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.
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.
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!