  10. Sounds like that is a fantastic sewing machine! I love strings too and using HSTs in the corners is perfect! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  11. Your string blocks are looking good! I hope you will have as much fun with your Juki as I have had with mine. I love the speed, the knee lift, the thread cutter -- it has spoiled me....and made me very productive. Happy stitching.

  12. I love string quilts. Yours will be a beauty!

  13. Hello
    I used to have a Juki on a small quilting frame. Loved that machine. Sure did hum along!



  14. First of all, I love that machine. I want one sooo bad! And second, I love the blocks. And only wish I had the problem of having too many scraps!

  15. Eeek! Juki! I love the SPEED! :) I can see many hours of speedy sewing in your future!


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