I had been contemplating a stand-only embroidery machine for a while...been going back and forth and done some research. I have a Janome 6600P and a Bernina 153QE as my sewing machines and felt comfortable with either one of those brands. Well, yesterday hubby and I traveled to Brubaker's in New Holland, PA to drop off my 6600P to get a service/cleaning done before our big move to AZ in June. And they had a floor model 350E for sale. It was empty in the shop and hubby told me to play with it. Long story short, I really liked the machine and the ease of use and we ended up walking out the door with it
So now I am home, up since 6am, playing and learning. I consider myself an advanced beginner in piecing have looked all over the internet for some answers.
1. What needles do you 350E users recommend? I like Schmetz Microtex Sharps for piecing and use mostly 90/14 some 80/12 there. I read 70/11 neddles for embroidery. Schmetz Universal or Sharps or does it matter..
2. Dear God, how many different stabilizers are there??? My brain is smoking from trying to figure out what to use! Brubakers gave me a tear away washable (2 oz tear-n-wash) stabilizer ti use with wovens and a Cutaway light and soft for knits. What stabilizers do you use with quilter's cottons (tighter weaves/ lighter weaves), kitchen towels, waffle-knit towels, bath towels, sweat shirts, T-shirts? Do I need to buy a different stabilizer for each fabric? Where is the best place to purchase stabilizers?
3. How about thread? Brubakers was using a Mettler polysheen since it will not bleed. I like the thread but do not like the small spools for the price. What about Rayon Madeira or Marathon Rayon thread spools? Polyester for kitchen, bath towels and Rayon for other projects? Does Rayon bleed or are both safe? Some good sites online to buy your thread?
4. What thread to use in the bobbin? The machine came with pre-wound bobbins but it will be more economical to wind my own. Use coordinating thread in bobbin or only white or black depending on color of material used to embroider on?
5. I used www.embroiderylibrary.com to get some free designs and purchase a couple of simple ones to get me started. I wanted to try out the whole USB transfering process this morning and tried to embroider a simple Northwood Cardinal (only uses one color and is more of an outline stitching) on the 5x7 hoop this morning. The hoop was already pre-set by Brubaker's with muslin and the tear-n-wear stabilizer. Unfortunately, it started out with lots of white bobbin thread (pre-wound bobbins that came with machine) coming through. Then it got better...I did notice that my top thread was getting caught in the spool holder in the beginning. However I can see some areas of white still shining through in the design. Not sure what happened. Maybe a different stabilizer here? I did not change the tension even though I read that might be the issue. It was set at store and we did get some great design/ monograms embroidered with no problem there. Do I need to change the tension based on complexity of design every time?
At this point, I am trialing and erroring my way through until I can get to a class at Brubakers in the next two weeks