Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More Fun with my Embroidery Machine


Still experiementing and learning. Embroidery with a machine is more like coloring than anything else—The design is a file (different machines use different formates) that you load into the embroidery machine, (in my case via a USB drive.)

My machine came with 160 pre-loaded designs— Plus it came with a (computer) CD with 3000 more designs. The internet is a source for more designs—there are some free designs, and some that cost a $1, and lots more that cost more... I want to buy hundreds—but..I am trying to limit myself to designs I want RIGHT now....

I have already bought a sampler of stablizers, there are several different kinds, and weights) and sampler (63 colors) of threads—I have a few more colors of thread--(almost 30)--some I bought to use with my standard machine (and decorative stitches) some that came as a bonus with purchase (primary colors and white and black) some that I have found in clearance bins...I plan to take a course (in the fall) but for now, I am just playing--and have more than enough thread and stablizer.  

One “issue” is: every company has a different numbering system..White and black tend to be simple numbers, (white-100 or 001) and the same goes with black (900 or 999) and all the other colors? Every company has its own numbering system—and the names vary too—one compnies light teal is another companies dr turquoise—There are chart showing the color names/color numbers across MOST of the brands...but I haven't printed them out..so I am often blind to what color to use. 

For a perfect design, you should plan ahead and make sure you have the right color/shade—Or you can be like me, and 'wing it'---

I know that if I buy Brother Brand designs (a bit pricey at $6 (average price) and Brother threads, my machine with give a color name (white) and a color number (100) and I will be able to make a perfect duplicate of the design I see.

An other brand, (no name) costs $1 a pattern—and it just gives a color name (and these can vary with different brands of threads). These designs almost demand a scrap or sample embroidery to figure out what color is what--

So here is one of my experiments.. This design called for 18 colors... and I made the wrong choices for some of these colors.. (the blue in the cloth being sewn is way to dark--(even though the thread I uses was labeled Lt Blue— the color called for, what I really needed was Very Light Blue.

I made a mistake too, and missed one color (Do you see the mistake? No? —look again—there are no straight pins in the pin cushion) I plan to make this design again, (and I will correct the colors!) and make it into a framed embroidery for my sewing room I'll add a bit of text (My Sewing Room ) to the design.  Framed it will be about 5 X 7 the actual embroidery is about 4.5 x 5 and it took an hour to complete.  A good deal of time was just threading and re-threading the machine with the different colors. 

Meanwhile, here are some images of the dresses I made last month—I messed up the pocket placement on the red trimmed black dress.. and I added an embroirded patch on the pocket of the sailor dress.

Both dresses are the same pattern, just different collars and trim to make them appear different.  Simple changes make big differences.


Next week I will be teaching at the NYPL—a community quilting project. I will be teaching the actual quilting part—for the past month, other have been teaching piecing and applique techniques for the blocks-- This has inspired me to finish (all done but for binding!) a quilt I started 20 + years ago.

More on the quilt in my next post.