Frequently Asked Question

One question I’m frequently asked is what machine do I use for quilting.  Often “long arm” preceeds machine.  I use a Bernina 1080 that I purchased brand new in 1995 shortly after moving here to New York.  I’ve quilted quilts as large as an over sized queen and will be quilting a slighly oversized King later this summer.  When I started machine quilting I focused on smaller pieces until I started understanding what works and what doesn’t, at least for me.

Then one morning I watched Paula Reid on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson.  Paula uses her Bernina to quilt rather large quilts…she fluffs and stuffs.  I considered purchasing her DVD however, after watching the show I had the basic concept so just went to quilting the larger quilts I love to make so much.  Thanks Paula!

I would very much like the new 830…or at least the 820 however, I know how my machine sounds and feels and works and I’m quite happy with the results.  I’ve hesitated getting a new machine for a long time partly due to the bells and whistles . . .not quite sure I’m needing them wanting sure, needing no.

I would also have a difficult time giving up my 1080’s.  I have two of them.  I’d give up the antique & vintage Singers before giving up the 1080’s.

Happy Quilting!


16 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Question”

  1. I love the way my vintage Singer 15-30 in a treadle base stitches and love using her to free motion quilt… something she’ll be doing many years longer than my electric will. So many of these modern machines have all sorts of bells and whistles that are never used.

  2. Hey Teri, as long as its a Bernina, its a great machine! You do amazing quilting on it, keep up the good work!

  3. Teri! I was on of those people asking what kind of long arm you used. I was shocked to find out it was a dsm.

    As for all the bells and whistles, I have them all and rarely use them. 🙁

    1. Matt,
      I wasn’t trying to tell tales on you! It’s a question I get a lot and thought this is a good time to answer.

  4. New question: Do you pin baste the quilts, baste or use fusible? I can answer the fusible I think, because you said you love wool batting and do they even make it in fusible?
    Still loving your quilting and have sent a few in my little group to your blog to enjoy it as well.

    1. Jayne,
      I frequently pin baste…when I can use a floor space large enough to accommodate the quilt I’m working on.
      More and more though I’m spray basting and occasionally will shore that up with a few safety pins for good measure, particularly if the quilt is larger.
      Every once in a while I don’t baste at all. If the quilt is small (under 20 inches) and I’m using cotton batting I won’t baste. Cotton loves company and will cling to other cotton with lots of gusto.
      Wool has become my default batting when I can use it. I love the feel of the batting and how it will have a trapunto effect without all of the extra work. The biggest reason I like wool…a lot less stress on the shoulders. Love that.
      I’d love to try silk batting. I love the way it drapes.

  5. Wow… I must say that I’m speechless to learn you do all that beautiful quilting on your Bernina and not a longarm. Thank you for sharing that because it gives me hope that I don’t have to have a longarm, which I have no room for anyway let alone the expense. I will check out Paula’s website you listed for more information on how to handle a quilt.

    Have you ever thought of doing a short video where we could watch over your shoulder? I would love to see how you hold your hands on the quilt.

  6. I have heard a lot about 1080 love.
    And to tell the truth, you really don’t need a ton of bells and whistles I barely use anything but stitch length/width and needle down. LOL

    1. The 1080 is a truly basic machine. I don’t even use the zigzag on it. I pretty much use 2 feet, the patchwork (quarter inch foot) and the open toed embroidery. I picked up a straight stitch plate a little while back and wouldn’t give that up if someone paid me!

  7. Hi Teri – I took an intro to machine quilting class with you in Mamaroneck, before Nancy had to close. I sew on a Janome, which I enjoy but cannot seem to find success with free motion quilting. so ever since I took your class, I have been on the look out for a good deal on a Bernina. I recently came across a listing for a used 1080 for $420 that had been used by a student at Parsons. First – do you think that is a good price? Second – would a 1080 model have everything I need to do free motion quilting?

    Also – I see that you are teaching in Hartsdale now – I plan to see if any of your classes will work for my schedule. Also, you had once mentioned a guild in Pelham – is that still going? Do they have a website? Where and when do they meet?

    Thanks and look forward to hearing from you soon.


  8. I don’t know if you’ll read this, but I’ll try anyway. I LOVE my 1080 but I can’t seem to get the straight stitches any longer like for basting, or just abit longer than 2.5…. Any help would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Priscilla, Yep I read all the comments on the blog and try to answer a good bit of them. I would encourage taking your machine in for a tune-up. Explain as best you can what the problem is to whomever takes in your machine. It might be something simple to fix – like something caught somewhere or things needing to be oiled. Our machines are a bit older so gears and belts do wear out.

      1. Thank you so much for responding!!!! I will take it in for a tune up.. it’s been a while since it was done.
        Happy Holidays!

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