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Dave's Bernina Sewing Tip of the Week

January 29, 2013

Bernina Cordonett foot #11

This year we're going to feature various feet to give you a better idea of what your Bernina can really do. The first will be the Cordonnet foot #11. If you have a request for a foot you'd like to see highlighted, let us know!


BERNINA Cordonnet foot # 11 is ideally suited for topstitching and decorative work with cordonnet thread or other thicker topstitching threads. The 2-mm-deep groove under its sole allows Cordonnet foot # 11 to glide smoothly even over thicker threads, as well as ensuring even fabric feed at all times. It also enables smooth, precise sewing of sashiko patterns and other decorative designs. 

TIP: When  sewing with Cordonnet foot # 11, use needle with a sufficiently large eye and normal bobbin thread, and adjust the thread tension where necessary. 

Cordonnet foot # 11 can be used on a large number of BERNINA sewing machines – from the entry-level model up to the BERNINA 8 Series.

Here is the link to were I got it from too.

December 28, 2012New Years Resolutions

It is coming time to make our New Years resolutions!  I try to make a sewing one each year.  It is an easier one to keep for me.  Mine this year will be to complete 1 unfinished project a month. This will help me fill productive and less guilty about the new fabric I buy.  If you want to join me in this resolution post your finished project on our Facebook.  I will do the same.  Lets see how many we can finish this year. Have a happy New Year!

November 23, 2012

This is really a gift story. Growing up and knowing how to sew, I would ask for fabric and patterns every Christmas. Then every Christmas I would look under the tree and it was not there. My mom and dad did not think that made a very good gift. But to me that would have been the best gift in the world. Now days we have Gift Cards that we can get and give. So listen to your family members and get them the best gift ever SEWING!


September 21, 2012Avoid wearing strong-smelling perfumes and lotions

When going to a Class or a Retreat this is not the time to try out your new perfume. Even though it may not be a strong scent, it could be something that triggers a migraine or asthma attack for someone else. I know it is hard to not put it on but I always try to imagine how the quilter/sewer sitting next to me might fee, l once she’s all set up and needs to find someone to switch with.  Enjoy your class and help others enjoy too.

September 7, 2012

Have you wondered about your stabilizers?  When you go to pick one up, there seem to be to many choices. This should give you a base to chose the right one for your project.


Stabilizers at a glance


Used for:

Best used on:

Comes in:


Cut-away stabilizers

Permanent support

Knits, loosely woven

Light to heavy weights

Not removed, except for cutting away excess

Tear-away stabilizers

Temporary support

Firmly woven, natural-fiber fabrics

Light to heavy weights; fusible and non-fusible

Torn away, but not always completely removable, depending on brand and stitch pattern

Heat-away stabilizers

Temporary support

Non-washable, delicate fabrics and for off-the-edge stitching techniques

Woven sheets, plastic film

Completely removable with iron and caution

Wash-away stabilizers

Temporary support

Delicate, mesh-like, and difficult-to-mark fabrics; also for cutwork and embroidered appliqués

Plastic film, paper sheets, brush-on or sprayable liquid

Completely removable with water

 Embroider 'til your heart's content!


August 3, 2012

Using Spray Adhesive for Embroidery:  It seems that people avoid using spray adhesives because of horror stories they’ve heard about it clogging up machines. This is very far from the truth when using the right spray adhesive.  We like "505 Temporary Spray Adhesive".  Not every spray adhesive which can be purchased is good for your machine. However, there are a few good ones on the market that have been recognized in the industry as not only working very well but do not clog up your machine like 505. Always choose a brand name spray adhesive that is clearly marked for embroidery machine use.

If you have a paper pattern for your applique, you can use spray adhesive to keep your pattern secure to the fabric during cutting and placing. This allows you to spray the adhesive on the back of the pattern and place it on the right side of your fabric. Once your fabric is cut, leave the pattern on the fabric to give your fabric more stability while placing it on the stitching line of your applique. Just spray the wrong side of the fabric, place it on the stitching line and gently pull the pattern off the fabric. The fabric will stay in place and you haven’t stretched it out of shape.

Spray adhesive can also be used to position garments or items that cannot be hooped. These can include caps, purses, bags or small items that are smaller than your smallest hoop. Simply hoop a piece of stabilizer, preferably a cut-away, spray the stabilizer with 505 and place your item to be embroidered on top of the stabilizer in the hoop just as you would if you had hooped it and sew as usual. Your item should now stay in place as you sew.

July 20, 2012

Test Sewing:  Because of the sheer number of factors which can negatively impact the quality of your embroidered designs, we highly recommend that you first test sew each design on a scrap piece of the same type of fabric that you will be using for your project. By doing this you will be able to make adjustments, (stabilizer, hooping, thread tension, etc…) if needed. This will help you know that the design will stitch out correctly on the material that you intend to use for your project.  You will be happy you took the time to do this when your project turns out perfect.

July 13, 2012
Red Notebook
Through the heat of the summer it is hard to think about sewing and quilting.  But it is a great time to start gathering your ideas for the holidays.  Keep a notebook of the fun things you see on pinterest, facebook, and other fun places.  Then when you are ready to start your holiday sewing you are one step ahead.

July 6, 2012

When you are getting ready to take a sewing class one of the supplies they always ask for is "Basic Sewing Supplies".  What is this? What do they mean?  If you always have; Scissors, Thread, Bobbins, Seam Ripper, Pins, Marking Pen or Pencil, Extra Sewing Machine Needles, Cleaning Brush, Machine Oil.  Then you are ready for what ever is needed during your class.  Make sure to mark you supplies you always want to go home with your own supplies.

June 29, 2012

Dark Thread on a SpoolWhen it is time to pick out a thread for you project keep in mind that thread looks darker on the spool than it will on fabric. So try to choose a thread a shade darker than the material you'll be using it on. This will help you blend your thread and fabric nicely. 

June 18, 2012

Sewing Tip of the WeekWhen getting ready to go to a sewing class or retreat make a list!  I list everything I will need to make a project. Machine, Cord, Foot Control, Bobbins, Correct Presser Foot, Thread, Scissors, Fabric, Pattern, Seam Ripper, Etc.  Then when I pack up I try to place everything in an order that makes it easy to find while I am sewing away from home.  It is hard to concentrate on a class when I am looking for something or am worried about if I brought it or not.  I also mark all my tools and supplies with marker or return address labels that way if they wander in class they are easy for me to identify.

Have a great sewing time,
Kristine Palmer

June 1, 2012

Summer is here and the kids are always looking for something to do.  Well let them learn to sew. "Camp Sew Fun" at Dave's BERNINA is a great way.  You can also have them help you make some great summertime items:  picnic napkins, picnic tablecloth, simple bags to carry all the fun things in.  They don't have to be perfect just fun to use!

Happy sewing,
Kristine Palmer

May 18, 2012

School is finishing up and now it is time to get my Senior ready for collage.  To make sure that all his bedding and linens remain his I am going to monogram them all.  There are so many different ways of doing this; fabric pen, machine alphabet, applique or embroidery.  I think I will chooses the embroidery by machine.  This also helps if he forgets who he is while away from home.

Happy Spring and Sewing,
Kristine Palmer 

May 4, 2012

When you are tracing your templates or patterns for applique or embroidery, onto fusible web try color coding them with permanent fine-tip marking pens. Green leaves trace in green, brown tree trace in brown and so forth. It makes placing them on the right fabrics much easier.

April 27th, 2012

Have you ever looked at fabric and wondered what other colors could go with it?  Well on the selvage of the fabric there are these little dots all in a row and the magic is that these are all the colors used to print that fabric!  Sometimes I will find one of the colors then choose it in a shade lighter or darker.  It is amazing how many colors some fabrics have in them.  have fun using a color that most people won't realize is even in the main fabric and you will have everyone asking you how you made such a great choose of fabric because it makes the project just pop.

April 20th, 2012

No matter our level of sewing skill we need to learn to appreciate our own work, as well as the work of others. It does not matter if it is loaded with mistakes we can look at the creative proses and the over all design and give our appreciation.  Nothing makes us want to do more then a little praise, even from ourselves!

April 6th, 2012

ith all the ball games and travel, sometimes it is hard to get to the sewing machine. But that does not mean you can't sew. Gather up some hand work to do, like make Yo-Yo's, applique a small wall hanging, hand embroider blocks for a quilt. Any small project will keep the creativity flowing and allows you to enjoy the game or trip too.

March 16th, 2012

hen you go to a store and see a great project you buy the book so excited to make it, but when you get home you already have that book (boy you must have really liked it).  To stop this from happening make a list of your books either on paper, smart phone, palm or other device.  This way when you are at the store you can check and see if it is one you already own or if you should buy that book.  If you don't have it buy it.  If you do have it buy the fabric for the project you like in it.

March 2nd, 2012

e find ourselves making all kinds of projects.  As we look back it is hard to remember what they were or how we did them.  Take Photos!  When you take a photo of your project it helps you remember the amazing things you made.  It is great to look back and see the many projects; beautiful, simple, hard, complicated and crazy!  Our sewing memories are the best things for us.

Keep up the great creativity and bring your projects into our store, or share on Facebook!

February 24th 2012

hen sitting down to sew I take just a few minutes to make sure my machine is ready to go.  Brush out the lint, oil if needed and change the needle.  I also dust all around the work area,  This way I know that I will have a smooth sewing experience with no worry's about dirt or damage happening to my project. 

February 10th 2012

f you do not have a garbage close at hand use a scrap of batting to place cut threads on.  When you are done you can just fold it up and toss.  Less mess makes for a happier sewing experience.

February 3rd 2012

It's time to change the blade on your rotary cutter!  But what do you do with the old one?  Use round mint tins to store them.  Then when it is full tape it closed and discard the full tin.

January 6th 2012

Folding quilts can leave permanent fold marks on them. Rolling is better. Take a swimming foam noodle, put a layer of muslin over it and then roll the quilt onto it. If you need it longer they can be lengthened out with a dowel in the middle. Cover with muslin too if you want.

December 23rd 2011

As we finish all the Christmas sewing we can run out of interest or ideas. Take strips or squares and sew them together. Don’t worry about what you will do with them at that time. When you have made a pile, you can look up scrap quilts to put them together or just cut them into blocks and sew them together. It is great to just sew without pressure of being perfect or a dead line. Sometimes you won’t do anything with them right a way but it is a stress relief to just sew.

December 2nd, 2011

Do you ever find it hard to work on your Christmas gift sewing without everyone seeing what you're doing?  I solve that problem by mix the pieces of different projects together. For example, I leave the fabric pieces of my son's new PJ's piled up with the fabric blocks for my new quilt project. When the kids or my spouse comes by they see a mix of fabrics and don't realize I'm working on a Christmas surprise. The best way to hide something is in plain sight.

November 11, 2011

Do you have a lot of UFO’s (UnFinished Projects) taking up space? It can seem overwhelming if you view them as one gigantic project.  I've found that making a list of all my UFOs, then finishing a few easy ones at a time, like completing a hem on a skirt, adding buttons, or bind a quilt gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  I get excited and motivated to tackle other bigger projects. Plus, I can buy more fabric for new projects without feeling guilty.

October 28th, 2011

Do you get emails with fun or cute sewing ideas but can't find them again when you want to use them? Don't leave them in your   in-box where they can get lost or deleted, or rely on your memory. Instead, a folder on your computer called Ideas or Fun Projects. Copy your emails right when you get them into to that folder. This makes it easy to look through and keep track of all those fun ideas. If you want to get really organized, make different folders for individual crafts like sewing, quilting, knitting, etc...

October 21st, 2011

Do you love all the sewing rulers available for different sewing techniques, but are unsure where to keep them? Take a desk top file folder holder like the one below, to store and organize your rules. It will make them easy to see and protect them from damage. If you have a lot of rulers you may need two or three of these organizers.

File Rack
October 7th, 2011

Do you ever forget to turn off your iron when you are done sewing? Take a hair band and place it on your wrist when the iron is on, and place it around the cord of the iron when your turn it off. This way you think you've left the iron on, all you have to do is look at your wrist to be certain. This makes for peace of mind while you're shopping for more supplies or taking a sewing class.