Bernina’s Biggest Launch for a Top of the Line Machine

Magic is coming from Bernina as we wait in anticipation for the new B990 sewing, quilting and embroidery machine to be unveiled June 18, 2024.

Preordering the B990 allows you to become a VIP Charter member. The VIP Charter membership includes a numbered spot in line for the initial release in July 2024, live re-stream of Bernina University reveal, exclusive teasers, videos and content.

The Bernina B990 represents a significant leap forward in sewing technology, offering advanced features and capabilities that cater to the needs of sewing enthusiasts and professionals alike. For anyone passionate about sewing and eager to explore the latest innovations in the field, this opportunity is indeed something worth considering!

The Bernina B990 promises to be Bernina’s biggest launch for a Top of the Line machine.

Follow Allbrands on Facebook and YouTube for all the sneak peaks and information on the B990 as it’s released.

All About Allbrands Academy

After the return of our live events in 2023, is gearing up for another season of Allbrands Academies at our stores in the late summer/early fall. I recently sat down and talked with Courtney and Barbara on what you can expect when you attend one of the events.

What’s a typical day like at Allbrands Academy?

Courtney: Expect two full days of education and creating new friendships. You will rotate to different teachers who will teach you new techniques on the latest machines Brother has to offer. Classes are structured with fewer attendees per class so you get more of a one on one experience. With endless giveaways and raffles throughout the day everyone leaves a winner. 

Barbara: In the morning, we’ll have coffee and donuts, followed by meetings and shopping. Then, we’ll have opening sessions with giveaways and more! You’ll receive your opening packets and t-shirts, along with savings on merchandise in the store. After that, classes will begin. We have a round-robin style format, so there will be smaller breakout rooms, and attendees get tons of attention and support. It’s also a great way to get to know your classmates well! We’ll have a fantastic lunch and then more classes until raffles, giveaways, and grand prizes at the end. It’s an enjoyable and educational experience where you can make new friends.

What do I need to bring to the event?

Courtney: Your favorite pair of snips and a jacket if you get cold. That’s it we provide the rest!

Barbara: We provide everything that you need! We feature Brother’s latest and greatest technology.

Do I need to bring my own machines?

Courtney: Not at all we provide all the machines you will need for the event. This way everyone has the same features on their machines and no one has to worry about traveling with their machines. 

I don’t own a Brother Scan N Cut – can I still attend?

Barbara: Of course! We provide Scan N Cuts and all supplies needed to learn.

My friend also wants to attend, can we be in the same group?

Courtney: Absolutely, when your register please list their name or names under who you would like to sit with.

Barbara: Of course! Although you will be at your machine, we can put you and your friend in the same classroom if you request it during registration.

What’s the difference between Allbrands Academy and a Masterclass?

Courtney: Allbrands Academy is an in person event over multiple days on many subjects. A Masterclass is a virtual course on one subject in extreme detail.  

Barbara: AllBrands Academy is an In-person event with Brother experts and educators over 2 days of learning. A Masterclass is a virtual environment where you can learn at your home from your computer in a personal setting. 

Do I need to bring my own drink/snack/lunch?

Courtney: We provide drinks, snacks and lunch on both days. If you have any dietary restrictions please let us know when you sign up so we can accommodate them. 

Barbara: We have beverages, lunch, and snacks provided each day.

Do I get anything special from coming to the event?

Courtney: In your packet you will get a variety of surprise goodies like an AllBrands Academy shirt. You will also get special coupons and deals that are only available to attendees of the event. And don’t forget about the giveaways and raffles happening every single day. 

Barbara: We provide designs and instructions if they are available after the event. You will also have a USB stick to save designs you may make during class. Sometimes, we get to create unique projects. 

I went to the event last year/in previous years are the projects new?

Courtney: Brands new projects and classes with new machines that will have just come out from Brother!

Barbara: Yes, the projects are all new for events in a series, so the new events starting in San Antonio and ending in Bossier will have new projects from previous events.

When will you be coming to my city?

Courtney: So far we have announced we will be coming to San Antonio. Make sure to follow us on social media and our email newsletter to be the first to know when we release more dates. 


Is there anything that you think someone should know if they are on the fence about coming to the event? 

Courtney: Sign up. Trust me we are going to have a lot of fun and everyone always leaves learning something new. I take pride in the fact that we have created an event where people can come together and share their love of creating. We have brought in industry experts and the new top of the line machines from Brother. The events sign up fast so don’t miss out!

RicRACK and Allbrands in New Orleans, LA is pleased to continue our partnership with RicRACK in New Orleans, Louisiana. On January 23, 2024 Barbara Douthat stopped by to donate three McCalls pattern racks full of antique patterns, lace, buttons, zippers, and thread from the late Annette Douthat’s collection of supplies; over 200 yards of new on-the-bolt fabric; and twelve machines donated to the warehouse that were serviced by machine repair contractor Joe Armstrong from Top Ten Technical (and creator of Joe’s Clean Air).

RicRACK is a nonprofit creative reuse store and sewing studio doing its best to keep textiles out of landfills. They are located in New Orleans on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. They teach two sewing classes a week to kids and beginners using donated machines from Brother,, and Allbrands. They’ve owned the building for 3.5 years and have been a nonprofit for over 10 years. The energy in the store is quite remarkable, an inspiring hang-out for sewers.

Lizz Freeman Kelly, RicRACK coordinator, states they are blessed to have volunteers and donations from the film industry/donors; however, what they need most right now is money. If you are able, please consider donating to RicRack so they can continue serving the sewers of New Orleans.

RicRACK is located less than 10 miles from our Allbrands New Orleans store and approximately 35 miles from our Allbrands Slidell store. Plan a day to visit the best of what the greater New Orleans area has to offer in sewing, quilting and embroidery.

Holiday at Allbrands Stores

Every year, our Allbrands stores enjoy participating in a friendly holiday decor contest. Entries from Allbrands San Antonio, Houston, Bossier City, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge stores have been received so far.

Stop by to see the decorations and shop in our stores until Saturday, December 23 for the sewing, quilting, or embroidery enthusiast on your list!

Stores will be closed
Sunday, December 24 Christmas Eve
Monday, December 25 Christmas Day
Sunday, December 31 New Years Eve
Monday, January 1 New Years Day

All of us from Allbrands stores and cooperate office wish our customers a happy holiday season. We look forward to “sew” much more in 2024!

Giving Tuesday 2023: Causes you can sew for

As the days get colder and colder this holiday season, you may find yourself spending more time in your craft room. Whether you enjoy knitting, sewing, or quilting there are many wonderful charitable organizations that would appreciate receiving handmade items from your time and talents for those in need.

Here are several organizations that you can use your skills and expertise toward sewing for those in need in your community:

Quilts of Valor
The Sewing Machine Project®
Project Linus
Quilts for Kids | Making Quilts for Kids in Need
Ryan’s Case for Smiles
Days for Girls
Sew Powerful
Operation Christmas Child
Little Dresses for Africa/Britches for Boys
Firehouse Quilts
Emma and Evan Foundation
Little Angel Gowns
Operation Chemo Comfort

If you end up donating to any of these organizations, please share a photo in the comments. We’d love to see all of the work our Allbrands community is doing for others in their time of need!

Brother Donates Fifteen Sewing Machines to ricRACK

RicRACK, a sewing and textile recycling nonprofit in New Orleans, LA, is passionate about keeping textiles out of the landfill and teaching the people of New Orleans how to sew. Recently, Brother USA donated fifteen sewing machines to the cause, allowing even more people in the community the chance to learn to sew.

The Brother machines have already been put to good use at the rickRACK studio! We are so happy to have partnered with Brother, The Sewing Machine Project, and rickRACK for all their wonderful work around the communities of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Allbrands Creative Sewing 2023 Lone Star University

During the last weekend of August 2023, the Allbrands Creative Sewing store in San Antonio, TX hosted Lone Star University, signaling the return of a customer favorite event.

Registrants were grouped into “sororities” that were scheduled for a rotation of six classes during the two day event. Classes were taught by Becky Thompson, Barb Mikolajczyk, Jennifer Gleich, Courtney Douthat (Allbrands After Hours) , Barbara Douthat (Allbrands Live), and Tammi Carson. They worked on projects ranging from vinyl using the Brother Scan N Cut to quilting with the Edge-to-Edge technique.

Here is what some of the attendees are saying about the 2023 Lone Star University:

There’s still time to sign up for Bayou University at Allbrands Baton Rouge on September 15-16, 2023 and Embroidery University at Allbrands Slidell on September 29-30, 2023. We hope to see you there!

Step Inside Lee Miller’s Texas Traditions Boots

Texas Traditions logo

Lee Miller and his apprentice Charlotte are known for creating one-of-a-kind boots in their workshop located behind his home. They have molds for the feet of various artists, including Lyle Lovett, Hall and Oates, Willie Nelson, and many more. Their custom creations are highly sought after, with a five-year waiting list and prices starting at $5,000.

Barbara Douthat, from AllBrands, had the opportunity to visit Lee Miller’s workshop in Texas between attending Brother Experience and Lonestar University in August 2023. Accompanied by Lee Miller’s wife, they were given a tour of the workshop and had the chance to see all of his equipment and techniques.

Lee Miller uses a Juki DDL-5550N for stitching, which he customized with a leather belt to allow for a special technique that slows down the machine as needed. In addition, he has a few older machines from the 1930s that are used for saddlework and boots and can do stitching without a bobbin.

The DDL-5550N Series lockstitch machine offers several improvements for a better sewing experience. The enhancements made to the thread take-up mechanism, feed mechanism, thread paths, and hook result in a more responsive machine that can provide consistent stitch quality even when working with different materials. Ultimately, the Juki DDL-5550N increases efficiency and productivity in your sewing projects.

See Lee Miller’s work on his Instagram.

New sewing and embroidery Machines from Brother at Brother Experience

Brother held The Brother Experience event in Austin, TX from August 13-17, 2023 to launch their 2023 lineup of new Brother machines and accessories. During the event, Barbara Douthat from showcased some of the new products from Brother during Allbrands Live, including the Brother Entrepreneur One PR1X, a Disney embroidery machine with a crosshair 2-point positioning laser, a fun and imaginative collection of built-in fonts, and 495 built-in embroidery designs, among other features.

Brother also updated its Stellaire series with new XJ2 and XE2 models. The XJ2 is a sewing and embroidery quilting machine that comes with 760 sewing stitches, including 20 tapering and 3 Sashiko, and a 9.5×14 hoop with 2-point embroidery positioning function and LED pointer. The XE2 is an embroidery machine, also in Disney theme, that comes with 101 built-in Disney embroidery designs and 9.5×14 hoop with 2-point embroidery positioning function and LED pointer.

Brother Print Moda

Additionally, Brother also announced the launch of its much-awaited Brother HLJF1 Print Moda, a DTG Direct to Fabric Printer that comes with a wide variety of built-in templates in Artspira coupled with the printing power of PrintModa. The printer is the ultimate crafting companion, has wireless connectivity, and is powered by the Artspira App. The package will come with a printable cotton fabric roll and black, cyan, magenta, and yellow Inkjet ink.

Finally, the best deals of the year on these new Brother products will be available at the Houston Quilt Festival happening on November 2-5, 2023, at the George R. Brown Convention Center, at our 7 store locations in Slidell, Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Bossier City, Houston, and San Antonio, and on

New from Bernina! Sewing, Embroidery, and Quilting Machines for 2024

Bernina University (BU) is an event held annually when Bernina unveils their new products for the upcoming year. This year BU was held in Dallas, TX from June 27-30, 2023. It’s always a thrilling event to see the latest innovations in sewing and embroidery machines. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout machines from this year’s lineup:

  1. Bernina B790 PRO: This sewing embroidery quilting machine comes with the Embroidery Module L (SDT) included. One of its impressive new features is laser pinpoint placement, which allows you to mark your start and travel points as you sew and embroider. With its 4-point placement function, you can easily and precisely position your designs on your fabric. It’s a machine designed to bring precision and ease to your sewing and embroidery projects.
  • Bernette B79 Yaya Han Edition: As the top-of-the-line Bernette model, this special edition machine is the first Special Edition from the brand. With a 5″ color screen and a 6×10″ embroidery area, it offers plenty of space to bring your creative ideas to life. It also comes with 3 hoops, 18 different feet, and features like Dual Feed and On-screen Stitch Designer. The machine even includes Software 9 Creator, which is valued at $1500. With its unique and striking design, Yaya Han hopes that the B79 Yaya Han edition “Sewing and embroidery can become your life long passion.”
  • Bernina Internet Models: The B540, B740, and B485 are the three internet models introduced at BU this year. The B540 comes in both sewing and sewing/embroidery variants, offering an 8.5″ arm, a 9mm stitch width, and 6mm stitch length. The B740 model boasts features such as Auto Threader & Trim, Foot Lift, Pivot, Speed Control, and an Extension Table. The B485 sewing machine comes with a Jumbo Bobbin, 5.5mm Stitch Width, Auto Thread Trimmer, and a Color Touch Screen. These models provide a range of options for different sewing and embroidery needs.

It’s truly amazing to see the variety and capabilities of these machines from Bernina. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year at BU!