Chalk and Cheesecloth sample and the Bernina Q20 machine.

This week has been a much quieter week, than the previous two. No Drs visits, and thankfully no stitches, no Dentist like last week. Unfortunately I have that all ahead of me next week. !!!!

I got to stay in my studio for most of the week and I’ve loved every minute of it. Unfortunately I did have to go and buy groceries today, so that put a little hiccup in the day. It’s such a nuisance. Considering that I’m away so much I really only need to buy groceries for about a third of the year so I’m doing pretty well. I dislike supermarket shopping.

A week ago today, Mr Otto, our local Bernina dealer installed a Q20 machine for me to work the Bayeux on. I was temped to stop everything else and do a project on it, but I had a project scheduled for yesterday and so it had to wait till then. The machine sat there beckoning me to use it… actually, I did have a little play but not real stuff.


The Q20 is a sit down long arm machine.


I purchased a Sweet 16 two years ago and have used it extensively, but the two machines are very different. To be honest there is room for more than one brand of machine. I use a Janome for all of my appliqué work on the Bayeux and for most of my thread painting portraits. I use the machine that is right for my genre of work.

I like the fact that I can use an ordinary needle and in fact even a twin needle in the Q20. I find the bobbin a dream to wind, very simple and similar to a normal machine  and it came with a bobbin tension tester. I get excited over unusual things.


This project was to create a new class sample for my class next week. The photo was one I took in Guatemala. The fabrics are plain old cheesecloth and some Hoffman challenge fabric that I bought in Shipshewana in June.


I was so excited when I saw this fabric, (there I go again) I actually collect the real stuff. The real appliqué and embroidery fabric from the Hmong Tribe in the North of Thailand, but to see it printed like this on cotton, Bang, I knew just what I would use it for.

OK, so I’ve mixed my cultures, the lady is from Guatemala, and the fabric is from Thailand… but I like it.


The cheesecloth is just that, stuff you use to clean or strain fruit through.

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In fact you can buy about ten different grades of cheesecloth. I’ve used two in this project. One is a little more open weave than the other.

I began yesterday morning and drew the pattern, prepared it for appliqué and then added the highlights on the face. It’s a bit tricky, but I’ll be sharing this in Houston so you might like to learn the finer details.  There are quite a few tricks.


This is how it began, but I changed her dress fabric and head scarf of course.

Stage 2, 3, 4. I used black 50 weight aurifil thread in the top and the bobbin, and white for her hair. The shading on her face is a dye. and I dye the fabric as I go. I think I might do her again and not do the cutouts for the black lines… but then again its all experimentation.


And she’s finished.

This is the first time I used the Q20. and I’m definitely in love with it.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Absolutely fabulous, Pam! The detail of your work is extraordinary and captures her spirit in thread. Kudos, friend!!

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you Linda.

  2. Deb Bradbury says:

    Oh PAM.. So lovely… I did a workshop with you in Bangkok but am now residing in Northland NZ. If ever you come over here to do a workshop please let me know… And the machine looks awesome… Carry on the good work

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you Deb

  3. Sylvia says:

    Love your sample! I have an HQ Sweet 16 and I was thinking about buying the Bernina Q20. How are they different? If you were going to have only one machine, which one would you keep?

    1. Jacqueline says:

      Hallo Pam eben dieser Mann wäre super eine genaue Anleitung mir zu senden auf deutsch wie Du das Bild machst welches Material Du nimmst etc.LG Jacqueline Lüscher

    2. Carol Nicholson says:

      Hi, Pam,

      I, too, love your work! I would like to hear your opinion about the HQ Sweet 16 and the Q20. Currently, I am using a Bernina 780, and am still missing room to spread out. Thoughts?

      1. Pam Holland says:

        Carol. the Q20 is the most amazing machine.I highly recommend it.

    3. Pam Holland says:

      I have both but I have to say the Bernina Q20 is far superior. I just love this machine. It has 4 stick regulator modes, I can use any needle or Bernina foot. The tension regulator is wonderful and its so much easier to fill the bobbin… I can’t praise it enough.

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Hallo Pam eben dieser Mann wäre super eine genaue Anleitung mir zu senden auf deutsch wie Du das Bild machst welches Material Du nimmst etc.LG Jacqueline Lüscher

  5. Rhonda Irby says:

    I absolutely love this and want to learn how to do it!

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