Working with my Bernina Q20


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Well July certainly passed by quite quickly. However its good to look back and see what did I achieve in terms of a quilting goal over that time.

My goal was to learn to use my new Bernina sit down Q20 quilting machine. Included in that was to buy a suitable chair and foot rest of some sort because the Horn table was higher than I realised.

I feel like I am at ease using the machine. Using an online guide and lots of You Tube I figured out most although not all things!  I can easily thread it now and change the needle. To do that you use a little screwdriver! I bought some top stitch needles to try as that is what Lori Kennedy suggests using for quilting.

The bobbin is larger than an ordinary bobbing and I can fill it and insert it. It says in the book to clean out the machine and oil it daily. And I’ve found that is pretty much the truth! I can do that now as well.

The one think I haven’t got sorted yet is the tension of top and bottom thread at times. With the machine comes a bobbin meter kind of thing so that if its not at a certain “pull” you adjust the bobbin until it’s right. I am not quite brave enough to play around with the bobbin at present which you do with a screwdriver and little screw on the bobbin. I think I’ll wait out on that one.

I also found it is certainly a lot easier to move a quilt around and so much easier on arms and shoulders! It has a couple of BSR levels and one where you don’t have to use the BSR at all. I prefer the BSR!!

After some play with fat quarter sandwiches I quilted a baby boy’s quilt for the neonatal intensive care (NICU)

Moving on from there I took on a quilt of mine that I’d had since I began quilting. I’d stitched it in the ditch but I knew it needed more quilting before I washed it. So five years later I did! In the meantime I did use it a lot and some of my favourite colours!

I did an overall big flower with a little echoing and did a kind of fmq shell in the border. It was the first time doing an overall pattern on a quilt and I rather liked the effect.

Next I moved on to a quilt that I had done as a Pat Sloan sew along and this quilt I have given to a young girl I know through family.

I used one all over meander for this one and I loved doing that, I loved how it just seemed to meld the whole quilt together into one.  This quilt is 59 inches by 72 inches so it was good to do it on the Q20.

Finally I completed two more NICU quilts. On the last one – the girl’s one I finally managed to get it to the size Wellington hospital likes. I had to work out what would be taken up in the quilting and washing!!

During the month I also tracked down a footstool that is height adjustable and settled for a a bar stool for now for sewing. If that doesn’t work out over the next few months I’ll seek something more in a chair.

Quilting chair and footstool

Exploring with a Bernina Q20


Last month I bought a Bernina Q20 quilting machine. Sight unseen. I know sometimes I just make up my mind and just do it!  A sale was just ending so I jumped in. We do not have a Bernina shop in our area so I ordered one from the nearby city. So basically at this point no help from there. I don’t mind I am kind of a self learner anyway. Later if I have questions I can phone them.

There was some mix up about the delivery, but eventually it was delivered one evening and set up on the table for me. I was left in a pile of polystyrene and cardboard. After dealing with most of that the next day I sat down to nervously turn it on!

Q20 Bernina

When I ordered it I went for the small fold down table as it was cheaper and the other one while it had inserts, looked much heavier. I figured I could work with the smaller table. What I did not think of. – Learning No. 1 – give consideration to the table height. It is much higher than my ordinary Horn sewing table that I have my sewing machine on.

I need to look for a chair that will raise high enough to be comfortable and I need to consider the foot pedal as well. I did see a You Tube quilter who is like myself just 5′ 4″ and she adapted so I can too.

This is what it looks like in the meantime! An old plastic table top and books underneath and a cushioned chair!

Chair for quilting

My goal for July is to get to know this Bernina Q20 and get comfortable using it.  That includes finding a suitable chair!

I will use the manual of course and this My Bernina Mastery Workbook

So by the end of July I intend to be good friends with this  Q20 machine.

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Dog Quilt Completion


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My goal was to quilt a dog quilt for my great niece Tayla. And it took me down to the wire and the last day of June to complete.

It’s the most quilting I have done on any quilt so far. Some mistakes made but its all a learning curve!


Clicking on the these photos will enlarge them.

So now next steps will be to bind this quilt and wash it when I can get a fine drying day. Winter weather isn’t quite ready to facilitate that.

I Love Home pattern by Jacquelynne Steves

Three of Dogs –  patterns  by the Whole Country Caboodle.

June Plan for One Month Goal


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It’s always great to have goals. Recently I noticed someone suggest we make three goals a day for things to do ( for patchwork and quilting of course)! And when I do that I usually get to then end of the month and have completed something substantial, and other projects as well.

This month I want to complete quilting a lap quilt for my eleven year old great niece. She loves dogs and pink and yellow and blue. So just trying to fulfil what she wants! Oh and she asked me to make a quilt for her and that’s what I really like. I told her I was making so many quilts (true) so it would be next year. But… well what’s one more project this year.

So here is the quilt top.

I Love Dogs quilt top

This is the third time I’ve made up this quilt top with differing themes. It is a Jacquelynne Steves pattern and the dogs are from the Whole Country Caboodle.

I will stitch it in the ditch and then do some fmq as well.




Memory Quilt Completed


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In May among other things I completed my second quilt celebrating the memory of my mother. This one is intended for my sister Pauline. My goal was to quilt it and perhaps bind it. All done and washed and aired as well.

My mother was of Irish and German heritage. I have a symbol of that as well on the quilt but not in these photos. Around the edge of the quilt are all the names of the German ancestors of her mother’s side. They came to New Zealand in the 1840’s. The Irish side was her Dad, from Irish parents in Australia who migrated their from Ireland.  I chose the female side to put around the edge.

Looking at the month of May Quilt goal


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My goal for May will be to work on quilting my quilt in remembrance of my mother for one of my sisters. The second one I have done.

I would like to get it basted and as much of the quilting as I can. I am not totally aiming to complete it although that would be really nice and might happen.

quilt top

So I have assembled the backing, batting and top. First step iron and get the back tidied up!

I bought the backing online, it isn’t quite the shade of blue that matches the front, however now getting another backing isn’t an option because a) another choice online might be as unmatching and b) while I can buy online soon here, I won’t be getting anything from the USA until shipping gets going again and our dollar improves against the USA dollar.

Wool batting as usual.

backing and batting

Covid19 Lock Down Quilt Finish


Linking up with Elm Street Quilts one month goal.

My goal was to baste and quilt a beach themed quilt for my brother-in-law. And I am happy to say right at this moment it is sitting in my sun room airing and ready for a non contact drop off this coming week. We are allowed to travel a little further in our locality then and we are allowed non contact drop offs!

Surfer beach quilt


Surfer quilt block

Seaside quilt blocks

The backing is a furry kind of minky style fabric.

Back of beach quilt

The colours in this quilt match the one I made for my sister, his wife a few years ago! I didn’t make the full pattern of this one so I had fabric left over, now used up well!Garden Charm quilt

Quilt a Quilt!


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My goal for April is to quilt a beach/surf quilt for my brother-in-law. So aiming for it to be finished with the binding done as well.


I have the backing ready. I had to join a bit to make it slightly larger – it’s all I had and we can no longer obtain this as the shop stopped importing it.

quilt top

I have used the I Love Home quilt pattern by Jaquelynne Steves

I have put together four central appliqué blocks that are beach and surf related.  My BIL was a keen surfer and now loves to fish. Maybe he does the odd surf still. I am not sure about that!