Ten Features of the BERNINA Q24 Longarm Quilting Machine in an overview

BERNINA Brand Ambassador John Kubiniec tested the BERNINA Q24 Longarm Quilting Machine and shares his favorite ten features.

 

Last year I had the privilege of traveling to Steckborn, Switzerland to be a tester for the new BERNINA Q20 and Q24 longarm machines that were being developed. It was love at first sight—yes, with Switzerland but really with the Q24 and Q20 Longarms.

 

BERNINA Factory in Steckborn Switzerland 

There are many great features on this machine and I would like to share with you my top ten that make set it apart from all the others.

 

Uses regular needles

This longarm uses conventional sewing machine needles that have a flat shank. No more need to determine if your needle is in straight—simply insert the needle, tighten it, thread the machine and off you go. This feature also helps to make an easy transition from a domestic machine to the longarm—no need to learn a new set of needle numbering.

 

BERNINA Sewing Machine Needles

 

In addition something this longarm can do that others can’t—it can use double needles!  Yes that’s right—just imagine all the fun you can have. 

 

Uses BERNINA Feet 

The longarm uses the same locking mechanism for feet that the domestic machines have. This means that any hopping foot you use for quilting on your domestic machine can be used on this machine. In addition a new 96 foot has been developed for ruler work.

 

BERNINA_Darning_Foot

BERNINA Darning Foot #9

 

Threads easily

The threading path on this machine makes threading a breeze. Threading and changing thread is so easy.  And because it loves all kinds of thread, you naturally want to use all sorts of thread. The ease of threading makes it easy to switch back and forth. (Add an extra thread stand on top of the machine and keep all your favorites for a particular quilt right at your fingertips.)

 

Threading the BERNINA Longarm Machine

 

A horizontal side spool is also available.

 

Adjustable and programmable handles

The handles adjust up and down, in and out, and they twist and turn. It is easy to change handle position to improve ergonomics and also improve sight lines.

 BERNINA Q24 close up with red and grey quilt---handles up 

Q24 close up with red and grey quilt---handles down_post

 

In addition there are four programmable buttons so that you can customize the handles. Programmable functions include: needle up/down, foot up/down, speed up/slow down, on/off, and tie off.

 

BERNINA Q Series Interface Handles

 

Interface

For people that own BERNINA 8 Series and newer BERNINA 7 Series machines the interface (screen functions) will look very familiar—making this a very easy transition.

 

BERNINA Q Series Interface home

 

Also included are helpful instructions and videos that answer many common questions about threading, maintenance, bobbin winding, etc.

 

BERNINA Q Series Maintenance Interface

 

Oiling the BERNINA Q Series

 

Digital Tension

One amazing feature of this machine is the Digital Tension—from 0 to 10 in .25 increments. The default setting should be fine for most threads but you can easily adjust the top tension as needed on the screen. 

 

BERNINA Q Series Tension Control

 

On-board bobbin winder

A bobbin winder is located conveniently at the front of the machine. Easily wind bobbins while you are right at the machine. It uses the larger M size bobbins giving you plenty of bobbin thread.

 

Winding a Bobbin with the BERNINA Q Series

 

Sturdy Frame

The frame is and sturdy ensuring that the machine can move with ease and without any wobbles. The poles that hold the quilt backing and top are solid and won’t bow or bend and the pole that holds the quilt top easily lifts so that you can adjust the batting between the quilt layers.BERNINA Q24 on full frame

 A great storage shelf is available as an add-on as well. 

 BERNINA Q24 Shelving for Storage

 

In addition there are great storage trays that hook onto the frame to store your various tools, and there will be a hydraulic lift available to make adjusting the height of the frame a breeze.

 

BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR)

The longarm has the renowned BERNINA Stitch Regulator (which is presently celebrating its 10th Anniversary), which has been adapted for the longarm. The machine has three Modes: BSR 1 and BSR 2 and they function in the same manner as on the domestic machines, it also features BSR 3—which is a basting stitch, as well as a Manual Mode.  

 

Q24_Display_BSR 1_Mode

 

The sensors are located in the stitch plate and the fabric moves over the sensors. Because of this the machine glides and moves smoothly when using the stitch regulator. The machine can stitch 2200 stitches per minute—yes, when you crank this machine up it can really fly!

 BERNINA Q24 Longarm Sensors for FMQ

 

Lighting

The machine head has stellar LED lighting that runs the full length of the machine head.  You will not be lacking for good lighting with this machine.

  BERNINA Q Series LED Lighting

 

These are ten of my favorite features, there are many more, but I believe these are some that help set this machine apart from all the others. Many of these features also are true of the Q20 Table Model. Take one of these for a test drive and see how wonderful they are—find them at a quilt show or visit a BERNINA store near you who is carrying the machine. 

 

BERNINA Q24 Test Drive

Class at BERNINA Sewing Centre, Lake Mary, FL—January 2015

 

Once you try it I think you will also fall in love with it. 

Dream Big with the BERNINA Q24

 

2 thoughts on “Ten Features of the BERNINA Q24 Longarm Quilting Machine in an overview

  1. I have had my Q20 with table (unfortunately, I don’t have room for a frame) for a while now and each time I use it I fall even more in love with it. I have never had a tension issue and it sews like a dream. I love how responsive the BSR is with two sensors and the fact that I can use the same free motion feet as my 880. Also, the screen is very similar to my 880 and I can use the same needles. For someone who had never worked with a long arm before, I was able to use and quilt with my Q20 as soon as I received it. Now I can quilt all my tops and know I made them from beginning to end. ~ Carol S.

  2. One huge advantage the Q24 has over competitors that I haven’t seen mentioned is the superior ergonomics of the Bernina frame design for doing custom work, especially ruler work, from the front of the machine. Several of your competitors’ frames are equally sturdy, but have the quilt top roller positioned at the top of the frame, above the surface of the quilt and just inside where the backing roller is positioned. This creates two problems. First, the quilter is always reaching over the quilt top roller to operate the machine, and during ruler work, reaching over the quilt top roller to hold a ruler puts the quilter’s wrist at an unnatural angle that could lead to aches, pains, and even carpal tunnel syndrome after long hours operating the machine. Second, the position of the quilt top roller above and inside the backing roller on competitors’ frames also creates a “dead zone” of about 6” all along the front of the frame between the back edge of the backing roller and the furthest reach of the needle before the throat of the machine hits the pickup roller at the back of the frame. Not only does that require the quilter to reach farther away from the body than is comfortable (resulting in additional body aches and visits to the chiropractor), but the quilter also has less control of the machine when having to reach and quilt an area farther away from their center of gravity. I wish these frame differences had been pointed out to me when I was comparing longarm machines prior to purchase — then I might have a Bernina Q24 in my studio right now instead of the brand I ended up purchasing!

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