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Expo Reviews > Sewapaloza

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Posted by: Learn To Sew
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About Learn To Sew star
Member since: 4/12/05
Reviews: 36 (expos: 2)
Skill level:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 8 people
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Posted on: 5/28/14 1:49 PM
Rating: starstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 3 people   
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I went to a Bernina Sewapaloza event on May 17th. They called it a Sewing Festival, and not an event, expo or class. I learned to sew on a 560, which is a wonderful machine. Loved the thread cutter. For this event, there were 20 women, 2 per machine. Some were on the new 7 series, some on the 8 series, and a few on the 560 like me. I shared the 560 with another woman and we alternated projects. All supplies for the projects were included. We would learn to use new feet and build some skills.

We would learn to sew and be inspired to create something new or add to our skill sets. The event was taught a member of the Bernina Education Team. Her name is Sandra Swick. Her assistant was Christine. This is an all day event and we will do 3 projects. The first project is a simple pillow. The 2nd a travel cord bag and the 3rd is embroidery. We will learn to use new feet on the machines. The Designs works set (project 3) will feature a Bernina exclusive design collection and the DesignWorks tools. Learn about the advantages of using your free arm on your machine.

For this event, we learned to make a travel pillow in the first session. We had a kit to sew from. We sewed the strips of fabric together for the front, then learned to add decorative stitches like snow flakes to the center white fabric and stitch in the ditch with a blanket stitch. The next fun thing was to learn to use the leather roller foot for doing Free Motion quilting with the feed dogs up. This looked like fun. I was watching during this project, as I would do the 2nd and 3rd projects. Some day, I might add foot #55 to my collection. Then we learned to use the Bernina Stitch Regulator. I already have a BSR, so I watched as my sewing buddy learned to use one, with the feed dogs down this time. I think she preferred the leather roller foot over the BSR. The students sewed the front to the back and sides, leaving a small 4 inch opening on one side for stuffing. We then went onto the second project. This was a fast paced event, and we had several people going from table to table helping the students. Most of us required help at times.

The 2nd project was mine and it was much harder than the pillow. It would prove frustrating for some of us today. Too fast a pace to get the hang of what we were learning. We made a cord bag for our power cords for our sewing machines. We learned to use the circular tool. We had a kit for our project. One of the assistants would spray the black stabilizer with 505 spray, and we put on the tool for each machine. We started near the center and did a circular row of decorative stitches. Then moved the gauge to do a second row of another stitch and then a 3rd row. I bought this tool and will use it for plain blocks on quilts. I loved using it.

We broke for lunch and shopping. We each bought something. Some more than others!

We then went onto the next part of the bag. Another black sprayed stabilizer would be used. This bag is challenging if you do not know what is coming next. We used foot 39, the cording foot and did another circular row of stitches, but we followed the circles on the fabric this time. That was not too hard, but it was challenging to sew in a circle using a foot. Next we went to this gauge tool and that I did not enjoy. Too hard to sew in a circle for me with this thing on. I imagine I am not the only one who struggled with learning to use it. We pinned and then sewed along the circle curves. Trimmed and turned the bag at the cutting line we had made an hour earlier. I finished the bag at home, using the CD that we got in our gift bag. I thought I did not do a good job, but once it was completed, I was surprised how well it came out.

After a group photo, we went onto project 3. I really wanted to learn this one, and did not care if I had done project 1 or 2. My sewing buddy let me play. In return, she got to take the bag home. We learned to use the Paint tool and paint on a cotton bag. The bag had a draw string at the top and was sewn only at the bottom. The sides were open, so it could slip over the free arm of the machine. I learned to use the tool and paint on fabric. Fun, but way too expensive for me. We then learned a little about embroidery and the cut works tool. This tool I passed by as well. I could not use it on my Bernina 630 at home. We then learned to do some simple embroidery on the flower we stitched to the bag. I did not want the bag, but Glenda did, so I let her do the rest. She added rhinestones to the bag and add bling. She then took it to the serger and sewed up the sides. It was a pretty bag. She also took home the pillow she made.

All in all, it was a fun day, but challenging to some of us. It had been suggested at other events by other students that 3 projects is too much to learn in a day. I gather they hear this each Saturday, as they go city to city doing this event.

Before I left for home, I bought The Fabulous Fabric Guide and an Ofla turntable cutting mat in a 12 inch size. The FFG will help me to do FMQ and not sew my fingers. It gives me something to hang onto while quilting my quilt.

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This n that said... (10/31/14 11:31 PM) Reply
Thanks for the detailed review, I've been wondering if it's something I would want to attend.
Learn To Sew said... (5/29/14 1:28 PM) Reply
I emailed the store with your suggestions of the address and phone and also a picture of the store and they are going to add them to the Home page. Thank you.
sewdoggie22 said... (5/29/14 8:33 AM) Reply
Thanks for posting this review. I live in Portland and looked at their website. They don't list their location which makes it difficult to find them. Finally, I looked on their contact page and found their store location. Anyway, it was a good review and I enjoyed learning about their store. I bet they'd get more customers if they listed their location.
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