Saturday, October 3, 2009

Machine Quilting in Depth -- Greensboro NC (Day 2)

This all could not have worked out better -- my friend, Chris Bowen, lives in Charlotte so was spending last night at the Battleground Inn, the same hotel where I am. We met in the lobby, made a quick stop at Panera Bread for coffee and bagels, and then got to Randy's with a half hour to spare before class started.

One of the things that I have always liked about Randy's Quilt Shop, both in the old location and now the new one, is that there are always beautiful quilts and other machine sewn goodies on every single flat surface. Lots of eye candy! This is the view if you are standing in the very front of the classroom facing into the class -- in other words, where I stand when I teach -- so I got to look at these beauties all day!

On the other side of that partition is the Bernina sewing machine department where all the machines are displayed and demonstrated. Lots of inspiration in there as well -- I'll do my next couple of posts on the shop and the quilting displayed in it.

Today is BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) day: For the first half of class, everybody worked on practicing their free motion quilting skills using designs drawn on their fabric with "quilt safe" markers. I brought about 50 stencils that they could choose from to practice their line following skills.

Look at all the quilts on the walls!

The second half of the day was practicing unmarked, or what I call "freehand" free motion quilting -- in other words, quilting without stenciling a design first. I sat at a Bernina 830 and showed them several freehand patterns including leaves, hearts, flowers and some abstract designs and then they went back to their seats, tried the ones that I had done and then invented some of their own.

My last demonstration was stippling and I showed them how I get the teensy tiny stippling by using the magnifying attachment to the machine. If you didn't see my post on this, you can click here.

The lady who was sitting at this machine has a Bernina 430. Those machines were not made "quilting specific", so while they have the internal hardware to be BSR capable, they didn't come with the special BSR foot that makes the whole thing work. That way, sewers who didn't quilt weren't paying for that extra feature, but if the person buying the machine wanted to quilt, they could also buy the foot. In other words, an a la carte approach.

My first thought when I saw her empty seat was that she had gotten bored and wandered off, but when I looked around the room....

There she is -- in the very front of the room at the Bernina 830 that I was using to do all of my demonstrations! I think she really likes that BSR.......

Since Bernina can describe their stitch regulator a whole lot better than I can, for more information you can get to the BSR page on the Bernina website by clicking here.

Tomorrow and Monday, I get to relax and let my body catch up to this time zone before I move on to the next city, so I will plan to do a couple of posts about Randy's (and also maybe shop a little?) so you can see the store!

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