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Thread: Bernina (Grace) quilt frame with Viking Sapphire

  1. #1
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    I posted a few weeks ago asking about the Bernina quilt frame... well, I bought it! Some people have reported some problems with them, but I am very very happy. No more spray basting of quilts before FMQ. No more tired arms from moving a heavy queen quilt while FMQ. And especially, no repeat of my recent wrinkled-batting disaster.

    The frame is sturdy, well constructed, and parts are readily available. Don't try to assemble without instructions, though!

    The Viking Sapphire is a great computerized machine with a 10" throat. I got it a few years ago especially for FMQ. With the Grace frame, however, there is a problem - the Grace speed control and the Grace stitch regulator are not compatible with the Sapphire. I did 3 small quilts with the control on the floor, under my arm, and other very awkward places ... I was pricing various other machines (9" throat) ... then I turned over the foot control and yanked out the rheostat. With a single cable tie, it attaches as a thumb control just above the handle. See picture.

    An added bonus to the Bernina/Grace frame - the storage shelf underneath is just the right height for toddler play time.
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  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Congratulations!

  3. #3
    Junior Member POosterman's Avatar
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    I just sent for the Gace Frame catalog. I can't afford the full blown machines like Gammels and such. This was within my price range and I was wondering if there was someone who owned one that I could chat with about it. Does it move smoothly?

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    More details -

    All the work is done standing up.... I like it this way, and it is very "kid proof".
    FMQ goes faster, I am not sure how much faster though.
    At the highest speed, the machine shakes. Do they all do this? Any advice appreciated.
    I have slightly better control seated with the fabric hand held. I have the machine up on blocks to get my face a little closer to the fabric, but still need more practice or something.

    Also, I sewed over a pin and the needle did not break. :-)

    pin sewn onto quilt
    Name:  Attachment-236718.jpe
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Size:  34.4 KB

    reverse of quilt
    Name:  Attachment-236719.jpe
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Size:  39.7 KB

  5. #5
    Super Member Pam H's Avatar
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    Sounds like you got it figured out! You will have a lot of fun!

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    Poosterman ... The grace frame is so smooth! I "test drove" a longarm ($15,000) at a recent quilt event. The longarm is smooth BUT the sewing machine is pretty heavy and has a lot of momentum... could take lots of getting use to and practice. The Grace frame is a huge step up from hand held FMQ.. and cost is well under $1000.

    I got my frame used, BTW, and I feel that used would be the way to go on these. Check craigslist. If you have a choice, the metal Grace frames are probably better for the long term.

  7. #7
    Junior Member POosterman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, very helpful!

  8. #8
    Senior Member sandilee's Avatar
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    I am so envious! You will do well with this. Don;t forget to show us your projects!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wendys Quilts's Avatar
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    My machine use to bounce alot. I found that it was sitting on an uneven floor. When I moved it to another location, the bouncing stopped. you might check to see if it is level????

  10. #10
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000projects
    ... then I turned over the foot control and yanked out the rheostat. With a single cable tie, it attaches as a thumb control just above the handle. See picture.
    I did that too - sort of. I was able to buy just that part from my dealer's repair man and now have it permanently mounted to my frame. I just move the machine when FMQing.

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