The Bernina Q20 is a sit-down quilting machine.
The generous free-arm depth and height deliver enough space for completing larger quilts.
Q20 comes with a bobbin winder on the right side of the unit and a thread path that holds the thread on each side of the head before meeting the automatic needle threader.
In my opinion, this proves that threading this machine isn’t as simple as described, especially for quilters who have never used a sit-down quilting machine.
It also features a lot of LED lights along the length of the arm and underneath the needle, a USB port and an electronic presser foot lift which I appreciate.
I also appreciate the bright LCD touch screen over the needle. You can use the screen to adjust the stitch length. The LEDs and needle threader can be found beneath the needle.
This model is attached to a custom-designed table. It’s specifically designed for this machine and arrives in 2 regular colors including Asian golden teak and English white ash.
It’s also present in 6 additional finishes including Brazilian cherry, American Walnut, North America oak, African, Canadian maple, and American birdseye maple.
If you’re interested in learning more about this machine, read on.
Today, I will discuss all the pros, cons, and features of this quilting machine to help you determine if it’s the right model for your needs or not.
Without further ado, let’s jump into my Bernina Q20 review.
|Type:||Sit-down quilting machine|
|Dimensions:||Size: 3.55 × 1.2m. Variable working height: 0.9 to 1.2m.|
|Weight:||330 – 396 pounds|
|Throat space:||20 inches|
|Lighting:||50 LED lights|
|Integrated Bernina stitch regulator:||Yes|
|Motor speed:||2,200 stitches per minute|
To properly thread your Bernina Q20 you need to follow the owner’s manual. Winding the bobbin isn’t as hard as threading. On the contrary, it’s less complex.
Customizing the stitch length is also simple. All you need to do is follow the simple to understand guides on your touch screen.
Once the preferred length is set, all you need to do is press the icon on the touch screen to decrease the presser foot, lay your hands on top of the fabric on each side of the needle, and push the foot pedal.
The pressure you apply to the pedal determines the speed. While working on this machine, I concluded that it’s easy to work with and completes projects super-fast.
However, I have to admit that it took me a couple of attempts to master quilting on this unit. I wouldn’t recommend it for absolute beginners. It has a learning curve.
Once you get a hold of it, you will be able to finish a lot of projects in a short amount of time. It’s easy to operate but also noisy. The noise wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.
I was too busy admiring the stitch quality to worry about the noise. This machine makes sturdy and well-shaped stitches every time. It’s super-versatile and gets the job done.
It can handle different types of fabric including natural fibers like wool, linen, and cotton, fine fabrics like silk, velvet, taffeta, and satin, knits, upholstery, and leather.
However, it also handles synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon, and blends, super-dense fabrics, multiple layers of fabric, and so on. The standard accessories include:
- Free motion foot
- Metal accessories case
- Instructional DVD
- Owner’s manual
Despite how slow or fast the Bernina Q2O is running, it still releases considerable noise, as I already said. It’s the loudest in comparison to other long arm quilting machines.
If you’re someone who’s used to work with a high-speed quilting machine, the Bernina Q20 sit-down is the perfect choice for you. Otherwise, it might be intimidating.
New quilters might experience problems due to the complexity of the model. It has a learning curve. But once you master quilting on this unit, you will enjoy its benefits.
I’m a professional quilter and I still had difficulties in the beginning. However, after a couple of attempts, I got comfortable with my new quilting buddy.
Aside from the noise, I also noticed vibration while sliding the material beneath the needle. However, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was too focused on the dual stitch regulator to pay attention to the vibration.
This model comes with the Bernina stitch regulator which is a big advantage. This feature overshadows all the flaws so far, in my opinion.
I love this feature because it ensures balanced and sturdy stitches every time. This brand is known for its Bernina stitch regulator for a reason.
It has a long history of ensuring beautiful and evenly shaped stitches. This company produced high-end machines only. And their Q20 is no exception.
It’s super-versatile and can be utilized as a sit-down machine with an optional frame or a standard table. It makes the perfect addition to any sewing station.
If you’re a passionate quilter who doesn’t have enough space to accommodate a full-sized unit or simply wants a sit-down quilting machine, this model is for you.
The Bernina Q2 is made, constructed and assembled in Switzerland. It’s a sit-down model with the right amount of free-arm depth and height to handle larger quilts.
If you’re not sure if this is the right quilting machine for you, keep in mind that you can always upgrade it to a frame model machine. It’s a versatile unit loaded with advanced features.
Some of the features include a semi-automatic needle threader, a unique user interface, and a Bernina stitch regulator. The stitch regulator provides consistent, beautiful stitches every time.
It’s easy to use and delivers consistent stitch length even at different speeds. However, what I like most about this machine is the user interface. The color touch screen is easy to navigate.
It’s completely customizable and includes helpful options like built-in tutorials and a stitch counter. You will also love the semi-automatic needle threader. It enables easy and fast threading.
As I already mentioned a few times throughout this Bernina Q20 review, this is a sit-down model with a table. The table is custom-made for this specific model and performs amazingly.
It handles the weight and speed of this machine with elegance and delivers optimal performance. It has a generous storage space and measures 0.91 x 1.15m (36 x 34 inches), in general.
When expanded it measures 0.91 x 1.96m (36 x 77 inches). The working height is 0.75m (30 inches). The total weight of this quilting machine is 120kg (256 pounds).
You also have the option to upgrade to a frame model. The additional frame is strong enough to handle the speed and size of the Bernina longarm quilting machines.
Features of Bernina Q20
Quality, design, innovation and Swiss tradition are some of the qualities of this quilting unit. It’s created, produced and assembled in Switzerland.
If you’re looking for a sit-down quilting machine with enough free-arm depth and height, look no further than Bernina Q20. It’s perfect for larger quilts.
And you can always upgrade it to a frame model. However, if you’re not 100% sure if this is the right unit for you, keep on reading. I will discuss the key features in detail.
You can easily master hand-guided quilting with the help of the integrated Bernina stitch regulator. This feature is available on both frames and sit-down models.
Loaded with dual optical sensors at both sides of the stitch hole in the needle plate, this feature enables precise sensing of the unit and material movement.
Just activate and adjust utilizing the unit’s touch screen, and the stitch regulator will keep your patterns consistent and even despite how basic or complex your project is.
Pick from three Bernina stitch regulator modes. Basting is one of them. However, there is also a manual mode without stitch regulation.
A Custom Table Included
This machine is a sit-down quilting model. The included table is made to handle the weight and speed of the unit with elegance for optimal performance.
It’s 36 inches long. It extends from 45 inches to 77 inches in width by adding leaves. You can select from various desktop colors to match your work station.
Original User Interface
Bernina found a way to bring the longarm world and the domestic machine world together by delivering the Q20 sit-down model. It features a color touch screen.
This screen is intuitive and easy to use. It’s completely customizable and comes with different settings to simplify your work including inbuilt tutorials and a stitch counter.
Integrated Bobbin Winder and Original Thread Path
The forward state of the thread stand is easily reachable. The threading path is also easy to follow. But it is the integrated bobbin winder that makes this machine stand out.
Original Thread Tension Control
One of my favorite things about this machine is the unique thread tension control. This sit-down model comes with a presser foot tension release for easy threading.
The tension system has numeric tension settings which makes it easy to use different thread types with success.
Thanks to the high motor speed of this machine, you can complete your quilting projects a lot faster. It’s capable of producing 2,200 stitches per minute.
A Built-In Needle Threader
This is another feature I like about this machine. The semi-automatic needle threader enables fast, easy threading which is great for both beginners and experts.
I appreciate good lighting in a sewing and quilting machine.
I would never recommend a unit with poor lighting. This model has a lot of LED lights over the needle and along the length of the machine. It provides enough visibility and brightness.
The dimmable lighting was one of the main reasons why I bought this unit for myself. It’s super useful to have this option when working with white fabric and thread.
Bernina machines are known for their ease of use, reliability, and sturdy construction. The Bernina Q20 is no exception. It’s capable of handling anything you throw at it.
What I Like About Bernina Q20
After using the Bernina Q20 for over a year, all I have to say is that I love this machine. It’s intuitive and easy to use. It also requires minimal maintenance.
It’s one of the best sewing machines I have ever used. This baby delivers beautiful stitches every time. It comes with enough space to handle larger quilts.
However, what I like most about this model is the easily adjustable tension for various thread weights. It also has a built-in stitch regulator which is great.
Unlike domestic units, the Q20 features a built-in stitch regulator with three modes you can select from. I find the stitch regulator helpful, especially when I’m dabbing with ruler work.
I also like table choices. When I bought my Q20, the nice table was the single table option and came as standard with this machine.
The table included comes in different finishes. You can also buy a foldable table at a lower price if you’re limited with space. The one included is 36 x 45 inches with expandable inserts.
However, this unit also has its flaws. It doesn’t include an automatic thread cutter to cut the bobbin and top thread. You need to pull the quilt out and slice your threads.
Also, I tend to insert my bobbin backward which causes issues. The unit stitches for a couple of seconds and then the thread cracks. The logo should be visible and it should spin clockwise.
Also, I have noticed that many sewers wonder if this is a proper replacement for a sewing machine. The answer to this question is negative.
This is a sit-down quilting machine. It’s not a sewing machine and doesn’t come with feed-dogs. They’re necessary for regular sewing.
Q20 doesn’t replace a domestic sewing unit. It’s a long arm quilting machine that can be utilized as a sit-down model. You can also put on the Bernina frame.
I highly-recommend this quilting machine for intermediate and advanced quilters. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for absolute beginners. It has a learning curve.
The Bernina Q20 will take your quilting projects to new heights and help you express your creative side with the advanced features. It’s perfect for larger quilts.
The generous space is overwhelming. You will also enjoy the user interface if you have experience with a long arm unit. This baby comes with a user-friendly touch screen.
Hopefully, what you have learned about this machine from my Bernina Q20 review can help you decide if this is the right longarm quilting machine for you or not.
What I Don’t Like About Bernina Q20
I had trouble with this machine in the beginning. It was stubborn at the start and I often received error messages on my screen, followed by a restart.
However, after a couple of attempts and following a few tips from other quilters, I mastered quilting on this machine. Now, I find it easy and enjoyable to use.
What I have to say about this unit is that it’s very sensitive. This could be a deal-breaker for some users. However, it wasn’t for me. I love my Q20 and all its features.
I appreciate the good lighting, stitch regulators, the generous throat space, and the solid table. The table is great because it allows you to complete larger quilts with ease.
No more struggling with the throat space. I also entered the world of ruler work but I’m still learning and trying hard not to get the straight lines destroyed.
One thing I don’t like about this unit is the lower thread indicator. You’re supposed to enter at the start of the complete length of the thread in the bobbin.
Therefore, the machine can’t tell the right length of thread left in the bobbin. I also don’t like the lack of an automatic thread cutter. You have to pull out your quilt and cut your threads.
A foot upper/lower control option would also be nice. Let’s not forget that this is a costly unit. However, it still lacks some of the bells and whistles that a high-end unit should have.
Why Choose Bernina Q20?
If you’re a novice quilter, you will love this machine because it provides enough space for the fabric. You can complete larger projects without a problem.
This is very important if you want to progress in your career and improve your skills. The settings on this machine are simple to access and easy to learn and use.
Although I have this machine at home, I also wanted to make research and see what other buyers had to say about it.
Throughout my research, I haven’t noticed a single negative Bernina Q20 review. Yes, some of the flaws were mentioned but overall, everyone has a positive opinion.
One of the main reasons why you should consider Q20 when shopping for a longarm quilting machine is the high-speed motor. You will appreciate the great stitch quality.
Let’s throw a quick view of some of the main benefits of this popular quilting machine.
Ideal Free-Motion Stitches
You will get ideal stitches with the integrated stitch regulator. It keeps the stitch length the same at any speed. Also, it provides three different modes you can choose from.
The stitch regulation is easy to adjust thanks to the intuitive touch screen. Also, it has dual sensors that enable precise sensing of the unit and material movement.
Intuitive User Interface
This machine has an intuitive user interface. You will get simple navigation through the touch screen. It’s fully customizable and has built-in tutorials, a stitch counter, and 5 user profiles.
Effortless Quilting Without the Foot Control
Q20 enables effortless work without the foot control. It’s ideal for larger projects thanks to the KickStart option. It allows users to quilt without foot control continuously.
Simple Threading and Bobbin Winding
The spool holders are well-positioned. The threading path is simple to reach and easy to follow but what makes this machine special is the on-board bobbin winder.
A Built-In Needle Threader
The semi-automatic needle threader allows you to easily thread the needle. You will love this advanced feature, especially if you’re a novice quilter.
Digital Tension Control
This unit by Bernina has a great digital tension system with numeric tension settings.
This enables easy usage of different thread types with success. There is a presser foot tension release for easy threading and no external assembly is needed.
Precise and Super-Fast Stitching
Thanks to the high motor speed, you can complete your quilting projects a lot faster. The Bernina Q20 is capable of delivering 2,200 stitches per minute.
If you’re a fan of precise and super-fast stitching, this quilting machine is ideal for you. However, if you don’t have any experience with a fast longarm unit, look elsewhere.
If you’re a fan of good lighting like I am, you will love this machine. It comes with 50 bright LEDs over the needle and along the length of the unit.
The Bernina Q20 is completely operated from the front.
The dual handwheels (back and front) enable simple manual needle positioning. The front handwheel is disabled when utilizing electronic needle positioning.
Simple Free-Motion Quilting
If you like the free movement of a sit-down unit, you will adore this model. It allows you to discover the stitch regulation without throat space limitations.
Lastly, you will enjoy the wide range of longarm accessories included in the package. They fit your table and longarm quilting machine perfectly.
Overall, my Bernina Q20 review is positive. There is little not to like about this sit-down machine. I would suggest that you get yours before it goes out of stock.
The Bernina Q20 is a mix of quality, reliability, and Swiss tradition. It’s made, produced and assembled in Switzerland. I highly recommend this machine because it’s a sit-down model.
The longarm depth and height offer enough space for completing your wildest, largest quilting projects. With this baby, you can quilt larger quilts than on a household sewing machine.
Hopefully, my Bernina Q20 review has helped you gain more insight into this model. If you already own this machine, share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.