Monday, January 18, 2010

Bernina Magnifier

This is my wonderful magnifying glass that neatly sits in the arm on my machine, a Bernina 730. It also fits on my 200 and 630. The 180 needed to have the arm retrofitted and installed.

There are 3 strengths, 5, 6, and 7. I am using the 6 now because I misplaced the 5 and the 7 is a bit too strong, but in a year or so I'll no doubt be glad I have it.

The lenses can be tilted to get the very best view. They are high quality so you don't get the motion sickness effect that I get with many others. I was terribly hesitant to buy these, but, reassured I could return them, I took them home, put them on my machine and was able to finish my miniature quilt, "A Visit to Provence," with ease. I can quilt faster because I can see so well.

One tip is to establish the quilting size before you put the magnifier on. Otherwise you will be making designs much smaller than you think.

Check with your machine's website or ask your dealer what would work for you. There are generics, stick-ons, free standing magnifiers. There are probably magnifiers you wear on some kind of head device. I like mine because it is so easy to pop it on or off, and it doesn't distort.

I don't use it for everything. I like to see an area for a big design so I know where to place it, how to build it. If it is a marked line, it can be done with a magnifier but be careful not to look at the needle. Look ahead of it but the magnifier will show you your stitches perfectly so you will know if the tension is correct, stitches even, etc.

I was doing some little clamshell samples in the photo above, about 1/4" in size, and the magnifier made them sooooooo easy. Without it they became irregular and not precise. Plus I got a headache trying to see them, and my neck muscles tightened up.

As I quilted the clamshells, every time I touched the center of the clamshell below I made a point to blink my eyes. Wow, I don't think I was blinking enough before; this made a very nice difference in how my eyes felt.

I don't buy many accessories for cutting, marking, sewing, quilting, but a few like the magnifier have become a necessity for me.

The sun came out today in Wisconsin after a week of deep dank gloom and fog over the mountains of snow. Things seem better now.

Keep quilting, your work gets better every day.


SewCalGal said...

Great post. I think I'm at the point where I need to buy one of these. Thanks for inspiring!


Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing this information...I was wondering what the magnifier looked like after reading your previous post. I have an older Bernina (1530) so I'm going to check for a generic for that one and will definitely have it on my list when I purchase a newer Bernina model...hopefully soon!

Diane Gaudynski said...

I was VERY hesitant to buy this but it is engineered wonderfully, works like a dream. I would grab it if the house were on fire. Well, maybe not, but I do depend on it to keep my quilting quality where I want it to be, and to spare my poor eyes. My body is also relaxed when I use it so my muscles don't get achey. And if it doesn't work out for your particular situation/vision be sure you ask about returning it.

Sally said...

Thank you for the magnifier information. I'm going to call my Bernina dealer tomorrow. Too bad you can't use with with older models (and machines by other companies). Sally

Marsha said...

I have these also and would not be without them, especially for machine applique. I'm still on the 5 but closing in on the 6!

Barb said...

This is great. I was wishing for just this kind of thing yesterday at the machine. I couldn't find the perfect vision point with my progressive bi-focals. You are so right about the blinking, especially if you have dry-eye syndrome like me.
I'll have to see if I can get one for a Viking, I'm tempted to switch back to Bernina for this alone!
thanks, Diane

Diane Gaudynski said...

Yes, this is a great feature Berninas have. I don't wear bi-focals but do have the entire lens as my reading prescription; much easier to quilt that way. I do wear my glasses when I use the magnifier. And absolutely the magnifier would be fabulous for doing machine applique!

Anne said...

I love mine. I use the 5, I'm not mature enough to use the 6 or 7. My piecing is LOTS better when I use it and I don't generally use it for quilting unless the design is small, then it's fabulous.

Joyce said...

I really need a magnifier but I have a Pfaff. Do you think it would fit?

Diane Gaudynski said...

It isn't for a Pfaff, but there are generics available that will stick to your machine or be attached somehow, and free standing ones (like floor lights) and those would work with your Pfaff.

Ask at your dealer, show him the photo. Perhaps Pfaff has one available for their machines, or you can find one you like that works for all machines.

Bernina really thought this out and had the holder for it built into the machine so if you ever wanted one it is all set for it. Many never need this, and I had no idea what the cute little "thingie" on my machine would actually be for a magnifier. I knew something had to fit into it but did not know what until I inquired. I'm also not sure all models have this.

It really helps me, I love it.