Funny how you get sentimental over a sewing machine…
Last year I got my Bernina Aurora 440 QE (Quilter’s Edition) sewing machine serviced at a local Bernina dealer called Thread Play with Bernina. It just needed routine maintenance work and a “tune up”.
The awesome Bernina Service Technician told me when I picked it up after the service was complete, that I had sewn over SEVEN (7) MILLION STITCHES the machine!
Wow that is a lot of stitches!
I got really sentimental when I found that out as this Bernina sewing machine and I have been together since 2006, when I did a “24 months same as cash” financing to buy it. It was the most expensive sewing machine I ever imagined buying. But I’ve made so many things on the machine from utility quilts to art quilts; and lots of craft projects like bags, I definitely got my money’s worth!
I started quilting around 1999, while living in Seattle, WA, on a basic Singer sewing machine. A year or so later into quilting, I upgraded to a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. I thought I had made it to the “big time” on that $300 machine!
As a beginner quilter I bought my fabric at discount stores like Joann Fabrics in Seattle. After a couple years of quilting and being influenced by other quilters, I began buying more expensive (and higher quality) quilting cotton fabrics from Quilt Shops.
By the time I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2005, I only bought fabric for quilt projects at Quilt Shops and one of those shops was Sew Many Quilts in Bend, Oregon.
Sew Many Quilts is a Bernina Sewing Machine Dealer; and every time I shopped there I began to drool over the beautiful engineered (that Swiss engineering and all metal internal parts) Berninas they had on display. Too many conversations with the friendly staff led to the purchase of my first Bernina!
Fast forward to 2022: My original Bernina is over 16 year old and although I’ve faithfully maintained it (nearly annual maintenance/tune-up visits; and staying on top of routinely cleaning and oiling it myself after each major use), the technology and features of Berninas has significantly advanced.
And now I am drooling over the latest Bernina models…
In early 2022, John decides to buy me one of the latest Berninas – the Bernina 770 QE Plus:
It is an AMAZING sewing machine, light years in features and functions than my old Bernina 440 QE.
But it just sat around looking pretty on the table in my studio, yet not being used. Despite my amazing new sewing machine, I keep sewing on my old and beloved sewing machine with 7 million+ stitches on it!
Recently I made myself put away the Bernina 440 QE and start using my dream machine the Bernina 770 QE. I made myself “break up” with my “longtime sewing buddy” and give the new machine a chance.
As part of the A Year of Finishes – 2023 project, I worked on quilting and adding the binding to a table runner I made from Batik fabric scraps (see post Update on Batik Scrappy Table Runner) for a friend which I promised a table runner many years ago.
I just did straight line quilting with a Walking Foot but the quilting was a breeze and so quick! It took half the time (or less) than it would have taken to quilt the table runner on my old Bernina.
I am now at the point where I am sewing down the binding so the table runner is nearly done and ready to ship off to my friend.
After she receives it I will share the full photo of the finished piece.
I hope my old Bernina is okay sitting around in its case not doing anything. Sigh, I love that machine so much but I need to be with more awesome technology now! My first Bernina sewing machine will always hold a place in my “sewing heart” and I am so grateful it got my through 7 million+ stitches!
(What I’ve left out from this story is how in 2021 I impulsively bought a used Juki sewing machine, but I’ll save that for another post once I figure out what I am going to do with the Juki. We ended up not getting along very well…)
While I worked on the table runner, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer lounged under my studio cutting/work table.
He looked especially cute because he was snuggling with his favorite toy – Beary. Mike used to rip out the crotches of his toys (we do not know why) but he stopped a couple years ago. John and I thought the photo looks like Beary is looking gratefully at Mike because he still has his crotch – ha!
And an update on this post Cat Approved Quilt:
Now both of my stepson Z’s cats (both rescued kitties) are enjoying the quilt I sent him!