I've had these two colours on my mind, and all over my sewing room, for the past year because I've been working on my quilts for the special exhibition of Red &White quilts at this years Sydney Quilt Show.

By coincidence the sewing machine I received as my Best in Show prize at the Australian Modern Quilt Show just happens to be red and white! Yes, this model of the Bernina 215 is called "Simply Red", looks right at home in my sewing room.

As I mentioned I did win this sewing machine but all of these words are my own. Bernina didn't ask me to do this blogpost. 
I should add this isn't really a review of the machine, I haven't used it enough for that, so think of it as more a sharing of first impressions. 

As I was unpacking the machine I was impressed to find this tag signed by a real person as a sign of quality control. I haven't had that from other brands of sewing machine. 

I had a funny moment when I was looking for the cord to plug in the pedal, Just when I was beginning to think they'd forgotten to include one I found it wound neatly underneath. This machine has lots of clever design details like that. 

It came with a cover, a bag of lots of feet and tools, and manuals with well laid out instructions,

Though I actually found using this machine very easy and straight forward to use. I double checked how to wind the bobbins but that was about all I had to look up in the the manual. The buttons are up front and obvious and there are just enough decorative stitches to keep a sewer happy.

To take Simply Red though it's stitches and get to know it better I sewed white strips straight onto a piece of batting, sometimes flipping them over and other times leaving raw edges. Really just playing with simple improv lines. Of course I tried some of the fancy stitches too. I was really impressed with it's steady sewing and neat, even stitches. 

 After a few hours of playing and stitching  

here's what I ended up with
a Red & White mini quilt!!

Thanks Bernina for sponsoring such a great prize!! I'm a very happy daisy to have received such a great sewing machine. I know Simply Red and I are going to have great adventures together. 

There's fun times are ahead for anyone attending the Sydney Quilt Show this week. I've been counting the days down as though it's Christmas, and well,  I guess it will look a bit Christmassy to see so many red and white quilts in one place. I'll be there on Wednesday and Friday so if you see me say hello. And for those who can't make it I'm looking forward to sharing photos of my show quilts with you soon.