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Festival of Quilts is just a week away

The Festival of Quilts is the largest patchwork & quilting event in Europe, and it takes place from the 6th – 9th August at the NEC in Birmingham. The show welcomes everyone from complete beginners to professional makers and with over 1000 quilts on display, you can’t help but feel inspired by the dazzling colour and intricately made quilts. There are more than 300 exhibitors so you can shop for beautiful fabrics, quilt patterns and accessories, and if you want to treat yourself to a new sewing machine visit BERNINA on stand A10. There are hundreds of masterclasses, workshops and lectures to choose from, plus professionally curated Galleries from leading International textile artists.

Traditional, modern and art quilts are all represented and you’ll see every quilting technique you can think of. Immerse yourself in fabric and try your hand at a new method. Expert help is everywhere and you’ll leave full of great ideas and inspired to get making!

Scroll down to see some pictures from last year's event.

Longarm machines to be launched at FoQ

BERNINA is to use Festival of Quilts to launch two new Longarm quilting machines – the frame-mounted Q24 and the Q20 sit-down model - both of which will be available in the UK from Autumn and which bring features and technology never before seen in long arm machines.

Designed and manufactured in Switzerland, the BERNINA Longarm machines offer generous depth and height to manage even very large quilts. They are ergonomic, user-friendly and include a number of innovative features. The new Q24 and Q20 Longarm machines provide a substantial 24 inches and 20 inches of quilting space respectively. They come standard with an electronically controlled tension system and a presser foot tension release for threading ease. They come equipped with two BERNINA Longarm Stitch Regulators, one on each side of the stitch holes in the needle plate.

BERNINA Longarm Stitch Regulators are integrated and allow very precise sensing of the machine/fabric movement. In addition, both machines have an intuitive colour touchscreen interface that is simple to navigate, customisable, and includes useful functions like a stitch counter and a built-in tutorial. Other features include programmable handles, a unique threading path, and an integrated bobbin winder.

The BERNINA Longarm machines are simple enough for a beginner to master while offering features and innovations that a professional will appreciate. Whether you are a dedicated hobbyist or starting a home business, the new BERNINA Longarm machines will enable you to complete a greater number of quilts quickly, and confidently.

The BERNINA Q24 Longarm is designed as a frame model machine. Its frame measures 12 feet in length with a 10-foot working area, and is large enough to create a 115-inch quilt. It also features a sturdy single-rail system that is ideal for all quilting needs. The machine's exclusive tension system features numeric settings that make it simple to adjust the thread tension and track a variety of thread types and combinations, and the thread stand is positioned forward to make it easy to reach. Users will also appreciate the machine's ergonomic, programmable handles, which place the most frequently used functions at the fingertips and can be adjusted into a comfortable position for stitching edge-to-edge, micro-stippling, or creating custom designs.

Other features include an M Class Rotary Hook, a sewing speed up to 2,200 stitches per minute, and compatibility with BERNINA's free motion presser feet. Additionally, both new BERNINA Longarm machines use a domestic sewing machine needle for error-free installation and provide the user with a large selection of speciality needles for quilting and other applications, threads and fabrics.

New 7 Series models to make their FoQ debuts

Also on show at Festival of Quilts, will be three new models in BERNINA’s 7-series range including the 770 Quilters edition with dual feed and BSR, and the 720, which is optimised for precision sewing of fine fabrics. The machines offer superior stitch quality up to 1,000 stitches per minute and 254mm (10”) of space to the right of the needle.

The new machines offer cutting-edge technology, up to 254mm (10”) of space to the right of the needle, and the new BERNINA Hook System with 9 or 5.5 mm width to provide superior stitch quality at up to 1,000 stitches per minute. They also feature a new user interface with on-screen help, innovative functions like BERNINA Adaptive Thread Tension for perfect stitch quality on both sides of the fabric, and an increased selection of stitches and embroidery designs. The next generation 7 Series machines are available at authorised BERNINA Dealers around the UK.

The next generation 7 Series machines include BERNINA's best and latest features for sewing, quilting, and embroidery. The machines have been designed for users who demand quality and the technology to explore their full creativity.

The new BERNINA Hook System features a robust metal hook and a Jumbo Bobbin with up to 70% more capacity than standard bobbins. The bobbin case is constructed of high-quality synthetic material reinforced with fibreglass, offering impact resistance and high stability during long runs. The new BERNINA Hook System is exclusive to the new generation 7 Series.

Users will also appreciate the built-in BERNINA Dual Feed, slide-on extension table, high penetration power, and the ability to import and export stitches via USB. Additionally, the new generation 7 Series machines come with the BERNINA Free Hand System (FHS), which allows hands-free raising and lowering of the presser foot as well as lowering of the feed dogs, and a selection of solid BERNINA presser feet to fit their sewing, quilting and embroidery needs.

The BERNINA 790 combines innovative functions and features with plenty of space, high speeds and an extra-large embroidery module. Use the colour touchscreen to effortlessly access all the functions. Discover something new and create your own stitches with the Stitch Designer. Drag and drop to edit embroidery motifs directly on the touchscreen. The fast and quiet BERNINA Hook sews high-precision stitches up to 9 mm in width and with the integrated BERNINA Dual Feed even hard-to-manage and fine fabrics can be sewn easily for superb results.

The BERNINA 770 Quilter's Edition (QE) is a sewing and quilting machine with an optional embroidery module. It comes equipped with a 4.3-inch high-resolution colour touch screen, an updated user interface, and a
programmable foot control. The 770 QE also features the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) and BERNINA Patchwork foot #97D, along with 327 stitches, 50 quilting stitches, and enough memory storage for four personal programs.

The BERNINA 720 combines innovative functions and features with an extra-large work area and intuitive touchscreen control. The extended free-arm offers 254 mm (10”) of space to the right of the needle, and the fast and quiet BERNINA Hook sews high-precision stitches up to 5.5 mm in width for precision sewing even with the finest fabrics. The bobbin holds up to 70 % more thread than standard bobbins, and thanks to the integrated
embroidery function, the B 720 can be easily upgraded with an embroidery module.

Learn more about the BERNINA 7 Series and download free patterns and instructions for sewing projects at


Images from Festival of Quilts

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