So, somehow I was talked into the Bernina. Actually, it wasn't difficult. I was new to sewing and I really wanted to be the best I could be. The better the equipment, the better the outcome? True, but what I have learned in the last 4 years of owning the Bernina is that Sewing Machines are a lot like cars. Some like German engineering; some like Japanese; some like American. I have owned all three at some point in my life. I enjoyed driving all three. German cars are heavy, swift, direct and mostly reliable. Japanese cars are smooth, quiet, easy and light. American cars are louder, heavier, fast. These are my opinions of course, and everyone will have a different experience. That is precisely the point with sewing machines.
My preference in driving has always been Japanese. Reliable, easy to handle, smooth. But I purchased the Bernina which in many ways was like driving a German car. Heavy, not as user friendly and I couldn't handle the curves as well as in my Japanese car.
I went to several classes, and recently found a wonderful dealer in Hanover, PA that helped me through a lot of learning curves. I was mending my relationship with my Bernina and I was hoping that I would be on the road to a new beginning... a new beginning that took 4 years of no interest payments!
In February, I flew to Florida to attend a Thread Painting class with my Sister-in-law, Dana. It was a class taught by one of my favorite fabric artists, Joyce Hughes of Joyce Hughes Originals. I wanted to take my Bernina but it is so large it would have had to be checked and there is no way I would trust the luggage handlers to not treat it well. So, I rented a machine from the shop, The Inspired Sewist, in Jupiter, Florida.
Here we are in our hats for Ground Hog Day.
I rented a Bernina 770, pretty much the same machine. But, try as I may, I had a frustrating time with the machine, bobbin issues, skipped stitches... it was so disappointing. My sister-in-law, Dana, brought her 10 year old Bernina Aurora which hadn't been used or serviced in 10 years. She did the most amazing work! She had never done thread painting but her work was exquisite! A Natural!
When she purchased it she did a lot of research, sewed on several machines and settled on the Aurora for a number of reasons. When I bought my Bernina I bought it based on opinion and... well, a little bullying. Still, my SIL admired my machine and thought I was really fortunate to have it. I didn't feel the same way and it made me feel guilty instead. I don't deserve a machine that everyone else loves and I, for a lack of better words, HATE USING.
We still had a lovely weekend together. She's so much fun and I love spending time with my in-laws. They're a hoot and we laugh a lot!
When I returned home I talked about the class for days. Diane, my partner, dutifully nodded her head and ooed and awed over my work and especially Dana's which was amazing!
I had recently purchased a Baby Lock Serger and was creating a lot of crazy things on it, really enjoying the ease of use and learning a lot of new techniques I never thought I'd use.
One day while driving along Route 40 Diane asked "Is the Bernina paid off?" I immediately felt a little guilty because after 4 years of making payments, it was one month from being paid off and I rarely sewed on it. "Yes, one more month." Her reply made my jaw drop. "Good. Why don't you find a Machine you really like now." Wait, what? "But, what about the Bernina?" "What about it? You obviously hate sewing on it, yet you love to sew. The only thing I ask is that you really do the research this time." After I recovered from this statement I promised, cross my heart, stick a needle in my eye, hope to... you get the meaning. "I promise! I don't want to make the same mistake." The only thing she told me after that was that when I decided on my machine that I would not have "Bernina Envy" and feel like I wasn't a "real quilter" if I had a different brand. I can tell you that after 4 years of not enjoying my machine, I didn't care what any quilter said to me. They can drive their German Car and I will drive my Japanese car!
Introducing my new machine: The Baby Lock Journey, Sewing and Quilting Machine!