The Full Range of BERNINA Quilting Machines

Built with the quilter in mind. New and seasoned. Novice and experienced. No matter your level of expertise, we’ve got the perfect sewing and quilting machine for you!

BERNINA Sewing and Quilting Machines

If your passion is quilting, you’ve come to the right place. BERNINA has spent over 125 years creating the best sewing and quilting machines to exceed your every quilting need.

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Picture: Quilting Machines

Questions & Answers about BERNINA Quilting Machines

Quilting is becoming ever more popular. Quilters are scattered all over the world. They form a large community, are extremely well-connected, very creative, and are usually cheerful and enjoy traveling. And it is not just a recent phenomenon, as quilting has a very long tradition. Textile enthusiasts from as far afield as Japan, Europe and the USA have loved this hobby for many generations, and there are various competitions and exhibitions by professional artists around the world. It is not uncommon to find quilts that are hard to distinguish from a painting; some are so professionally and beautifully crafted they look like they should be protected behind glass, like the Mona Lisa. BERNINA has developed quilting machines for people who want to quilt sewn works of art – whether as beginners, advanced quilters, amateur artists or professionals. These sewing machines are designed to meet the needs of quilters. Sounds exciting? Yes, we think so too.

"Patchworking" and "quilting" belong together, like a cake with chocolate topping. The patchworking is carried out first and then, for the grand finale, comes the actual quilting. In general, the term "quilting" encompasses the entire creative process, i.e. both of the sewing steps. That's because both are needed to produce the end result – the quilt!

Patchworking is the first step and involves sewing together the many small, individual pieces of fabric that form the surface of a quilt. The patchwork can consist of individual pieces with a specific shape, which can be free-form shapes or a particular shape. There are an infinite number of ways of putting together small pieces of fabric to create a pattern, or even an image: they can be symmetrical, graphic, photorealistic, random, colorful, monochrome, or have a particular color scheme… the possibilities are almost endless. Lots of small pieces of fabric are joined together to create one large whole, and it doesn't always have to be a classic patchwork quilt. Today's patchwork uses not only scraps, but also materials bought specially for combining. Coordinated fabrics, known as “fat quarters", are available to buy in a bundle from fabric retailers specializing in supplying quilting customers.

Step two is the quilting, a decorative finishing process. For quilting, a padded insert is first laid under the finished patchwork, followed by a fabric back, to form three layers, known as the quilt sandwich. These three layers are then quilted using special stitches and stitch formations, in other words, they are sewn together in a very specific way. The result is a kind of padded quilt or throw. In some cases, colors, fabrics and stitch patterns have a particular meaning. For example, there are quilts with a special pattern that are traditionally made for weddings and given to the newlywed couple, or for the birth of a child. Of course, when quilting, you can fully express your creativity without following a pattern.

Quilts are also known as comforters. Quilting was originally done by hand, but nowadays it is pretty much always carried out on a sewing machine. There are various techniques: you can quilt all the layers quite normally on the sewing machine using specific quilting stitches or use free-motion quilting, although this takes some practice. For free-motion quilting, the feed dog of the sewing machine is deactivated so that you can move the fabric layers to be sewn back and forth manually in all directions. Important: Before quilting, the three layers are secured in place with rough basting stitches or safety pins to prevent them from slipping and moving around.

The art of quilting involves stitching the three layers together with small quilting stitches to create different three-dimensional patterns. The Amish, an American religious community, still maintain the tradition of making elaborate quilts and Amish quilts are now one of the most popular items in every quilting gallery. Quilting can be used to make the outline of patchwork fabrics with printed designs stand out even more. Versions using all kinds of appliqués are also possible.

The story of patchworking and quilting goes back a long way. Where exactly they originated, in China or in the Orient, is not clear. All we can say for sure is that quilting was carried out long before our time. The oldest patchwork quilts are displayed in a museum in Cairo, and are approximately 3,000 years old. The symbolism of the patterns and images used was of prime importance at this time. It is believed that crusaders spread this craft to northern Europe. The multi-layered covers fulfilled their warming function on the beds of unheated bedrooms in the cold north and were soon also used to make warm clothing.

Although in the USA, we usually think of quilts as bed covers, patchwork quilts also have many other uses, such as decorative wall hangings, table decorations, and many others.

A quilting machine is a normal sewing machine that has special features and functions to make quilting easier, and is specially tailored to the needs of quilters and patchworkers. For example, the Quilt Edition machines, which have "QE" at the end of the name, have special quilting stitches built in. These are used for sewing the layers together in decorative patterns. A wide variety of different quilting stitches is therefore very important to most quilters. Other key features of a BERNINA quilting machine are functions such as the BERNINA Dual Feed and hover function.

The accessories for the QE models are also designed for quilting. For example, on some BERNINA models, the BSR foot (BERNINA Stitch Regulator) is included as part of the accessory package. This foot, specially developed by BERNINA, makes free-motion quilting much easier. The sensor-controlled foot ensures that all the stitches always look tidy and even when sewing with the feed dog deactivated at different sewing speeds and in different sewing directions. A highlight for fans of free-motion quilting!

BERNINA Stitchregulator (BSR)

The extended freearm of the Quilt Edition sewing machines provides more space to maneuver the quilt. A Quilt Edition should not be without a patchwork foot, as it makes patchwork so much easier. An extension table improves the handling of the quilt on the machine and the BERNINA Free Hand System (FHS) allows the foot to be lifted and the feed dog to be lowered simultaneously via the knee lever. All of these accessories depend on the model and they are not all included with every "QE" version.

Of course, functions that are familiar from normal sewing machines can also be found on quilting machines, such as different buttonholes and all the usual utility stitches like zigzag, basting and blind stitch, as well as various decorative stitches, such as floral patterns, motifs and alphabets. A quilting machine is the ideal choice for anyone who wants to quilt and also sew other items, such as accessories or clothes.

The larger BERNINA quilting machines also come with an embroidery function, since quilts can also be decorated with wonderful embroidery. In this case, the embroidery is carried out immediately after the patchworking, before quilting everything together in three layers. The individual little patches can also be decorated with embroidery before making the patchwork – anything is possible.

BERNINA 770 QE BERNINA 570 QE

Quilting is a hobby that you can learn quickly, because there are so many different variations. If you start with smaller quilts and simple patterns, you will soon start to have your first successful projects. No previous knowledge is required, so quilting is very suitable for beginners. No knowledge about cutting techniques or anything else is required. You should first familiarize yourself with your sewing machine and not try to make a "masterpiece quilt" right away, but even as a beginner you will then soon be hooked on quilting. Many new quilters get fired up about their new hobby in no time at all! BERNINA has a small QE model, the B 475 QE, which is ideal for beginners. It offers a stitch width of 5.5 mm and various accessories to make life easier for quilting beginners.

BERNINA 475 QE

Longarm quilting is a special category of quilting. As the name suggests, longarm machines have an extended freearm. Whereas normal sewing machines have up to 300 mm of space to the right of the needle, longarm machines have up to 610 mm. Longarm quilting machines have only a few stitches and are used exclusively for quilting, i.e. for sewing together the various layers. The patchworking (also known as piecing) is carried out on a normal sewing machine or a quilting and sewing machine.

Longarm quilting machines are not placed parallel to the user's body, but are oriented backwards, so that the narrow head side is at the front. They can also be used on a quilting frame which clamps the material so that, instead of moving the fabric, the quilting machine moves over the fabric using two handles on the front.

BERNINA Longarm Quilting Machines

Personal advice at your Local BERNINA Store

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