My New Favorite Notion: My Magnifier Set

A sewing tip from Annie Smith of Simple Arts and Annie’s Quilting Stash:

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been having a problem with my vision lately. Well – for the past several years, really. (It’s the age thing).

I find that I’m wanting better and brighter lighting, especially as I work on fine details of machine appliqué. The more detailed a quilt piece is, the more light it seems that I need.

The one I’m currently working on has the appliqué on a black background, which makes it just a little more challenging as far as light and lighting is concerned.

bright on black applique sample from Annie Smith

I’m working on a new sample for my upcoming class at the BERNINA Creative Center in April – My Grandmother’s Heart. The sample is filled with beautiful roses, hearts and birds and lots and lots of machine appliqué stitching to be done.

As I was stitching away today, I found that I was getting frustrated with the glasses I’m wearing – I just can’t see as well in them, and I really need to have an eye exam – but no time for it. Do I need more light, one placed on the sewing table behind my machine so I can see more clearly where my edge is?

On a black background, stitching done away from the appliqué is the kiss-of-death. Colors on a black background “pop” as if it were neon like no other background will. So, any stitching that doesn’t hug the edge of the appliqué is a pretty noticeable sign of poor workmanship – something I definitely don’t want to be seen on my sample.

In my frustration, I got up to go and get my desktop light, and right there on the same shelf was a little box that I purchased last year while teaching in North Carolina:

BERNINA Magnifier Lenses

One of my students had the magnifying glass on her BERNINA during class and told me about its virtues with machine appliqué. I stashed it in my suitcase, unpacked it when I returned home, and promptly forgot that I had it.

Well, the figurative light bulb turned on over my head, as I realized that this little, very important, notion for my BERNINA is really what I need, not more light. I screwed the magnifying glass onto the little hook at the front of my machine and stitched.

A-HA!! What a difference!

This is now what I see:

Applique seen under magnifier

Crisp, clear appliqué edges that allow me to stitch exactly where I need to, to create beautiful, precise fine machine appliqué.

The BERNINA Magnifying Lens Set comes with 3 lenses, each of a different power, and the accessories for holding the notion in place on your machine. My Artista 630 came with the magnifier holder already installed. [Check your owner’s manual or ask your local store if this accessory can be used with your machine. – Jo]

The Magnifying Glass attachment just made my work so much easier to create!

One of the many reasons why I love BERNINA!!



9 thoughts on “My New Favorite Notion: My Magnifier Set

    1. Hi, Deb – There’s an attachment base that’ll need to be installed on your B 780 to use the magnifier set; your BERNINA store can order and install this for you. The artista 170 probably has the attachment base already; it’s at the front and came with a little gray cover that may be missing by now. Jo

    1. ptakers you can purchase the Magnifying-lens set, but you may also need the accompanying mounting bracket. Please check in with your BERNINA store for personal help with purchasing the set for your B 330.

  1. Can I use one of the magnifying lens sets on my Bernina 930? With the age of my machine, I guess it’s obvious that I need magnifying lens!! LOL! Thanks

      1. Hello! Please connect with your local BERNINA store to learn more about the magnifier lens and for personal assistance with your machine. The staff is happy to help!

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