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Chasing my tail and swearing at my Bernina

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

I can’t believe how long it is since I last blogged…the time has run away with me again. I’ve had lots of good intentions, but somehow they have come to nothing or at best not very much at all…..

Of course ten days in bed will throw the best organized of us out of the window. When I went back for a check up a week after I had staggered back to work, the part-time doctor (who lives down the road) and who I would classify as a very sound young woman informed me that what I had actually experienced was asthmatic bronchitis, no doubt precipitated by the beta blockers that I take to (very effectively) control my migraines. Had my GP given me an inhaler I would have been a whole lot better off. This is somewhat concerning because a) it’s likely to happen again and b) I actually asked my GP if there could be a link and he pooh-poohed the suggestion. One more reason to look for a new doctor (he’s a very nice man but is definitely past his use by date and should retire…..)

Anyway, since then I have been rushing around like a scalded cat trying to catch up at work and at home. This wasn’t made easier by a business trip to the UK, which was combined with a trip to visit my mother. The latter made me realize that it is really time to sort out some form of assisted living (she’s almost 88 and lives alone, no relatives in the country and more worryingly, no friends popping in and out. Actually no friends at all). The current situation just will not do. Next problem: how to convince her…although I think some progress has been made. This is helped by the fact that the facility I am looking at has flats which are both nicer than the house she is living in now, and are also in a better area.

So I guess more trips to England are on the cards…not to mention a huge house clearance logistical exercise. My mother hasn’t thrown anything away in the last 40 years….we were actually fighting over catalogues from the 80’s and 90’s which she didn’t want to throw away because she keeps them for reference….

Enough…onwards and upwards….that is a project for 2015. I’m not getting in a tizzy about it quite yet.

Which brings me on to my next point (and all the bad language).

You remember that a couple of years ago I lashed out in a moment of madness and extravagance (and to put it mildly, extreme stupidity) and bought myself a Bernina 820 – the machine to fulfill every quilters dreams…

Except that it is the most dreadful load of scrap iron in the history of the universe. This machine should be able to do anything. In fact if it has a good day it is really very nice and with its favorite threads it is a dream to do machine quilting with.

Today however I am spitting blood (and using rude words). I’m quilting my second Stitch Tease quilt. Well, actually I will rephrase that and say that I’m unpicking, re-threading, reading the (useless) manual, searching the (useless) help sites…and getting nowhere fast.

How is it possible to half quilt a quilt with no problems and then the machine decides it doesn’t like the thread, the needle, the tension? It is SO infuriating – I can’t possible change the quilting thread when I’m two thirds done and the dratted thing WILL NOT CO-OPERATE. I have cleaned it, cajoled it, stroked it, rethreaded…you name it…and the dratted thing won’t work. I can sew for 3 inches and then the thread breaks…..

And the wretched machine is attached to it’s special table, weighs the same as half an elephant and I can’t get it looked at before Christmas…..AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!

And I so wanted to get this quilt done this year so that for once my fabric use would have been more than what I’ve bought this year.

It seems it was not to be.

Send positive vibes.

I may throw this machine out of the window.



6 Responses to “Chasing my tail and swearing at my Bernina”

  1. Swissrose Says:

    If it lands on the AGA it might not even break… ;o

    Here come soooooothing vibes………..

  2. Indianna Says:

    Oh how frustrating …. Both machine and mum! Someone on Instagram was having quilting problems and they had to turn the cotton reel upside down to fix it. With an Aurifil one you have to pop the base off and stick it on the other end. I had a larger than normal reel the other day and I’ve always used mine horizontal, but it was trapping the cotton and so I had to put it on the extra vertical spindle. Hope you can sort it :o)

  3. Lush Says:

    I feel your pain. Years ago saved all my pennies, splurged ($3000 AUD) on a top of the line Pfaff quilt expression 4 to replace my 30 year old machine.
    TOTAL DOG!!! So many tears, so close so many time to throwing it out of the window. Everyone said, sell it on Ebay but I could not bring myself to pass on the grief. Karma & all that 🙂
    Still not the best of relationships between me & the tension but a little better now.
    Discovered that my high quality, super expensive “German” machine was made in bloody China!!!
    Not a happy camper! Hope you can resolve your issues.
    Lush x

  4. Diane stanley Says:

    Good to hear from you but sorry for all your frustration. Remember when this was my rant? My 820 has been behaving late,y. This might sound stupid but did you try changing the needle or using a new bobbin. If the bobbins get scratched they don’t work and breaking thread is a symptom. Also mine likes the tension to be at 2 for FMQ. Good luck

  5. Leanne Says:

    I was going to suggest turning the thread spool over too if nothing else is working. I have been dreaming of a bernina lately, so this is very timely for me. I am glad you are feeling better and I hope you can enjoy the holidays some.

  6. Sarah Says:

    Merry Christmas Helen! I feel sorry for you having to sort out your Mum from another country. It’s difficult when they need to go into care, but at least the facility sounds nice. I have a one year old Pfaff, which is really nice, but like Lush said, they’re not built as good as they used to be, now being all plastic and from China. I think my 10 year old Pfaff runs better. Maybe Bernie’s are the same, they don’t make them like they used to.