B (ERNINA) not afraid

BERNINA 780 037“I’m afraid of my machine” is heard every now and again.
“I’m afraid I’m going to mess something up.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to. . . ”
While the possibility exists that damage can be done, it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to do major harm to the machine. And it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to do damage to ourselves either.

Just remember too with any new machine there is something of a getting to know you period. And each one of us has a slightly different way of learning. I’m one of those who just get in there and look around. One of the very best features on the 7 & 8 Series is the “?”…touch this and touch the screen for what information you need and information will come up.

I’ve seen some where I wish I’d snapped photos because it was kind of unbelievable. Like pins, 20 or so of those yellow headed quilting pins that were somehow shoved through one, or both, of the screw holes to the right of the needle.

On occasion hitting a pin can throw out the timing, this can happen on any machine, not only a BERNINA. Rule of thumb, remove pins before they get to the presser foot. If perfect piecing is essential to the quilt your making, just pause a stitch or two before the pin and remove it then.

B 780 select hove top left corner

However, the reality is that you really have to go some to do any serious damage to your BERNINA. These machines are made of sterner stuff. Even the screens are durable. While they need to be re-calibrated occasionally, unless the machine and the screen is cracked, it’s not a huge deal. There are descriptions for how to do this here and there, or have your tech walk you through this, if they can, over the phone.

It’s a great idea to make sure that the firmware is current. Visit the BERNINA site for your machine, look under the support tab for firmware version. Check your machine (I show you here for the B 710 and B 750 and here for the B 780) Updating the firmware is generally something we can do at home with a USB stick. Keeping the firmware up to date is important for the life of the machine as it often adjust something important. Some firmware updates need to be done by the tech as they may necessitate some hardware (internal) adjustments, when in doubt check with your dealer.

All in all…don’t be afraid of your machine.
Instead, please be EXCITED about all of the things you can learn about your machine! It’s amazing! And

Gratuitous Yarn Photo


Whole Cloth Challenge Update & a wee bit more

CAM01733I know I say this a lot, but, I love to quilt.

I am loving this whole cloth challenge.
I am loving the process of creating.

I like that after several hours of quilting the piece looks very, very different.

I like that silk thread allows me to add teeny tiny stitching and detail work.

I love that with each stitch the piece takes on a whole new look. It’s exciting to watch what happens.

CAM01738 (2)

I like how adding a bit of King Tut – a 40 weight 3 ply, variegated cotton thread in orange/yellow & purple added a sense of light and helped create movement in the quilt.

When I got to this point last night I thought maybe I’d finish the background in a similar color to the Radiance, but as I look at it now, I think not. There is more to add to this quilt top.

CAM01729Paula Nadelstern‘s visit was quite delightful. The quilts were hung in a way that she was able to take the attendees on a tour, talking about each quilt and her process. One thing that I love that she says when anyone asks her how long it took to make her quilts, “as long as I’ve been quilting”. It’s experience. The experience of this quilt leads to the next and the next and the next. We learn as we go along.

If you get the chance to see any of the trunk shows that Benartex puts together with Paula please go see it. These trunk shows are amazing!


I was invited to dinner that same evening with this delightful quilter, Luke Haynes. I must admit to getting all giddy when helping to show one of his quilts – with Joe Cunningham. Oh my goodness. Two quilters that I admire. A lot.

Well I’m off to do a little more blogging and quilting before heading out to work.

Have a fab quilterly day!


10 things I love about quilting

IMG_20140713_205900the people

they are way cool

and this person Gayle Schliemann always makes me smile

She has a cool bit on We All Sew this week

radiance and aurifil


I just love Radiance. I love the blend of cotton and silk working together to bring best of each to the quilting party.


Notions – notions make everything better

sewing machines – yes my B 780 and BERNINA 1080’s rock it!

patterns – they are the stuff of life – whether it’s a tutorial, commercial pattern or whatever resides in your head

the variety – this just makes me happy seeing all of the variety out there

GenerationQ Logo



magazines for any and every quilter – there’s something that fits ever quilter

and yes this is a shameless plug for the one I work on but I love it

I’ve found home

quilt guilds – these are places of people, and I love quilterly people and all they bring to the quilt party


quilt shops – what would we do without them, they are sources of information, community, fabric, patterns and quilt shop employees who are willing to share their knowledge

quilt shows – sources of inspiration and great variety. And there are vendors and classes and batting and . . .


Here’s my top 10 for today!


Happy Quilting,



One more reason to love! the BERNINA 780

I’ve not been shy about telling you all how much I love the B 780.

46 cSo I’m stitching the other day using the 46C foot (adding that cording to the quilt I posted here)  and needed to move the needle over to the right. Usually you hear the needle moving over. Nothing.
Confused look on my face.
I try pressing the button again to move the needle.
Is something wrong with my machine?
And then the lights came on:b 780 straight stitch plate

I have the straight stitch plate on the machine. No big deal right? Except I told the machine that I had the straight stitch plate ON the machine. So when I went to move my needle over the machine did exactly what it was supposed to do…prevent me the machine from moving the needle over.straight stitch plate selector Which then prevented another issue: breaking a needle. Breaking a needle oh the horror and agony and pain!

Oh dearie me one more reason to love the B 780.

Happy Quilting!


Whole Cloth Challenge

BERNINA 780 037About a year ago I had the privilege of interviewing Lisa Calle. (I have to tell you there is a cupcake place near her that I MUST go back to!)  She’s a delight in person and I love spending time with her. Lisa is a brand new BERNINA Ambassador, welcome to the family! She’s posting videos of learning how to machine quilt on her BERNINA 145 S called “Taming the Domestic”. Lisa did try to learn to quilt on a domestic years ago but quickly switched to quilting on a long arm. In one video she admits to being a fairly decent long arm quilter. Ahem. Decent is not the word I’d use to describe her quilting.
Lisa Calle Crown Jewels
This quilt on the right is Crown Jewels by Lisa…she has mad skills. Lisa and I participated in the same whole cloth challenge hosted by Machine Quilted Unlimited.

We’re challenging each other to create whole cloth quilts. Surprised? Probably not. We’ll be blogging our progress every other Friday even if we haven’t had a chance to work on our quilts, because you know, sometimes life happens. I think one of the weeks I’ll be in Minnesota teaching.
Our guidelines:

Quilt a 20 x 20 whole cloth quilt
Completion Date October 13th (just before Fall Market)
Fabric: Robert Kaufman’s Radiance
Thread: up to the quilter
Batting: up to the quilter

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll actually be designing the quilt. I know, I know not normal, not normal at all. At least for me it’s not normal.
Thread – my thread stash is just brimming with possibilities.
Batting – Hobbs has a new batting that I’m going to try and see how it stitches out.

You’re invited to play along! The whole cloth quilts we’re making aren’t terribly big, just big enough to be fun and reasonable to design and stitch out by mid-October. Lisa and I would love to share pictures of your work along the way.  If you’re blogging your whole cloth send me links to your posts and I’ll add them into my posts.

Happy Quilting!



Chocolate Swirl

Chocolate Swirl end of day 1Sunday was a fruitful day indeed.
Let’s go back to Saturday, okay let’s go back a bit further.

After making @play I knew I wanted to make another quilt loosely based on that design.  It’s been on the inspiration wall for quite a while and this chocolate-brown Radiance in my fabric stash about that long. Saturday afternoon I made it into the studio taped two sheets of paper together to create about the size quilt I’m going for and started to draw/think.Chocolate Swirl part 1
A couple of different facebook friends asked what do I mark with and why. When I do mark a quilt top I tend to prefer Generals Chalk Pencils or Pounce if I’m using templates. I like that the markings will either come off as I’m stitching or with a damp cloth later on.
After about 30 minutes I moved over to the fabric drew the bones and stopped to make some further decisions: batting, how many layers of batting, backing, thread.
I opened the cabinet with the batting to see what I have that is kind of flat. Bamboo, perfect. Opened it up to let it relax over night. I decided to use 2 layers as I like the look and feel.
Stonehenge by Northcott is the back, I’ll show that another time. While I was spray basting the first time the adhesive was gathering like snot and sneezed on the Radiance. That one was removed and set aside. I can’t bear to toss it…yet. Back to the drawing on the Radiance resulting in the photo on the right.
When I marked the bones of @play I placed the Radiance over the drawing I’d made, for this I chose a spot to be the visual center, placed a dot there and drew in the spirals freehand. Once I knew where the spirals were I chose the ones that would have flying geese and drew in the lines – again freehand. I have practiced drawing straight lines enough that I’m comfortable drawing them in without a ruler. Well, at least within the short distance of the spirals. When I got to the grid (seen in the first picture) I marked that with my omni-grid ruler.
Someone else asked if I stitch around the perimeter of the quilt before starting the quilting. No I don’t. Particularly on a whole cloth, I’m concerned that the quilt will grow and there’s nowhere to go with the fabric.
Do I plan motifs before I quilt? As a general rule, no, I don’t. I didn’t even plan that two sets of geese would be flying in the same direction the first from the lower right to the upper left; the second from the upper left to the upper right. I’m noticing this as I type. I have no idea what will come next.

Happy Quilting!

BERNINA 7 Series Quilters Hints B 780

780 full image simulatorI have this gorgeous machine. Shhh don’t tell anyone I said this but “Grand Slam BERNINA! Grand Slam!!”The 7 Series just knocks my socks off. Okay okay I admit it I have the B 780. Sweet!

Again we quilters are rather finicky. We like what we like and frequently we know what we like.
BERNINA built-in so many great features that sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. But they’ve also given us the simulators giving us a chance to experiment without feeling like we’re going to ‘break’ something.
Before the sewing computer was delivered I downloaded the simulator as I knew this machine is different and I wanted to know what it’s about. *When reading the images below the pictures flow from top to bottom with their text. There are some notes on the side that refer back.

As a follow up to yesterdays blog on the B 710/B 750 I’m focusing in on the B 780 today. It’s different enough that solo is the way to go.

Disabling the securing stitch:

B 780 select stitch zigag
When you tap the gears this is the screen that comes up. We’re going to tap on the stitch icon located on the top row left.
B 780 select pointing finger
When tapping on the stitch icon this screen comes up. Top left is the tension control, top right speed, bottom left is the secure stitch at the beginning and bottom right is programming function.
By simply moving the switch from the on to the off position the first securing stitch is disabled
B 780 select hove top left corner
Now if you tap on the pointer finger this amazing screen comes up. This screen give us lots of options to really customize the setting on our sewing computer.
Top Left: Hover; Middle Left: Automatic Thread Cutter and Securing Stitches; Bottom Left: Reverse Button (either revers or stitch back
Top Right: *Pattern; Middle Right: Needle Position with hover; Bottom right: securing stitch

Adjusting the height of the Hover:

Just a note (some of these are unofficial names)
I’m enjoying one amazing feature: the ? to get answers to all pertinent questions.
Just tape the ? and then tap something on the screen to learn more about it. BERNINA – sometimes there’s just text sometimes there’s videos i.e. threading, winding the bobbin etc.

B 780 adjust hover height
Let’s tap on the Hover Icon located on the upper right.
the preset hover height is 2.0 mm. from here we can tap the negative/plus icons to reduce or raise the hover height.
B 780 hover to zero
You can see I set the hover to 0.
Yep. 0
Now see that yellow around the center icon indicating height? Tap that and the computer will reset to the preset of 2.0 mm.

Now you’re ready to get back to the all important stitching.  Now I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I love the knee lift. It took some getting used to but now! oh Hot Dog! it makes me happy. Just a simple nudge with the knee and the foot lifts just enough to get the next pieces in and set for that all important quarter-inch seam. If you’re like me you’ve picked up the quarter-inch foot. Love!

Happy Quilting!