Making friends with the Bernina 440

One day, I’m in love with it, and a few days later, we’re still making friends! Well, I am still in love with my new Bernina, but I’m also still trying to be friends with it for machine quilting. The embroidery part is absolutely awesome, and I like it much better than the Pfaff, so that’s not the issue. Free motion machine quilting is the issue, and it’s a biggie, since that’s what I do most, and the major reason I wanted the machine. I had such a great time with it in Paducah, so I wasn’t thinking that the adjustment from the Pfaff would be all that difficult. In my mind, there was no adjustment period, I think. In reality, it’s a huge change, and I’m still getting used to it.

Part of the problem is that in Paducah, I was doing a completely different type of quilting than I usually do (which is why I took the class in the first place!). So now, when I’m home and working on quilting in my (mostly) normal style, it’s proving more challenging than I thought it would be to produce the same quality work on the Bernina as I can on the Pfaff. I say “mostly” normal style, because I did decide to quilt the Irish Chain quilt with silk thread in the needle and Aurifil 50/2 in the bobbin, so I’m making smaller stitches than I usually do, and that’s undoubtedly contributing to the problem a bit. When I’m making smaller stitches, it’s not the rhythmic sound of one stitch at a time from the machine that I’m listening to and trying to coordinate with, but the pitch of the motor at a certain speed. Totally different ballgame here. Maybe I’m trying to get used to too many things at once.

I’m beginning to feel like a beginning machine quilter again! Aaack! Continue reading Making friends with the Bernina 440

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2 x Nadine! Coincidence, or just great minds thinking alike?

Here’s a pic of my friend Nadine and I at the BFQ Guild meeting last Friday evening:

Nadine and Nadine, thinking of Bernina 440!

What was especially funny about this? We were probably both thinking “The meeting is fun, but I can’t wait to go home and play with my new Bernina!” Each of us had just purchased the Bernina 440 (me that very day, her exactly three weeks before), but we had not had any time together to share the news when this picture was taken! Nadine stopped by the blog to read the latest the day after the meeting, and was so surprised to hear that I bought the Bernina, that she said, “as we say in German – had problems to close my mouth again…” 🙂

Nadine took my machine quilting class a few years ago, and bought the Pfaff 2056 in December partly because I had it, and because of some of the features the machine had. She never fell in love with it for machine quilting, but I didn’t know it. So she made the decision to buy the Bernina 440, and she is now happy with both machines. I think I will be the same: using the Bernina for machine quilting, especially the free motion, and using the Pfaff for piecing and machine guided quilting since it has the IDT (or dual feed). I also bought the embroidery unit for the Bernina, to replace the Pfaff 2124 sewing/embroidery machine that I sold!

So, 2 Nadines + 2 Pfaff 2056 machines + 2 Bernina 440 machines = 2 great minds thinking alike!!

Bernina Aurora 440 – First Impressions

I did it! I bought the Bernina 440 with the BSR! Now, as of this moment, I’ve truly had very little time to play, since I picked it up on my way to the Black Forest Quilt Guild meeting last night, and it was very late when I got home. Then this morning, I taught the first part of the Machine Quilting – Master the Basics class at the Gussy Goose. I do want to share some of my first impressions with you, before I go and play this afternoon.

It’s interesting that when you buy a machine like this in Germany, they don’t open the machine and set it up and run it before they hand it over. When I worked for a Pfaff dealership in the States years ago, they would set the machine up and run it at high speed (unthreaded) for at least an hour. The called it “sewing it in,” and no machine left the store without this first sew in. At least you knew, when you got it home, that it was going to work. The dealer handed me my Bernina, and the box still had the plastic straps on it from the factory, so obviously that kind of thing doesn’t happen here. Not a big deal, I suppose, but I did have this vision of opening the box and setting the thing up and finding something wrong last night, and then not being able to fix it until today or Monday.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the machine though, Continue reading Bernina Aurora 440 – First Impressions

I’ve been corrupted by…

Bernina!! Yes, you heard right, I’m shopping for a Bernina sewing machine. I know, I’ve been a confirmed Pfaff girl forever, and even my mom said “But you don’t like those machines, I thought!” when I told her. So here’s the deal: Pfaff machines have always done what I wanted without fuss, and done it better. However, when I tried the new Bernina 440 at the Museum workshop with Diane Gaudynski, it had some features that I really liked that Pfaff doesn’t have.

I’ve been thinking about that dratted machine ever since, plotting and planning how to get my hot little hands on one SOON! I really can’t justify another machine at the moment. No way. But I can sell one of the ones I have so I can get the Bernina that will get used more! I have a Pfaff 2124 embroidery machine that I bought two years ago in the States when I went on a machine embroidery kick, and despite the fact that I have absolutely everything that goes with it to make it truly wonderful, it just doesn’t get used enough. I think I’ve actually used it about five times all told. So here it is, up for sale:

Pfaff 2124 sewing machine with embroidery attachment included
Pfaff creative 3D Software Suite
creative smart card station
Personal smart card
creative Grand Hoop
creative Round Hoop 120mm
all original accessories and packaging included

Software modules included in creative Suite:

creative 3D Embroidery
creative 3D Vision
creative 3D Organizer
creative 3D Stitch Editor
creative 3D Design Splitter
creative 3D Digitizing
creative 3D Font Digitizing
creative 3D PictureStitch
creative 3D Cross Stitcher
creative 3D Stitch Artist
creative 3D File Assistant
creative 3D Fabric Decorator

Retail on all of the above is about $4500, but I’m letting it go for $2900, and all of it’s barely used. Interested? Shoot me an email, and we’ll chat! If you’re not in Germany, don’t despair, I can ship the whole kit and kaboodle to you!

**UPDATE** Sold!

Gaudynski Workshop, Days Two and Three – Newsworthy Quilting

We worked on more freehand feathers in the morning on day two of the workshop, and I discovered that it wasn’t just me having trouble with the feathers on the inside curves looking deformed, it was a common problem. I can make great feathers on the outside curve of a spine, but the inside ones look like awkward thumbs or something! It’s just a practice thing, but Diane did say that the inside curve is a trouble spot for many, so I felt a bit better about it. Diane talked about adding tendrils and extra flourishes to feather designs, and briefly touched on a couple of other freehand, non-marked designs.

It was tempting to just follow her around…just to hear every word she said!

We also learned more background and filler patterns, like Dianeshiko (a sort of curved pattern built on a grid that looks like overlapping circles), Tsunami (wonderful filler with wavy lines, a brand new technique not in any of her books!), Bouncing Bananas, Headbands, Clamshells, Ripple Stipple (another new background filler), Spirals, Mosaic Meandering, etc., etc., etc.! I think there’s never a reason to use plain old boring stippling again! Throughout the workshop while we worked on designs, Diane would come around and talk with everyone personally, helping with machine issues, or giving advice or feedback. It was tempting to just follow her around to everyone else, just to hear every word she said!

Silk Dupioni

Some of the students were at Hancock’s Fabrics at 8:00 a.m. on day two of the workshop, begging their way in the door before they were open to shop. We were in class during opening hours, but Hancock’s was happy to let them in early evidently! Some of these ladies bought assortments of silk dupion fat quarters that were half price, so Dawn and I made the mad dash to Hancock’s ourselves on the lunch hour to get some. What a steal! Continue reading Gaudynski Workshop, Days Two and Three – Newsworthy Quilting

Visiting, quilting, shopping

Okay, I’m sure you all thought I fell off the planet, but I really am here, life (and quilting) just got in my way for a bit. I spent ten days in the States last week and the one before for a machine quilting workshop with Diane Gaudynski at the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society. The workshop was absolutely incredible! By the first day at noon, I’d gotten my money’s worth I think, and it only got better from there. I learned so much that I’m still just digesting it all (and hoping I’ll remember it all, as well!).

It’s really hard to shop at Hancock’s in person, I think, since there’s just so much fabric there.

So, let me back up a bit, and start at the beginning, and hopefully tell all in the coming days. I had to fly into Nashville, and my buddy Dawn met me at the airport. We crashed in Nashville for the night (I do mean crashed, since I’d just come off an international flight, and she’d driven in from South Carolina, no small thing in one day). We headed for Paducah and Hancock’s Fabrics the next morning. It’s really hard to shop at Hancock’s in person, I think, since there’s just so much fabric there. It’s all arranged by manufacturer and fabric line, instead of color. Continue reading Visiting, quilting, shopping