Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Bernina Sewing Machine

Hello friends. Meet Big Bertha. To say that I am excited about this bad boy coming to stay with me is a huge understatement. 
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The reason for all this hoopla is that I am partnering with Bernina USA to review this beautiful Bernina 710 machine and as a contributor to the We All Sew Blog. If you haven't been to the We All Sew blog, you should stop by for a visit. It is a great resource full of all kinds of sewing tutorials and projects.
 
I couldn't be more thrilled. I have been sewing on a Bernina - mainly this one - my whole sewing life. From the time I took sewing lessons in my neighbor's basement when I was a kid where I made things like corduroy burmuda shorts or boxy Hawaiian print shirts that looked like something Magnum PI would wear, I've been sewing on a Bernina. My machine my whole adult life has been this Bernina Sport 801, ca 1979. This has been a hardworking, heavy-duty little machine and I'll keep it forever. But I've been ready for sometime for an upgrade - especially something with more throat space and a nice table-workspace.  The throat on the 710 feels HUGE compared to what I've been using for years.
Since I've been sewing old-school for so long, it's going to take me a little while to learn all the bells and whistles on a 21st century, up-to-date sewing machine model. I'm taking classes at my local Bernina dealer (highly recommended no matter what sewing machine model you have). Already I'm loving the fancy features like the button that clips my threads (I feel so tidy!), and the giant bobbin! It's huge - holds twice as much thread as my old bobbins. 

I'm also looking forward to trying out the Stitch Regulator and hopefully get over my fear of free-motion-quilting. The size alone of my old machine has been prohibitive for me in terms of trying to free-motion quilt. Now I won't have that excuse any more. I need to get practicing. I'll share my journey and any helpful tips along the way.
In other fun stuff, in preparation for this state-of-the-art machine to come live with us, I've also been updating our house to create a welcoming space. I am converting a rarely-used dining space as a place to keep my sewing set up. We've hung doors to close off the space, built an Ikea dresser to hold all my mess supplies out of sight, and even painted the walls. I'll give a little more of an update and before-and-after shots of the transformation when it's all done. Already I'm loving it. And then I'll be ready to just sit and SEW.

Disclosure: as part of this partnership, Bernina USA has sent me a sewing machine to review and use for a year. No other financial compensation was given. All thoughts and reviews are always my own.

53 comments:

  1. How exciting for you!!! I'm a Bernina girl too, I grew up with my mom having a Bernina, and my husband bought me a Bernina Inspiration Plus 1650 when we were dating (can you say keeper?) I still use my 1650 14+ years later, and always say it will have to be pried from my cold dead hands, since I'm a bit of an old dog, and hate to take the time to learn a new machine :)

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  2. Congrats! I have a 710 and I love it! I got it for my 10 year anniversary present from my husband. I was upgrading from a 1980's slant shank Singer and it has been game changing. I am spoiled now with the needle up/down, knee lift, throat space, and thread cutters.

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  3. Congratulations! It all sounds great :-)

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  4. Oh how exciting, enjoy your new toy and place to use it in!

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  5. I can't think of a better partnership for both of you. I am the proud owner of two Berninas, my 810, purchased in 1976, and a Virtuosa 160. Love them both.

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  6. My first Bernina was a 1020 which my sister now has. Last year I bought myself a Bernina 350 PE, I love it. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford a Bernina with a larger harp. Enjoy, looks like fun. Please keep us updated. ;-> Toni Anne

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  7. You are a lucky Girl, Amy! I have a B 550 QE since last Christmas, and i`am so happy about it every day! Bernina is a good choice ;)

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  8. wow, you are very lucky, have fun playing and learning your new machine and in your new space too!!

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  9. Wow, aren't you lucky...I have a bernina and it's smaller, but a great machine. Congratulations!

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  10. Congratulations to Big Berta, you made a really good choise!
    I have the Bernina 750 and I love it ☺
    Bente

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  11. I just purchased the 710 also and love it. Can you get the stitch regulator for the 710? I thought it was only with the 750 and up.

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    1. Hey Christie - the BSR comes standard with the 750 and is an optional upgrade for the 710 :-)

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  12. The Bernina 710 doesn't come with a stitch regulator. You can buy one for it, but then the total cost of the machine is the same as if you had purchased the 750. My Bernina Virtuosa 155 has had a mother boards replacement and the reverse button has been replaced at least 3 times. I'm told the problem may be a step motor (another $200). I bought a Janome and hope it holds up better.

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  13. YOU lucky girl...for an entire year. That is going to be wonderful. I still use Brothers and old Singers. Cannot afford anything else being that I am in full retirement, Enjoy t and I will look forward to seeing what you create. genie

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  14. How exciting, Amy! And about time. Glad to hear you are getting a dedicated sewing space and that it will be all fixed up for you and your new Bernina! Yes, I totally agree fmq is hard to do on a little machine. You will have a lot of fun! Congratulations on both pieces of good news!

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  15. You will love the 710. I bought one a few months ago. The large bobbin is magic.

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  16. Oh wow, lucky you! Can't wait to read your review! I currently sew on a Bernina 802 Sport (and I have a 801 as my back up machine) and I love it, apart from the throat space. It is possible to FMQ on a little machine but it's hard work. I end up using my mum's Bernina 440 for FMQ, and I'm now saving up for a Bernina 750. So expensive but I'm hoping its worth it!

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  17. What a beautiful machine! Berninas really are incomparable. I have a 930 (my mom found it on Craigslist, and it was in just stellar condition) and I love all 930 lbs. of it. :)

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  18. Ooh, Amy -- you're going to LOVE that machine and you will not want to give it back! We're practically related now, you know, because I've had my 750 QE for just about a year now and it's virtually the same as the one that came to live at your house. Don't you love the LIGHTING?!! :-)

    If you need help with anything, feel free to reach out to me. You should also consider joining the Yahoo group for the 7 Series machines; there's a lot of shared tips and tricks in that forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Bernina7Series/info The BSR is great, but takes some getting used to in the beginning.

    Have fun with your new sewbaby!

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    1. Awesome! Thanks so much for the great advice and the link to the forum! That will be so handy!

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  19. Can hardly wait for future postings about your new Bernina because I too just brought one home to live with me!

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  20. Congrats! That's the exact same machine I bought earlier this year - I absolutely love it. Free-motion quilting, here you come :-)

    Try quilting both with the BSR and without. I actually prefer without - but that's just me!

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  22. Don't ever sell your 801 sport. It was my first Bernina, since then I have had an 1130 & a1230 but I still regret selling that awesome 801! Nostalgia, maybe but I would love to have it back!

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    1. Seriously! That 801 is a gem. I'm holding on to it forever. No computers to crash, just heavy-duty metal parts that go and go.

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  23. Wow! There are a lot of Bernina lovers. I just bought my first Bernina and scheduled my blog post about it for tomorrow.

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  24. Congrats on the new machine. I bought my Bernina in January 1998 specifically to learn free motion quilting. Never looked back. Just taught a beginner's class on Free Motion Quilting today. The only people who did not have any problems were the Bernina girls! Several of the others were ready to ditch their machines and get a Bernina. You'll LOVE it.

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  25. Lucky you! What is the throat space on the 710? I have a Bernina 1530, but find it's not enough space for quilting, especially large, flannel quilts! I am ready for a larger throat space. I've had my 1530 for about 20 years, and it's perfect except for that one restriction.

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  26. oh I am sooo jealous!! I have been drooling over those machines for ages!
    Sadly im just going to have to keep drooling and live my *bernina-love* through you!
    I Do have a bernina 1150 overlocker that I ADORE! and cant wait till i can get a sewing machine too!
    Jessica

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  27. I will be looking for new sewing machine next year so I will be interested in how you like the Bernina 710.
    I've always wanted a Bernina!

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  28. once a bernina lover always a lover!! I have had my 1230 20 years and it is still as good as the day I bought it, it is just the throat space now I have started quilting that is a problem. wonder how big yours is on the new machine.

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  29. What fun! I still love my Bernina Activa even though she is starting to have some little issues. However, when I looked for a new machine I realized that a heavy duty high power straight stitching machine was what I needed. So I got a new Babylock Jane. Now I can whip through piecing and quilting and save my Bernina for fancy stitching. That way she will continue to be a valued member of my team!

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  30. So exciting Amy!!! have fun with this new little toy :)

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  31. Congrats, Amy! What a fun experience :) I upgraded from a 1982 Kenmore to a Janome 7700 Horizon last year and I still don't know how to do most of the fancier things - I should take a class too! I don't know how I ever lived without needle down :)

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  32. Congratulations, Amy! The 7 Series of machines is great. Have FUN!

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  33. Amy, I'm so JEALOUS! A new machine will help make your quilting projects even MORE beautiful! I still haven't finished my quilt from Sewing Summit, but hope to get going again after I'm finished with rehab, and after the holidays. Hugs!

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  34. Ohh pretty. . .
    My hubby bought me a surprise Innovis 955 for Christmas last year, up until then I had only ever used old machines, the most recent being a late 60's/early 70's Toyota. I loved it and now my neighbour loves it but boy did a computerised machine with touch screen and usb stick scare the hell out of me at first. Even now with a manual in German and no German in my vocab, well not sewing vocab I am not 1005 sure what I am doing at times. :)

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  35. I am so happy for you, you totally deserve it!

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  36. Hi Amy, I bought my Bernina 1530 20 years ago and love it! I have never had a problem with it...great machine and company! A few years ago I bought a Pfaff Quilters Expression model and ended up selling it, after barely using it, two years later. Wasn't a fan. I want to get one of the 7 series Berninas because the BSR really intrigues me! Have fun playing!! I'm looking forward to future posts about your experience with this machine.
    Denise

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  37. Congrats Amy! What a wonderful machine! I can't wait to see all the wonderful things you will make with it.

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  38. I too am in need of a bigger "throat" area. What is that space on your new Benina? Looks like you can not longer be nervous about free motion quilting. I talked with a quilter recently who said she quilts up to Queen sized on her 10" :)

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  39. Lucky girl! Looks like a great machine.

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  40. Wow! So excited for you. I've been sewing on my Bernina 930 for 30 years and love it! In fact, every time I take it in to be cleaned, the repair guy offers to buy it for almost the same amount I paid in '84. Amazing machine -- no computers to crash, just good solid metal. I'll watch your posts to see if it's time to add another machine to sewing room. Enjoy ... and have a lovely Thanksgiving.

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  42. Hi! I just bought one, I named her 'Betty' in June and absolutely love her! I think I just sat in front of her and admired her for 2 whole days - scared to turn her on. But once I did - WOW - she purrs like a kitten! Love Love Love my Betty Bernina 710. My old Bernina was a 1020... about 25 years old. Won't give her up either!

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  43. I've had this sewing machine a couple months now and couldn't be happier. Features are SO easy to use. Changing the many available feet are so easy there is no reason not to try sewing techniques I'd never have tried before. There are more stitches than I'm sure I'll ever use. I already have some favorites. Threading the machine is easier than I thought possible. Button holes - the machine sews the right size all by itself! I've had no problem with multiple layers of material - the machine breezes through them and over anything I've put in it's path. So easy to change width or stitch length. I wasn't sure I'd get used to not using a foot control pedal, but I made myself try the machine 1st without it and after a short time I felt at ease and have never even plugged in the foot pedal control. The speed slide control on the machine is very sensitive and I can vary speeds way better than I ever could with my foot control. Plus you can remain at a steady speed instead of variations you'd get using your foot control. A great booklet comes with the machine explaining so much including what each of the feet do and how to set up the machine for each. Every option on this machine is made so easy to use. I just finished a light flannel robe and added buttons down the front because it is so easy to do!
    The ONLY thing I think could be improved is the little plastic cover where the bobbin goes. It is small and pops out so easily when changing bobbins and I've had to crawl around the floor a couple times looking for the darn thing. I know I'll need a replacement from breakage or loss. The clearness of the cover is great because I can see if the bobbin thread is almost empty, but isn't there a better way to attach it so it doesn't come all the way off?
    I'm really happy with this machine. I recommended it to my son-in-law who is looking for a great birthday present for my daughter. Homepage

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  44. Congrats on your new machine! I've had my Bernina for over 10 years and love it!

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