A Place to Share Sewing & Quilting Experiences

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.

Bernina Quilt Frame Stage One

Bernina Quilt Frame Stage One

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.

Bernina Quilt Frame Final

Bernina Quilt Frame Final

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!


Comments on: "New Quilt Toy for My Sewing Room" (7)

  1. Hello ladies…I too have Quilt Motion /Crown Jewel Longarm/Grace Majestic frame but have had double hip replacements since and have not gotten to play with it all yet. I plan to try to go out to my quilting shed tomorrow and put the leaders on and load it up and see what it will do!!! But have you heard about the new add-on for quilt motion???? I cannot wait for it to get here…it is going to make things even more simle!!

    • Let us know if you find out more about the quilt motion add on. The only new thing I know about is specific to the Bernina machines which is the Quilter’s Creative Touch which is about to ship out some dealers soon. I did a webinar on it and it looks really neat. It basically replaces the small lcd screen on the frame handles and lets you do the software and editing functions right there on the frame. It is a tablet sized “computer” that will have the software on it. I didn’t see any new function except that it made some of the current things in the quilt motion software easier to access and accomplish. I’m pretty sure it is going to be too expensive for my budget for now, but I’d love to have it down the road.

      Please let us know if you hear more about the add-on…it has me very intrigued. I hope you were able to try out your new stuff today. Hope your hip replacements are going well and you are well on the mend and ready to jump into the quilting.


  2. Dorene Morales said:

    There is a new Yahoo group for Quilt Motion….just started in Oct. It could be great. Dorene Morales

    • Thanks so much. I know it will have a wealth of info. I follow the ones for the 830, the Version 6 software and MyLabel. Thanks for pointing it out!

  3. Dorene Morales said:

    Thamks for your reply. I, too, learned the hard way about the safe area. I had to puzzle awhile to understand that I had set the safe area incorrectly. Have you figured out how to stitch in the ditch? I am interested in figuring out the record feature as well. I tend to forget between quilting sessions. Your notebook idea is a good one. Happy quilting. Dorene Morales

  4. Dorene Morales said:

    I have the Bernina Quilt Motion and Bernina Frame by Grace Co. I would like to hear more about your adventures with the new toys. I love them and have had good luck with them. I would like to have more detailed instructions. Dorehe Morales….Cincinnati Ohio

    • I haven’t had a lot of experience with it yet. I’ve done 4 quilts since May and have learned a ton of things with each one. Unfortunately during of time between quilts I tend to forget things I’ve learned. I’ve started a Quilt Motion notebook where I write down my tips and lessons learned. I have learned there is a specific order in which to turn on all the equipment to get it to work for me. The big lesson I learned on the last quilt I did this weekend, was “make sure your design is in the safe area before starting”. I had a fancy pattern set up as a pantograph and it cut off the top one inch of the design. I must have set the safe zone incorrectly or something. That’s my tip for the day. I’ve also learned that the simple designs stitch out the best. The more intricate one I used on the last quilt took forever to stitch out. I’d love to hear how you are progressing. I looked for a Quilt Motion specific group to join on-line but haven’t found anything. I belong to the 8 series, the MyLabel and the Artista Version 6 groups on Yahoo and find the info there to be invaluable. Good luck to you as you get to know your frame & software.

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