I’ve already written in previous posts (here and here) about my general impressions of the Bernina 780, as well as the low-down on two stand-out features: the Dual Feed and Bernina Stitch Regulator. Now I’m going to talk about the embroidery module. I save this for last because this is the sexy feature. I can’t imagine someone buying this machine and being indifferent to the fact that it can do embroidery.
Large stitch area. The Bernina 780 has a stitch area of 6×10. It comes with hoops in three sizes: a small rectangular hoop, a medium (4” x 5”) rectangular hoop, and a large oval hoop.
Touch screen display. When you’re in embroidery mode, you can use the large touch screen display to browse for designs, assign colors and preview what the design will look like, and adjust size and placement. You can also rotate the design and do other basic edits using the touchscreen display. Size and placement can be adjusted with the touchscreen or with the dials. (I prefer the dials.) The screen shows the placement of the design in the hoop.
I should mention that I did have a couple of hiccups with assigning thread colors. I was able to assign the colors I liked and save the pattern, but when I turned the machine off and loaded the saved design later, the colors were changed. This could very likely have been user error, but I wasn’t able to figure the cause.
Preloaded designs and alphabets. It comes preloaded with a number of designs, as well as some alphabets. Preloaded alphabets include …. It seemed odd to me that, while there were a number of sans serif fonts as well as one script font, there was no serif font preloaded on the machine.
USB port. While the machine comes with a selection of preloaded designs, most likely you’ll want to purchase designs of your own choosing. The USB port makes it easy to transfer designs from your computer to the machine.
Beautiful, even stitches. This is probably the most important aspect of the embroidery module. Such pretty, pretty stitches. And I didn’t have a single problem with tension!
Easy to mix up bobbins. Machine embroidery requires a special kind of thread in the bobbin, called bobbin fill. It looks just like regular thread, so it’s easy to get your bobbin fill mixed up with your regular sewing thread. It would be nice if Bernina made bobbins in different colors so you could easily distinguish between the types of thread.
While I had the Bernina 780 in my studio, I managed to make a couple of embroidered projects. First, a set of doll-sized pillowcases (using this tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts), personalized with each doll’s name.
Second, a set of fancy towels for my daughter’s bathroom. I downloaded the Social Butterflies design pack from Embroidery Library and stitched them out on to some inexpensive towels from Target. My daughter loves them! While I was at it, I embroidered another butterfly on to a piece of knit fabric that I’ll use to make a shirt for my daughter.
You can read more about the embroidery module, and even check out some video tutorials showing it in action, over at the Bernina site.