Or How I Fell in love with the BERNINA Stitch Regulator
& a tutorial!
When the Aurora 440 hit the market with the BSR (BERNINA Stitch Regulator) I tried it at a quilt show and well, wasn’t overly impressed. In part because I was still a dedicated hand quilter, in part because the minute my hand went near it the needle started moving. Eeek!
The second time I tried using the BSR I’d been quilting on my own for a while and had something of a rhythm going that made the BSR feel like training wheels.
And then one day I met Jeanne Delpit on the set of Quilting Arts TV. She asked me if I’d demo it on camera. (For those of you who’ve read this before please bear with me.) I said no and we had a conversation as to why. Jeanne asked me to give a couple of changes a try and within 10 minutes my mind changed and I demoed on camera during my segment. I’ve wanted a machine with the BSR for a long time and now I have one.
So what did Jeanne ask me to do?
Put the BSR in Mode 2 – the needle stops and starts when the fabric starts moving underneath the sensor. I didn’t like the needle starting when the BSR was engaged because a pigtail formed on the back of the quilt because I’d get started a bit too slowly. Pigtails are cute on pigs, not so much on the back of a quilt. They can’t be buried and if you clip them well let’s just say the stitching will begin to unravel.
Both Mode 1 and Mode 2 will stop or start with the foot pedal or the stop/start button on the front of the machine. Because of how I’d been quilting for a while using the foot pedal is more intuitive for me. Though in Mode 2 I can use the start/stop button.
Next Jeannie adjusted the stitch length and had me sit and stitch. By reducing the stitch length to 1.6 to 1.75 the movement was much freer. After about 10 minutes I turned to Jeanie and said, “I want this and I can demo on camera.” If you’ve seen Episode 505 you’ve seen what that 10 minutes can do.
So how do I set up the machine? Here goes:
The BERNINA stitch regulator is a great tool to add to your quilting tool kit. If you have one and have been struggling with it try changing modes and reducing the stitch length!