Big Bertha

When I began quilting I had no idea how to choose a sewing machine.  Luckily, my quilting guru, Kay, helped me pick out the perfect machine: the Bernina 215.  Over the past year, Little Nina has been with me through thick and thin.  Bless her heart, she has trucked through more firsts than she knew, and patiently dealt with more jams than necessary.

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Isn’t it nice to also see that I knew nothing about what I was getting in to since I put sweet Little Nina on the left side of the table when I first got her.  But, she sure never made me feel stupid.

Of course, as time went on, I got this notion that I could free motion quilt.  I loved practicing on sample sandwiches, but when I would start on a real quilt, Little Nina and I could not get in a groove.  It was like two middleschoolers dancing at cotillion.  You know, where the girl is 8 inches taller?  Oh, that was only me?

So I started scheming, and dreaming, and chatting up Kay again this summer.  She instantly sat me down in front of the Bernina 710.

Since she hasn’t led me astray the first time, I figured I could trust her again… but I had to figure out a savings plan, and fast.  The husband’s monthly treats consist of sweaters from Target, clearance socks, and penny books on amazon.  This man is no fool.  But neither is a quilter on a mission.  By God, I ate peanut butter sandwiches for months to support my spring break vacation habit in college.   I would prevail.

Prevail I did, friends.  Meet my Bernina 710, the machine formerly known as Big Bertha.

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Do you see that throat space.

It basically says, “FMQ ON ME!”

I’ve taken her for quite a few spins, and I’m obsessed.  She does everything.  Puts down her own feet, cuts my thread, stitches designs, and her bobbin is huge.  Huge.  Like half-dollar huge.

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I finished quilting this bad boy – all 64 inches x 78 inches.  I started quilting this quilt on my Bernina 215 and was struggling in the center.  I made it through a fourth of it and then finally got to switch over to Big Bertha.  It was like making instant pudding.  Love at first stitch.

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Then I decided to break out some FMQing.  Without a practice sandwich in sight, I just went for it.  My mom, mammaw, and pappaw were sitting there watching and they were certain that the machine was doing it for me.  Y’all.  I think Big Bertha might have some quilting plans in store for me this year.  I don’t want to put too much pressure on her, though…

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Here’s to many, many happy years with Big Bertha.

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25 thoughts on “Big Bertha

  1. This is so interesting and the photos are just incredible. I assume you are in NJ, and mad it safely, before the big storm. I certainly do admire you/ Keep your warm coat handy for tomorrow’s temps. Swansie

  2. Awwwwww! Ashley’s in luuuurve! But she does look like a fabulous machine, loads of throat space. I had to smile at the look of concentration on your face in that photo. It was like “I’m not sure what I’m doing, but the machine seems to know, so let’s go with it”. I look forward to you impressing my socks off with your slick fmq!

  3. Oh that sounds like just the perfect treat. Nothing quite like scrounging up those pennies for just the perfect planned purchase. Hopefully you’ll make great partners for years to come!

  4. Thanks for the great review, was fun to read to. Am currently working on the best, cheapest Bernina I could afford as a beginner sewer a Bernette 15 from Bernina. Well it’s far too small for fmq-ing, so I’ve begun to dream of a new machine. As Bernina is Swiss, I hope I can get it cheaper here in it’s homeland than by you, or maybe an old version. I will start to do my research and hey keep us posted on your experiences with your new wonder machine.

    Thanks Ashley and happy New Year,
    Jodie

  5. Have lots of fun together! I bought a new machines and the FMQ is harder- oh and the bulb melted it’s own socket o_O I have literally used it for an hour, maybe two, and it’s going back for repair. Sigh.

  6. Love it….I am amazed with the picture with you behind the sewing machine look at all that space. Ok so I am a little green with envy….ok not just a little. Ok this might just call for a trip to NJ this year 😉

  7. Pingback: WiP Wednesday | Wasn't Quilt in a Day

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