My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Been busy quilting

During the week just past, I was fortunate enough to attend a Bernina 440 refresher course, run by Itch to Stitch, the Bernina and quilting shop in Whangarei.  They came up to us in Kerikeri and put us and our machines through our paces. 

I bought my Bernina about five years ago to replace my 30+ year old Elna that I had got from a garage sale.  I'm not a fanatical Bernina fan, but I did like the solid feeling of the machine, the great warranty (five years on electrical and ten on mechanical), and the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator), which keeps your stitches even when you free-motion stitch.  Funnily enough, I prefer not to use the BSR now as I'm pretty good at keeping my stitches even anyway and I feel it gives a jerky look to my quilting.

Over five years I had forgotten so much of what they showed me when I first picked my machine up.  We used our memory functions and our pattern start and stop buttons, we played with mono-filament thread and the stitch that looks hand done, we learnt how to elongate our eyelet stitch to make really cool oblongs and we learnt great tricks for appliqueing.   I'd recommend the course to anyone (who owns a 440 that is!).

And then because I was enthused, I broke out the Machingers (the best quilting gloves ever) and got quilting.  This is a troublesome quilt that I'm doing for a friend.  She had to take the borders off and is going to put them back on once I've finished - hence the huge bits of batting you can see around the edge. 

I've found the best way to set up my machine is to use my Sew-Ezi table (a small portable table that the machine sets into for a flat surface) and push that up against my desk and a trestle behind it.  That way I have lots of table top to support even a big quilt.

And with the help of Radio New Zealand archives playing in the background, I got the thing finished.  Yay!  Another one off the to-do list.

The pattern I designed is a meander with a rose, a loop, a curlicue and a leaf.  I hope she likes it.


  1. I clicked on the photo and enlarged it up really big and just gloried in that design. It typifies what I think a quilting should look like on that type of material.

  2. All I really want at present is a machine that actually works! That looks lovely :)


  3. Your quilt looks lovely, I especially love the fabric. :)

  4. Ms. Lottie,I love the rose design, but then I love ROSES any way you can fix them.Pop use to say I would buy anything of peach color, but that was 33 years ago. It appears he's out of touch with my "likes" these days. Now it's anything with roses.I'll buy almost anything with roses on it.I do most of my shopping at yard sales and consignment shops, so I don't spend that much on the things I buy, therefore, I don't feel too guilty.I pulled out my machine yesterday,not my craft of choice these days, and decided to finish a set of valances for the living room, and wouldn't you know. I broke the needle. It may be another year before I try it again.I have a new computer machine,since my original machine,a much simpler one,burned in the house fire.I think that is part of the reason I dread sewing anymore. That computer sewing machine. It scares me.

  5. Your quilting is incredible!! xo

  6. It looks beautiful, girlie. Of course!

  7. Looks great! I am with you on the BSR...I don't use it either for the same reason.It's a bit like learning to ride a horse, we learnt bare back, then a saddle, you learn you balance pretty good and you have to quickly bare back.
    I think the 440 is a fabulous machine that is capable of doing heaps.I just use it for quilting.

  8. I did that same Bernina class at Whangarei a few days before your one - and found it really useful too. Inspired me to complete a little wallhanging I had found in the cupboard. I like what you have done on your friend's quilt - great quilting design :-)


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