I got a Bernina 440 last year and today was the first time I was able to take the Quick Start class. After working 10 hours non-stop yesterday (Friday), I was not really looking forward to sitting in a class all day. But boy was I ever surprised. I learned SO MUCH. For example, did you know...
- Thread made in Europe (Germany, Italy, not sure where else) has a left-handed twist and thread made in the US and Mexico has a right-handed twist? And that Bernina's are calibrated to use the left-handed twist thread? Huh. So some brands I learned about today, besides Mettler/Metrosene and Gutermann which I have used before...Aurafil (Italian), Madeira (German) and Presencia (Spain). So do I throw out my other thread? I don't think so.
- There are different weights of thread, something I recently learned. The bigger the number, the thinner the thread (all polyester thread is 100 wt. I use 50 wt cotton thread for quilting)
- I live in Colorado which is very dry. Thread dries out if it's not used for awhile and should be lubricated, WHAT? I had no idea. There is a product called Sewer's Aid . I bought some.
- Clean the lint from the bobbin case (take it apart) as well as under the stitch plate.
- Needles. I learned a TON about needles. There is a groove on the back (called a scarf), the hole is indicated by the numeric size, Bernina needles are made by Schmetz (just buy Schmetz, they're cheaper). Only use Schmetz or Bernina (Organ needles are too long but you can use them for up and down sewing only (i.e. not zig zag or anything fancy), other needles aren't shaped right), Universals are not sharp, WHAT? Amazing.
I forgot my class included the download of Mastering Your Bernina which is available for PDF download here. Look at the bottom left on this page and click on the 'Mastering Your Bernina Workbooks" link. It's a 200 page manual that includes EVERYTHING that I mentioned above about thread, needles, etc., applicable to all Berninas.