Why I Bought the BERNINA Q20!



BERNINA Q20, Lori Kennedy Sewing Room

Good Morning, Quilters!

A few months ago, I splurged on a BERNINA Q20 sewing machine!!!

For years I have debated whether or not I wanted a long arm sewing machine.  On one hand, I do a lot of quilting and it is really challenging to wrestle a quilt in the harp space of a domestic sewing machine.  On the other hand, long arm machines take up a lot of space and are an investment. Furthermore, I like to quilt at the end of the day when my feet are tired. I want to sit, relax and quilt-and I think most long arm quilters stand while they quilt.  (Okay…don’t even say it…I know I have a lazy streak!)

Then I had an opportunity to try BERNINA’s Q20 sit down long arm quilt machine–and it was LOVE at first stitch!

BERNINA Q20, Lori Kennedy Sewing Room


Sit-Down. Large Throat Space. Reasonable Price. Compact Size.

The BERNINA Q20 is a sit-down long arm sewing machine with a 20 inch throat space.

The Q20 is a fraction of the price of a long arm machine on rails.  (Especially when you consider the beautiful Koala table is included.)

The table is a generous 36 x 45 inches and it easily expands to 36 x 77 for larger quilts–Yet way smaller than the frame of a long arm machine.  
BERNINA Q20, Lori Kennedy Sewing Room


As you know, I am a BERNINA girl.  I have been sewing on BERNINAs for more than 30 years.  I have confidence in the brand and in their workmanship. BERNINAs create gorgeous stitches and this machine is no exception.  Adjusting the tension is a breeze.

Because the Q20 only does one thing…(no embroidery, etc.) is does it very well.  The screen and button layout is intuitive and easy.  It has a built in stitch regulator…(I have never used a BSR–so I don’t know if I will use the built-in version) and the bobbin is HUGE!!!

I love that I can use the BERNINA feet from my B770!

And, if I ever change my mind:  The Q20 can be set up for use on a frame!

BERNINA Q20, Lori Kennedy Sewing Room


This machine is not on a frame. I still have to baste my quilts like before and move the quilt under the needle. (Though I can still change my mind and put this machine on a frame.)

I miss the automatic bobbin thread cutter feature available on my B770QE.  I’m sure there was a mechanical reason the engineers left this out–but I do miss it!


I’m definitely in the honeymoon phase…getting to know the ins and outs of the BERNINA Q20.  I have to learn how to use the programmable foot pedal and the various BSR modes, but I am delighted so far!

What about YOU?

Do YOU have a new love in YOUR sewing room?

Have YOU ever considered a long arm sewing machine?

Did YOU decide to BUY or WAIT?

We’d LOVE to hear!

I’m off on my honeymoon,



PS…If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!

PPS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!






82 thoughts on “Why I Bought the BERNINA Q20!

  1. Congratulations! You’ll find the larger quilting space wonderful and ruler work so much easier, a lot more fun and relaxing! I use the sit down for more detailed work and long arm for everything else. Neither has a thread cutter so I purchased an adhesive thread cutter for both machines and mounted it to the left of the needle. It’s better than needing to keep a pair of scissors handy. I was told not to use any magnets around the machine head due to all the electronics so I didn’t want to use a magnet for my scissors. The cons of my sit down are lighting isn’t the greatest (actually it’s pretty bad) and quilts have to be basted which is the part I absolutely hate to do because I don’t have the space for it. I will at times baste larger quilts on the long arm and quilt them on the sit down. If there is a longer armer in town or if there is a quilt shop in town, they may be able to do this for a nominal fee. Rather than an suspension system, I just add an extra table to the right and left of the main table and it works well. Just be sure the tables are close to the same height. Lighting….still struggling with this one. I currently use a floor lamp with multiple adjustable heads until I find another alternative. Hope this helps!

  2. I too have a sit-down machine and love it for all the reasons you mentioned. I baste on the sit down. Okay, Lorrie, now we want some craftsy videos showing how you do your sit-down quilting!

  3. I have a HQ sweet sixteen sit down. I don’t have a stitch regulator though. Do you activate yours with a button or how does it work? I too purchased mine because of the struggle of doing big quilts on my 1977 Kenmore domestic. Especially, the Queen size t-shirt quilts that are so heavy. I am glad I took the plunge and a for being lazy, not so, just staying with your style of working. Too each their own.

  4. Congratulations! I’ve pondered this for several years and I’m still sitting on the ‘fence’. I did add berninas 700 embroidery machine and I so very much enjoy using this! Like you said with the Bernina quilting machine the 700 has one purpose..embroidering and it does it very well!

  5. I am sure you are going to love it!! Good for you. Those machines look fascinating to me and if I quilted as much as you I’d buy one too. Enjoy it!!!

  6. Congratulations on taking the plunge. I’m currently deciding between a few options: 1 – Rent time on a Bernina longarm to finish quilts; 2- Buy the Bernina 880 w embroidery module and use ‘silhouette’ software to quilt each block with the option of free motion; and 3 – Buy the Q20. So I’m very interested in your opinion and what you think of your decision. Please keep us updated with both pros and cons.

  7. Ooooh you lucky girl! I would love to own one of these!! Maybe my husband could start saving now for next Christmas….. 🙂

    • Christine – If there is a dealer near you they often sell their floor models yearly or every six months to get the newer upgraded models and sell the floor models at a discount.

  8. I recently purchased the tin lizzie sit down longarm. I got a great deal at a quilt show last summer. I am still getting to know her, but I love the 18 inch throat! She is only for quilting and comes with a 4 foot table that has an extension to make it much larger like yours. She’s very simple, has the extra large bobbins, and can also be converted to a longarm frame if I never want that! I’d rather sit down too!

Comments are closed.