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.