Tag Archives: Bernina

Thanks to the Quinobequin Quilters

Last night, I had the wonderful opportunity to deliver my “Quilts in U.S. History” lecture to the Quinobequin Quilters in Needham, MA.  The guild members asked some great questions and there were a few that I wasn’t able to fully answer in the moment that I wanted to follow up on:

  1. What led to the 1971 Whitney Museum quilt exhibit? 

Last night, I said that I thought Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof were driving forces behind the exhibit and, according to the International Quilt Study Center, that was indeed the case. They began to see the quilts in their collection as examples of abstract art. I also said that I thought there had been some earlier quilt exhibits that encouraged the Whitney to consider the “Abstract Design in American Quilts” show and that does seem to be the case as well. According to a post by the International Quilt Study Center, the changing perception of craft and ideas of what constituted art also set the groundwork for the Whitney to consider such an exhibit.

2. What innovations in the sewing machine were happening in Europe in the mid 1850s?

According to Wikipedia, there were numerous advances in sewing machine technology, starting with a patent awarded to a German man working in England in 1755. Also according to Wikipedia, the first modern sewing machine design that brought together the advances of the earlier models was invented by an Englishman in 1844, but the patent application was botched. American Elias Howe invented a similar machine in 1845, that Singer improved upon in 1851. Howe won the patent in 1846, according to this article from 1860 in The New York Times. 

It seems that the European companies of the quality sewing machines that we are enjoying today as quilters began in the following decades:

Pfaff – founded in Germany in 1862

Bernina – founded in Switzerland in 1893

Elna, a Swiss brand now owned by Janome, was founded much later in 1940.

There may have been other questions that I missed so if you were there last night and have further questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Thanks again to the Quinobequin Quilters.

#TBT – Journal Quilt Week 46

Easter fell a little later in the calendar in 2012 than it did this year.

JQ 46

The basket was woven with strips of brown batik fabric; the grass is Superior Threads Glitter thread; and the eggs allowed me to pull out all of my variegated threads and give the fancy stitches on my Bernina a try. This one was one of my favorites and it might be made into a bigger version to be an Easter wall hanging some day (maybe).

Happy Birthday to Me!

Two weeks ago, I celebrated a milestone birthday. My gift to myself was to finally pursue my passion and make quilting my career (albeit one supported with some digital strategy and data governance consulting work).  My darling husband’s gift to me was the following gift certificate:

A gift for Julie/ Mommy!
Doug and C. would like to give you:
One (1) Bernina Sewing Machine (the “Gift”)
Redeemable any time during the coming year (because it won’t take you that long to order a really expensive sewing machine). Terms and Conditions apply.*
Happy 40th birthday!

He’s a lawyer.  He did include a separate page of terms and conditions, many of which involved him buying several bikes and spending time biking. But, he was right about how long it would take me to redeem my gift certificate.  A few days after my birthday, I went to visit the wonderful folks at Pumpkin Patch Quilts in Lee, MA (Dan and Susan), who helped me pick out a Bernina 770QE.  I picked it up from them just one week after my birthday and here she is:

Bernina 770 QE

Bernina 770 QE

Throwback Thursday – Journal Quilt Week 8

Week 8 of the Journal Quilt Project fell in mid-July of 2011, in the middle of the Tour de France.  My DH is a serious cyclist with several road bikes (which really has its advantages when it comes to buying new sewing machines.  When I tell him how much a new Bernina will cost his response is, “Is that all??!!”)  We’ve been avidly watching the Tour (and the Spring Classics and some of the Vuelta and Giro) for years and even went to France for the Tour in 2004. (On a cycling trip called “The Mountains of the Tour.”  I learned that descending a mountain on a road bike scares the c-r-a-p out of me.)

Anyway, after many days of watching 4 hours of Tour coverage a day, I was inspired by the Tour to create my own jersey for this week’s journal quilt.  If I was a professional cyclist (ha!), I’d be on Team Bernina Harney & Sons:

Journal Quilt Week 8 - Team Bernina Harney & Sons

Journal Quilt Week 8 – Team Bernina Harney & Sons