My Swiss Red


My sewing journey began when I was 8 years old. My grandmother had taken me to a small beginner class at the local grocery store meeting area. I pieced my first simple blocked baby quilt on her 20 year old Bernina. It was then I was hooked.

I continued to sew while at my grandmothers, making simple things like pillow cases or pouches, and bought my own first machine, a $100 singer off of Amazon. It got me threw piecing quilt tops and small beginner projects, but I still just wanted a Bernina, specifically one that was compatible with the Bernina Stitch Regulator. I had tried the BSR while at a quilt retreat with my aunt and my grandmother. It was what would open my sewing world the be able to complete projects start to finish.

At the time I was a bartender at a local restaurant in the middle of the oil boom; Williston, North Dakota. I began saving all my tip money to be able to buy that years special edition machine. The 530 Swiss Red. It took me a few months, but I ended up meeting my goal earlier than expected and planned on picking up my brand new machine at a Bernina shop in Billings, MT on my way to a quilt retreat at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp on Flathead Lake in Lakeside, MT.

Two days before I was set to take my road trip I got a phone call that my boyfriend had been laid off from his job. Here I was, sitting with $2500 in cash, ready to buy my long awaited first Bernina, and boom. There goes our livelihood. When I got home that day, I didn’t want to bring up how upset I was that I wouldn’t be able to get my machine, not when he had no idea what our future held. It just wasn’t the responsible thing to do. He already knew that was what I was thinking and told me I should get it anyways. I had been saving for months to buy it, and if I didn’t get it now, who knows how long it would be until I would be in the position to buy it again.

So I bought it.

Our life has changed tremendously in a couple short years since then, and we now live in a fifth wheel, traveling for work. But my Bernina has been with me the whole time, and she still is, her name is “Bernie, the traveling Bernina.”



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