BERNINA and Stitching in the Ditch…..

This past spring I took a trip that many quilters might compare to a child’s journey through Disney Land.  Yes, being the BERNINA Ambassador has given me the opportunity to experience the sights and quiet sounds of the BERNINA factory situated in Steckborn Switzerland. This quilter’s magical kingdom is located on the shore of Lake Constance, just across from Germany.

It’s not every day that you find yourself standing across from H.P. Ueltschi, the owner, and  also the grandson of the founder Fritz Gegauf.  I embraced his presence and found him to be both kind and delightful. Moreover, through my short visit with him I discovered that we both share a love for golf!


I was overwhelmed entering the factory.  I was astonished how clean, and I mean clean, this facility appeared.  It sparkled, and yes you could serve dinner on the floors! And quiet! You would think the noise level of machines running would produce at least some sound, but nope.  You barely heard a thing.  Clean and quiet, two beautiful words to most


After taking in everything presented before me in the factory, I then had a day of creating a video and then one day doing a print ad campaign.  During the four days the crew was awesome! Those around me  were so insightful and supportive as I grasped the process of all that shooting a video encompasses.  More than one take had me wondering how Jennifer Aniston does it! Same expression, same tone, but tilt the head a little to the right…oh my word!


The days flew by, and four days with a German crew had me wishing I taken their language instead of french in high school.  But the entire adventure was something I will never forget.  Witnessing the process of building a video was fascinating, although the thought of viewing myself in the final product had me less than thrilled.  Most of all, observing all the facets of the factory has me appreciating my BERNINA even more.

So here I am today, October, in the USA.  As I turn on my machine I find myself loving it more and more with each use.  The use of this machine is like operating a brand new, car with all the bells and whistles. Your driving a Cadillac. Now, envision you have to hop into a Datsun B210 that’s rusted, and leaves a cloud of black smoke as you hit the gas. You desire the Cadillac, right?! Well, welcome to the BERNINA Q20.  I am in awe how light and smooth it maneuvers.  No heavy clanking or roughness.  It sails, just as a new Cadillac would down the highway.  Bells, and whistles…my most recent quilt, which I know I talk about often, is in need of a little SID around the appliqué.  No problem with the Q2o, it so efficient and simple to complete.  I am still adapting to the ease in which I can change the feet.  I mean it takes  mere seconds; and its interchangeable between the Q20 and my domestic machine.  Does it get any better than that?!

I wanted to share a quick video.  Realistically my quilting isn’t quite that speedy; in my dreams I quilt that fast.  But eventually I wake up from la la land, and realize my true pace and accept that it will take me awhile to finish this piece.

I used Aurifil’s Monofilament thread…. It’s thread is so fine that it fades into the seams.  And although it’s a beautiful thing, please refrain from using my name in a hostile way when you discover you may have trouble seeing it to thread the needle.  Below is a good example of the thread magically disappearing into the seam.


Now that I have expressed that I still have SID to get done; remember slow and steady wins the race.  I ask, how do you accomplish your SID?  Would you say ruler or no ruler?  I can’t wait to hear what my fellow quilters have to say!


9 thoughts on “BERNINA and Stitching in the Ditch…..

  1. Love your blog Lisa!!! My dealer just got back from Bernina in Switzerland and also said it was fabulous. I have a Q20 sit down and teach free motion quilting and ruler work but I must admit SID is still my nemesis. I think because of the fluidity with my hands that I find it easier without a ruler but I do keep giving it a try. With a ruler I have more difficult staying in the ditch. Any tips?

    • HI Penny,
      I wish I had some good tips for you. The only thing I have found is it truly is like driving a car… don’t look where you are stitching but where you want to go. Sit down quilting is quite different than that of of the longarm. I am looking forward to getting the ruler foot for my 750QE to do some practicing.

  2. Sounds like you had fun. And, of course, being at the factory must have been super cool! Did you go to BU in New Orleans earlier this year? I was there with my father-in-law and husband. They own/manage their store in Mandan, ND — Sewing Machines Plus!

      • Oh, gosh! If it’s in Las Vegas, I’m going to be pea-green with envy! I live right next door, but I’m not a dealer, so I wouldn’t be allowed.

  3. I bought a Q20 sit down a year ago. Love, love, love it! I find it easiest to SID without a ruler. It has been so much fun learning to quilt with rulers, though. I need to get some quilt tops done so I can do more on the Q20 with rulers. Bought some of your rulers, Lisa. Keep up the good work, both your beautiful quilts and great products for quilting. When will the commercial air?

  4. I too both appreciate and loathe stitch in the ditch. With applique I too use monofilament, but try to use something else in the bobbin (usually cotton) if at all possible. It’s easier to do with a double batt.

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