Introducing Bernie

I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about my sewing machine which is a Bernina Artista 180 who I have named  Bernie. She is a new to me sewing/embroidery combo that I bought this summer (Thanks Uncle Sam!). Before that I sewed on an old white that was given to me by a lovely lady who I use to work with in Detroit at the cancer center. I was grateful to get the White since I had wanted a sewing machine for so long but it was a pretty basic model and very finicky. When I decided to take quilting classes in December it was very frustrating using the white since I could not alter my stitch length or drop my feed dogs and she had loads of tension issues. SO I planned to save a couple hundred and buy a new machine. I was looking at something pretty basic like the Brother my friend Michelle has or a cheaper Janome.

The quilting shop I was taking classes at was a Bernina dealer and that’s what everyone there sewed on. Man, every time I went in there I had to walk by all those swanky machines. I wanted one bad however a Bernina was nowhere near my budget…..until the new models came in and someone traded up. I went to class one day and passed the shelf they had just set all the used machines on that folks had traded in. I spotted Bernie and another option that was a lot less and I started plotting in how I could make one of them mine! Every time I went to class I would spend some time visiting the machines. I decided that I really wanted Bernie since she was also an embroidery machine. I hadn’t planned on acquire and embroidery machine or even thought I needed one before now but once I got the idea in my head the possibilities seemed endless.

I have to thank my buddy Michelle for convincing my husband Michael of the merits of getting me a new machine. It wasn’t that hard and he kindly allowed me to keep our entire economic stimulus check to buy my new machine. Some of Bernie’s selling points were:

1) She looks really cool. She is computerized and has a touch screen (I am easily impressed)

2) She also came with the embroidery module and a cord to plug her into my computer to down load embroidery designs from the internet.

3) The shop I purchased her from was an authorized Bernina dealership and the owners husband is an authorized repair guy. He assured me he could keep my investment running for lots of years to come.

4) Bernie came with approximately 35 hours of free lessons aimed at teaching me all her tricks both sewing and embroidery wise. As a sewing/quilting newbie this has a lot of appeal.

5) Did I mention she looks really cool and now I have the coolest machine of all my friends? Before I had the crappiest…. (Shallow I know)

Things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. I had to wait for the check to come in the mail but I checked every week and Bernie was still there. The owner and my teacher/store manager both new I intended to purchase her and was just waiting on my check. So finally my check arrives and I run directly to the quilt shop to buy my new machine. I get there and am told that the owner agreed to hold the machine in the back for a customer who came in last week and was thinking about buying her but had to wait for her economic stimulus check to arrive. WTF??? I had been planning on buying that machine for months and they knew that. What’s a girl to do? I was devastated and broke out in tears (which I never do BTW) I was livid, I have been a pretty damn good customer at that shop since I started quilting seriously (wanna see my stash????) I take classes and such all the time. And some chick walks in and they offer to “hold” the machine for who only knows how long??? And she wasn’t even a regular (cuz I DID ask) So L the store manager/teacher calls the owner at their other location to see if they had another 180 for sale. They did (Thank goodness) but I would have to wait another week to get it (whatever, you suck)

So I go back and get my machine and the owner K walks me through a few things and lets me know when to come for Bernina Guide Class for my lessons with the sewing machine and for Embroidery Club for that sort of stuff. I go back to the shop the following Thursday for Underground Railroad class and guess what I find out? They are going to close the shop in like a month. They just told the staff back in the office right b/f class. They are going to keep the other location open but its like 3 hours away. Such is life. They did let us know that they will continue the guide classes and embroidery club once a month at a hotel conference room 35 miles away. Wonderful… (dripping with sarcasm). Reasons 3 and 4 (see above) are looking great right about now…NOT. The only other sewing machine shop in town is a Janome dealer and I purposely did not go to the Janome place to look at machines b/c their customer service BLOWS and I have been waiting for a callback from them for a year regarding classes (I have given up hope).

So I get Bernie home and my mind is flooded with all the possibilities of what I can cre8te. I don’t know where to begin… technically I should have continued on with the Underground Railroad quilt I was making for class. I start like 4 new projects just b/c I can…. As annoying as this process was I do love Bernie and I do feel very blessed to have a nice machine for a change. I am looking forward to learning all kinds of new tricks…Mostly I need to learn free motion quilting but that is another post all together.

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2 thoughts on “Introducing Bernie

  1. Before I met you, this post would have been WAY over my sewing head. However, due to your stellar teaching skills, and your Bernie demo, I now understand at least 98% of this entry! Yeah for Bernie and yeah for Crys!!

  2. Wow, I didn’t realize that there was such an ordeal with buying Bernie. I just knew that she was suddenly there one day.

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