Tuesday 20 October 2020

New Machine

Well, I've done it! I upgraded to the Bernina Q20. Originally I was going to look at the new Q16 but then I saw the Q20 and thought that I might regret not getting the longer machine. 20in throat space which is really quite big and very nice to work with.
And here she is
I have never owned a Bernina machine and was initially quite intimidated by the machine as I literally knew nothing about the interface ( I am a die hard Pfaff person). So, I sat down to practice...initially I did some practice samples to get used to the back kick and the steps I had to take to get it to do what I wanted it to do. After a few runs I got bored and thought it would be good to do a quilt from beginning to end.
I pulled out a baby panel that I had, pinned it and then basted over it with the machine and then set out to stitch around all the shapes. 
I did chose to do this with Inviafil thread...probably not the most clever choice as you start out! I had a bit of shredding of the thread until I figured out what needle to use. The Bernina uses domestic sewing machine needles and I must say, I am a bit rusty on my knowledge of the different size needles to be used for what. But we got there in the end. For the background quilting I chose Aurifil 50/2 Mako cotton thread and that went without a hitch. Practiced a lot with the stitch regulators at varying speeds and also did a fair amount in manual to just get a feel for it. Good fun!
Finished that little panel today. Got a bit carried away though...saw a video from Natalia Bonner the other day about a scalloped border and decided to give that a try while I was at it. 
Came out really nice and almost looks like applique. Quilting is a bit sloppy in parts as I experimented with speed and regulation, however that does not matter that much, still pretty cute.

After this, I sat down and did a thread sample, not that you can see any of the details. But I basically went along trying different threads, getting a bit of an idea how the tension behaves. That was quite valuable as I also tried a number of different colours from Aurifil. While most colours gave me a
similar tension, some of the colours gave me a completely different value, something that I had noted in the past from time to time. The reason for that I believe has to do with the dye of the thread, although today I also came across an off white colour that was completely different to any of the other spools. No idea why.

Next on the agenda is a 'real' quilt, i.e. my Scrappy House quilt that I finished during lockdown. I am thinking to do an edge-to-edge design on it, but we shall see...not sure whether that is do-able as it is not a small quilt and I remember doing this before on a baby quilt which was quite arduous. 



  1. Congratulations on your new machine! That panel looks awesome!

  2. Does your new baby have a name? What a sweet machine. And I love the freemotion quilting on your first project you quilted with it. Gorgeous. Congratulations.

  3. Wow, Glückwunsch!! Hattest Du nicht Anfang des Jahres erst auf eine neue Handi Quilter Maschine gewartet??
    Liebe Grüße

  4. Yipee on the new machine!! Your quilting looks great!

  5. Oh wow you did fabulous on the panel, I just love the scallop border! Congrats on the new frame.

  6. Congratulations on the new machine! I have a Bernina domestic machine and I love it. Your panel came out beautifully!

  7. I am a huge Janome fan and I have a Pfaff 7570 that is still very much used and loved. I have never had an interest in Bernina machines. I had my mom's classic 830 for a few years but I never bonded with the machine so I traded it in for the Janome 9400 and have never regretted the purchase. However, your enthusiasm for your Bernina Q20 had me curious. I don't need a Bernina Q20 because I have a Capri, Handi Quilter's 18 inch equivalent or so I thought. Today, I had the opportunity to test drive the Q16, specifically the stitch regulation functions and I was blown away. Hands down, the stitch regulation is outstanding and had me calling the nearest dealer to see what my options are for trading in my Capri that is not even a year old. I didn't buy the Capri because I liked the stitch regulation feature. I bought it because it ran so smoothly in manual and I loved everything else about it. Sadly, we may part.

  8. Oh my gosh, Karin -- I was shocked when I visited your blog today and saw a Q20 because I thought you were a HandiQuilter/Pfaff girl through-and-through. Had to read backwards through your blog to find what I'd missed. Congratulations on your Q20!! Three women in my quilting bee have that machine (and there are only 9 of us in the group) and they all love it. I spent a lot of time test-driving the Q24 on the frame at my Bernina dealer and I just love how well it stitched, no matter what thread I threw at it. And I brought Glide, So Fine, Bottom Line, MonoPoly, even Metallic thread. If I had it to do over again, I'd have a Bernina long arm machine. In fact, I was THIS CLOSE to selling my APQS machine and replacing it with a Q24, but the logistics of selling a long arm machine during a pandemic kabashed that plan for the time being. Anyway, I am excited for you. Do you know about the BerninaLand forum on Groups.io? They have a subgroup there for Q series owners from all over the world. Owners help one another trouble shoot any issues, share tips and tricks for success with different threads, rulers, etc., let people know when there's a webinar for the Q Series from Bernina, etc. Here's the link: https://berninaland.groups.io/g/main.


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