There is a shortage of face masks for key workers and medics at the moment, so how do we, the public, protect ourselves without contributing to the shortage?
Easy – make your own!
There are numerous patterns available online but there’s no point in making a mask unless it’s effective.
Let’s just qualify that by saying that nothing you can make on your sewing machine at home will be as effective as an N95 respirator which filters out 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. It is, however, possible to make a fabric mask that can be up to 60-80% effective.
Scientists have been researching the effectiveness of everyday materials and have tested all sorts of things from HEPA furnace filters, vacuum cleaner bags, coffee filters, fabrics, scarves and bandanas.
Now here’s the good news for quilters.
Tests performed at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., showed good results for homemade masks using quilting fabric. Dr. Segal, of Wake Forest Baptist Health, who led the study, noted that quilters tend to use high-quality, high thread count cotton. The best homemade masks in his study were as good as surgical masks or slightly better, testing in the range of 70 to 79 percent filtration. Homemade masks that used flimsier fabric tested as low as 1 percent filtration, Dr Segal said.
One of the best-performing designs was a mask constructed of two layers of high-quality, heavyweight “quilter’s cotton.
If you want to be sure you’re using the best fabric available to you, try this simple test:
“Hold it up to a bright light,” said Dr. Scott Segal, chairman of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health who recently studied homemade masks. “If light passes really easily through the fibers and you can almost see the fibers, it’s not a good fabric. If it’s a denser weave of thicker material and light doesn’t pass through it as much, that’s the material you want to use.”
Try the Art Gallery range of fabrics
One of the best fabric ranges we have available for face masks is the Art Gallery range. This superior quality fabric has a high thread count and fine weave. 100% premium cotton that is as soft and smooth you can get. An explosion of colour and designto make some eye-catching masks. AGF Fabrics are OEKO-TEX certified which means they only use safe inks for your skin and the planet.
Please bear in mind that home-made masks are not intended to replace or compete with high-grade medical masks.
Any face mask is better than no face mask! There is little doubt that wearing a mask can help to reduce the spread of coronavirus by blocking outgoing germs from coughs or sneezes of an infected person.
If you’re new to sewing and you need a machine, have a look at the Bernette range. Reasonably priced, reliable, long-lasting and easy to use.
Bernina have created a series of tutorials to help you get the most from your Bernina Q20 longarm quilting machine.
Take a Tour of the Bernina Q20 User Interface
Discover in this video how to use all of the on- screen features of the Bernina Q20 Longarm Quilting machine. This tutorial shows you the power saving Eco Mode, the quick tutorial interface with on-screen help animations, calculator and the stitch counter.
Have a look at Preparing to Stitch
This video will show you how to prepare your machine for the first stitches. You can watch step by step how to attach the upper and optional horizontal spool holders, how to insert the needle and attach the presser foot, how to thread the machine, wind and thread the bobbin.
Bernina have provided a host of other videos to guide you through using your Bernina Q20, but the best way to make friends with your longarm quilting machine is to give us a call and arrange to pop down to Devon for a hnds-on tutorial with Katherine.
Give us a call if you’d like to know more about the Bernina Q20 or the Bernina Q24. We’re here to help.
Bernina have created a series of tutorials to help you get the most from your Bernina Q24 longarm quilting machine.
Start with a step-by-step guide to setting up the Bernina Q24 frame
See how to assemble the frames, how to attach the centre and dead bar, as well as carriage tracks, rail supports and quilt top rail, the backing and take up rails. See the machine placed and secured on the carriage tracks and watch final steps to finish the frame assembly making it ready for use.
Learn how to load the backing fabric
Details of how to load the backing fabric and the quilt top onto the frame leaders.Tighten the backing fabric using the side clamps, followed by step by step instructions to install and smooth the batting and baste all the layers using the BSR3 basting function.
Bernina have provided a host of other videos to guide you through using your Bernina Q24, but the best way to make friends with your longarm quilting machine is to give us a call and arrange to pop down to Devon for a hands-on tutorial with Katherine.
Give us a call if you’d like to know more about theBernina Q24 or the Bernina Q20. We’re here to help.
You want a longarm quilting machine, and you want the best, so we know you want a Bernina! But which one?
Here’s all you need to know about the difference between the Bernina Q20 and the Bernina Q24 longarm quilting machines.
Both machines offer:
|Hook system||M Class Rotary Hook|
|Colour touchscreen||4.3” (109 mm)|
|Illumination of full arm length||50 LEDs|
|Thread tension||Electronically/digitally adjustable|
|Presser foot lift||Electronic|
|Upper thread break sensor||x|
|BERNINA Stitch Regulator functionality||Dual Stitch Regulators|
|Connection (basic)||USB host / slave|
|Connection (additional purpose)||HDMI|
|Sewing speed maximum||2,200 spm|
|Stitch length minimum||1.05 mm (24 Stitches per inch)|
|Stitch length maximum||25.4 mm (1 Stitch per inch)|
|Bobbin Thread Indicator||x|
|On-board bobbin winder||x|
|Compatible with domestic machine needles||x|
|Compatible with BERNINA free-motion feet||x|
The Bernina Q24 Longarm Quilting machine is Bernina’s first longarm quilting machine and features a full 24″ 61cm of quilting space from the needle to the back of the machine. The unique threading path, thread stand, handwheel and machine controls are all located at the front of the machine right where you need them.
The BERNINA Q24 Longarm Quilting Machine is available in three frame sizes:
- Large – 13’ (4.00m). Accommodates quilts up to 120″ (3.05m)
- Classic – 12’ (3.60m). Accommodates quilts up to 108″ (2.75m)
- Small – 9’ (2.75m). Accommodates quilts up to 70″ (1.80m)
The large and classic models both feature Q-Matic, BERNINA’s state-of-the-art system for automated quilting
The BERNINA Frame is strong and smart
- Adjustable foot pads for perfect levelling
- Continuous X and Y-axis track system with no joints
- Angled tracks and wheel axles for accurate and smooth movement of the sewhead to allow even quilting
- Friction-free 16-wheel system
- Leg system for maximum stability
- Multi-step ratchet system for perfect fabric tension
- Integrated latch system for maximum fabric holding power, yet easy release
- Pivot pick-up of magnetically-secured top rail, which allows fabric separation to smooth batting
- Dead bar for perfect fabric height no matter the length of your quilt
- Large diameter rails eliminate rail flex when tensioning the quilt
- Heavy duty canvas leaders with positioning markings for years of quilt loading ease
- Spacious pantograph tabletop to easily align your rolled patterns
- 4 bungee clamps to align every quilt to perfection
- Convenient tool trays for your longarm quilting tools
Other BERNINA Q24 features include:
- BERNINA Longarm Stitch Regulation
Master hand-guided quilting quickly with the assistance of the integrated BERNINA Stitch Regulator. The BERNINA Longarm Stitch Regulator is simple to activate and simple to customize using the machine’s touch screen. Set the stitch length as preferred for a variety of quilting styles. The BERNINA Longarm Stitch Regulator keeps the stitch length consistent even at variable stitching speeds. Choose between three stitch regulation modes, including a basting mode or a fully manual mode.
- Unique user interface
BERNINA brings the best of the domestic machine world to the longarm world with a simple to navigate, colour touch screen. Totally customizable, it includes useful functionalities like a stitch counter and built-in tutorial.
- Unique threading path and integrated bobbin winder
The forward position of the thread stand is easy to reach and the threading path simple to follow. The integrated bobbin winder is just one of the small details that make this machine unique.
- Unique ergonomics
The unique and fully articulating handles can be moved to just the right position for all of your quilting needs. Whether stitching edge-to-edge, custom motifs or ruler work the handles can be adjusted for visibility and comfort. Program each of the buttons on each handle to keep frequently used functions at your fingertips. Edge-to-edge/pantograph style quilt designs can be easily guided with the optional rear handle system and screen.
- Unique tension control
The BERNINA Q24 Longarm models offer the industry’s only presser foot tension release for threading ease. The exclusive tension system features numeric tension settings making it very easy to use a variety of thread types with success.
With 2,200 stitches per minute for hand-guided quilting, you will complete more quilts more quickly than ever.
- LED lighting
LED lighting along the length of the machine and above the needle illuminates the quilt for enhanced visibility.
View the Bernina Q24 longarm quilting machine range on our website and give us a call to arrange a vist to test drive one of these marvellous machines or find out more about the Q20 sit-down range
The BERNINA Q20 longarm quilting machine comes standard as a sit-down model machine with the choice of three tables. These tables are designed to elegantly handle the speed and weight of the Q20 for optimal performance with style.
Classic lines combined with functionality expandable work space with discreet storage.
Table size basic: 0.91 × 1.15 m (approximately 36″ × 45″)
Table size expanded: 0.91 × 1.96 m (approximately 36″ × 77″)
Working height: 0.75 m (approximately 30″)
Total weight incl. Q 20: 120 kg (265 lbs)
Generous storage space
Colour White Oak
Upgradeable to frame
The RMF – European designed for functionality and style.
Table size : 0.90 × 1.6 m (approximately 36″ × 63″)
Variable working height: 0.82m to 1.28m (approximately 32″ – 50″)
Total weight incl. Q 20: 125 kg (275 lbs)
Generous storage space with 2 generous storage drawers as well as extended workspace around you.
Upgradeable to frame
The Foldable Table – for optimal performance & style
Table size: 0.91m x 1.15m (approximately 36″ x 45″)
Manage larger quilts with full comfort
Handle speed & weight of the Q 20 with ease
Perfect for limited space & easily stored away
Bernina Q20 Longarm Quilting Machine Features
- Easy hand-guided quilting – The integrated BERNINA Longarm Stitch Regulator ensures perfect stitches at equal-length no matter which speed you move the fabric. A manual mode with no stitch regulation is also available.
- Unique user interface – Includes five user profiles, a stitch counter, built-in tutorials.
- Quilting without foot control -The KickStart function allows continuous quilting without the foot control. Easily activated or deactivated via touch screen.
- Fast threading and winding – Easy to reach spool holders and forward threading path. Convenient on-board bobbin winder.
- Unique thread tension control – Exclusive tension system with numeric tension settings for easy use of a wide range of thread types.
- High-speed precision stitching – Up to 2.200 stitches per minute, enabling you to fly through projects.
- Front Operating – The handwheel in the front allows for easy manual needle positioning.
- Excellent Lighting – 50 bright LED lights along the throat space of the machine and above the needle illuminate the quilt for enhanced visibility.
View the Bernina Q20 longarm quilting machine range on our website and give us a call to arrange a vist to test drive one of these marvellous machines
We live in strange times and the current pandemic has created an unprecedented need for personal face masks. There is a global shortage of these masks and our “Make Do and Mend” attitude has seen a plethora of home-made face masks around and about. Some of these have been ingenious, incredibly creative and in some cases downright funny!
However we all know that Covid-19 is not a joke and we need to take it seriously. That’s why we’re pleased to share this lovely and practical face mask pattern, designed and made by Paula Doyle of Green Mountain Quilting.
Paula received advice from a lymphatic nurse and a doctor at Royal Surrey, before coming up with this design.
This face mask is totally washable and has side loops built in for ties or replacement bands. There is also the option to insert a dry wipe into the internal pocket for extra protection,
Paula recommends a batik fabrics to make the mask if possible, because batiks are lightweight and have a finer hand than other fabrics, while at the same time being tightly woven.
Don’t have a sewing machine?
We can help. The Bernette range from Bernina is the perfect entry level sewing machine for newbies. Bernina quality and prices from £199.
B33 is a basic model particularly suited for beginners with little experience.
B35 has a total of 23 stitches and 7 presser freet (soles).
B37 is a computerised model with an extensive range of helpful functions and impressive stitch quality.
B38 is the top model in the series offering everything creative sewists need.
Looking for something a little more sophisticated?
The Bernina 3 Series is a line of easy-to-use sewing machines, specifically designed for beginners and intermediate sewers who want a machine with top design standards and cutting-edge technology. Small enough to fit into any sewing nook or cranny, yet powerful enough to stitch through your toughest materials and ideas. Simple, user friendly machines built to last a lifetime.
About the Corona Personal Facemask:
Wearing a face mask may not prevent you from acquiring coronavirus in a high-risk situations.
Fabric face masks are worn to protect other people from the person wearing the mask. Wearing a fabric mask in public where social distancing might be compromised, such as supermarkets and pharmacies might slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
We loved the idea of using the new Emoji’s die by Accuquilt and enlisted the boys to get creative. Starting with an ‘Emoji’ yellow and black cotton as well as a small palette of colours (all backed with Steam a Seam2 lite) the boys imagination was unleashed, the Accuquilt Go! is so easy to use, we were able to leave them to be creative, in no time we had lots of fun designs to use.
The boys decided they would like to make draw string kit bags with them as they wanted to show their creations off to their friends. just look at the results!
Steam a Seam2 Lite is perfect for projects like this as once the backing paper is removed you are left with a slightly tack surface allowing you to place and reposition the components and no fear of shifting. After cutting backing fabric to the correct size they positioned their Emoji’s and steamed them into position.
Note. For gum free needles; Make sure that Steam a Seam 2 Lite is seamed for 20 seconds. I found that a child’s 20 seconds is different to my 20 seconds!
To be sure that our designs would not pucker while being stitched to the backing fabric we used a Stitch N Tear Stabiliser, then used zig zag stitch in black or invisible thread around the edges of the appliqué shapes.
Below see our finished kit bags, the boys are very proud !
Products we used for the project:
So…….. Welcome to our first blog post about learning to quilt. I am Charlie, one of three members from Quilt Direct who are keen to learn about all things quilting and the tools we pack into parcels for our customers everyday.
Our early sessions have been about ‘half square triangles’. Having tried out different methods of creating half square triangles over several sessions, we all agree that using triangles-on-a-roll is a favourite with us all and we chose it to work on our first project.
This product has easy follow instructions printed on the roll (so no losing them). The complex series of dashed lines were quite scary to begin with but Katherine led us through pinning our fabrics to the paper (right sides together) and we were soon away.
Everyone was able to follow the lines and within a short time we unbelievably all had 16 completed (& perfect) half square triangle units!
We then had to decide on a layout for the block, as none of us had ever done this before it was quite baffling.
We had great fun deciding upon a layout for our own block. In order to finish our project in time for Valentine’s Day 2019, we had help from Katherine to turn the blocks into a quilt and then quilt it using the Bernina Q20, see our video above.
Here’s the finished item ! We hope that you like our first team effort.
Using this method we learnt:
- Do not pin over the sewing/cutting lines.
- Use a shorter stitch length to (about 1.6mm) to perforate the paper so that it may be easily removed.
- When removing paper hold the narrow side of the seam, start the rip, remove large section first.
- When squares are complete pile them all the same way. Stay organised!!!!
- Set all your seams and press to the dark side.
Products we learnt more about during this project:
Bernina Sewing Machines celebrate their 125th anniversary in 2018.
To mark this milestone Bernina produced some fantastic limited edition anniversary products. As 2018 draws to a close don’t miss the opportunity to own some of these fantastic products.
Out of stock at the time of writing – please use the link above to get notified when back in stock.
Jubilee Ruler Panel Guide by Amanda Murphy
OESD Jubilee Designs USB by Amanda Murphy
There’s also a fab free Star Jubilee pattern available here
See the video with details of this fantastic collection
Contact Quilt Direct on 01822 810877 to find out more about this and other products