Favorite Tools – Happy Bernina Birthday To Me!

You don’t just turn 40 and let it idly pass you by! Although my birthday is not until later this summer, I got an early present last weekend. πŸ™‚

Christa's BerninaI love my new Bernina! It’s the model 710 and it has a whopping 10 inches of space to the right of the needle (compared to my old machine which is less than 7 inches). Look at the size difference of the two. It’s like mama sewing machine and baby sewing machine. πŸ™‚

Bernina Sizes

Big Mama vs. Baby Bernina

I’m just glad it still fits in my sewing table. All I need is a new insert and I’m good to go.

Bernina BobbinsThe funny thing is that the manual kept referring to it as a “sewing computer” rather than a “machine”. It’s a whopper! And check out the bobbin. It’s nearly twice as big – size really does matter. πŸ™‚

When the new bigger Berninas (8 series) first came out a few years ago, they were being offered for nearly the same price as a long-arm machine. So although my machine quilting was starting to take off, I knew I would need to stick with my trusty model 1630 (16 years old and counting) for a few more years.

But last week I just happened to be at the dealer getting a tune-up and they just happened to be having a great financing deal going on. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to afford any of the 8 series, I crossed off all the extras I could live without. No, I don’t need the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator). No I don’t need a machine that’s too big for my table. No, I don’t need the embroidery capability.

Test Drive

My “Test Drive” Sample

I just wanted a good working machine with a bigger arm – and a larger bobbin would be nice, too.Β  Plus all the standard features of my old machine: snap on feet, needle up/down, knee lift, etc. Oh and the new automatic duel feed is nice too – no more clunky walking foot! The brand new 7 series, introduced just this year has all this at about half the cost of the original 8 series.

Bernina Boxes

Andrea Rolls Out My New Dream Machine

I’d been telling my hubby for awhile that I was ready for a new machine, but after taking an absence from quilting for awhile he said it needed to earn its keep. He suggested once I started entering quilt shows and earning awards again, we could justify the expense.

Wouldn’t you know – I just happened to win a viewer’s choice award in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival last month? It was a sewing miracle! So I earned my Bernina. πŸ™‚

Andrea, a fellow Vegas Modern Quilter works for Quiltique, my favorite local shop which also happens to be a Bernina dealer. (Andrea taught at the Riley Blake Fabric Fest so that’s pretty cool, too!) I laughed when she brought it out to me. It came in 2 boxes!

So you may ask, why Bernina? Simply put, because when I was first learning to quilt, mostΒ  of the award winning quilts I fell in love with were sewn and quilted on Berninas.

When I tried one for the first time nearly 20 years ago it was love at first stitch. Over the years I’ve tried different machines. I really even tried like long arm quilting too, but every time I tried one I just knew it wasn’t for me.

So I’ve been in heaven all week long as I’ve been quilting my project that will be featured in Quilty later this year. (Be sure to sign up for a Quilty Magazine Subscription here so you don’t miss it!) This is the back side so far. I can’t wait to show you the front!

Quilty Quilt

58 thoughts on “Favorite Tools – Happy Bernina Birthday To Me!

  1. Melody says:

    Congrats! I also have a new Bernina after using a 30 year old Bernina that finally needed major repairs. But I’d like to ask about your sewing table. I really want to find a good table but not spend major money. Can you give me any information on a table that the machine sets down into it, like yours? Thanks so much!

    • Sandy Sparks says:

      I’ve noted that Christa cannot recall who made her sewing table, but it looks like my table made by Horn Cabinets. Mine is a newer model, the MultiLift Table. I use mine at multiple heights for sewing; I can make it match the height of a table and really support out the weight of a quilt. It also has an insert that makes it into a cutting table. My manual crank MultiLift (they make an electric version) was expensive, but well worth the price. I’m sure you can find Horn online. If you have a little more discretionary money, I think it would be worth the investment.

      • Melody says:

        Sandy, thanks for the information. I will look into the Horn company. It would help with my machine quilting if the machine were sitting lower and probably help with my back pain! Thanks for taking the time to share this information.

  2. Anne says:

    Congrats on your new Bernina! I have two Bernina machines and I have a love hate relationship with the 730E. There are times I love it and things about it I loathe! They are WELL built machines and yes, even 6 years ago when I got my 730E they called it a sewing computer. πŸ™‚
    Enjoy and happy sewing!

  3. Sue Moore says:

    I’ve had Bernina machines for more years than I want to admit lol. I have 3 now, all older models but love them all! I don’t have to worry about either fitting a special table…. I use our old dining table! Happy Birthday!! Keep quilting & entering contests!

  4. Carolyn DiPerri says:

    Congratulations on your new Bernina. Happy Birthday too. Did it take you time to get used to your new machine or does it run like your old Bernina? You’re going to love that extra space if you free motion quilt. And congrats on your winning quilt. Good things happening for your 40th.

    • Christa says:

      Thanks so much! The new machine came with a really nice instructional video so I watched it to get the hang of it. Most things are the same but I had to get used to the fact that there was no presser foot lever in the back. It’s all computerized! I love it though. πŸ™‚

  5. Kathy in Mukilteo, WA says:

    I love this machine and now have sewing machine envy. Although I adore my plus-20-year-old Bernina 1260 and my a lot older Bernina 830 (mechanical), I sure love everything you say about your 710. I am also lusting for your sewing table. What brand? When did you buy it and where? Please.

  6. Leanne says:

    I’ve never tried a Bernina…my machine is a Kenmore. So far it does everything I need, but it would be fun to test drive a Bernina sometime. Enjoy the new machine and happy 40th.

  7. Marelize says:

    I too do all of my sewing AND quilting on a Bernina, Artista 180 to be exact, not even sure how old the machine is, bought it second hand. It has an embroidery unit too which I’ve only used twice to try out, I LOVE my Bernina, and if ever I can afford a new one, I guess I’ll buy a B again. Enjoy your new baby, the extra throat space is a huge bonus!

  8. Ann says:

    How exciting!!!! I’ve been researching a new machine myself! But when i think I’m settle on the right one… I find another. I’m machine commitment phobic. :). Congratulations!

  9. Denise in PA says:

    Happy early birthday! Sewed on the 710 at my LQS and fell in love- it is dreamy!! Unfortunately, it’s too big for my table (and my Bernina sews just fine), but it’s so hard not to cave and buy one! Good luck with it and Happy Sewing!!

  10. maryval1 says:

    I LOVE my Bernina. I have the 440E quilter’s edition with the BSR, got it 5 years ago. It replaced a 35 year old Kenmore, which I still have by the way. What a workhorse the Kenmore has been. When shopping for a new machine I was horrified at the cost of *all* of the machines :^) As you can imagine the price had risen considerably in 35 years. Found a good sale, took the plunge, and what a difference the new machine makes.

  11. Sheri says:

    Congratulations and happy birthday! I love the 7 Series machines! I worked at our LQS until it closed a month ago, and was able to purchase my 830 at an employee discount a couple of years ago. When the 700’s came in, I was really impressed with them. You are gonna love this new baby!

  12. Vera says:

    Congrats! It does look great. I got my new machine last year and it was also for Bday, lol. Not as good as yours but I don’t sew that much as you do. Enjoy!

  13. Jocelyn says:

    I love my Bernina!! So I know you are one happy gal. I’ve had mine almost 8 years. No bells or whistles, but it still sews like a dream. Nothing sews like a Bernina…….. nothing!

  14. CathyK says:

    Today is my 50th birthday and I did spend some of it on my Bernina! Aren’t they wonderful?! Happy Bernina Birhday to you!!!

  15. Georgette Mitchell says:

    What a wonderful birthday present. Just like you, once I tried a Bernina that’s all it took for me to be a devoted fan. Congratulations on your new jewel.

  16. Julie says:

    So so fancy! I know it’s tacky to ask but how much would one of these bad boys set you back? Whatever it is I’m sure it’s worth it with all those fancy features!

  17. Ashley says:

    Yay! Yay! Yay! How wonderful and happy early birthday to you! This is a phenomenal gift and now you have me wishing for earning that Bernina, hahahaha. My husband would make me earn the keep too, adorable. I know you will be spending a lot of time with your new machine! Enjoy πŸ™‚

  18. Paula says:

    A huge big happy birthday to you (for later this summer) and a big welcome (or ealy big welcome) to the 40s – best decade ever, imo at lest. Enjoy the new machine, it looks fab and more than well deserved. You’ve been an inspiration to me and so many others I’m sure and I think you’ve most definitely more than earned it. Happy sewing.

  19. Betty Lou says:

    This is a birthday gift to remember, it is a beauty. I have two Berninas, an 830 that 8 for in 1976 and a Virtuosa 160 in 1998. Congratulations, can’t wait to see all your beautiful projects.

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