First and foremost, let me introduce you to my lovely sewing machine, or sewing computer if you feel so inclined to address her. I sew with a Bernina 820. She cost a pretty penny, but I am so very happy with her. I would buy her again time after time if I had to go back in time. There were plenty of kinks to work out after I first got her, but after I learned the way she wanted to operate we were good to go. And we had to agree on the thread she wanted to use...but that is a whole blog post in and of itself.
Bernina (it was an Artista 640 which I totally ravaged while I was in Australia since I used it so much. That machine was AWESOME, but I needed more, hence the 820 above) because of the BSR. It was the first model to have the BSR and I wanted to love it so badly. But we do not get on the BSR and I. Frankly I just can't get the hang of sewing with it. I am a pretty fast quilter when I get in my groove and the kids are not making me crazy. With the BSR, I have to slow down and move the quilt in an awkward manner. It beeps at me all the time, I turned the alarm off so I wouldn't have to listen to her screeching at me with her Swiss toned beep. So while she is silent now...her actions speak much louder than her words ever did. The tension looks like total crap, the stitches are wildly unpredictable in their length, hell she even skips stitches. It makes me so mad. So I remove the foot and put it back in it's tin inside it's velvet bag. I do pull it out from time to time just to humiliate myself. It keeps things real around this place. Now, this is how my BSR works. I know lots of ladies who are over the moon for theirs. I have no clue what I am doing to have such poor results. Maybe I actually need to take a class in how to operate the damn thing. But I live too far away from any Bernina shop.
Leah Day recommends this kind of foot with the open bit. Well.... I have issues with it too. I end up sewing it down to my quilt each time I use it or thread gets all tangled up in it by those little arms grabbing at my work. If I go nice and slow I can make it work...but who wants to go slow when you only have an hour or two to quilt?
I have found that when I am using my 820, it really helps to have a little leader piece of fabric before my actual block I am working on. I have not really had to do this before with my piecing, but the 820 is a really powerful sewing machine and sometimes she gets hungry. I do get mad at her when she takes big bites out of the first couple stitches when I am trying to piece little bits. The leader eliminates this behavior.
So, was that way more than you ever wanted to know about the sewing machine feet that I have and use and what I think of them? Probably. But some of you asked. So I answered. ;o)
- One more thing...This is something I notice when I am teaching ladies to quilt.....You have to practice your quilting. I start by passing out a pencil and some plain paper and telling the ladies to doodle. That is how I look at my quilting.
- Get comfortable with making continuous line doodles and take that to your quilting.
- Don't be embarrassed or upset by making mistakes. How in the world will you learn anything without making mistakes?
- Don't expect perfection the first time (or times) out of the gate. Seriously? Do you think Shakespeare wrote masterpieces the first time he set pen to paper? Or brilliance flowed from Jane Austin's pen the first time she turned her hand to writing? Nope...I bet they churned out some real drivel before they found their voice. Let yourself make a bit of drivel and go from there.