Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bernina Q20 Sit-Down Long Arm Quilting Machine

A few weeks ago at Quilt!Knit!Stitch!  in Portland, OR, I bought the Bernina Q20 Sit-Down Long Arm Quilting Machine. 

This is how it looks without the two extension tables--this is how it will look most of the time, until I start doing large quilts. The wonderful Bernina Ergonomic sewing chair is coming soon, from Switzerland.

It's a big investment and my friends probably think I'm nuts, but I did it.  It arrived yesterday.



Five large, heavy boxes on a pallet, delivered by UPS Freight.  The woman who called me the day before to set up the delivery appointment scared me.  She said the driver was only "required" to unload the pallet off the truck and put it down--not to deliver it to my garage.  Yikes!  She did say most of the drivers were "nice" and would "probably" help me get the 343 lb. pallet into the garage.  Double yikes!  No worries, however--the driver lowered the pallet with the truck lift gate, the small lift was already in the pallet bottom and he happily followed me to the garage, no questions asked.  Relief!  And the rain that was forecast held off for a few more hours. 



My beloved husband had come home early to help with this.  We unpacked the pallet in the garage, five large, heavy boxes had to be hauled into the house.  It was hot and humid and we were quickly soaked and dripping.  Water and Gatorade kept us going.  The bottom box, of course, held the main part of the cabinet, which opens to provide storage under the two extension tables--that's where the cabinet assembly instructions were.  Once the boxes were in the house, in 3 rooms, he started the cabinet.  He's very handy and the instructions were good so it went together pretty easily.  I stayed out of the way until he needed more hands.  In just under 3 hours, I was stitching.  He said he felt like he'd done a full day's work and we were really sweaty but it got done.


My first stitching--still need lots of practice but the machine makes lovely stitches without much effort.  No gloves or anything other than my hands on the fabric.


 Right side extension area open--this is the storage area, left side has the same amount of storage.
 


Both extensions are in here, the table is now 78" wide x 36" deep, throat space is 20".


 
Here's the plan--I have a bunch of quilt sandwiches prepared and stacked, some are pieced, some are pre-printed, most are solid fabric on top, print on bottom.  Each day I'll start the day with 20 minutes of practice--focusing on one design each day for those 20 minutes.  Some days I'll be able to spend more time but each day, the first 20 minutes in the studio will be for machine quilting practice.



Here's the 20 minutes I played around with this morning, in addition to older stitching already done on this practice piece. 

I have a bunch of quilt tops that need to be quilted so I need to get to those, AFTER the guild Quilt Show October 9-11, and AFTER Houston, October 21-November 2.  I am taking two free motion classes there, one with Sue Nickels, one with Helen Godden--I know I'll benefit greatly from both of those.

Do I have buyer's remorse?  A little, especially as it took more than 3 weeks to arrive.  But I just have to make time to use it to finish quilts.  And I can always rent time on it, right?  It's a terrific machine that is very easy to use.  Stay tuned for progress reports.

Now I have  a little more to do to prepare for tonight's presentation to the Madison Station Quilters guild, on "The Hard Stuff".

Let's quilt!

Barbara





28 comments:

  1. Looks like a beautiful machine. I don't think you will regret it. I love my sitdown quilt machine, though mine is not a Bernina. I wish you well with your practice sessions.

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  2. Oh good for you - I have seen the advertisements for this machine and it does look wonderful. I have never heard of the Bernina Ergonomic sewing chair, I should ask one of the agents here in New Zealand. I should love to know what you think of the chair when it arrives with you.

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  3. Looks like quite a setup. Congratulations! Renting time on it is an intriguing idea too.

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  4. I can't believe how fast you got it set up and started stitching! Awesome! I bet you'll be quilting up a storm in no time!!

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  5. Wow, this "sit down" machine sounds fantastic. I rent time from a great long arm quilter & am greatful for the opportunity she affords me.

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  6. It was great to read about your Bernina Q20! I have used a Sweet 16 for several years but traded it in this past Thursday for the Q20. I work at a Bernina dealer part time and they should be here Tuesday the 29th to set it up. You will have loads of fun doing free motion quilting. Your approach is awesome: practice, practice, practice!

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    1. Penny, Your Bernina dealer took your HQ Sweet 16 in trade? I'd love to sell/trade my HQ16 for the Q20!!

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  7. Barbara, now that you have had your Q20 for several months, I am interested in knowing what you like or would like to see improved on it. I am considering making the Q20 an addition to my sewing room and would really like some honest feedback about the machine. I appreciate any information you can give me. thank you

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    1. It stitches beautifully. I need more help with settings, things like auto-cut, needle down and presser foot functions. My local dealer hasn't seen the machine. When I get back to free motion quilting next week I plan to contact the Portland, OR dealer I bought it from with those questions. They sell a lot of these machines and I expect they can answer my questions quickly. The Ruler Foot is so much fun to work with--be sure to get that additional attachment. All in all, a great addition to my studio.

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  8. Barbara, thank you for getting back to me. The closest dealer to me is 1.5 hours away. I took a trip over there today to test drive the machine. You are so right, it stitches great! I did not see an option for auto-cutting the thread. When I asked they said that was not on the machine. There are some great videos on YouTube put out by Bernina that may answer your questions. There is a set of 6 that deal with the functions menus, etc. Do a search on YouTube on Bernina Q20 and they will come up.
    Great machine... I am drooling over it...I put in my order today! Thanks for the tip on the Ruler foot. Also, I am ordering the Horizontal spool attachment for smaller spools of thread. I didn't know that was an option till I watched the video on YouTube on threading the machine.

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    1. Sorry, I meant the auto-knot, tiny stitches at the start and end. I'm not using that feature now, just doing those myself.

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  9. Hi Ladies. I just got here -- reading reviews on the Q20, which I first looked at when it first came out last year. I've never had a long-arm but really want one now -- and this is the only machine I have any interest in for a few simple reasons. 1) Bernina product and quality. 2) Sit Down unit. 3) Smaller foot-print in the room. 4) Bernina Stitch Regulator. I just got a call from the dealer where I've been hanging out and drooling and I think I'm gonna jump on given the special they are currently running. Thanks for all the good commentary. It has helped me make the decision.

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  10. Just got mine! I'm so excited!

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  11. Mine has just shipped!!! should be here next week... I can't wait!

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  12. I was thinking of purchasing a stand up long arm and noticed that this sit down long arm can also be used on a stand up frame. Do any of you who purchased the q20 ever plan on possibly converting to a stand up frame? Just curious? The Q20 looks amazing! I have been viewing some of the q20 videos and now I am leaning toward it. Thanks for all of the info....still not sure what direction I will take.

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  13. I was thinking of purchasing a stand up long arm and noticed that this sit down long arm can also be used on a stand up frame. Do any of you who purchased the q20 ever plan on possibly converting to a stand up frame? Just curious? The Q20 looks amazing! I have been viewing some of the q20 videos and now I am leaning toward it. Thanks for all of the info....still not sure what direction I will take.

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  14. Hello everyone! I too took the plunge and purchased a Q20 in February. I love the machine and table. Will be looking for the videos on the machine. I have really been self taught on it to this point. Happy to find a place with others that have the machine.

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  15. Hello everyone! I too took the plunge and purchased a Q20 in February. I love the machine and table. Will be looking for the videos on the machine. I have really been self taught on it to this point. Happy to find a place with others that have the machine.

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  16. Welcome to the wonderful world of Q20. I bought mine at Houston festival 2015 from the one and only Nina McVeigh..who is a great saleslady, by the way Anyway..mine arrived the week of Thanksgiving and I had a 4 day weekend to play with it!! The Bernina dealer set it up for me. It did take about 3 hours so your hubby did well :D I absolutely LOVE mine, I named her Belle. Look forward to what your blog posts as we are "kin" now. Oh and did you know there is a facebook group just for Q20 owners? It is named BERNINA Q20 OWNERS and it is a closed group. There are 67 members now and the Q hasn't been available for even a year yet. Enjoy your new baby! She is a wonderful quilting machine!

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    1. Thank you for the info on the FB group--I asked to join and am awaiting the add!

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  17. Yes, thanks as well. I to an waiting for an add.

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  18. Yes, thanks as well. I to an waiting for an add.

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  19. Yesterday my Q20 arrived. Had fun playing with it today. I enjoyed reading all the comments. Is there a Yahoo or Facebook group for this machine?

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    1. There is a very helpful Facebook group Bernina Q20 Owners. It is a closed group--just ask to be added. You can ask any questions you want. Enjoy your new machine!

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  20. Hi Barbara, I also own a Q20 that I purchased June of 2015. I've been setting here for more than 4 hours trying to figure out why the machine started skipping stitches. This has never happen before and I've tried everything, changing needle, changed size of needle. Retreaded and rewindled bobbins, changed tread, changed tread type, retread machine, turned machine off and it continues to skip stitches. Have any suggestions on correcting this issue.

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    1. Felicia, there is a great Facebook group BERNINA Q20 OWNERS that provides me a lot of amazing support. Recently, someone reported skipped stitches and asked for help. Almost surely a needle issue. She was using Aurifil 50/2 thread, changed from a 90 topstitch needle to a 75, her problem was solved. If you're on Facebook you want to join this group.

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