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Posts tagged ‘Bernina 830’

Let’s Play Catch Up – It Has Been Way Too Long

This post is going to have a lot of different types of projects.  It has been so long since I’ve posted and many projects have come and gone.  Let’s rewind the clock back to August 2014.  I’m getting ready to send my one and only sweet daughter off to college and emotions are running high.  One of our co-workers was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier.  We wanted to make her a comforting quilt to get her through the hard days ahead with surgery and treatments.  We made simple blocks with a place in the center for everyone in our company to sign well-wishes and prayers to her.  Here’s the quilt and a few close ups.

Pat Signature Quilt

Pat Signature Quilt Close UPPat Signature Quilt Border Close UP


Second project, before my daughter went off to college, she wanted to make a rug for her new dorm room to match her comforter set.  We went to our local Goodwill store and bought up a bunch of t-shirts.  She cut them into strips and rolled them up in balls.  Then she took three colors at a time and braided the rug.  My job was to sew together the braided rows into a circular rug.  It turned out really cute and she used it her first year of college in her dorm room.  Here’s the photo!

Abby Dorm Rug


Fast forward to the fall season.  My daughter and I had started a Halloween quilt together many years and due to crazy schedules, it got put on the shelf.  After she went to college, I wanted to finish it for her dorm bed for Halloween.  It was emotional dragging it back out, but I’m glad I did.  She enjoyed it during the Halloween season.  I also made a Halloween pillowcase/sham to go with it.

Halloween pillowcaseHalloween Quilt Close UPAbby Halloween Quilt

Another fun Halloween project was this machine embroidery free-standing lace coffin.  Lots of pieces, but way fun to put together and even more fun to decorate with!  This design was from OESD!

Free Standing Lace Coffin

For our annual Fall Fest meeting, I finished a quilt top of the raffle blocks I’d won at a previous full chapter meeting (I think it was the previous Spring Fest).  I may have already posted some of those blocks, but here’s the finished top.  It is on my “UFO to do List” that I plan on finishing this year.  I just need to decide if it needs a border to pull it all together and we’re off.

Raffle Block Close Up Raffle Block quilt

Prior to our Fall Fest our chapter got together to make pillowcases for charity (the chapter hosting the above Fall Fest event asked for these).  Our chapter made all these great pillowcases.  They took little time to make and were so much fun.  Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to get with your quilting friends and sew, sew, sew!

My pillowcases My pillowcases 2 Moonlighters Pillowcases More Moonlighters pillowcases

OK, enough for this time.  I’ll start up next time with the Christmas projects of that year.  Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…




Graduation – A Year Later

Wow, the time has flown since my daughter graduated from high school.  I still have projects from that time that I haven’t posted yet, so shame on me.  Life has been a little crazy recently.  We just returned from a 8 day vacation to sunny (and yes very hot) Florida.  For our 25th wedding anniversary (June 16th), we decided to take a family trip to Disney World and Universal Studios.  We are big Harry Potter fans so we had to see the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.  I had two misconceptions – #1 it will be nice weather in Florida in May.  Yikes, it was mid 90’s most of the trip.  #2 – It won’t be as crowded since school-aged children should still be in school.  Wrong again, Disney had tons of little kids too young for school and Universal Studios had tons of school groups.  Lots of crowds and very hot temperatures, but it was still a fun trip.  We walked our feet off.  We did 3 days at Disney and 3 days at Universal Studios without a break in between.  Yes, that was my ambitious scheduling.  Here’s a fun photo of me and the hubby having fun at Disney. Chip and Mel at Disney


At Disney we stayed in a Royal room at the Port Orleans Riverside resort.  That was a great place to stay and we had so much fun.  Here’s a photo of my daughter and her best friend in the princess-themed room.

Abby and Casey at Disney

We moved my daughter home from James Madison University where she completed her freshman year as a music education major just three days before leaving for our vacation.  The boxes are still all over the house.  Not sure where they will go until she moves back in August.  I’m so proud of her…she made the Dean’s List both semesters.  She’s going to be working at a local grocery store as a bakery-deli clerk and taking 7 credit hours at the local community college.

OK, now back to the business of sewing and quilting.  I have a lot of projects to catch you up on.  I had been having trouble with my Bernina 830 and broke down and took it in for an overhaul.  I’m happy to report after replacing a few small parts and a thorough take apart/cleaning my baby is doing very well.  I haven’t put her back on the quilt frame yet, but plan on doing that once the excitement of moving my daughter home from college and vacation wear off.  Can’t remember if I shared this or not, but in November 2014, I became the proud owner of a Bernina 750.  I absolutely love it!  I haven’t found anything it can’t do yet (except the dishes…darn!).  I traded in my work horse Bernina 440 which made me sad, but it was time to move on.

These projects are from last May, so here goes.  I did a Bernina retreat at my local quilt shop, Cottonwood called Sew-A-Palooza.  It was so much fun and we got an embroidery design to make these little in the hoop wristlet bags.  I have made close to if not more than 30 of them.  I used them as gifts for my guests at my daughter’s graduation party last May.  Here are some of the bags.  I finally start making some for myself and have made a bag for every month October through May (yes I really need to get started on my June one since it is coming very fast).  It is fun finding cool fabrics, ribbons, etc. to make these.  I also made two JMU ones for my daughter and her first year college roommate.

Wristlet In the Hoop BagsMore Writslet In the hoop bags Halloween wristlet bag

Last project for this post was a gift for my daughter’s best friend.  She loves to bake and always wears my Girl Scout Cookie apron I made a few years back when she bakes at my house.  I made her a similar one and embroidered her name on it for her graduation gift.  It was such a fun project and she really liked it.  Love that Girl Scout cookie fabric!

Casey apron close upCasey apronUntil next time (and hope it isn’t so long from now), happy sewing & quilting!



Let the Good Times Roll Quilt Challenge

My chapter of our local quilt guild issued a challenge for our Springfest meeting back in May of this year.  I wasn’t going to participate because nothing came to me, but at the last minute (yes a week before the meeting) I got a good idea.  The theme was “Let the Good Times Roll”.  I wanted to incorporate Mardi Gras and something personal.  I came up with “My Favorite Things” and decided that is how I best could “let the good times roll”.  I took photos of many of my favorite things…my husband, my daughter, foods I like, sewing, knitting, quilting, horses and my two kitties plus a few more things and printed them out on fabric paper.  Then I made a collage of them on my background fabric.  It was a lot of fun and I love the purple, gold and green fabrics I found to coordinate.  I just did free motion quilting around the quilt and used ribbon embellishment to accent the embroidery design of the quilt name.  Now I just need to find a good place in my office/studio to hang up this quilt to keep me focused on the good things in life when the irritating and bad things come along.  Here are the photos.

myfavoritethings1"My Favorite Things"


"My Favorite Things Close up"

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,


High School Graduation – How the Time Flies

It seems like moments ago we watched our little girl get on the school bus for the first time to go to Kindergarten.  Today she had her last official school day of high school with only an exam left and a couple band rehearsals.  I’m happy for her so she can spread her wings and become her own person, but I still will miss that little girl.  Since graduation is less than two weeks away, I wanted to share with you my daughter’s graduation quilt.  I was looking around the house just yesterday at all the “graduation” quilts I’ve made for her.  Her first was preschool graduation and one of the first quilts I ever made.  Then the elementary school graduation quilt which were “art squares” of her artwork from each year.  For her middle school graduation, there is a beautiful Asian quilt that still hangs on her bedroom wall.

I wanted her to pick what she wanted for her high school graduation quilt with the hopes that she’d take it to college to feel a part of me with her.  I made this kit I bought at my local quilt shop from Timeless Treasures fabric.  I love the colors.  My daughter’s only request was that I put a soft backing on it so she could get good use out of it at college.  I found a navy Minkee fabric for the backing.

I did not put this quilt on the quilt frame for several reasons.  Reason #1, I didn’t want to chance the thickness of the Minkee.  Reason, #2 I only wanted to outline quilt each block so that the quilt wasn’t too heavy and kept the softness.   I used my Bernina 830 with a dual feed foot and this quilted like a dream with the thick layers.  I didn’t add a batting and just used the two layers of fabric.

Here’s the finished quilt.

"Graduation Quilt"

And here’s a close up of the blocks so you can see the wonderful detail of the butterflies.

"Graduation Quilt Close Up"

I made a couple in-the-hoop wristlet bags today, but can’t post them yet since they are graduation gifts for my daughter’s friends.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,


New Baby Quilt on the Frame

I’ve had this quilt finished for a while now, but couldn’t post about it until I delivered it to the new baby and her family.  Didn’t want to spoil the surprise.  This was the first time I’ve used a purchased design with Quiltmotion and the Bernina Quilt Frame.  It was successful.  I was a bit nervous, but I purchased three designs that weren’t too expensive if it didn’t work out.  Now I have the confidence they do work and can increase my library of designs.  There were a few snags along the way, but all in all it was a pretty good experience (or that’s what I remember from almost a month ago).  It might be like childbirth…you’d never quilt another quilt if you remembered all the pain!  I really have to be careful when setting my safe area.  I got the machine foot caught yet again and ripped a seam.  This time, I used steam a seam to try and fix the tear.  Then when I took the quilt off the frame, I did some tack down quilting.  I could tell where it was, but I’m not pointing it out.

Here’s the finished quilt.

"Ballerina Bear Baby Quilt"

The design was a continuous line design with a large and a small flower.  I quilted with Superior King Tut on the top and Superior Masterpiece in the bobbin. This seems to be a good thread combination.  I bought some new variegated thread at a recent quilt demonstration and am anxious to try it out on the frame.  Here are a couple close ups of the quilting design.  I did free motion for the borders.  I’ve found that to be easier, then trying to quilt on the frame right out to the edges of the quilt.  I’ve been experimenting with new free-motion designs.

"Ballerina Bear Super Close Up" "Ballerina Bear Close Up"

I want to get my chocolate quilt on the frame next and get that one finished.  I found a continuous line design of candies that I think will make a great design for this quilt.

Only two weeks until my daughter graduates from high school, so I’ll probably be silent for a bit.  I’ve been working on a lot of new projects though, some cute in the hoop wristlet cell phone bags, a new handbag, an apron for a graduation gift,  more knitted ruffle scarves and a challenge quilt for my guild plus two more Bright Stars quilts.  I need to plan my next new project.  I’m on a quest to sew up the many, many handbag and tote bag kits I’ve bought at various quilt shows.  I’ll call it my “bag of the month” project.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,


Spring Garden Path Quilt – A Positive Frame Experience

I spent Saturday quilting one of my many unfinished tops on my Bernina quilt frame.  I took my time and didn’t rush through things.  I also read my old notes, and made new ones.  I think the key to having success using the frame, Quilt Motion and my Bernina 830 is to do it on a regular basis.  Each time I finish another quilt, I learn something new.  I should be an expert by now don’t you think?  No, really I have not had as much experience as many of you out there.  Please chime in if you have something that has or hasn’t worked for you.  We would love to hear from you.

Here are some of the preparatory steps I took this time around that I feel helped it be a successful venture.  I made sure all the lint and thread remnants were gone from the bobbin area. I oiled the machine and I slowed the speed in the software down to slow (instead of medium). I found my perfect tension was 3.0 in the software. It didn’t seem to make a difference what I set the machine on. I also used a high quality thread in the bobbin (which goes against my cheap nature). I used Superior’s Masterpiece in the bobbin and King Tut for the top thread.

I was quite pleased with the results.  I did experiment a little between the first couple of rows with the tension.  I originally had it set to 3.5, but could see a tiny bit of the bobbin coming up to the top.

Here are a couple of photos of the quilting.  I guess I don’t know if the cleaning and oiling did the trick, or the slowing down the machine speed or the different thread.  All I know it is worked and I’m going with the same setup next time which is going to be very soon.  I’ve had a king-sized quilt top that needs to be quilted for a dear friend and I must get to it.  I am hoping the quilt isn’t too large for the frame.  I think it will just fit.  I’d hate to have to do it just on the 830 even with the large quilting space it has.

"Spring Garden Path Quilting"


"Close Up Quilting"

I’m so happy with the back that I’ll share the quilting with you.  Since I used the same color as the backing as the thread, it is a little hard to see the quilting.  I played around with the levels in Photoshop so hopefully you can see how nice it came out.  I did have an issue when the bobbin ran out.  I haven’t come up with a good way to change the bobbin without having to cancel the design so I can move the machine out to get to the bobbin.  When it ran out at the end.  I just left it in its locked position, and reached way in, changed the bobbin although it was painful and was able to retrace the design and get it lined up perfectly.  If any of you have tips on bobbin changing, I’d love to hear them.

"Back Quilting"

I have to mention a great new class I’m taking on Craftsy.com (love that website).  I’m taking Mimi Dietrich’s Finishing School:  Edges and Bindings.  Sure, I know how to bind a quilt, but I’ve never quite gotten the technique of that last joining of the binding ends.  I’ve always straight sewed them and never liked it.  Mimi shared her technique which is super easy (I got it right the first time) and I had a great seamless looking binding.  I love learning something new.  She has a lot of fun ways to add edging and such to a quilt binding to dress it up.  I also learned how to use the backing of the quilt as binding (haven’t tried it yet) but she made it look really easy.

Here’s the finished Spring Garden Path quilt.  I finished hand sewing the hanging sleeve just moments ago and it is ready to be displayed somewhere…just where is the question of the day.

"Spring Garden Path Quilt"

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,


Another Quilt Frame Adventure

I’ve been meaning to share my last quilting experience on the quilt frame.  Since I have another one loaded and ready to start today, I wanted to get this one documented before I have more information to get confused with.  Thanks so much to all of you who have shared your experiences, tips and what works and doesn’t work.  That’s the best way we can all learn to use our equipment and have the most fun and progress with it.  I only share my “bad” experiences not to degrade the product in any way, but to share with others in case you have frustrations too.  I love Bernina products and will continue to be a Bernina girl always!

The good news at the beginning is the quilt looks good from the front and will be a wall hanging so the back really won’t be seen.  I know it is there but I won’t let anybody go “back there”.

Here’s and up close of the front quilting.  I chose a bat design for this fun Halloween quilt.  I used YLI thread in the top and a basic cotton black thread in the bobbin.

"Halloween Quilt Front Quilting"

During quilting the first row the machine was making a terrible noise, but the top looked good.  Once the first row finished, I rolled the quilt and looked at the back.  Ugh!  Yikes!  It is horrible.  Here’s an up close photo of all those loops and such.

"Halloween Quilt Back Nesting"

I continued on row by row changing one variable at a time and making notes.  I changed needles, re-threaded both the bobbin and the top thread to no avail.  Here’s another close-up of a row further down the quilt.

"Halloween Quilt Back Nesting"

By the time I got to the last two rows, I hit the “sweet spot” in the tension.  I first changed the tension directly on the 830 to 4.5.  That didn’t help at all.  Not sure if the machine tension matters when using quilt motion.  I know the software takes over a lot of the functions.  Does anybody know if the machine tension matters?  Second, I tried changing the tension in the software to 4.5.  BINGO!  Perfect results on top and bottom of quilt.  Wow, wish I’d tried that earlier so half of my quilt back looked OK.

Here’s a photo of the finished quilt and thankfully very few will see the mess and nests on the back.  I did get my machine serviced after this quilt and the tech said it had a lot of lint and thread build up in the bobbin area which could definitely affect the tension and the back quilting.  I had just had the machine serviced 6 months ago, so it wasn’t like I had been neglecting it.  I do a lot of machine embroidery which does affect how often it needs to be serviced.

"Finished Halloween Quilt"

I’m getting psyched up for my next attempt.  I hope to have good results to share with you soon.  I have a box full of quilt tops ready to test out.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,