Category — Inspiration
Hello everyone! Today I’m beyond thrilled to be sharing with you a new adventure I’ll be embarking on over the next year. I have partnered with Bernina USA and the We All Sew team to review the Bernina 750QE sewing machine, which they are providing for me, as well as contribute some fun projects on the We All Sew blog. If this is your first time here on my blog and you came over from Bernina, welcome!
Looking back over my life since I was old enough to have a job, there are two, what I think of as “life changing”, things that I have saved for and purchased. The first was in high school. I saved my money and at a point in time where everyone was buying clothes or a used car, I bought my first computer. I actually remember the day it arrived – and the monitor was late so I just had the CPU sitting there! (My dad loaned me his computer monitor so I could set it up and play). You see, I took my first computer programming class in High School and I loved it so much. This was the early 1990’s, I think before most teenagers knew anything about coding programs. I think I was either the only girl in the class, or one of two. I went on to major in Systems Analysis and work as a web developer until staying home with my kids.
The second “life changing” purchase that I made came in 2009 when I bought my first Bernina. My mom sewed on a Bernina and encouraged me to look at them and bring one home. I bought the 440 QE and when I set up and started sewing, everything seemed to change. The quality of the machine, stitches, the walking foot, the Bernina Stitch Regulator (once I got the hang of it)…I was in love. Each day I sat at my machine and knew I would get the best quality from my time there. The joy I have had at that machine has encouraged me to sew, sew and sew some more.
Included feet with 750QE
I am beyond excited about this new partnership with Bernina. I picked up the new machine on Monday and I will be sewing on it for the next year and letting you all know how it goes along the way. I have high expectations!
Above you can see the size difference between the 440 and 750. Honestly, when I was using it in the store I didn’t think it seemed much bigger. I’m going to go ahead and call that the “Costco effect”. Do you guys shop there? As soon as you walk in there are a ton of tvs. Big tvs. But they don’t look so big in the store. You think “wow, 55″ looks small. Maybe I need a 65″. Or a 70.” Then you get it home and realize “WOW, that is actually a very large television!” Right?? Anyway! It’s a lot bigger.
Here is a comparison of the throat space, with the 440 behind the 750.
I can’t wait to get a quilt in there, this weekend hopefully!
I do have some initial just-out-of-the-box impressions. To be honest, I’ve already sewn an entire quilt top on it. And a whole bunch of decorative stitches. Just a wee bit excited…
As soon as I got it home, based on the recommendation of the gentleman who trained me (Seth at Gentler Times in Naperville, IL), I oiled it and changed out the needle. For piecing I’m using a 80/11 Microtex Sharp needle.
I also purchased an additional stitch plate for piecing – the Straight Stitch Plate. You can see the difference below, the straight stitch plate is on the machine and the stitch plate it comes with is to the right. Many people feel they achieve more accurate piecing with the straight stitch plate so I’m trying it out. So far, so good!
There are a couple things I noticed right away. It is very quiet. Much quieter than the 440 (which I thought was super quiet when I bought it!) The 750 has the knee lift I’m accustomed to but I feels much more solid that the 440’s knee lift, which despite the massive table where I sew, still shakes loose when I’m going super fast.
It has some “new to me” features like a thread cutter and dual feed system. That’s the white guy you see on the back below.
This helps evenly guide the fabric while I piece. It swings up out of the way when I’m not using it (which I’m guessing will be rare!)
There’s also a giant bobbin. Huge. Here it is compared to the bobbin in my 440.
It also has this cool feature where you can’t put the bobbin in the bobbin case backwards. As you can see, it just sets on top if you are doing it wrong. Flip it over and it slides right in.
The fancy touch screen controls are really nice. There’s a ton of information there and I have a feeling that even in 12 months I won’t have seen everything. I do love that when you change a setting, like for example increase the stitch length, it visually changes on the screen.
I hope you are as excited as me to go on this journey! I’ll still be posting regularly here, don’t worry. I will just be throwing even more sewing machine information into the mix! And keep an eye out on the We All Sew blog. My first project, a Summer Quilt Along, will be starting over there very soon.
April 25, 2014 96 Comments
Well, I probably could have guessed that she was going to use my book Vintage Quilt Revival to make something – but not follow a pattern in any way. lol She is super creative and improvisational and this quilt she made really shows her style.
Isn’t it cool? The fabric is from Carrie Bloomston’s Collage fabric line for Windham Fabrics. To create the flowers, she used the paper piecing templates from the block used on the Star Bright quilt, shrinking and enlarging to create different flower sizes.
Then, and this would be hard to spot if you didn’t know it, she created a bird nest using some of the paper piecing templates from Katie’s Cut Glass baby quilt. She added texture though appliqué, inspired by the fabric designer Carrie Bloomston’s The Nest quilt pattern.
The leaves and stems all are appliquéd on. For the border, she used a 15 degree triangle plastic template, drawing around it onto the fabric. She then cut out the pieces and they fit together easily and perfectly.
What do you think? Award for the most creative use of the book so far? Thanks for letting me share it mom!
April 16, 2014 30 Comments
When it comes to the weather outside, this time of year always feels like two steps forward, one step back. Last week we had a great day with temperatures in the 50’s, only to be followed by a day of wet, heavy snow.
When that latest layer of snow melted and I just felt defeated by Winter, I looked out by our woods and saw these.
The daffodil bulbs I planted last Fall, starting to pop up. I am telling you, this mess of mud and leaves and tiny bits of green has been so good for my soul.
I’ve been trying to make sure the kids get some outside time on those warmer days. Between that and a sewing deadline that I can’t share right now, I don’t have a finished project to show you this week. But I have accumulated some new fabrics recently and they inspired me to take a little break and build a project pile from my stash.
I pulled some coordinating prints from my stash, including some new fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter’s Mormor, Skinny Laminx’s Up, Up & Away, Eloise Renouf’s Bark & Branch, and Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park.
I made a block from my Off-Centered Squares quilt pattern. I’m thinking of using one color family per block…we shall see!
Back to work on deadlines! And fingers crossed for a warmer week!
March 17, 2014 26 Comments
What a weekend! Between the two Pottery Barn quilting trunk shows on Saturday, my son’s 5th birthday party on Sunday (at Chuck E Cheese’s no less), and daylight savings time, I’m pretty much running on fumes. But oh, what a great time we had on Saturday. I thought I’d share some photos from the trunk shows. I didn’t bring my “real” camera, just my iPhone. I thought it’d just be too hard to manage keeping track of the good camera – and that was the right call because we were busy – but I do wish I had brought someone with me to take nice photos. Live and learn!
When we arrived at Pottery Barn in Naperville, this sign was out front with balloons! Really exciting! We met the store manager who was just exceptionally nice and welcoming, it really put my nerves at ease! We decided that we’d have more room to set up on the second floor and brought all our things up.
There were these awesome railings that overlooked to the first floor. We were able to drape all our quilts on them – you could see them from below as soon as you walked into the store.
We treated the event as a meet and greet. It was so much fun to talk to everyone one on one, answer questions, let people come and touch the quilts. Lots of quilters visited, some planned and some just happened to be in the store without knowing about the event. We met people from all experience levels – from expert long armers to women who sewed but were looking to learn to quilt. The hour flew by – it was just such a great time!
We packed up the quilts, loaded up the car, and drove to the Oakbrook Pottery Barn to set up for round two. This store was one floor (so no railing) and really long with different nooks and sectioned off areas. We were placed in a side bedding area, so deciding how to display the quilts was harder. But luckily they had a Visual Stylist (fancy!) who came over to help us. He was an expert quilt hanger.
If anyone is looking to display quilts like this at home, it was really a great set up. They had installed a nice, solid curtain rod. The stylist took the quilt by the corner and folded that over the back of the curtain rod. Then he used super heavy duty clamps to clamp the corner to the back of the draped quilt.
I am guessing you could get the clamps at a hardware store. Lee had a hard time even opening them when we took stuff down, so they were pretty strong. We also hung some quilts on a coat rack!
We met even more quilters at this stop, and again we were able to talk to everyone one on one. I know I’ve gushed this entire post, but I really can’t stress enough how fun it was to get to share our quilts with a new audience and in this setting. And look, they let us each take home a sign! You better believe that’s now hanging up in my sewing room.
I just want to thank everyone who came out to visit as well as Pottery Barn for inviting us to share our quilts at their shops. We have 2 more trunk shows planned – Lee and I in the Milwaukee area and Katie in Arlington, VA on March 22nd. If you happen to live around those cities, I hope you will come!
March 11, 2014 30 Comments