I have always wanted to take my quilting a little farther. I’ve been in a free motion stippling rut for quite a while now. Back a few months ago I learned about Bernina’s new product Quilt Motion and had to have one. I started crunching numbers and waiting for the right financing deal to come along. I paid off my Bernina 830 in early May and took the plunge and bought Quilt Motion and the Bernina Quilt Frame. It would still be in the box if not for my wonderfully handy husband. I had been working for weeks to clean out a portion of my sewing room to fit the frame. Once we got it home and realized that even setting up the frame in the smaller 5 foot configuration would really crowd the sewing room, we decided to set up the frame downstairs in the living room/music room. My concession was to move some of our instruments to my sewing room. I now share my sewing space with a mandolin, an upright bass, violin and a guitar. It is definitely worth the trade off. It was my husband that convinced me that we should set up the quilt frame to its full 10 foot capacity. I would hate to limit myself to quilts that are 60″ or small in width. It took quite a while to get all the pieces assembled. Here’s the first photo of the quilt frame assembly process.
Once it was assembled, I started adding the pieces to the frame. I put the top and the backing on (wow this was pretty easy compared to crawling around on the floor pin basting a quilt). Then we put the machine on the frame and loaded up everything. Below is a shot of the finished frame.
I took a big chance and actually put a real quilt on the frame for my first project. I’m not very good a making “tests or samples”. I just usually plow ahead. Unfortunately I can’t post photos of my first project because I haven’t given the gift away yet. Let’s just say the quilt turned out well though. I was pleased with it.
I did have a lot of trouble with thread breakage at the beginning though. I read some posts on a Bernina forum that helped. I tried a brand new needle and went with an 80 sharp titanium. That seemed to work well. I also slowed the machine speed down to slow. After the quilt was done though, I’m pretty sure my thread choice was the problem. I decided to free motion stipple the borders and the thread broke about every 30 seconds. I ditched that thread and went back to my favorite quilting thread – Superior Threads King Tut. I love this stuff and will use it whenever possible. The thread I didn’t have luck with was Superior Threads Rainbows. I feel the thread just wasn’t designed for the application I used it with…the high speed of the machine quilting.
Quilt Motion is awesome. You can design your quilt on your computer screen so you can see how it looks. Then you can export a block or a pantograph to the Quilt Motion and stitch it out. There are over 200 patterns to choose from and also included is a program where you can draw and design your own quilting designs. I’m sure to have many possibilities down the road when I get past the basics.
I do have to say I was pretty nervous about starting out and learned a few things as I went. I put my second quilt on the frame today and it did beautifully. The quilt itself may not be the best combination for the frame though. It is a cotton top and a flannel backing. I think in the future, I’ll only do cotton on cotton. Unfortunately on the 5th row out of 7, the machine locked up and had some problems with the pattern. I decided to back out and reset the machine. I’m hoping to pick back up in the next couple of days and easily pick up where I left off.
Quilt Motion and the frame are going to be wonderful for trying to catch up on all those quilt tops I’ve pieced then put aside for another day. That day is here.
Hope to post photos soon of my Quilt Motion projects.
Until next time…happy sewing & quilting!