My Machines and Software

My Newest Crush is Goldilocks, My Bernina 475QE:

Look Who Snuck Into the House While My Husband's Porridge Was Cooling!
I call this machine my Goldilocks because she's loaded with the modern features I rely on for all kinds of quilting projects, yet small enough (and affordable enough) to be a secondary portable machine for me.  My main sewing machine is heavy and cumbersome to even carry down the stairs from my studio, so I'll be using my new B 475QE not just when I go to quilting bee, Sit & Sew, or classes, but also when I want to work on a machine stitching project in the family room while watching television with my husband.  When my mom comes over to sew, I set up the 475QE at another workstation in my studio for her to use while I'm sewing on my 750QEE.  I'll be posting a full review of this machine once I've been sewing on it a bit longer, but I adore it so far!

My Main Squeeze is 'Nina, My Bernina 750QEE:

Happy Owner of a Bernina 750QEE Since 2012
I do at least 80% of my sewing and 100% of my machine embroidery on my Bernina B 750 QEE sewing machine.  I LOVE THIS MACHINE!  It does everything I could possibly dream of, from sewing draperies and home dec to costumes, garment sewing, and of course piecing quilt tops.  I also use this machine for machine embroidered monograms and for stitching embroidered quilt labels.  You can read more about all the great features of my Big Bernina in my machine review post here, but please note that if you want the same exact machine I have, you'll need to find a lovingly preowned machine since Bernina has retired this model.  However, I highly recommend the current model Bernina 770QEE, which is basically the new and improved version of my 750. Sadly, I am not a Bernina Brand Ambassador and I don't work for a Bernina dealer -- no one is giving me free or discounted machines or accessories.  I'm more like a Bernina Groupie.  I'm also the group owner/administrator of the Yahoo! Bernina 7 Series forum.

Meet Bette and Judi, my Vintage Singer Featherweight 221 machines

Bette, My 1935 Singer Featherweight
 Bette is the 1935 Featherweight that I use for travel, as a backup machine, and for really intricate, fussy piecing like Y-seams. She's a very early model and she's in really great shape for her age -- still sews the most beautiful straight stitch you can imagine.

Judi, My 1951 Singer Featherweight

Judi is the 1951 Featherweight that I let my sons use sometimes. She's not as rare as Bette and she has more visible wear and tear, but she is still rock solid reliable and sews like a dream.  I really only need ONE Featherweight, but they are kind of like chocolates -- once you have one, you just can't stop yourself from having another one!  Someday one of the white ones is going to follow me home...  You can read my complete vintage Singer Featherweight 221 review here.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, my APQS Millenium Longarm Quilting Machine

My Hand Guided APQS Millenium Longarm Quilting Machine

I've only had this machine since 2017, but I did a LOT of research before investing in a longarm quilting machine and I know I bought the right machine for me.  Longarm quilting is an exciting new adventure for me, and I'm loving every minute of it!  My APQS Millennium longarm machine is on a 12' frame and is not computerized.

Sergei the Serger, my Bernina 1300 MDC

My Bernina 1300 MDC Serger + Coverstitch Machine

Again, I LOVE my Berninas...  The stitch quality is gorgeous.  I use this machine for sewing knit clothing, but also for serging the edges of baby quilts before binding them, for overcasting raw edges of applique blocks so they don't fray during stitching, for home dec sewing, for making piping and pleated ruffle trim...  I've had this serger since 2006 and it has never needed service.  I haven't written a formal review of this machine, but you can scroll through all of my back posts showing how I've used this serger in my projects by clicking here.  This machine does have coverstitch capability, but having to change my serger setup back and forth from overlocking to coverstitching was just one more delay that kept me away from quilting, so I finally bought a standalone coverstitch machine in 2017.  

My Juki MCS-1500 Coverstitch Machine is Named Juki.  Because He's a Juki.

Juki, My MCS-1500 Coverstitch Machine
My Juki MCS-1500 coverstitch machine is designed to do just one thing, and do it well.  This machine sews the cover hem that makes homemade knit garments look like ready-to-wear.  I bought this machine in hopes that it would encourage me to turn my stash of knit fabrics and garment patterns into custom clothing in my closet...  Stay tuned!

I Design My Quilts in EQ8 Software

I've been using Electric Quilt Design Software since Version 7, and it's been worth every penny.  Seriously, they could charge three times as much for this software and it would still be a great deal!  Not only can I design new quilts from scratch and preview what they will look like in different fabrics, but EQ has an enormous library of quilt blocks that can be used to print out templates or paper piecing patterns in any size you want.  Check out this quilt that my son Lars and I designed in EQ8:

Stained Glass Quillow Design for Lars, 68" x 102"
There is NO WAY I could have created this design without my EQ software. This quilt is intended as a high school graduation gift, which means I have just over a year to finish it.  I'll be paper piecing it, so it's next in line once my paper pieced pineapple log cabin blocks are done.  And if I DON'T finish it in time for the high school graduation, there's always the college graduation four years later...  and maybe grad school if I'm lucky...

I Design My Machine Embroidery in Bernina v8 Designer Plus Digitizing Software

Screen Shot of Quilt Label I Designed in Bernina v8 Designer Plus Embroidery Software
I've been editing and designing machine embroidery with Bernina's Designer Plus digitizing software since version 4.  I am really only an occasional machine embroiderer, but I find myself using this software program for every one of my machine embroidered projects -- I never, ever just stitch out a commercially digitized design without tweaking it to make it my own.  This is a powerful software program with infinitely more features than even the TOL Bernina embroidery machines, and I love that I can work on an embroidery design on my laptop outside or in the living room and then transfer the finished design to my sewing machine with a USB stick when I'm ready to sew it out.

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