Creative articles about sewing

Love my Bernina

The finished quilt

The finished quilt

I recently had to sew up a sample quilt for Makower.  It was designed by Kathy Hall using a new range of fabrics, Trinkets.  The quilt measures 94″ (2.40 metres) square so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to such a large project.  It also has 12 borders and over half of them are pieced!!! Could I be that accurate sewing that the construction was smooth and the quilt top would lie flat? I have a Bernina 780 and I was keen to see how much easier the extra throat space would make the job of sewing, and especially quilting, such a large piece of work.  I am so impressed with my machine.  Using the dual feed and foot #97D the quilt went together like a dream.

All the strips cut and ready to start sewing.

All the strips cut and ready to start sewing.

I would like to pass on tip on how I sewed all those Square-in-a-Square Blocks without having to mark the diagonal line on all those pieces of fabric.  I place a strip of masking tape on the table to guide my line of sewing.  Use a rotary ruler lined up with the needle to determine the placement.  When sewing keep the exit point on the edge of the masking tape and you will have sewn a perfect diagonal seam.  I also used the tape when I was joining all the binding strips with mitred seams.

Sewing diagonal seams

Sewing diagonal seams

There was a lot of chain sewing needed.  This saves time and thread.

Chain piecing the mitred seams joining all the binding strips

Chain piecing the mitred seams joining all the binding strips

Having got the quilt top completed, I spray basted the layers together and started quilting using the walking foot by sewing in the ditch wherever possible to stabilize the quilt. My sewing machine is set into my sewing table and to help support the weight of any large project I pull out the stack of plastic storage boxes from under the table to create an extended table area.

Quilting set-up

Quilting set-up

I was so impressed with how I was able to cope with so much bulk while free machine quilting  – all thanks to the extra throat space on the Bernina 780.

Quilting

Quilting

Love, love, love my Bernina.  The pattern for this quilt is available here.

Hilary

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  • Violette McConnell

    I have a Bernina I bought in 1982, a 930 Record. It was the top of the line at the time and I still have it and use it. It is my workhorse. I have purchased in the 90’s a Husqvarna #1+ and thereafter traded it in on a Husqvarna Designer 1. I purchased another one in the 2000’s but I still sew on my Bernina. It is a lovely machine and I plan on keeping it until the day I die (which probably isn’t that far in the future – I have a terminal illness) I have purchased a BabyLock Destiny which has a lot of options which I am in the process of learning. I find that because I didn’t have a BabyLock before I am finding it difficult to learn (and that may be due to my age as well), however, when I have sewing or mending to do, I STILL use my Bernina 930 Record – it is strong and sews so well for regular stuff, I am not giving that up for ANYTHING. She is my ROCK! I am hanging onto that Baby forever! Thanks so much.

  • Maggie Harris

    An amazing quilt, thanks for sharing with us Hilary. Great idea to allow us the link to the pattern as well.
    As you know I have the 780, and am interested to know which table you have yours inset into. It is quite a heavy machine, I would love to inset the machine for quilting projects, and the raise it up for embroidery, but have not found a suitable table yet…….any help gratefully received.

    • Hilary Gooding

      Hi Maggie,
      Good to hear from you. I have a fairly solid pine table from IKEA which I have cut a hole in to drop the machine into for quilting/sewing (I had to construct a shelf to sit the machine on and I used the plastic surround as a template for the hole. I have a Horn plastic inset surround piece. I have to lift the machine out for embroidery and because it is a home-made solution I have to place the machine to one side. Not ideal. Yes, the machine is heavy and if I am quilting I have to slow the speed down or the whole table vibrates inspite of it being a solid table! I think I need a more robust table really. Photo shows the set up with my previous machine (Bernina 640).
      Hilary

      • Maggie Harris

        Thanks Hilary. That is a robust construction. It has certainly given me food for thought. I like the space at the back for a quilt..so many tables are too narrow.

  • Jan Allston

    It is a wonderful quilt Hilary. Having seen it “in the flesh” I can vouch for the accuracy of the piecing. The quilting is enough to give it interest while not detracting from the design itself. You have done an amazing job with this one! Makower are very happy with it – I know.

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