I have been practising on The Beast all weekend and after a few teething problems - I need a separate stitch plate in order to do ordinary sewing of patchwork triangles - I seriously began to panic when I first started to do some chain stitching - they came out all wavy and not straight. All that money and it would not sew as I wanted. But I then joined the yahoo group specifically for owners of Berninas 820 and 830 and asked the inane question. Thankfully lots of comments came back and I realised that I would have to make some adjustments - my dealer is very good but is not a sewer so had no idea of the requirements of a quilter! I soon put him right and when I go and fetch my old machine this week I will be taking samples so that he can understand what quilters need to know about this machine.
Anyway, it appliques like a dream - you can press the stitch start button which will automatically do a bite stitch when you turn a corner - really really useful.
I have tried to do some machine quilting and I must say the stitch regulator does make a difference. I think I am going to really have to do daily practice until I have got a smoother result but am happy so far.
Have also been doing lots of applique pieces for the Beth Ferrier quilt - have finished the holly leaves and am now on the pears.
I could not resist starting to put the central block together