I keep my blog as a personal record of what I'm up to, which might be seen as working towards "An elegant sufficiency, content, retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, ease and alternate labour, useful life"

I'm certainly not there yet.  There is quite some way to go!










Entries in Bernina (31)


Creative days like these


I have a new post on the Bernina English language blog today about the inspiring demonstration of some new Bernina accessories and software I went to last week.




I took my amazing machine to Frank’s with me, because of late it’s been misbehaving and not responding to my gentle touches as it usually does.  I left it for his technician to investigate and learned that the bobbin sensor was not working as it should.  A new replacement part was ordered, arrived within 24 hours and hopefully, my machine will be home again in a couple of days, complete with a firmware update and refreshed from a little TLC!




I keep looking at the large space where it normally sits in my studio and feel quite bereft, even though I know I could get my older, Bernina 1630 out to play…or the even older still, Bernina 1030 (do you see a pattern here?)  I know, however, I am not in the same league as many when it comes to collecting sewing machines!  (You know who you are Winking smile )




Speaking of Maggie (!)  who came with me on Thursday and shared all the Quilting Ruler fun, on the way home we had a small errand to run for our dear friend Jordi, who had seen a couple of things online which she liked the look of.  I immediately followed the link to Sue Brown’s blog and discovered that she’s just up the road from me, in Cheltenham.  No need for mail order there, then!




So on the way home, Maggie and I spent a fascinating half hour looking around the yard ARTspace and just knew that we’ll be back there before long.  There’s an interesting programme of workshops and classes, right up our alley, and Sue herself creates some amazing work.




So much inspiration on our doorstep and lovely friends to share it with. 

Now, if only I could stop being bothered by that bird up there…


My prize arrived!


You might recall that I was the lucky winner – not of the lottery, but of a draw for a trolley system for my sewing machine.




Look what arrived this morning.




I opened the trolley bag first.  Very smart and rather larger than I imagined!   I couldn’t wait to explore…




There’s a good, solid retractable handle to pull it on two sturdy wheels




and a grab handle at each end too. 




Inside it’s lined with small pockets here and there




and loads and loads of padding, securely fixed with velcro patches.




The whole front unzips and opens up, making it easier to load the machine, which is not only very large, but also rather heavy – 20kg.




I unplugged my machine and carefully lifted into place.  All those additional padding blocks had to go – it took up almost every inch of the bag.




The pockets at the front are deep enough for additional feet and other accessories and I don’t feel worried that they’ll squash up against the metal panels of the machine and be damaged in any way.




Those inside the bag are probably better suited to lighter, thinner things like scissors and Swiss Army Knives  - the Bernina sewing version, of course Winking smile




There are small pockets on the inside of the top flap which are ideal for spare needles and unpickers plus the Bernina universal tool for getting in all kinds of awkward corners in case of emergency.




I lay the knee lift on the top and squeezed the sewing table down the side – that was the only part which didn’t seem to have an obvious home.  Maybe I’ll investigate if there’s a better place for that.




Foot pedal in one end pocket, power cable in the other




I zipped it all up and squeezed between my desk and the cupboard.  Wide load coming through!




It was rather easier loading the embroidery module.  The bag is similarly padded with a non-slip panel on the base which fits the solid base perfectly.




There’s a secure strap to hold it in place, though I don’t think it’d go anywhere.




A large pocket inside the front flap holds all the hoops and any other paraphernalia – the templates and any threads – will fit in the outer front pocket.




Zipped up, secured in place, we’re ready to roll!




But oh my, there’s a huge empty space in my studio. 

I think I’ll get it all out again Winking smile




I heard a voice coach speaking on the radio a while ago, explaining how the vocal cords are just like any other muscle.  They need to be kept in shape with regular exercise.  I mention that not only to justify my regular use of my own vocal cords (!) but to apply the same principle to the  many other skills we acquire but then fail to keep exercised.





I use my sewing machine regularly.  It’s always out, always threaded up and ready to sew.  I switch it on and off I go.  But I’ll admit, it’s quite some time since I used the embroidery unit and so when I saw this blog entry I thought, yes, that’s me.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m intimidated by my embroidery machine but I will admit to being a bit rusty and the idea of something quick and easy seemed a good way of spending an hour this morning.

I downloaded the free design (only free for a limited time) and evidenced my rustiness immediately.  Just which file format do I need to load onto the usb?  Thankfully, like many such things, once I gave it some thought, it all came back to me and soon, my machine was purring away.




I did have to consult the book to check the bobbin threading pattern for embroidery, mind you.  I knew where the thread should go, just couldn’t seem to get it there (and working with black thread didn’t make it any easier).




Then came the colouring in bit.  I used my watercolour pencils which probably weren’t the best choice – I’d probably have done better to follow the advice in the blog post and use wax crayons instead.  But by the time I got to that bit I was irritated.  (I know, it doesn’t take much!)

Are you into “adult colouring books”?  If so, don’t tell me.  I don’t want to know!  In return I won’t ask you why you haven’t got something better to do…

What irritated me was “Outlining shapes with a darker color and working your way in is good practice. It allows you to add depth and layer colors as your inspired to.” Well, apart from the weird English of the second sentence, I wanted to ask “says who?”  Just who is setting rules for colouring in, please?  “Good practice”?  Good grief.

So, I leave you with a fine example of very bad practice.  Not only did I not outline shapes with a darker colour and work my way in, I also overdid the water spray and the colours ran.  I never was much good at colouring anyway.

Maybe I need some training?


One step at a time


Remember this?




Just before we went off on my birthday jolly to Carcassonne, I was playing about with a jelly roll of fabric which had been on my shelf for a couple of years.  I didn’t know what to do with it, but then I came across this and simply had to give it a try.




I didn’t get very far though and ever since then, the stitched and cut blocks have sat by my sewing machine. 

Today, I felt rather virtuous.  I’d not only done some of my (paid) work, I’d cleared my mending pile and there wasn’t much ironing sitting and eyeing me with that threatening look that only a basket of ironing can manage.  So, I switched on my sewing machine and prepared to begin.

Except I’d forgotten what I was doing.  There was no printout in the bag with those blocks either.  What a good job I blog about such things and include the links!  I worked out what I’d done, where I’d stopped and what more there was to do.




I soon had quite a pile of 5 1/4 inch squares and spend a few minutes trimming and squaring them off.




It’s a clever pattern that looks way more tricky than it really is.




So now it’s time to sew four squares together to create a larger block.  But there’s a decision to make.




Do I take the control freak’s route and choose the placement of the colours carefully?




Or go random and let the colours fall as they will?


I can’t decide.


A visit from the Glücksfee


I can’t remember the last time I entered an online competition by leaving a comment on a blog.  I’ve seen giveaways from time to time and thought I’d have a go, but thought better of it when I saw hundreds of comments where there’d normally be just a couple.  But just before Christmas, I spotted this:


Fullscreen capture 08012016 145657


I hadn’t seen this trolley system before so I was interested to read that such a thing had been produced.  I was even more impressed when I watched this.




My machine is so huge, I haven’t even tried to move it from my sewing table in the studio, but this bag/trolley is clearly the answer.




The embroidery module fits into its own snug case too.




Of course, Bernina had thought of everything!




So yes, I rather liked the idea of winning one!  I left my comment at the foot of the blog and discovered mine was #6 – and there were only a couple of days left before the competition closed.


After Christmas, I was catching up on some blog reading and noted on the German language Bernina blog that a lucky winner had been chosen – not me, sadly.  Oh well…   But this morning, I read a little further down my blog list as far as the Bernina English blog and discovered this:


Fullscreen capture 08012016 151748



Wooooohooo!  Thank you, Bernina xx  (and thank you for doing a great job, Glücksfee!