two months now that I have had my new sewing machine, the Bernina 820. Pretty
much right after it arrived I went away for ten days of teaching and selling
fabrics. That was followed by a frantic week of dyeing the May-collection of my
|Selection for fabric club, May 2012|
So I did not really have much time to sit down and try out all
those interesting features of the ‘sewing computer’, as it is called in the
followed two weeks of our family holiday on the island of Föhr.
Basically I did not get around to sitting down and getting to know that new
wonder of wonders until just a couple of weeks ago. And what I really would
like to do, namely sit down with the instruction manual for a couple of days
and work my way through all the different kinds of programmes, is not possible
right now, but will have to wait until after the show in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines.
So this current stage feels a bit like driving a Porsche without having had
more than one driving lesson...
But I am
learning. I have completely pieced “Play of Lines XXXI” and was very satisfied with the
|Play of Lines XXXI, before quilting|
was a bit worried for a little while because it kept showing me this little
picture on the computer screen:
instruction manual had lots of little pictures listed, but not this particular
one. Searching the Bernina website did not help, either, and my Bernina dealer
did not reply to my email of inquiry for a number of days. Barbara Lange
suggested that it was the indication that the machine had realized that I was
using a different foot and that it warned me not to put it into zigzag mode –
which must be correct, because I was indeed using the walking foot at that
By now I
think I have almost figured out how to use the automatic needle threader. The
average number of attempts needed for successful threading is slowly going
down. Sometimes it does not find the eye of the needle, sometimes it finds the eye,
but pulls out the thread again right away when retreating. Sometimes it does
work on first try, though.
week I have actually embarked on the first major quilting project, finishing Play
of Lines XXVIII. This is the quilt that had really sparked the whole machine trouble with the Janome, because the thread had kept breaking. So I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which free motion quilting progressed on the Bernina. The stitch regulator may need a more intensive phase of experimenting for me to feel as if I have really mastered it, but it worked. No more than three thread breakages on a quilted surface that measures almost six by six feet, can’t complain about that.
|In the process of being quilted: Play of Lines XXVIII, |
behind the machine
|Play of Lines XXVIII, detail|
I have made
sure to be very good about cleaning out dust from the bobbin case whenever I
put in a new bobbing, but after finishing this major free motion quilting
project, the machine complained quite a bit and kept telling me that the “lower
thread surveillance” had discovererd some error, please check or rewind. Every
two to five inches it would beep, flash that little sign, and stop. Can’t count
how many times I opened the case, took out the bobbin, cleaned again...
finally seem to have got it all out, and then spent another day quilting Play
of Lines XXXI, with the walking foot this time. It almost feels like I have
entered the finishing straight. Not quite there yet, there are still several other UFOs hanging around which need to get finished before September 13, but I might actually make