We are so pleased to have all of you out there joining us for the BERNINA 125th Anniversary Quilt-Along! Whether you plan to sew the quilt as shown or can’t wait put your own spin on this design, we are thrilled to have you sew along with us in the coming months!
This month I’ll be sharing the inspiration behind the quilt and the Jubilee fabric line, and we’ll complete the cutting, and piece the first half of the feature blocks. (There is a link to the free PDF instructions for this month at the bottom of this post.)
When BERNINA approached me with the opportunity to design this quilt I knew that, professionally, it was the honor of a lifetime. (I’m still pinching myself!) True to form, BERNINA really wanted to create a project (and a fabric line!) to honor their customers. They kept saying that the celebration wasn’t about them – rather, it was about their customers and their experience of BERNINA machines. And you know, that way of thinking really defines BERNINA. The focus of this family-owned company is ALWAYS on the customer and user experience.
So where to begin? BERNINA had created a paisley motif to define the 125th Anniversary material campaign, but beyond that I was inspired by the history, elegance, and sophistication of the BERNINA machines. The convergence of art and technology and traditional and modern aesthetics are also recurring themes in the sewing world today and are represented by this company that is 125 years young, to borrow a phrase from the President of BERNINA of America. I hope that I have captured that feeling in the finished piece.
Kits for this quilt is being bundled with the BERNINA 125th Anniversary Edition machines!
The fabric line, like the quilt itself, has both modern and traditional elements. In keeping with the visual theme of the Limited Edition machines, the BERNINA 125th Anniversary Quilt features the gold and cream color story, but the full fabric line also incorporates blacks and charcoal greys, reds, and beautifully printed pearl and metallic inks. (Thank you, Benartex!)
With these additional prints, you can make quilts with a wide variety of looks. Here are some of the other projects that I made using these fabrics. You can order these patterns at your local BERNINA dealer. If you don’t have a dealer nearby you can also find them on my website.
We’ll be sharing some of these motifs as part of the celebration on We All Sew, but there are many more in the full collection than are in the quilt.
Questions & Answers
Since I frequently teach in BERNINA dealerships across the US, I thought I’d start out by answering some of the questions that I have been getting.
Question: Do I have to have a BERNINA to sew along?
Answer: Absolutely not! We’d love to have as many people participating as possible!
Question: Do I have to have an embroidery-capable machine to sew along?
Answer: No, you do not! You can use fussy-cut fabric instead or eliminate the embroidery all-together. There is also a Jubilee embroidery panel available that features the motifs that are embroidered on the quilt in exactly the same size. You can back that panel in paper-backed fusible web and cut out and appliqué the motifs onto the quilt top for a similar look.
Question: I have purchased the printed directions from my BERNINA dealer or I have received them in a bundle with the Anniversary machine. Can I sew ahead?
Answer: Certainly. But if you have one of the early printed sets of instructions please be aware there is a correction page that you should download here.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Download the instructions for this Month 1 here: BERNINA 125th Anniversary Quilt-Along Instructions (PDF)
If you’d like to learn more about the fabrics I’ve chosen you can watch this video:
Start off by cutting all the pieces. (If you are working from an original set of printed instructions rather than the PDF above, remember to download a correction sheet here before starting to cut!)
I did not pre-wash my fabrics for this quilt, as Benartex cautions against washing any pearlized prints in hot or warm water. They also recommend that you lower the heat of your iron when dealing with these fabrics.
In the instructions you will find the yardage requirements along with the fabric SKUs that I used in the original version.
If you would prefer to choose your own fabrics, I’ve made a coloring page to help aid your decisions. I would recommend choosing a strong color, either dark or light compared with the other colors in the quilt, to do the octagonal framework of the design. I would also stay away from directional prints, particularly for the border.
I’ve been experimenting in recoloring this design in red and cream. You can download a fabric requirement sheet for a red and cream version of the quilt here.
The main thing to remember when cutting is that the large triangles you cut for the side borders and corners out of Fabric D need to be cut to the larger measurements if you plan to incorporate embroidery or appliqué. (If you don’t plan to incorporate these elements you will most likely choose to cut down your border size in the final stages of piecing for better proportions. If you aren’t sure what you’d like to do cut using the larger measurements just to be safe!
Cutting the 125th Anniversary quilt:
Setting up your machine:
Next we’ll piece blocks A-F. I have some piecing tips for these blocks that I thought I’d share.
Blocks A, B, and C: Piecing Basics:
Flying Geese: Block D: Flying Geese:
Block E: Templates:
Block F: Half-Square Triangles:
That is it! I’ll be back in two weeks to get you started on some optional embroidery elements. I’ll be back on September 19th with more instructions for piecing and quilting.
Happy quilting and HAPPY ANNIVERERSARY, BERNINA!