Sewing Machine Soap Opera!

If you follow my blog, you know that my Bernina 350 SE Tula Pink (Tula) is my beloved main sewing machine that I use for apparel, piecing and applique. When I discovered Esther Aliu applique patterns 2 1/2 years ago, I was besotted. Tula made machine stitching applique a dream and I have only fallen more in love with applique with each pattern I stitch up.

You all know how much I sew! This perky little machine has stitched her heart out for me!

Tula, Jan 2018, purchased gently used.

So here I am, 8 weeks out from taking Tula into the shop and I have not been able to take a single applique stitch! True, I have completed FMQ on two major and one small quilting projects on my Tiara in that time. But that is now all caught up and I am itching to get back to applique.

Late last week, I dropped by the shop to hear the latest update on Tula. I knew when she broke down that it would be a long wait. The pandemic caused repair shop closure from mid-March through July and there was a machine repair back log. Tula needed a motherboard replacement and this required ordering an out of stock part from the factory, which took 4 weeks.

The part was replaced, but alas, did not solve the problem. When this happens to a Bernina, the local repair shop sends the machine to the factory for evaluation. This means another MONTH (or more!) without my lovely little machine. Is she repairable?

I now have a loaner, a pre-owned Bernina 560 that has more electronics than Tula. I plugged her in this evening and have already found my favorite blanket stitch, ran a test and *Squee* did some actual applique of some stems on my Love Entwined project in the morning.

Applique on the loaner.

While I was at the shop, I asked about the Bernina B480 SE (SE stands for Special Edition), which I had seen advertised in their monthly flyer a few days earlier. SE machines (like my Tula) have pretty faces, special features, and additional accessories. They also are offered at special screaming reduced prices and are limited editions. The shop checked and there were 2 – yes two! – left in our region. A small deposit enabled me to order one for a one week trial. And now I await her arrival.

Will Tula return in the future? Will she have a sister when she returns? What am I going to name this girl if I keep her? (Hubby says, of course you will keep her!). So much drama!

Happy quilting, all, and may your machines all run smoothy.



  1. Hi Linnea! Oh, the B480 is nice looking. I think you may need to prepare yourself that Tula may not be able to come back home. I am thrilled that you’ve found a loaner and even a potential replacement – you enjoy applique so much. I have found I am doing more and more applique but not to the extent of Esther’s patterns! I hope it all works out perfectly. Thanks for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne


    1. I am a realist! So yes, I now have the 480 and am putting her through her paces. She has some nice features not on my Tula, including being able to do the blanket stitch from either side of the applique! That is a time and bother saver. It will be a couple months before I learn Tula’s ultimate fate. But sewing goes on in the meantime.


  2. Lennea, I just got a B480 Bernina 2 weeks ago! The woman who sold her to me can’t sew at all any longer, so I got her for a song! Not a special edition, but she’s my very first Bernina! I haven’t taken a single stitch on her yet; my Koala cabinet is completely covered in junk!
    I do need to buy the insert for this machine; the one I have is for my Brother Dream Machine.
    I’m very glad you like the 480, it makes me happy I took a leap of faith and bought mine!


  3. Oh Lennea it’s almost as bad as breaking ones wrist when ones machine goes in for repair and does not come back for weeks on end. I bought my self a Views Choice with the wide throat to learn machine quilting because my wrist don’t bend like they use to and my thumbs can not hold any thing firmly but I so want to finish some of my quilt tops. Of course I have not quilted any thing? first it was visitors , then I needed to set a extension table around the machine! more visitors, then house work and garden kept getting in the road, more visitors, then finally had all machine in place place tidy so I could sew and Hubby started to line my craft room yesterday after 7 years?????? Nope I can not win!!!!
    Hope you fall in love with the new machine?


    1. Busy lady! the pandemic is still keeping us from having visitors. I got my quilting all caught up, though, without my Bernina on hand. Now I must bind them all. Also rearranging my sewing space, moving from to a larger area in the basement. Hoping to get back to LE2 before too long.


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