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Tips & Techniques > Bernina basting stitch - use it or lose it

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Posted by: Irene Q
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Member since: 3/19/04
Reviews: 127 (tips: 12)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 2/20/07 10:06 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 9 people   
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I love the basting stitch on my Bernina 180 - nice long stitches, much longer than setting the straight stitch to the longest length, and they're very easy to remove. But I don't use the basting function very often and when I do, my machine can get stuck in basting mode which requires a trip to the dealer for repair. It's usually in need of a good cleaning by this time anyway, but it's still annoying to lose the machine in the middle of a project.

I asked the repairman if I needed a new basting mechanism and he said no, the problem is that I'm not using it often enough which is why it's sticking. (I sew both garments and quilts, and never use the basting function during the quilting phases.) To keep it running, you need to use the stitch every so often, even if it's just for a few seconds once a week. The same basting mechanism is used in many of the Bernina models, so if you've had this same problem this may save you a trip to the dealer, too.

He also told me that you can sometimes unstick the machine when it's stuck in basting mode, by running the machine at full speed for a minute or so. (You don't need a needle or even a foot on the machine to do this.) It didn't work for me last time, but it's certainly worth a try.

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Robbins1226 said... (11/17/12 12:46 PM) Reply
Bernina 1090sbasting stitch
lululu said... (2/24/07 7:44 AM) Reply
thanks for this tip. I've had my machine for four years now, and wasn't even aware of this feature! Well, I tried mine and sure enough it didn't work. It would only stitch one stitch at time. Called my dealer and told me mine was stuck in a good position and it would only take a couple of minutes to fix next time I stopped by. I'll let you know how he suggests to prevent it from happening in the future.
Belinda B said... (2/23/07 4:04 PM) Reply
Thank you Irene, I have used mine a few times and am still getting used to it, on mine you have to press the presser foot once and it makes one stiich which you then have to pull to the lengh you want, then you just repeat that process, I have found this a little difficult to get used to in terms of getting it to sew the same length stitch. Does yours work the same? I will definately be using it more, I had no idea it could get stuck by not using it. Thanks- Hope yours is working now Bell:-)
Talleymom said... (2/23/07 10:03 AM) Reply
My faithful 1630 has the same little quirk. You must use the basing stitch in order to prevent it from sticking. I remove the needle and presser foot, set a brick on the foot control, and let the machine run for about 5 minutes. I do this about once a month. I use the basting stitch quite often, but usually not for long periods. The five minute run gives it a workout at full speed.
OP Gal said... (2/21/07 1:30 PM) Reply
Sounds like good advice if you have this function. Unfortunately, my Bernina doesn't have it. Wish it did.
Fran G said... (2/21/07 7:09 AM) Reply
great tip..I was told the exact same thing by my Bernina repair man as my basting stitch "stuck" also due to non use.
chocobar said... (2/21/07 0:43 AM) Reply
Thank you so much for writing this tip. Very timely for me. I'm going to try that full speed idea for a minute or so and see if I can get things back to normal. How can you tell whether the problem is with the basting function or some other part of the machine?
Mary Stiefer said... (2/20/07 12:25 PM) Reply
That's cool to know. I have a basting stitch on my Kenmore Ergo3. I have used it to get ready to embroider a piece of fabric. Sometimes the fabric is not big enough to fit in the hoop so I baste that onto a piece of stabilizer. It's really easy to pull out after your embroidery is done. I had better find a way to use it a bit more
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