Bernina 790+ Review – Part 1


Warning ! I’ve gotten some flack for my use of profanity in this article – and someone even accused me of writing hate speech for my use of a particular derivative of the f-word (I don’t hate anyone – well maybe my Bernina dealer a little ;-). There are a few “bad” words used for comedic relief, (6 in fact – yes someone actually counted).  So if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, I suggest you skip this article and be on your merry way. You’ve been warned 😉

Newsflash, my Bernina dealer still sucks, but that’s a topic for another day.

For those of you who followed my 590 saga, I finally exchanged my 590 for a 790+, which has also had its share of issues. This won’t be a long winded review like my 590 was;  let’s cut to the chase.

My brand new Bernina 790+ rattled like hell straight out of the box.

Weeks of back and forth with my dealer: “Clean it he says, you must have done X Y and Z to it, oil the hook, re-thread, change the needle, bla bla  bla”. I’m surprised he didn’t suggest I might not be bonding with it; maybe he reads my blog.

Well 2 months later, and they finally determined I had a defective hook. No shit eh ? I can say eh, I’m half Canadian. And the other word, well I’m half American, and our president is Donald Trump, I get a free pass.

Normally, I ‘m careful with my French, but this is a Bernina article I’m writing – and I’ve developed a really bad case of Bernina Derangement Syndrome. So let me get it out early, for fuck’s sake, why does Bernina treat customers like we’re all a bunch of clueless fucktards ? Even if you are a new user, or new to sewing, or new to Bernina, it’s not a reason. Please Bernina, respect your clients.

I know a lot of you complain about having a really noisy hook, it shouldn’t be. Oil it first, but if that doesn’t quiet it down and it sounds as bad as mine, chances are you have defective hook. Be persistant with you dealer, don’t let him tell you it’s you.

The machine is whisper quiet now, even without frequent oiling. It’s amazing. I still oil the hook, just not every 15 minutes. Bernina still has MAJOR quality control issues, but at least the defective hook was replaced under warranty. Begrudgingly I might ad, my dealer actually said I must have damaged it – because Berninas are always perfect. It’s this type of attitude that brings out the vulgarity in me. I remember the day I unpacked it and ran a piece of test fabric expecting to hear the sweet melody of swiss machinery when my girlfriend yells from the kitchen “WHAT’S ALL THAT RACKET ?!”.

But that wasn’t the only problem right out of the box. But the next issue I was able to fix myself. I’ve seen other users report this problem and if you’re a little handy maybe you can fix it too, or I can show you how.

Which reminds me, I recently created a new Bernina Facebook group called Bernina Technical Support. I originally called it Bernina Haters, then it morphed into Bernina Love/Hate, now it’s just Bernina Technical Support. It’s a group for people interested in getting help with their newer Berninas, you know, cause they’re full of problems – even straight out the box, and finicky, really finicky. And sometimes as much as we really love our machines, we’re tempted to smash them through a window.  It’s an easy going group. I guess we have to be, we only have 2 members right now 😉 You’re allowed to vent, in fact you’re ENCOURAGED to vent :). It’s not very politically correct either so you won’t see your posts mysteriously disappear for no reason, like mine did, after linking to this post in some other Bernina group… That’s not entirely true, there are a few instances where you might get a lifetime ban, like telling someone they’re not bonding with their machine. That’s at the top of the list, don’t say that, EVER. Anyway, I encourage you to join. I’ve started to gather a lot of resources to help users out with their machines. When we reach 100k members, you can tell everyone you were the third to join, or the fourth, or even the 100th. After that people might not care so much, so hurry up and join ! Now back to the review.

The next problem I had with my machine involves the basting stitch, stitch #21. For some reason, using a 6 mm long basting stitch, the thread gets pulled down to the bobbin and jams. Hard. Re-thread, and everything is OK, until you baste again. Jam. Well, it turns out that the spring that prevents the thread from coming out of the thread lever became un-clipped… so I re-attached the spring, problem solved. If you have this problem, remove the front cover with the include Torx wrench and with pair of needle nose pliers, pull the spring back and clip it back in.

The re-attached spring (between 1 and 2)

Next issue. Can you guess ? Presser foot alignment. Why does almost every frigging Bernina come from the factory with a misaligned presser foot ?! FFS.


It’s easy enough to adjust yourself, and I did, but I couldn’t get it PERFECTLY aligned, and believe me I tried. I’m super myopic. With my glasses off, a sewing needle one inch from my eyes is the size of a javelin. But I just couldn’t do it. And that’s when I discovered that the needle itself was misaligned with the needle plate. How can you tell ? Install the straight stitch plate and lower the needle, it should be smack in the middle. Of course, mine wasn’t. Why should it be. And no, it’s not user adjustable. Off to the dealer.

Misaligned Needle

Well, that last incident left me without a machine for 2 months. But the timing wasn’t so bad; I spent most of those two months freezing my butt off photographing the arctic village of Salluit in Northern Quebec – my sewing machine was the LAST thing on my mind. Survival was, and fear, mostly of a polar bear encounter, or a wolf, or a wolverine. Here are a few images from an upcoming book I’m writing. SALLUIT is cold, it’s raw, but it’s also incredibly beautiful, barren and desolate, and romantic, and sometimes ominous and frightening, and completely disconnected from the rest of the world. A magical place.

Salluit Northern Quebec – Hudson Strait
Salluit Northern Quebec

Back to the needle alignment. The needle alignment is adjusted with a concentric screw. Mine was cracked. How is that possible on a new machine? Because it’s a Bernina. And trying to get new said concentric screw ? 2 months back order.

So now that everything is fixed, how do I like my machine ?

It’s AWESOME. The large screen is easy on the eyes, the lighting is fantastic, the stitch quality is SUPERB and the embroidery is PHENOMENAL. I give it a 3 Flaming AMAZEBALLS rating. I really couldn’t be happier. Well actually I could, with a new dealer; he gets 3 f-you umbrellas, we have our own rating system, you can read about it here. Hopefully my machine will never need service and I’ll never have to see him again. 

Part 1 was a just a short introductory review to tell you that even though my 790 and I were off to a rocky start, it was well worth persevering through the initial pain.

Stay tuned for Part II of my review where I will go into detail about all of my favorite features, like the Stitch Editor – so much fun ! Actually I already talk about it in depth on this blog, and there are also a bunch of custom stitches I designed you can download for free. Have a look around. And don’t forget to join my Bernina Facebook Group ASAP !




The firmware still needs a little work and has some bugs that need to be addressed, I talk about that here.

There are a few other features that would improve the current firmware, noticeably pinpoint placement, you can read about it here.

Again my apologies for anyone offended by my vulgarity. Because Bernina.

Fantastic stitch quality


I'm currently on unpaid leave to take care of my mother with late stage dementia, so if you enjoy the content on this website and are enjoying my downloads (trail maps, custom Bernina stitches, dysphagia recipes, etc.) please make a small donation to keep this website alive. Thanks :-)

Bernina 590 Review

Update : January 25, 2019

After all the problems I had with my two 590s, Bernina finally acknowledged that a number of 590s had problems during shipping; a part known as “slider blocks” that control the stitch length can get out of alignment during shipping which makes it impossible to balance all the stitches. You can do a quick test to see if your machine is affected by sewing out stitch #438. Bernina has since changed the packaging and is using a “box within a box” to prevent the machine from getting damaged in shipping.

Please read my post to determine if your machine is affected.

I decided to get rid of the 590 and upgraded it to a 790+  instead – good riddance. A review of this superior machine will be posted soon – stay tuned.

A sewing machine ? Not many people know it, but yes, I LOVE to sew. And a Bernina no less. Designed in Switzerland – which is really code for SWISS NOT MADE. Maybe if it was I wouldn’t be having so many problems. You can search the web for Bernina 590 Review until you’re blue in the face, you’ll only find copy/pasted promotional material telling you how wonderful and flawless this machine is. It’s NOT.

Bernina 590 Review
Bernina 590 random error

Bernina is the ultimate FANBOY company, I’ve never seen such a devout group as Bernina owners, it’s almost like a CULT. I get it – very high end product, nice branding, excellent quality and finish. Believe you me when I tell you I want to LOVE my Bernina. The finish is fantastic and it has an endless selection of high end accessories that just make you want to BURN more money on Bernina products.


I made that mistake, hopefully you won’t. Bernina is NOT Continue reading “Bernina 590 Review”


I'm currently on unpaid leave to take care of my mother with late stage dementia, so if you enjoy the content on this website and are enjoying my downloads (trail maps, custom Bernina stitches, dysphagia recipes, etc.) please make a small donation to keep this website alive. Thanks :-)

SRAM Eagle Shifting Problem

I’ve been trying to diagnose a serious SRAM Eagle shifting problem with my XX1 Eagle drive-train that no shop or SRAM is able of diagnosing or fixing, and I’m close to concluding that SRAM Eagle has a serious design flaw.

SRAM Eagle Shifting Problem
Desynchronized chain riding on top of 42t and 50t sprocket

I bought a new 2017 Trek Fuel Ex 9.9 in May and the lower two gears have been crunchy since I rode out the shop. The bike has never been crashed nor Continue reading “SRAM Eagle Shifting Problem”


I'm currently on unpaid leave to take care of my mother with late stage dementia, so if you enjoy the content on this website and are enjoying my downloads (trail maps, custom Bernina stitches, dysphagia recipes, etc.) please make a small donation to keep this website alive. Thanks :-)

High Mountain Trail Map

High Mountain Trail Map v1.0.3

Update October 16th, 2017
– All map versions have been updated to version 1.0.3
– Improved map accuracy
– Added new trail 12A – “H’s Way”, a better alternative back to Red from “Transfer”

Update August 6th, 2017
– All map versions have been updated to version 1.0.2
– Changed trail difficulty ratings
– Improved map accuracy
– Added missing uphill section to Ancients
– New trail added

Located in Northern New Jersey less than 10 minutes off state highway 287, High Mountain Park Preserve in Wayne township has become one of the premiere destinations for mountain biking in the state.

Rest assured, this is not your father’s High Mountain mountain bike destination. Yellow-Red-White blazed trails are a distant past (technically they’re still there) and you’ll never look at HM the same once you discover the endless miles of twisty single-track trails, the dozens of grueling climbs, and some seriously rad berms that will make even Steven Mancuso’s head spin. This is New School High Mountain.

Most of the trails are unmarked so it can be a little daunting for riders new to the area, but we’ve just made it easier for you with our High Mountain Trail Map :

If  you have a Garmin Edge 800/810/820/1000/1030

Download the High Mountain Garmin custom map (it also works as a Google Earth overlay).

For you Smartphone junkies

If you don’t have the Maprika App – get it NOW ! Then download the High Mountain Trail Map (you can search for our map by name within the app “High Mountain MTB” or get a list of all our maps by searching for “paulsmaps“.

Now… if you’re over 40 and didn’t understand a word you just read

You can download and print the PDF version instead 😉

Now shut up and ride and come back once you’re a believer.

High Mountain Aerial View

Check out all our other Cycling and Trail Maps 



I'm currently on unpaid leave to take care of my mother with late stage dementia, so if you enjoy the content on this website and are enjoying my downloads (trail maps, custom Bernina stitches, dysphagia recipes, etc.) please make a small donation to keep this website alive. Thanks :-)