Bernina Designer 1000 Sewing Machine Review

The Bernina Designer 1000 is one of the simplest machines available, and it is easy to use. If you want to become a good seamstress, then the Bernina Designer 1000 is a good first sewing machine Most of the features are basic, so you do not have to spend time reading the manual to figure out how to use it.

The parts of the Bernina Designer 1000 compose of a handle, a stitch selector, stitch cam and a thread holder. There you can also find a motor, a take-up lever for the thread, and a presser foot bar, and a needle bar. Not to mention the bobbin case and speed controller, the Bernina Designer 1000 has all of the basic features for you to use.

Advantages to owning a Bernina Designer 1000:

  • 1. Adjustable pressure

The Designer 1000 is equipped with a presser foot which lets you change the pressure according to the kind of fabric that you are using to sew. This is so that you can make the right tightness of stitches for any fabric.

  • 2. Speed control

There are quite a few machines out there that do not allow you to control the speed of its sewing, making it hard to do certain tasks. Thankfully, the Bernina Designer 1000 gives you the freedom to control the speed according to what project you are working on, making it easier for you.

  • 3. Simplicity

Being simple comes with its ups and downs, but when using a Bernina Designer 1000 it is no problem for both experts and beginners.

  • 4. Affordable Price

Looking for a cheap and affordable sewing machine? Well the Bernina Designer 1000 is affordable and does not require you to dig deep into your pocket for the money to buy it. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this machine.

Disadvantages of the Bernina Designer 1000:

  • 1. Inability to do hard projects

The simplicity of this machine does have a downfall, since you cannot find a lot of the more advanced functions that other sewing machines have. If your level is higher than that of a beginner and if you are looking for more complicated machines for your projects then the Bernina Designer 1000 is not what you should buy.

  • 2. Manual tension

In order to set the tension of your thread on a Bernina 1000, then you will have to learn to do it manually because there is no auto tension in this model. You have to be careful with this as it can cause problems when you’re sewing.

  • 3. Manual bobbin winding

Like the tension for the thread, the bobbin winding also has to be done manually. This is a long process which requires you to take the bobbin out of the sewing machine, wind it, and then put it back again.

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Quilting, a How to Guide

I started quilting when I was in my 30’s. It became quite addictive, seeing a beautifully finished product right before my eyes, something that I had made myself. I have made about 25 to 30 quilts up to this point, some of which were baby quilts for friends who just had a baby. My favorite patterns are the Bear’s Paw, Dresden Plate, Log Cabin, Fans, and Drunkard’s Path to name a few.

A quilt is not only for the purpose of keeping warm, but it can also be a work of art. To me, quilts ARE art. You can put them on a bed, drape them over a chair, or hang them on the wall. Either way, they are beautiful to look at.

There are several ways to make a quilt. I will try to cover a few of them here. There are also a lot of supplies one might think to get before embarking on a project. I would also recommend, if you think you might only make one or two quilts in the near future or in your lifetime, I would suggest that you NOT go out and purchase every piece of quilting paraphernalia that’s on the market. It can turn out to be quite a costly undertaking.

You might want to start out small and just try either a lap quilt, something to throw over the back of a sofa or chair, or a baby quilt. These are much easier to handle for the first time quilter. Don’t try anything super large, such as a king size bed throw. It could be overwhelming.

Basic Materials

  1. You need a basic color scheme in mind. You might not be able to decide until you view the different fabrics at your fabric store. Cotton blend fabrics are the easiest to work with. Note – it is suggested that fabrics be washed and ironed before cutting out pattern pieces.
  2. Quilting thread. Quilting thread is a must, over any other type of thread as it is slightly waxed, stronger and easy to work with. It lasts longer and doesn’t twist up or break when quilting.
  3. Needles. If you plan on quilting by hand, there are specific needles you can use for quilting. I myself, find these needles to be somewhat small, but each individual has to see what works best with their own hands.
  4. Ruler and tape measure for designing and/or measuring your quilt pieces.
  5. Scissors. Again, if you’re not going to be making a lot of quilts, I suggest that scissors will suffice over the rotary cutter and mat.
  6. Graph paper. This is essential if you’re designing your own quilt pattern. The squared off sections can be a big help in making your pieces uniform so they match up perfectly. Note- remember, when cutting out the pattern pieces, allow 1/4″ extra for seam allowance.
  7. Quilting hoop or quilting frame.
  8. Quilt batting.

Simple Quilt Ideas

To make a simple quilt, again, there a few different ways to do this. Usually a basic 9 patch is easy enough to start off with. If you want to get a little fancier, check out some patterns on quilting sites or in quilting magazines.

Lay out your material on a large flat surface (kitchen table works well). You can cut your squares any size that suits you, but let’s go with 4″ squares for this purpose.

You will need two different patterned fabrics. Cut several 4 1/2 inch squares. While alternating the two colored pieces, sew squares together to make a 12 inch block. Make several of these blocks, depending on how big you want your quilt to be.

Then using a solid color fabric, cut several 12 1/2 inch squares. Now, alternating the solid color squares with the patterned blocks, sew together.

Now that you have pieced your quilt together, iron it out, making sure that the seams are lying down flat before you proceed to the next step.

Quilting Process

You will now need your batting and backing. You can either purchase a large enough piece of material for the backing, but a good quality flat bedding sheet works just as well. I prefer to just buy sheets to use as backing. Your backing should be at least 6 inches longer and wider than your quilt top for finishing off at the end.

Place your backing on a flat surface (the floor works well), then place your batting on top of that and your quilt top last (your backing and batting should be larger than your quilt top). Be sure that all three pieces are uniform and flattened out, and that nothing is bunched up. You can pin the pieces together with safety pins for the time being, then fasten it tightly to either a quilting hoop or quilting frame.

You have two options for the quilting step. You can either yarn tie it or actually “quilt” it together. Yarn tieing is simple enough as you just knot tufts of yarn in uniform lines throughout the quilt. I would suggest that you tie them in the middle of each 4 inch square and the corners. With plenty of yarn tufts you can be sure that the batting won’t bunch up or shift around during usage or washing.

To actually quilt, is a little bit harder as you have to be sure that everything stays nice and taut. Using a running stitch, sew around the square blocks with your quilting thread. Make your stitches as close together as you can. A good quilting stitch should have at least 8 stitches per inch. Do not pull your thread through too tightly, as this will cause bunching.

Edging

Now that you have finished the quilting procedure, it is time to finish off your edging. Cut off the excess batting, leaving about an inch showing all around. Trim off the backing at least 3 or 4 inches longer all the way around. Fold your backing over to the front of the quilt top, overlapping it an inch or two and either machine or hand sew it off.

The sign of a good quality home-made quilt is that it is nice and tight. The stitches should not bunch up too much. Also, check out your quilt from the back. The stitches should all be in line with your pattern on the front. Your quilt should look just as nice from the back as it does from the front.

You have just finished your first quilt. If you find you are now addicted, try something a little more complex, such as a log cabin or something with squares and triangles or rounded edges. You might find that you never want to actually use your quilts!

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Avoid Quilting Mistakes : A Beginner’s Top Flops and Solutions

With the fast pace of today’s world, homemade items are growing in demand. One of the crafts making a comeback is quilting. The intricate pieces and exquisite small stitches beckon the most world-weary to a simpler time.

Anyone who has seen a quilt must at some moment have wondered about picking up the craft themselves. It is no wonder that in their eagerness, beginners can make mistakes that may cause them to quit quilting. This article will outline the top five mistakes beginning quilters make and how to avoid them.

  • Difficult Patterns

The most common mistake of beginning quilters is strangely the reason that attracted them to the art – the pattern. While visiting a museum or flipping through a book, they see a quilt that astounds them. They want to make that quilt and they want to make it now.

Unfortunately, the quilts that inspire such love are also the quilts that take the most skill. Choosing a difficult pattern, such as a wedding ring ,will only lead to frustration.

Solution: Choose something simple in the beginning. A good bet is to choose patterns with squares that can be strip-pieced like a Log Cabin. The web site quiltville.com has excellent beginning quilters patterns.

  • Gifts

Nothing can frustrate a beginning quilter more than planning their first few projects as gifts. This is because gifts should be perfect. Instead of concentrating on the process and the thrill of learning a new skill, the quilter is worrying about getting the points exactly right. Instead of picturing the quilt, they instead picture of the face of the recipient.

Solution: Let your first few quilts be gifts to yourself. You will appreciate the effort you put into the project like no one else can.

  • Time Limits

Time limits go hand in hand with gifts. They both put unnecessary pressure on beginners for no good reason. The truth is that beginner quilters do not know how long it will take to finish something. You can estimate that you can put the binding on in a day. Once you get started, however, that last bit of work could stretch out to a week.

Solution: Until you become familiar with your own particular quilting rhythms, give yourself plenty of time.

  • Fabric

Another mistake is buying fabric so expensive you will not cut into it. Perhaps you have read you should buy high quality fabric. So, you get your pattern and order your fabric. You may even have washed and pressed your fabric. The problem is that it just looks too good and pretty to cut into it. You do not have the confidence to cut something and you are concerned that it may not turn out like the way you would like.

Solution: In the beginning, go cheap. Check out the clearance section of fabric stores.

  • Being a Perfectionist

As we get older, we forget what it is like to try something new. Being a beginner means making mistakes. Your first quilt is not going to be perfect. It’s going to demonstrate exactly your skill lever. More than that, it is a reflection of who you are at this moment in time. The pattern, the fabric the quilting design all reflect who you are right now. Included with that are your mistakes. Love them. Appreciate them. Without them, you will not be able to see your growth.

As you can see, beginning quilters can make mistakes that will turn them off from the hobby before they even begin. Learn to enjoy the process of learning to quilt and you will have a hobby you can enjoy for years. Now, it is the time to choose a best sewing machine for quilting and start practising!

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Quilting A Sandwich Of Cotton Or Polyester Fabrics And Batting

Quilting has been an art form for generations. It was something that our ancestors did out of necessity and also because of a love for fabrics, color and design.

There is a great deal of very good, useful information on making a quilt. Many books have been written on the subject. I only want to give you a few basic thoughts on fabric and batting.

Quilt Batting

A quilt is composed of three layers: a top, a backing, and a batting in between to increase the warmth. Cotton batting was once the most widely used; then it was replaced by polyester. Now, the quilting world seems to have come full circle, as there are many quilters who will only use cotton.

Because cotton batting is flat and unstable, it requires a lot of quilting to prevent shifting. If you like the flat, wrinkled appearance of antique quilts, choose cotton batting and take very small quilting stitches in closely spaced lines.

Polyester batting, more stable than cotton, requires less stitching. Quilting rows may be as far apart as 3 inches.

A Word About Fabric

Weave:

Most cottons and blends have a plain weave, which makes them easier to work with than fabrics with a pile, like velvet and knit. Percale sheets are often used for quilt backs, but because they’re so firmly woven they are difficult to quilt through. Some cotton flannel, though soft, is so loosely woven that it loses its shape quickly.

Avoid twill, a diagonal weave fabric. Though it drapes well, quilters find that it stretches and is difficult to work with.

Weight:

Your fabric’s weight will influence the ease of quilting and number of stitches per inch. Very heavy fabrics are difficult or impossible to quilt; lightweight fabrics don’t hold up well and may be too soft to use.

Fiber Content:

The most widely used quilting fabrics are either all-cotton or blends of polyester and cotton. Cotton blends with 50 per cent or less polyester will look and behave more like all-cotton than blends with more polyester. To avoid differences in appearance and handling, use fabrics of the same fiber content in a project.

All-cotton fabrics wrinkle more than blends of polyester and cotton. Wrinkles are more visible in solid-color fabrics than in prints.

All-cotton fabrics have a matte finish; blends of polyester and cotton – especially those with more than 50 per cent polyester – are shinier. If you’re looking for clear, bright colors, you’ll find many in blends, though all-cotton fabrics in bright solids and prints are increasingly available.

All-cotton fabrics machine stitch more smoothly than blends, the more polyester in the blend, the more temperamental the fabric. And for turning under seam allowances in appliqué, cottons will keep a crease better than blends will. All-cotton fabrics also ravel less.

Prewashing all fabrics will help you avoid unpleasant surprises later on. Fabrics that are washed shrinks – all-cotton shrinks more than blends do. Washing removes the sizing or starch in fabric; sizing gives fabric a nice appearance but makes it more difficult to hand stitch.

Enjoy your quilting experience!

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Top Three Quilting Craft Stores to Find Quality Quilting Supplies

For all the crafters out there, you know that something you’ve always wanted to do was make a quilt. That is more difficult than it sounds though, and it may be hard to find a store from which to buy the supplies to make that quilt. There is nothing wrong with trying to get the best quality quilting supplies and finding them at the very best price possible. Here are the top three stores to get quilting supplies from, and all of them should be at the very best prices around.

The best store out there to get quilting supplies is an online one, and will only really be of any use to you if you know exactly what you want. This is eBay. If you know what you want, you will find it and at the very best price here on eBay. It does not matter what it is, eBay will have it, and will have it at a good price. The only problem is that if you don’t entirely know what you want, it may be hard to find something. You should always try eBay first though, if you know what you need.

The next best store from which to buy quality quilting supplies is JoAnne Fabrics. They will have just about anything you can think of, and even more than that. They have locations just about everywhere in the United States, and it shouldn’t be hard to find one. Pretty much anything that you can think of craft related should be, and then some more even. You can find patterns for quilts, and supplies for them.

The last store for buying great and quality quilting supplies is Michael’s. This store is also all over the country, and this store will have pretty much anything you can think of. Though they may not have as good of selection as JoAnne Fabrics does. They will most likely have what you’re looking for though. There prices may be a little bit better though, and you may find what you are looking for cheaper than other stores, even JoAnnes sometimes.

These are three of the best quilting supply stores that there are, depending on your specific needs. Give any of these a try and you should find what you’re looking for. If you don’t, just try a different one of them. Eventually, you will find what you’re looking for. Hopefully this was helpful in your decision to find a great craft store for quilting supplies.

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