Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last Day in Switzerland

So what has been my favorite things about the trip to Switzerland?

Well...let's see. Touching, sewing on and meeting the new and absolutely amazing Bernina 830 was definitely a high point. It was fun to watch the guys sew on it. It was funnier still to have to share a machine with the guys. I think Therese and I thought that we would get to sew on the machines because the guys weren't interested. WRONG!! We were each edging the other one away from the machine. Henry and Joel were just as interested in getting their projects sewn out nicely and they wanted to do the button pushing and all their own sewing. The threading of the machine was likely the most fun. It literally threads the whole needle by itself. So automatic and beautiful that it was almost surprising to us.

Meeting the people of the Bernina factory, realizing that they actually put these machines together, tool the parts in Switzerland and are a family-owned company with a real sense of pride in their work was an amazing journey for us to make. We donned work goggles and walked through the whole plant. Seeing that a Bernina employee hand tests every BSR foot, another inspects every presser foot and that the feet are all manufactured right in the plant was amazing. Their care to detail was so impressive.

The factory is located in idyllic Steckborn. People walk and bike to work. Young people serve in apprenticeships in the factory for up to four years as they prepare for careers at Bernina. That many know enough English to speak fluently with us was incredibly humbling as I can't even muster up enough German to tell someone that I can't speak German.

We also had the privilege to visit a Bernina dealership in Germany and in Switzerland. Very different from our own store but a proud tradition to see the machines represented with meticulous care and attention to detail. The employee in the store in Germany had no English. We had no German. However, she graciously showed us around her store. When I asked to take pictures, she insisted on sweeping away any thread scraps. Humble and gracious, she let us take her picture and we shared business cards. If anyone knows German and would assist me with writing her a thank you note, I would most appreciate it.

Well, I have chatted enough for today. When I next write, I am going to tell you about a secret little find we discovered as we found a store that was selling lace from St. Gallen and handmade laces. I did my Christmas shopping and have many beauties to share with you in coming VIP and Embroidery Secrets events. The couple who showed us the laces and linens often spoke of this and that from St. Gallen being made on Bernina machines. We actually recognized the genre of some of the laces. More on that in my next post!

Sew Inspired...jill

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