Bernina Quilters Edition: Virtuosa 153 QE

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Best Audience: Quilters, plain and simple. (Especially machine quilters those who like to quilt their own work but can’t afford a mid- or long-arm to do so.)

I have sewn on a lot of machines that weren’t built for quilting. by the time I invested in my Bernina (yes, despite what financial experts will tell you, this one’s a real investment), I’d realized that cheap wasn’t going to cut it and neither was a machine designed to sew clothing. I wanted something reliable with as much room between the needle and the rest of the machine as possible. My favorite form in those days was the King-sized quilt, and I can tell you that shoving a 120 inch by 120 inch layered fabric sandwich through machines not built to accommodate¬†it was absolutely miserable.

The Bernina I purchased more than a decade ago turned out to be completely worth the price. I have never needed to send it in for repair. The maintenance is simple and minimal. I can use the cheap needles, which makes changing them out frequently as one ought affordable. I’ve used my machine to sew many quilts ranging from King-sized to small wall hangings. I quilt most often using the free-motion settings although I have the optional walking foot for binding and the occasional straight-line quilting projects. Mine came with a selection of feet including a quarter-inch foot I use most often for piecing. It has a nice range of fancy stitches, but more often than not I stick to the basics. My machine has handled the odd clothing jobs, like hemming jeans and doboks and repairing holey flannels, as well as a few clothing constructions projects (the silk bathrobe in particular was fun because my machine did not try to eat the fine fabrics I was using!).

Bottom Line: Bernina has earned a permanent place in my studio.

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