Last week, I gave myself an early Christmas present – the gift of time to focus on one of Designs’ valued partners. I have to admit, it had been way too long since I had the opportunity to spend such quality time with my friends at BERNINA. They invited me – along with some other very lucky embroiderers, quilters and sewists – to learn new techniques from the BERNINA sewing wizards at their new BERNINA Creative Center.
Upon arrival, we were asked to give a 2-minute speech on who we were, where we lived and what we were currently working on. I have to tell you, it’s a humbling experience. The talent in the room is breathtaking. Just to name a few (and I’m leaving out many) – Charlotte War Anderson, Georgia Bonesteel, Kaye England, Mary Mashuta, Melody Crust, Pat Bravo and Robbie Joy Eklow. As one attendee said, “It’s like visiting with your bookshelf.” I couldn’t agree more.
I was delighted to spend time with Lisa Archer, Pickle Pie Designs – my shuttle bus seatmate; and Angie Steveson of Lunch Box Quilts –my stitching compadre.
Every single artist/teacher was gracious and warm, all of us excited to be there. The next morning, we couldn’t wait to get started. A heart-touching presentation from Ricky Tims set the tone for the two-day hands-on seminar.
After we broke into smaller groups and marched to our classrooms, I thought of a conversation I had with my daughter before departing for the event. She asked if I had any concerns about the event. I responded, “Yes, I’m worried I won’t be able to behave like a good student!”
I needn’t have worried. BERNINA kept us entertained and busy. It was fascinating to quilt with BERNINA’s 820 under the tutelage of Debra Rutledge in the QuiltMotion class. Amazing how the movement of the 820 was controlled by a tablet! So easy to design right at the quilt and then watch it stitch. We worked on a huge canvas and stitched all morning. After a relaxing lunch, we headed to the next classroom to work on the new 780.
Jeannine Cook-Delpit led us on a fun in-the-hoop eyeglass case. An excellent teacher, Jeannine gave us an overview of the 780 and steered us around its editing screen. We selected a design, added custom stitches and a monogram. Then we switched out the needle with the cutwork tool and voila! Our peeper case was cut to precision. It didn’t quite seem complete until we added the custom crystals. Ingenious! Jeannine thought through every detail of the design so that all students finished without a hiccup.
I had fun playing with the cutwork tool. If you know anything about today’s cutwork, you know that the cutting is done by a blade inserted into the fabric at four different angles. Cutwork systems have four different needles requiring the user to insert the correct blade at the proper color sequence. BERNINA’s is quite different as it has one blade that rotates when needed. You stitch color 1 with the blade at position 1 and then spin the dial to rotate the blade for color 2 and so on. In future posts, I’ll be telling you more about the cutting tool and some other goodies I brought home with me. After all, it is Christmas!
Stop back next week and I’ll fill you in on the second half of the seminar. In the meantime, take a look at our assignment and special prizes for next week.