The Quilting Company

Friday, July 31, 2020

Let's Wind It Up!

Preview of machine embroidery

I thought it important to interject what are my expectations of machine embroidery.  Machine embroidery should be clean, flat and with no puckers and spot on embroidery registration.  Meaning that things should line up!

If you don't own an embroidery machine, here's a photo of my screen.  Every machine brand/model will be a little bit different.  Some screen views will be monochrome.  Some will be full color.  But, at the minimum, they will give you some basic information about the design you have selected.  The screen will include the number of stitches and even the time it needs to sew.  Now I have NEVER sewn a design in the allotted time.  I usually double what it says, allowing for stops and for thread changes, etc.  But you'll see what's sewing out for each thread color, the design size,and the hoop (size) you will need.

If you don't have an embroidery machine and might be interested in looking, I did a post on my sister blog, Thoughts, Thimbles and Threads, a while back about what things you might want to consider when shopping.

This is what embroidery by machine should look like and what I am expecting front and back:

Finished Front Side

Finished Back Side

Back to the Longarm!

My epiphany included using a thinner "batting" and I chose to use some flannel.  If I am going to cover the back side to hide the "ugly" I didn't really need the batting and backing that I had included the first go-round.

And results were slightly better...and I had another thought.....

I wanted to add a background fill of some sort.  Thinking about a fill motif, or crosshatch, stippling, etc.  I would have to crop the design either in Pro-Stitcher or one of the digital software applications - Art and Stitch or Pro-Stitcher Designer.

But I am lazy!  Why just not select the Crosshatch design from the BLOCKS folder of Pro-Stitcher and sew it FIRST in thread matching the fabric?  Sometimes lazy thoughts pay off!  An additional PLUS is that it acts like an additional layer of stabilization.  

Final Thoughts...
There's still some registration problems with the outline of those two leaves.  And, yes, I forgot to change my thread when I started stitching the crosshatch.  Sometimes, I get SEW excited!  And forget!

If I were to embrace this feature fully, the results would probably end up in some type of home decor project like pillows, placemats or a wall-hanging.  
Terial Magic

I might also treat the Kona cotton with a product such as Terial Magic,  a liquid fabric stabilizer (available on my website),  to add more stability to the fabric and hopefully solve some of those outline issues.  Unlike starch, it doesn't need to be rinsed out and will retain some body to the fabric. 

I have to keep in mind that this is quilting!  My quilt tops, after applying my quilting designs, are not flat, but they are ripply.  So it's something I need to accept and get over!

If you've missed any of the posts in this Series, click on the links below:

And as always - leave a comment below.  Or contact me if you have a question about a technique, or something you've been wanting to try!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Setting Up the Longarm for Stitching "Embroidery"

When I first accepted the challenge of creating a mini-series of Converting Machine Embroidery Designs to Digital Quilting Designs on the Computerized Longarm, I had to dig deep into my knowledge of embroidery.  How was this all going to happen?

I went through several iterations of how to approach this task.  And I needed to have it make sense to the beginner as well as to the seasoned quilter.  Realizing that there are several levels of understanding and skill levels to digitizing, machine embroidery and longarm quilting, and the associated digitizing software programs.  I hope that I have covered all those experience levels and given you logical information on the processes I have followed.  Be sure, if you have any questions, comments, or even better ideas...please drop me a line in the COMMENTS below.

Let's look at how I got started!

My first thought was - How do I stabilize my work surface?
I didn't have any fusible batting on hand.  I made my own.  Starting with a half-yard of Kona cotton, I fused  Heat-N-Bond Featherweight fusible to the back.  Peeled away the paper back and ironed the fabric to thin Quilters' Dream Dream Cotton Batting.  I like it because it's light weight, good drape and little loft.  I picked it for stability.