Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bernina Class Lessons Learned

Today I finished the second part of my Bernina I class.  This is offered free by my Bernina dealer and can be taken as many times as you like.  Case in point - the woman next to me bought her machine ten years ago!  I took this class when I first bought my machine two years ago, and am embarrassed to say that even having taken it before, I learned a TON of new things this time around!  This has now firmly instilled the belief in me that it's good to take a machine education class if you can, no longer how long you've had your machine.

I kept a running list during class of all the new things I learned (or incorrect things I unlearned!)  Maybe some of these are things you can learn from as well. BTW I have a Bernina Aurora 440QE.

  • I was threading incorrectly when winding my bobbin, by not going around the back hook before looping around the little circle on top of the machine
  • I learned how to easily unattach the board that snaps on to give more quilting area.  I knew there was some trick to it, but usually I would just tug until it came off and hope it wouldn't break!  I learned you put your thumb in the little thumb indentation and curl your fingers around the board to get it to pop right off.
  • This is pretty obvious, but if you step with your heel on the presser foot, it raises or lowers the needle.  It's even drawn right on there! 

  • Your bobbin is supposed to spin clockwise.  I didn't learn this until I was trying to figure out my tension problems last month.  
  • Believe it or not, I was putting my thread on the spindle incorrectly.  See photos below.

No foam thingy behind the thread, and even though in this picture there's no stopper, I was using the medium stopper.  This is bad for big spools like aurafil because they aren't evenly sitting on the spindle.

You're supposed to put that foam thing behind it for support.  And I learned what the littlest stopper is for!  It fits perfectly into the aurafil tip so it sits properly on the spindle.
  • We also learned how to take off the stitch plate and clean out our machines.  Last time I took this class I think we just briefly discussed it, this time we disassembled everything together and actually used our little cleaning brushes (an item I didn't know the use of) to get it looking good as new.
  • The bobbin case has a little eyelet (pig tail or something?) that you can thread through to increase tension for satin stitching.  I wish I'd known that before I stitched all those animal alphabet letters!
  • Raise the presser foot when threading the machine so there's no tension
  • Finally, a clever trick for plugging in the BSR:  You can see the green spot reflected in the stitch plate so you don't need to stick your head under there to see where to plug it in!

click to see a better version

The class was very fun and I'm glad I went.  In the meantime, I've finished quilting my animal alphabet quilt except for the border, which I am having difficulty selecting a design for.  Photos soon!

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