|Otto Supervises Embroidery on the Bernina 750QE|
So my Rottweiler has been doing a bit of embroidery with my new Bernina 750QE... :-) Otto was fascinated by the noises and movement of the embroidery module. It was very cute.
I came up with an Inaugural Project to help me get to know the new sewbaby. It's going to be a mini quilt, smaller than a place mat, with our last name appliqued in large capital letters. It's the I'm Too Cool for School Carpool Tag to replace the boring, laminated name tags that were distributed to us by the school. After I do the machine-embroidered applique I'll add some borders, layer it with batting and backing so I can test out the BSR function with some free-motion quilting (maybe can incorporate one of the 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenges that I still need to complete). Finally, I'll test out the dual feed feature when I attach the binding. By the time it's finished, I should be pretty comfortable with my new sewing machine.
|Applique 4 Alphabet from Embroidery Arts|
Disclaimer: I am not what you'd call a frequent machine embroiderer. In the past, my embroidery module has only come out every 6 months or so, for quilting "in the hoop" or a monogrammed baby blanket gift. The actual embroidery process is very easy -- all you have to do is thread the machine, press the start button, and then clip the thread and rethread with the next color when prompted by your machine. The tricky part of machine embroidery is getting your fabric into the hoop properly so that it is taught, but not stretched, correctly stabilized to support the density of your chosen embroidery design, and positioned in your hoop so that your design can stitch out exactly where you want it to go.
|See that pesky puckering?|
|Completed design. Additional stabilizer was used with the "MPF" to eliminate puckering. Not bad, right?|
|Stretched In the Hoop -- See all those awful wrinkly puckers now that the hoop is removed?!|
|Pre-Cut Applique Letters, Prior to Stitching|
|Second Attempt with 2 layers of OESD Clean & Tear|
|Lettering Traced BACKWARDS onto Fusible Web, then Fused to WS of Applique Fabric|
The directions for machine embroidered applique designs usually call for putting an oversized scrap of fabric down over that placement line and trimming the excess fabric away in between the tackdown stitch and the satin stitch, but I think it would be a nightmare to try to cut these letters after they were already stitched down in the hoop.
See, I still have a bit of a wave at the edge of this piece, but it's much better than the first attempt and I think I can work with it. I really, REALLY love the way the fabrics and font style work together.
|Mega Hoop has TWO screws, not just one!|
So, to sum things up: today I learned (again!) that I probably need more stabilizer for embroidery than I think I do, especially when I'm working with light weight fabrics and heavy satin-stitched designs. I also learned that I need to loosen the outer hoop more (with BOTH screws) before I cram the inner hoop, fabric, and stabilizer into it so the fabric isn't stretched and distorted in the hooping process. In fact, since I'm planning to quilt this piece anyway, I probably should have layered a thin cotton quilt batting between the fabric and stabilizers prior to hooping it -- the batting would have provided even more support for my embroidery design.
Next time I show you my Too Cool For School Carpool Tag, I'll probably be adding borders of some sort. I haven't decided what I want them to look like yet.