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Thread: Machine-embroidering texts (for quilt labels) - questions

  1. #1
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    I've always just sewn on simple, non-computerized machines before. But now I've treated myself to a Janome Horizon. (Really I bought her for easier FMQ and she's a dream, I'll have a grow a lot in my quilting to do her justice, lol!)

    But she has alphabet stitches, too, so I'm now thinking maybe I could embroider my quilt labels. And am wondering (and not finding answers in my machine manual)...

    Do I need to put stabilizer under the fabric for using a pre-programmed alphabet?

    Can I use normal cotton thread (Aurifil 50 is what I'd have handy), or does it require special embrodery thread?

    How do I make sure the writing runs in the direction I want it to? (And for two or more lines of text, how make I sure they are at the right distance and parallel???)

    I hope someone can help! I'm usually good at figuring things out on my own, but this computer machine stuff scares the beejeezus out of me!! :?

  2. #2
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    Oh I'll be interested to see the responses here because I am hoping to get the Horizon in a few months. I can't wait!

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    ok, first you should use a stablizer under your project, it will help you not get puckers in the stitching.
    you can use whatever thread works well in your machine.
    and as far as actually designing/creating the text...more than one line and all of that...
    you need to get your book out and read the instructions for your machine. although many are similar they each have their own 'perks' so you need to see what the instructions say for writting a sentence or paragraph.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    ok, first you should use a stablizer under your project, it will help you not get puckers in the stitching.
    you can use whatever thread works well in your machine.
    and as far as actually designing/creating the text...more than one line and all of that...
    you need to get your book out and read the instructions for your machine. although many are similar they each have their own 'perks' so you need to see what the instructions say for writting a sentence or paragraph.
    Thank you ck, for advice on thread and stabilizer, that helps. I

    Re getting the book out, I did that before I posted here. I wish the machine came with a proper book that explains these things! Unfortunately, the user manual is more than sparse and has no answers to my questions above. On the yahoo group for the Horizon, a lot of people have already complained about the lack of information in the manual. Janome are apologetic and evasive about it, they seem to be saying they might bring out a guide book at some point but no guarantee! [End rant.]

    So for now I'm hoping for answers from knowledgeable people on this board. And I kind of don't think what I'm asking is machine-specific, wouldn't it be the same with any machine that makes alphabets? Maybe I'm wrong thinking that.

  5. #5
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    No it can definitely differ from machine to machine as to how many letters you can combine at a time. I would say practice some with some scrap fabric. My experience with the Janome 6500 and 6600 alphabets is that they will stitch it on one line only and you have to do it line by line. It is doable though, you just have to put some thought into it.

  6. #6
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Machines are so different. I would just try a few practice pieces & see what comes out nice for you. Fabric, batting, etc. all make a difference.

  7. #7
    KR
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    Senior Member KR's Avatar
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    I have a Brother and the manual is also pretty generic on how to really make something with the alphabets. I've only made a couple of labels with it, but played around first on some scraps to see how tall the letters are, spacing between letters, how long the words would be, etc.

    When I went to stitch the real piece, I drew parallel lines on the fabric with a disappearing marker and used them as guides when stitching. When you have an idea of how long your finished line of letters will be, determine where the center is and then mark (with the disappearing pen) where you should begin stitching.

    And, yes, be sure to use a stabilizer on the back. I like the tear-away kind, but there are others to choose from.

    Hope this helps? Have a wonderful quilty day!!! Karen

    PS: My other thought would be to talk with the folks where you purchased your machine. Maybe they even have a class on how to use the embroidery features.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cindyg's Avatar
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    I also have the Horizon but I haven't done any labels on it yet. I did make labels with my 6600. On the Janome site they have tutorials for the Horizon so you might want to see if embroidered alphabet is on there. Check with your dealer, too. Mine gives free lessons.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    No it can definitely differ from machine to machine as to how many letters you can combine at a time. I would say practice some with some scrap fabric. My experience with the Janome 6500 and 6600 alphabets is that they will stitch it on one line only and you have to do it line by line. It is doable though, you just have to put some thought into it.
    Yes I think it can do only line by line. Or if it doesn't, it's a secret feature not revealed by the manual...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KR
    I have a Brother and the manual is also pretty generic on how to really make something with the alphabets. I've only made a couple of labels with it, but played around first on some scraps to see how tall the letters are, spacing between letters, how long the words would be, etc.

    When I went to stitch the real piece, I drew parallel lines on the fabric with a disappearing marker and used them as guides when stitching. When you have an idea of how long your finished line of letters will be, determine where the center is and then mark (with the disappearing pen) where you should begin stitching.

    And, yes, be sure to use a stabilizer on the back. I like the tear-away kind, but there are others to choose from.

    Hope this helps? Have a wonderful quilty day!!! Karen

    PS: My other thought would be to talk with the folks where you purchased your machine. Maybe they even have a class on how to use the embroidery features.
    Thank you Karen, yes this helps a lot! Especially your advice on marking the text lines. It's really good to hear from someone who's been doing it successfully already. :)

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