My Studio

Bernina Q20 and the B770 Update

The year of 2017 has pass by more than half. This year has not been smooth for me. Followed by the D&C last year, I was diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome (while having vacation in China!), which led me into two hysteroscopy surgeries/examinations and three months of hormones treatment. 

Quilting time has been scanty but it’s definitely a therapy for me. So far I’ve managed to finish two big quilts (the sampler quilt and that Liberty cotton lawn quilt) that I started making in 2015/2016. Stay tuned for pictures!

Just to keep myself happy, in April I upgraded my Bernina 710 to 770qe + embroidery module, and I ordered a sit down longarm, the Bernina Q20! I signed up the free classes offered by my dealer. It’s been so much fun to explore the possibilities of machine embroidery, which I had never tried before.

I set up new sewing corner for my creative adventures, and hope to produce more and more quilts and crafts here.

The Q20 arrived in May. My machine was stubborn at the beginning that a synchronization error message kept popping up, followed by a restart of the machine. After several trips to the dealer’s place, and several rounds of checkups. I finally brought it home permanently in July! It runs quite smoothly so far, with only two error messages appeared so far maybe because I left the needle down when I turned the machine off or the needle threader was not at its proper position. I could definitely say that the Q20 is very sensitive… (which may be a bad thing) but when it is running properly I am so in love with my Q20 indeed. The stitch regulators, the LED lights, and big throat space, the hefty and solid table… ah! It’s heaven! It’s also so much easier maneuvering a large quilt on the Q20. No more fighting with the throat space!  I also ventured into the new world of rulerwork but still in the learning/practising stage and trying hard not to get the straight lines shifted or off track.

A feature that I am not satisfied with the Q20 is the lower thread indicator. It’s not helpful at all as you have to enter at the beginning the total length of thread in your bobbin, which is never accurate. Therefore the machine cannot really tell the exact length of thread left in the bobbin.

One thing that I wish to be installed on the Q20 is the thread cutter. A foot lower/upper control function like my B770 would also be lovely. With such an expensive price tag, the Q20 is lacking some of the bells and whistles that a high end machine should have.

While fighting with my Q20, I worked on a FMQ sample. It’s by far the biggest practise sample I’ve ever made. It’s big enough (19.5"x38") to use as a table runner, though the color of the fabric does not really match the style of my dining room.

Face fabric and backing is cotton sateen from Fabricland. Batting contains a layer of Hobbs Heirloom Wool and a layer of Quilters Dream Angel Request Cotton. The center feather motif was stitched with Superior Threads king Tut/Gutermann Embroidery Thread (both 40 weight), and the rest was stitched with WonderFil DecoBob (60 weight). Stitch definition and drape are both great. I seldom use the fancy stitches on my sewing machine. This time for fun I tried an "x" stitch for binding. It's not bad, eh?

Meet My Studio

In the past two weekends my husband and I were busy at transforming one of our bedrooms into a sewing/quilting studio.

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I got a much bigger sewing area, which is just fantastic!

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I purchased the biggest Ikea bookcase for housing my quilting/sewing books and fabric stash.

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My vintage sewing machine cabinet abuts the "modern" sewing table so I would have more area beyond cabinet when doing free motion quilting.

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My new cutting table (also from Ikea). A worthwhile $99 investment!

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Vintage sewing machine attachments and needle case to "decorate" the shelf.

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Cute Tibetan dolls...

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My quilting and sewing books. I love to browse them, especially those documenting the old quilts.

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The peg board… I considered it the most successful creation of this studio transformation project. My husband and I followed the instructions from Home Depot and built the board from scratch. It is a tremendous success! I love how the cutting rulers are neatly displaced on the board.

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Finally, my current quilting project. 13.5" blocks pinned on the "design wall" that I improvised using insulation foam board, batting, linen fabric, and lot of staples and pins.

So now what's next? I want to makeover the ugly looking curtain!