BERNINA Partners with Kollabora at Maker Faire in New York

BERNINA’s Gayle Schliemann travelled to the Big Apple to join the Kollabora team for a fun weekend of making at this year’s Maker Faire.

So many fun and inspiring ideas at Maker Faire this weekend at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The weather was a little on the rainy side but that didn’t stop anyone from coming out. Maker Faire 2012 offered something for all ages. I was so happy to see so many young people with interests in sewing and crafting. The team from Kollabora and I prepared an awesome drawstring bag project to be sewn on one of our BERNINA 350 PE machines. A big thank you to Catherine Clark at Brooklyn General Store for providing us with two BERNINA 350 PE machines.

I had an opportunity to walk around a bit and was in awe of the creativity and ingenuity of the makers. Every kind of machine was represented from a hand-cranked steampunk potato peeler to a mechanized hammock driven by a remote control. I was attracted to the 3d Printing Tent where I learned about different types of three dimensional printing. Some of the printers were used to make gears and toy parts while another more sophisticated device used a laser to cut into polymer powder to form exceptionally smooth parts. This device was used by a company out of London, England to make customized mechanical dolls (made into your likeness by designing an avatar on their website).

Back at the Kollabora tent I helped teach a vast demographic from ages 4 to 84 how to make drawstring bags. Everyone was incredibly nice and eager to learn. The students were really impressed with the fact that BERNINAs are all metal on the inside, are a fourth generation-owned company and are the last domestic sewing machines to be produced in the western world. Quite a few of them inquired about embroidery and how computers are used these days in the sewing machine realm. I showed a video on my phone of the new DesignWorks software and everyone’s jaws dropped. They took brochures to get to BERNINAs website to find out more.

While spending most of time answering questions and helping out at the Kollabora booth, I got to meet some new friends of the Kollabora team that are doing wonderful things in the maker community. Andrea, from Alabama, helping out from Alabama, introduced me to some amazing techniques being taught in her area relating to using old t-shirts as well as supple knits. Glenn, from NYC, who was instructing the drawstring bags, told me about his organization which shows people how to make bags for shopping rather than using plastic ones. In addition to sewing, I learned how to make jewelry from pennies and crochet with my fingers thanks to Lindsey.

A great time was had and I hope BERNINA will be a part of Maker Faire 2013 when it comes to Chicago or another city around the country. We will definitely keep you posted.

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