I’ve long been a fan of BERNINA sewing machines and purchased my first one, a used model 1630 back in in 1997. I pieced and machine quilted all of my quilts on it and really learned how to be a proficient machine quilter on it. I upgraded to my “dream” machine 16 years later in 2013 – a BERNINA 710. Now I’m excited to be using one of the latest models, the B770 QE (Quilter’s Edition). Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait nearly as long to get it!
Test driving the B770 QE at Quilt Market
I was recently invited to be a BERNINA ambassador and couldn’t be more thrilled. I first heard about the idea of “brand ambassadors” about 10 years ago when I took a class from a national teacher who was one. So I put that idea on the back burner bucket list, hoping to one day be able to represent this fabulous company.
So here’s what it means to be a brand ambassador: BERNINA sends me a machine to use on loan, for the duration of my ambassadorship. In exchange, I help promote their brand, create exclusive content for their We All Sew blog, and share my experiences with my machine. (Truth be told, I would have done all of this anyway, even without the new machine, but shhh! don’t tell them that!!)
I also get to travel to the BERNINA ambassador reunion where I get to meet with other ambassadors and BERNINA representatives. It’s held at BERNINA USA headquarters in Illinois each December, and I can’t wait to go. I imagine I will learn all sorts of nifty tips and tricks which I can then pass along to you guys! Oh, and about the all caps BERNINA – that’s how they officially spell their name. :-)
I’m sure you are all dying to know how this came about, so I’ll tell you. I first met a couple of BERNINA reps at Sewing Summit in 2013. They presented a lecture about blogging and branding which led me to realize the idea of being an ambassador could eventually be in reach. However, I knew at the time I wasn’t well known enough yet; I needed to grow my following and get published so that I could become an effective influencer.
Over the next two years I kept in touch with BERNINA, and I got to know my local dealer really well. I chatted with the national BERNINA reps each time I went to quilt market. I let them know when I purchased the 710 machine (and how much I loved it), and kept in touch while writing both my first and second books.
Listening to BERNINA representatives at Sewing Summit in 2013
Finally, it was my time toward the end of 2015. The funny thing is that BERNINA wasn’t the only company that has offered to work with me. I got a really great request from another sewing machine company earlier this year. Although it’s a company full of fantastic people whom I admire, I truthfully told them that I was flattered, but my heart belongs to BERNINA.
I’m super excited for the future of BERNINA. Not only do they offer the highest quality machines (in my opinion), they are really forward thinking. They recently launched their line of long-arm machines, which are simply amazing. I always told myself I would never be interested in a long arm (either stand up OR sit down). But then I had a chance to try the Q20 sit-down machine and I instantly fell in love.
Chatting with Philliip about my book at Sewtopia – near the Q20 Sit-Down machine
I recently had the pleasure to meet Phillip Ueltschi who is the son of BERNINA’s owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hanspeter Ueltschi. Phillip just happened to be at Sewtopia and it was fun to have a conversation with him. I could tell he was passionate about the company and he was really intent on listening to what I had to say about machine quilting.
When I get to know the good people behind the scenes who are running companies I support, it makes me happy knowing I made the right decision to align with them. Be on the lookout for more fun projects from me, all made on my BERNINA. :-)