Most of us start out pretty timid with our BERNINA Machines and I get why.
BERNINAs are so beautiful and powerful and, let’s be honest, they are an investment.
"What if I hit a wrong button and the whole thing breaks because I messed it all up?" "Am I even smart enough to use this machine?"
"I'll learn it soon...for now I'll just use the straight stitch for piecing..."
It was me too!
I bought my BERNINA 790 in first few months of working with a dealership and despite my proximity to these machines I still spent some time uncomfortable with them.
Now that I travel the US teaching on BERNINAs of all kinds, I love to take my knowledge of these machines and help you learn yours better than you ever imagined.
So here are five things I wish I had known sooner about my BERNINA embroidery machine that will help you know your machine better, use it to it's full potential and love it more than ever.
1. Change MM to Inches
Okay…I’m not actually sure this was around when I first got my machine and if it was I definitely ignored it. BERNINA is a Swiss company so pretty much all of their measurements center around metric, which means I have spent a lot of time asking “Siri, what is 40 cm in Inches?” (it’s 15 ¾” if you’re curious) Great news? Your machine no longer has to measure your embroidery designs in mm, if that’s not your preferred unit of measurement! This is super helpful when planning out your project and placing your designs.
Check out this video of how you can change your embroidery machine from MM to Inches!:
2. Stop being scared of your machine
“Easy for you to say!” I always hear, “You know this machine better than most people!” Well, that’s true now but it wasn’t always that way. I started out just as afraid as you are of the all the functions and features on my beautiful touch screen; terrified to press a wrong button and frustrated that I couldn’t remember what each one meant.
This is a mistake.
Your machine isn’t going to malfunction, blow up or break into tiny pieces because you punched a bunch of buttons. There are only two bad outcomes I have seen so far: a. You over whelm the computer’s memory and it needs to be restarted. Which might sound scary but it’s really not. It’s the same as turning any electronic off and on again; it happens.
b. You get into the screen calibration and have to go through the steps of calibrating your screen. An annoying wrong turn but as long as you follow the steps, have no fear! It’s an easy, albeit obnoxious, fix.
That’s it! So…what are you waiting for? Spend some time on your machine hitting icons, messing around and getting comfortable with the features of your machine.
Looking for a less loosey goosey way to get to know your machine? Want some more structure as you start to learn how to use that BERNINA? Check out my class BERNINA Embroidery Genius! B.E. Genius is an online course will help you learn every icon, function and feature of that beautiful BERNINA Embroidery machine! This is like your BERNINA mastery classes but even better as you will have lifetime access to the classes to watch them whenever you like.
You can get more information about B.E. Genius here.
3. You can embroider every sewing stitch
I’m not saying I wasn’t told this, I probably was, but you learn SOOOOO much when you first get your machine that certain things just slowly leak out of your brain. There may have even been a time where my brain knowingly nixed this info from my mind thinking “Who cares?” Well I care! You should too! Not only does this give endless creative options like this pillow I made using sewing stitches and the B 880 PLUS but it also allows you to do something VERY cool: embroider your button holes.
YES! Embroidering the buttons on your placket means that they will all be the same size, perfectly spaced (which you can set yourself) and look impeccable.
So many awesome decorative and creative reasons you may want to embroider your sewing stitches! Plus I simply love the fact that BERNINA takes the time and effort to make sure the possibilities are endless with their machines.
4. Use the foot pedal to embroider
I didn’t know this was possible for the longest time and I am so sad about the time I missed with this awesome feature! Whether you are sewing, embroidering or quilting with the BSR you have two options to run your machine: You can use the start/stop button or you can use the foot pedal. Totally up to you! I almost always choose foot pedal but when embroidering I didn’t even know there was another option for the longest time! Even once I learned about it I thought “Well what the hell am I gonna do? Keep my foot on the pedal for the full 67 minute stitch out!?” Obviously not.
BUT! That doesn’t mean this feature isn’t incredibly handy.
I have found this feature most useful when adding a basting box to an embroidered design or when handling multiple layers of an in the hoop project.
I will use the foot pedal to slowly and carefully to stitch out tack down stitches, basting boxes and more, so that if anything goes wonky I can immediately stop the machine, and adjust as needed.
This feature is super useful and even if you already knew about it, I hope this convinced you that you should definitely use it more.
5. Don't put your hoop on until your machine tells you to.
This isn't a machine feature but it's something that would have saved me a LOT of time and I would bet money it'll save you time too. It's a funny little human nature thing that I have noticed: We all wanna put the hoop on our machine immediately. All of us! Me included. I still find myself going on autopilot and connecting the hoop to the machine FIRST, even though I know my machine will likely have me remove it. Save yourself the dance of putting the hoop on and off and hitting the green check and animations telling you what to do.
Just wait until your machine asks for the hoop, it knows what it wants and it when it wants it.
I sit my hoop in my lap or on my table until the machine asks for it.
Want to learn more about your BERNINA Embroidery machine? Check out my class B.E. Genius. It's only $47 and covers all you need to know about your BERNINA Embroidery machine.
You get to keep this class forever, watch it as much as you like and you get access to information on over 17 different BERNINA machines.
Did you know all of these? Do you see yourself using these tips?
What do you wish you knew sooner about your BERNINA?
Comment below and let me know!