It's been a while since I wrestled with a big quilt under the Juki. I've got 5 hours into the quilting so far and I'd say another 2 hours to go. YAY! I never mark my quilts. I just start in the middle and work my way around, usually in one overall design when I'm working on a big quilt with busy fabric. For this quilt I chose a loopy flower that I made up. The flowers change in size and number of petals depending on where I am and how much space I have. I get really excited when the quilt is at this point- so close and yet so far, too. I always bind by hand and this quilt is 76" x 86" so it'll take me 5 or more hours to do the binding. But then I will have my very own couch quilt.
I made Jay a couch quilt last January just after I got the Juki. I have 3 machines now. The Juki is a TL98Q and I love, love, love it! It is a simple straight stitch machine, but it's super fast, at 1600 stitches per minute. I do all my quilting on it, and occasionally some piecing.
Machine # 2 is a new Bernina Aurora 430. It's got all the bells and whistles the Juki lacks, like fancy stitches, button hole choices, and a great zigzag. I didn't get the stitch regulator. For me, one of the best parts of quilting is the challenge of making stitches uniform in size. It took me months of daily practice to achieve consistent stitch length, of which I am very proud.
As a backup, I've also got an old Pfaff 7570 that I purchased from a quilter that had bought a newer model Pfaff. I actually bought this machine to replace my original Bernina 1090 I bought way back in 1994. I got sucked into a "Pfaff Cult" and was convinced to trade my Bernina away for a Pfaff, which I did. I regretted that decision the moment my old Bernina was shipped off to a lovely lady in Utah. After months of trying to love the Pfaff I gave up, caved in, and bought the new Bernina. I haven't looked back since and am happily a Bernina girl once again.
Since I've also been doing garment sewing I bought a Bernina Serger too. So I guess I actually have 4 machines all together!