My parents bought me my first sewing machine, a portable singer, back when I was in high school. Years later, in 1989, my husband surprised me on my birthday with a BERNINA 1230. He even called my boss and arranged for me to have the day off of work so I could stay home and sew on the brand new machine! To this day it's one of the best and most used gifts I've ever gotten and speaks to how well he knows me.
A few years ago I bought myself a BERNINA 820. The larger harp space makes quilting SO much easier. This machine also came with a table so that the machine bed is flush with the bed of the sewing machine. That was a game changer for me as far as machine quilting. The quilts no longer get caught on the edge of the machine. My daughter also enjoys sewing on it.
My old 1230 now lives with my son and daughter-in-law and is still going strong. My daughter-in-law is enjoying making little baby clothes for my grandbaby. She and my son just recently worked together to make an amazing queen size spiderweb quilt for their son's great grandmother.
The 820 is a bit big to take anywhere so I have also invested in a newer machine for taking to teach and on retreats and sew-ins. This machine has narrow set feed dogs and is perfect for tiny piecing.
I enjoy making clothes for my daughter, machine mending for my family, and occasionally making items for my home. BERNINA makes everything so much easier with feet that are engineered specifically for certain tasks and can quickly be changed for a specific part of a sewing project.
I've been writing this blog for about ten years but most of you have not been readers for that long so I'll share a little background information about myself.
Although I was born in North Carolina, I spent the first half of my life in Blacksburg, Va. where my dad worked for Virginia Tech. My two sisters and I learned to sew from our mother who was one of two sewing teachers in our 4-H club. I finished my first quilt in 1976 with the resurgence of quilting that came with the American bicentennial celebration.
The second half of my life I have lived in a small town in south east Michigan. We live in an old farm house and have chickens and a large garden. Each year we grow a patch of Indian corn that we use to make our own cornmeal and feed our chickens. My oldest son was married in our yard and his wedding reception was held in our barn which he and my husband restored.
Both of my parents grew up on farms in central Virginia. Like the little red hen in the children’s story, I was taught to do things from scratch and to never let anything go to waste. My thrifty upbringing led me to my current style of working with scraps and the desire to use “every last piece.” My quilts have been juried into international shows and gallery exhibits and my work is in private collections around the world.
I have always recommended BERNINA machines to others and now that I am teaching across the country I have been selected to be a BERNINA brand ambassador. I travel to the BERNINA US headquarters each year and learn about the new machines and what they can do. I know the importance of having the right tool for the job and love that BERNINA puts so much thought into the design and technology of their machines.
Here is a list of the classes I currently offer:
Tiny Piecing - Learn tips and tricks that make working small easier. Lynn will show you how to piece tiny stars, and other small blocks as well as small scale intuitive piecing. With Lynn’s tips for working small you will be able to add a bit of tiny sparkle to your own quilt designs or make your own quilt completely from tiny blocks like on the cover of Lynn’s book, Every Last Piece.
String theory - Lynn will teach her method for string piecing with no foundation. With this fool proof technique, there is no extra layer of fabric in the quilt and no paper bits to pick out after the sewing is finished. This technique to build blocks can be used in many designs. You will learn the skills needed to add string piecing to your own quilt designs. Longer workshops involve designing more complicated quilts. Bring your scrap bin and prepare to have some fun!
Intuitive Piecing with Solids - Working with free-form, improvisational construction, students will create their own, original quilts using easy to learn design concepts and techniques. This design class is good for the beginning and advanced, traditional and art quilter. Come and join the fun as Lynn shows you easy methods for creating your own original quilts.
Liberated Log Cabin Quilts - This class explores the many possibilities to this traditional pattern. Intuitive piecing leads to many different interpretations of the simple design. Good for beginning or advanced, traditional or art quilter. Learn easy techniques for making striking quilts.
Hand Applique - Lynn’s needle turn applique technique makes it easy to achieve perfect applique circles and smooth curves. Points and corners are not a problem. Choose one of Lynn’s Fleur-de-lis patterns that are designed to teach you all of the skills needed to applique any other shape or design. You will learn the techniques needed to master applique on inside curves, outside curves, inside corners, and outside corners. The applique piece can later be made into a pillow top or small wall hanging, or used as the center of a medallion quilt.
Flower Pot Applique - Students will design their own pot or vase of flowers. You will learn to fold and free cut different kinds of flowers. Lynn’s needle turn applique technique makes it easy to achieve perfect applique circles and smooth curves. Points and corners are not a problem. Students will learn the techniques needed to master applique on inside curves, outside curves, inside corners, and outside corners. Lynn will also an easy way to applique vines and stems.
Pressing Matters -Learn the tricks for a flat finish to your quilt. Lynn will show you how to get perfectly matched seams and avoid the volcano that can happen when many points come together at the same place. You will learn the secret to getting seam allowances to twirl and lie flat. Taking a little extra time for thoughtful pressing will yield a better looking and a flatter quilt that is easier to quilt. Even if you don’t do your own quilting, your longarm quilter will thank you!
The BERNINA ambassador program has enabled me to connect with many other very talented sewers, quilters, and teachers across the country. This week some of these artists will be sharing their stories. Be sure to visit all of their websites and find out more about them and the classes they teach.
Monday March 20
Lynn Carson Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Ashton email@example.com
Diane Doran firstname.lastname@example.org
Melody Crust email@example.com
Tuesday March 21
Kathy Delaney firstname.lastname@example.org
Christa Watson email@example.com
Mandy Leins firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday March 22
Sandy Fitzpatrick email@example.com
Beth Ferrier firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheryl Sleboda email@example.com
Thursday March 23
Annie Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Kennedy email@example.com
Catherine Redford firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday March 24
Joanne Sharpe email@example.com
Cherry Guidry firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenelle Montilone email@example.com