Bernina Longarm Studio Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

We require that all renters complete a one time certification class. You will learn how to thread the machine, wind a bobbin, attach your zipper leaders and load your quilt. We will go over free motion quilting and pantographs. We will always have a staff member in the studio during your rentals, the certification will allow you to come into your first rental prepared to be successful. Certification classes are on our website. If there are none available, that means all classes are full. Please check back later or call the store for more information.

How do I sign up to rent?

You can sign up on our website. If that is not an option for you, please call the store and we will help you get signed up. You may reserve your rental time (for after your certification class) as soon as you have signed up for the certification. We look forward to seeing you soon!

What does it cost?

Hand guided (no computer) long arm machines are $25/hour with a 3 hour minimum. If you schedule both 3 hour blocks in a day, you may choose to continue over the lunch hour at no extra charge. Computerized Q-Matic long arm rental is $35/hour with a 3 hour minimum. If you schedule both 3 hour blocks in a day, the same offer applies – you may choose to continue over the lunch hour at no extra charge.

What rental times are available?

Currently the studio is open for rentals on Tuesday mornings, Wednesday mornings and afternoons and Saturday mornings and afternoons. Friday mornings are available for Qmatic certification/first rental.

What if the current rental times available just don’t work for me?

Talk to us, we are open to feedback about what days work for people. If you have at least two people renting (who have completed certification), we are happy to set up a custom time just for you, including evening hours.

How do I load my quilt?

We use zipper leaders that allow you to easily remove your project and re-load it another day. You will learn how to do this during the certification class and we have created a video to help refresh your memory: Zipper Leaders as well as a downloadable guide

What can I get done?

Most of our renters have been bringing throw size quilt tops for their first project and have been finishing them, whether using free motion or pantographs. The time to complete a computerized edge to edge pattern varies, depending on the size and shape of the design being stitched, some are much faster than others. We made a video on attaching your zipper leaders to your project so that you can do that ahead of time if you like – saving you time in the studio. The beauty of the zipper leaders is that it is very easy to take a project off and bring it back to finish another day if you do not finish it.

What if I’m not finished at the end of my rental time?

If the machine is not reserved for the time slot after yours, we can usually accommodate extending your rental time.  $25/hour for hand guided or $35/hour for Qmatic (charged in half hour increments)

Free motion or pantograph?

You can choose to free motion quilt or use a pantograph. Free motion can feel intimidating, but a simple loops and swirls or meander is a great way to get comfortable with the machine and finish a quilt quickly. Pantographs have a bit of a learning curve, but we have several to choose from with varying levels of difficulty and we are happy to guide you through it step by step and we are always right there to help. If you want a sneak peek of how we do them, our method is very similar to this method shared on YouTube by Whirls and Swirls

What should I bring as my first project?

Probably not the quilt that took you 12 years and has thousands of pieces. You probably want to practice a little before you tackle that one. Beyond that, it is totally up to you! Perhaps a charity quilt or that quick project that you don’t mind practicing on. Or bring fabric to practice on and then turn it into a pillow, a tote bag, placemats or any quilted project. Planning a byAnnie project? Pre-quilt your pieces on the longarm – you won’t believe how much easier it is.

What else should I know?

We are here to help and want you to be successful. If you have any questions or would like help preparing for your first (or second or third) rental, you can call or text Carol at 262-949-3090 or leave us a message in the store 262-547-7774 and we are happy to help.

Where can I see the full Longarm Rental Agreement?

Our rental agreement is available on our Terms and Conditions page