Bernina 707 Minimatic

kalmiopsis48January 31, 2013

Does anyone else use a Bernina 707? I bought mine in 1967. I just took it into the shop for an adjustment -- the stitch selector lever was all wiggly.

I love to hand-quilt. I just ordered a Hinterberg hoop and am really excited about it. I also have a big frame that my ex-husband made for me back when from the old Stearns and Foster Mountain Mist quilt frame plans, but I don't have enough space to set it up right now.

I have carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia, so may have to limit my hand-quilting.

I'd love to learn to do free motion quilting with my Bernina and would appreciate any tips on getting started.

I'll need to buy a presser foot -- unless I can maybe use the darning foot for free motion quilting?

Thanks in advance,

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Hi and welcome to the forum! I don't have a Bernina, but I used the darning foot on my old Elna and on my Juki for free motion. Works great.

I love to do free motion and I think the best advice is just to do it and play with it. It's not something anyone will likely be good at the first few times. Start with a simple meander, then when that feels natural add some little embellishment like a leaf, loop, or star. It helped me a lot to loosely hold a pencil and draw, draw, draw on scrap paper until I felt like I had the rhythm of the pattern. Then I sew on a scrap of fabric until THAT feels right, then I go to the quilt.

For great instruction on a multitude of fm patterns, check out Leah Day's website. She has a little video to show how she does each one.

Mostly, just have fun with it!


Here is a link that might be useful: Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Thanks! I'll check that out. I know I need to practice, and I've always hated making practice projects and want to start right in. But I'll have to make some time to try it.

I'll check out Leah Day's site.

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:05PM
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I only use the darning foot and have produced lots of quilts. So, you are all ready to start. Kate's right about practice. Just sandwich two rectangles of fabric with batting between and start moving it around with the feed dogs down. You'll do fine.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Thanks. I'll give it a try!

I'm thinking maybe I can combine machine and hand quilting by quilting some parts of the design in the ditch and hand-quilting on the open areas. I haven't seen a quilt made that way (at least up close). Have any of you tried that?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:11PM
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I'm new to machine quilting, just started in the last year, but do find it to be fun. I have a Bernina, but my is a new model (440 QE), so I doubt if I would be much help in comparing to an older model. I'm sure Bernina would be happy to help you convert to a new model...they always seem eager for folks to trade up...however, 1967 could be a classic to keep!
Drop your feed dogs and give it a try (oh yeah...get the machiner gloves, it makes it so much easier to handle).

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:51PM
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We often say there are no Quilt Police! You can do whatever you want, including mixing methods, and experimentation is encouraged. Of course, we'll want to see pictures!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Welcome. I agree there are no Quilt Plice if you lock your doors so feel free to try what ever makes you happy.
I find FM a challenge but fun. I also do some marking with a removeable marker to follow if I have a pattern that I have issues with.
Looking forward to seeing your projects.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:36PM
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One problem I'm going to have is that my machine doesn't fit into my table -- it sits on top. I may have to find some way to extend the machine's little table that fits around it, which is only about 10 X 12 inches or so. Otherwise the weight of the quilt may pull on the spot I'm quilting.

Anyway, today my mom is in the hospital, I'm setting up a booth in a craft shop downtown, and I have to finish some Valentines decorations I'm making to sell in my booth. So I won't get to quilt today! When it rains, it pours!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:39PM
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I had a Bernina minimatic 707 until last November when I traded it on a newer machine. It was my back up machine for my 1031 which I still have.
Bernard grumbled like a bear, but his stitch and tension were perfect. He was an ex school machine I bought in 1998. I did buy a new foot pedal for him which helped control my speed as I found the older one was too touchy.
I often set him in my cabinet with a plexiglass flat cut out made by Horn to fit him,
He free motion quilted like a champion on small lap size quilts. I used a variety of threads without any concerns.
His stitch selector went wobbly too and I think he needed new cams.
I hope you enjoy FMQ with your mini 707.
I have found it possible to FMQ on an old singer treadle too.
Hope your Mother is doing okay.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Saw a great system someone made themselves to make a level surface. On a large table they put a two by four framework with a large piece of plexiglass surrounding the machine. Looks like a good solution, but might require some skills ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: pictured in the bottom left of the page

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 3:02PM
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