I traveled up to Pine Needles Sewing Center for my first Mastery class on my Bernina Aurora 430. MOST of what was covered I had already figured out- but it was WELL worth the drive. I learned a few things that were really incredible. The course was project based- we made a Humbug Bag. The bag is okay, but not my favorite. It has a lining in it, but exposed seams, as the lining is just overlocked to the edge of the outer fabric to hide the "quilting" (basically we tried tons of decorative stitches, used the twin needle, and did some couching)- I also don't care for how the zipper sticks up. But it is SUPER easy to make, so a good little gift, I think I would do it with a proper turned lining though (to be fair, we barely referenced the pattern, so maybe it calls for one and we just didn't do it?)
Although the class was "free" ($75 if you didn't buy your machine there! Do this enough times and I'll earn my money on that purchase, haha), I thought the kit was kind of expensive. It was probably a fair cost for what was in it (2 mettler threads, 1 YLI variagated- though mine you couldn't even tell it was variagated, I was disappointed, a twin needle, a jeans needle pack, 2 Fat quarter, one backed with interfacing, some cording, and a zipper), but it still seemed expensive. I think I was mostly annoyed my variagated thread was goldenrod and sunshine- if you looked closely at the spool you could tell there were 2 yellows, but you can't tell at all on the sewing.
#2 The reason my bobbin case kept falling out was user error (I figured it was). I put it in, and it clicks. I figured that was right. It really has to CLICK. I mean seriously CLICK. Then, it doesn't fall out.
#3 The reason there is a screw on the back of all the feet is for the seam guide. You can use it on any foot, not just a walking foot. Seriously awesome.
#4 I don't think I really need a 1/4" foot. The straight stitch foot seems good enough for me, for now.
#5 I totally need a free motion couching foot. Before this class, I didn't really even know what free motion couching was (although I had seen it in a video, and just though "neat") now that I've done it- amazing. See the cord in the bottom left corner of the bag? That's done with free motion couching. SO COOL.
#6 Heel Tap really is difficult. They actually should rename it heel stomp. I'm still not sure why I would want that.
#7 Knee Lift isn't that useful for most sewing. I never used it today, despite them telling us "you won't be able to live without it". Still, I'm very glad I have it. I like it for freemotion quilting, and it is good for pivoting on garments.
#8 Bernina Bobbins are expensive. But I bought a tube of them. I'm done for now.