March 2, 2018

Sewing Machine Reviews- Husqvarna Opal 650 and Juki TL 2010Q, and a used longarm!

Occasionally I get asked about sewing machines, so I thought I'd post all my thoughts about mine here for reference. These two machines are the only ones I've ever used, so I don't have much to compare them to, but I can tell you everything I know about them!

My first ever machine is a Husqvarna. My parents bought it for me in 2013 as a gift. My mom has an older Husqvarna, and I love that we have the same kind. If you're in the states, I know you can purchase them at Joann, or a local dealer.

Image via Husqvarna


She (I call her Opal) has sooo many pretty stitches. Truly any stitch you would ever want. I use the scallops and waves often for quilting (with a walking foot, sold separately) and it's a nice way to add texture without the intimidating free motion foot. You just feed the quilt in straight and the needle moves for you! You could embellish almost anything with all the beautiful stitches. 

I like the clear 1/4" foot with the metal edge (also sold separately) and can do very accurate piecing on this one.

It has a start/stop button option which, honestly, I don't understand fully, but I know it does something pretty nifty! I think there may be other fancy options on this machine that I'm not taking advantage of as well.

It comes with a button hole foot and makes them automatically. I've only ever used this once, but it was very clever.


She is fairly wimpy when it comes to bulky seams. I wouldn't even try to sew a heavy duty bag or something on this one.

It has a pretty slow top speed. This drives me nuts when quilting and I just need it to go WAY FASTER.

Not much throat space for quilting big quilts.

Small plastic bobbins that run out quickly.

In 2016 I bought a Juki TL 2010Q. I didn't know much about it, but a local friend was selling hers and I knew I needed a faster machine with more throat space. It has turned out to be a wonderful machine. It's not computerized, which could be considered a good or a bad thing! They can be purchased many places, including here on Amazon

Image via Amazon


It's so fast! You can adjust the top speed (from turtle to rabbit- cute) and the top speed is remarkable.

It's very strong and will take any seam.

It has a foot pedal operated thread cutter, you just press "backwards". To me this is a FANTASTIC feature. It saves a lot of movement, time, and thread.

Another great feature is the knee operated presser foot lifter. Also very useful when you need both hands to position fabric.

Large throat space for quilting big quilts. 

Large metal bobbins that fill quickly and last a long time. 


It only has one, straight stitch. Not even a zig zag option. You can only adjust the stitch length, tension, and speed.

The light on it is quite dim. You will need additional lighting for this one.

This may be a consideration for those with napping babies or people sensitive to noises- the automatic thread cutter is fairly loud and jarring.

The free motion foot isn't open toe, so it's hard for me to see what's going on, though it works well.

So there you have it. As you can see, the Juki has a lot more pros for me personally, but I can't live without the pretty stitches on my other one. It's quite possible that there exists a machine out there with all the features I love from both machines (Bernina? Janome?), I just haven't looked into it, and it suits me to have two in case one needs repair or a friend comes to sew. If you know of one that is fast and strong, has stitch options, and has a foot thread cutter, please let me know! Maybe one day I'll consolidate. 


I have a new machine in my sewing room- a longarm! Though I dreamed of having a longarm one day, I never thought the day would come so soon due to cost. However, as luck would have it, my best friend found an extremely inexpensive one at a garage sale! It was a massive gamble to purchase- I'd never seen it in person, nor had I operated one before, and there was no guarantee that it would even work correctly. (I think I am its third owner.) But the price was so low ($900 for machine and frame) I thought it would be worth a try. After a bit of anguish, we got it set up and running! It's not automated at all- everything has to be done freehand. Of course I would love to have a big fancy automated one, but for now this saves me a lot of the cost of sending the big ones out to be professionally quilted, and I do enjoy the quilting itself. 

The machine is a very old Husqvarna domestic, so the throat space is only 9", which isn't ideal. Still, it's worth it to me to not have to baste a big quilt or wrestle it through a regular machine. The frame says Inspira on it. I literally know nothing about longarms so I have no advice to give as to what frames work best, etc. This is my only experience with it, and so far has been a wonderful cost saver for me. 

Free tutorial for this rainbow quilt, and fabric links here

I've always been a doodler and it's been really fun to translate my love of drawing over to thread. I'm able to get much more adventurous with my designs on the longarm frame, such as these flowers, leaves, and loops. Super fun! Overall it has been a really good additional machine for me. 

I hope that was helpful information. Please leave a comment or send me an email if you have any additional questions about machines, I'm happy to chat about it!


  1. I have a nice Bernina but it’s heavy to lift. Is great to quilt on. I need a new table that’s adjustable for quilting. Which table did you get? I need advice. It will be easier to quilt if it’s a little lower. Thank you for your info. I have been thinking about a Juki but my Bernina has what I need.

  2. Both sewing machines are very good but I would prefer Juki as this brand is very famous and very trustworthy than any other brand, You can definitely find this sewing machine in many stores with large numbers of quantity you can definitely go for it without any hesitation.
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  3. I often hear people mention that the Juki speed is great, but I worry about losing control of the fabric as I increase in speed. Has this ever been an issue? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it can be an issue! If I find myself getting sloppy I can slow it down, there's a speed controller. Sorry for the years late response, I'm just getting a grip back on my blog! :)

  4. Also, sewers can also do a monogram using the monogramming foot. sewing machine for beginners

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