This post is part eight in a series celebrating 125 years of the BERNINA Company. Each post will bring you a little more of the history of BERNINA, along with modern inspiration.
In 2004, the Aurora 440 QE with the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR), was launched. The BERNINA Stitch Regulator, an exclusive free motion tool, provides for free motion sewing with consistent stitch lengths at variable sewing speeds. This technology earned BERNINA the “Best Innovator” award from A.T. Kearney. It was originally intended for quilters, but today it can easily be used as an artist’s tool, using either a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch, to create thread painting, landscape quilting and so much more!
The BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) is compatible with many BERNINA sewing machines today. Using the BSR will save you many hours of practice trying to get your free motion stitches even. All you have to do is think about the design you wish to create. The attached BSR foot will take care of the consistent stitch length for you.
The BSR has three interchangeable soles for all types of free motion quilting. The closed toe sole is similar to a daring foot with the needle in the center and visible. The open sole is much like a free motion embroidery foot with even more visibility. The third and very useful sole is a large transparent circle that will help you glide over bulky seams or high loft battings. These three soles will allow you to create endless projects from quilting to thread painting.
Attach the BSR foot and plug the jack into the port provided on the machine.
When you plug in the BSR, the machine screen will prompt you to drop the feed dog. However, if you are working with the BERNINA 880 PLUS, the feed dog will automatically lower when the BSR is plugged into the machine.
To make the zippered tote, I used my BERNINA 770 QE to quilt the two sides of the bag. After the fabric was pieced, it was sandwiched with the backing and batting. I used cotton fabric for both the piecing and the backing, and used 100% cotton batting. You could spray baste or pin baste the layers together.
I used BSR Mode 2 to complete this project because I was quilting with soft curves and running lines. If I had chosen to quilt with a design that had points or corners in the design, such as leaves or flowers, I would have used BSR 1 because the needle moves all the time and that would allow me to get the extra stitch in each point.
My machine setup for free motion with BERNINA Stitch Regulator.
- BERNINA Stitch Regulator #42
- BSR Mode 2
- Straight stitch
Place the first bag side under the foot with Needle Stop Down engaged and begin to move the fabric as you quilt.
I quilted with a medium size stipple or meander on the white background fabric.
When I finished that first section, I started quilting on the red background fabric portion using a wavy line. This will be the bottom of the bag.
The stitch even looks great from the back.
After completing the quilting on the one bag side, I then completed the quilting on the other side of the bag in the same way.
Use your favorite bag pattern to trim bag sides and then insert the zipper.
I then folded the bag in half and stitched the sides and bottom. I also boxed the bottom corners. And that was it – my bag was complete!
General Tips for the BERNINA Stitch Regulator
- Practice, practice, practice.
- LED light means active. When the red light on foot is on, the BSR will stitch when the fabric is moved.
- If working on lofty batting or thick seams you may want to reduce the presser foot pressure.
- Use the Foot Control or the Start/Stop button to start stitching.
- Three interchangeable soles can be used.
- BSR has 2 modes. Mode 1 is used for designs with points and corners. Mode 2 is used for curvy designs and ruler work.