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CaleyH 02-04-2021 06:20 PM

Gone Bonkers
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Hi Everyone,

Ever since I discovered quilting, and invested in my Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, and Babylock Jazz II machines, and sewn for nearly a year now, along with going crazy on purchasing threads and fabrics, I have to think I have gone bonkers. I have been enjoying myself so much, even if my regular day only consists of maybe 30 minutes of sewing machine time.

I recently picked up a sewing project for the local non-profit organisation "Sky's the Limit" Observatory and Nature Center. They needed some Orrery flag replacements. I made one for Jupiter and one for Saturn out of regular cloth three layers thick as temporary flags. I decided to try my hand at doing graphics on each flag to represent each Planet.

I used my Singer to stitch out things once i drew the graphics on the fabric. But I didn't know what I was doing, so I ended up very slowly going in circles, or using small zig zags to fill things in or outline things. Picture of Saturn attached. It's quite amateurish.

But, as things go, I am totally interested in embroidery, and how it is done. And also just what machine would be right for someone just starting. The only thing I really would want as an extra is the ability to import a graphic into the machine, and be able to size it to fit whatever sized hoop the machine comes with. I don't have lots of money to try something I might not stick with.

Any suggestions on a machine that is reliable, and does a good job. I saw one review on a Singer that was not very good, so I am guessing this Singer machine, model unknown, is not in the running, even though it was around $700, which was just over my top price range.

quiltingcandy 02-04-2021 08:08 PM

If you have a Brother dealer close to your home I would recommend you go and test their machines. My friend bought the PE770 and loves it. The largest hoop is 5 x 7, but you can do some designs in sections. I believe she got it from an internet site for $700.00, maybe Sewing Machines Plus? They have some great deals as times, so does Amazon.

My Husqvarna/Viking was around $2.000 - but was well worth the money. The largest hoop is 200 mm x 260mm (roughly 8 x 11). I got a deal on it because it was a floor model. So you could check with some local dealers and see what they can do for you. My dealer will allow me to upgrade within one year for a full value trade in. I love doing the embroidery in my quilting. I also love to make kitchen towels for gifts, embroidering hand towels for the bathroom, and I have put designs on sweatshirts for kids my daughter works with. And for my other daughter who teaches in elementary school (4-5-6) grades I make book marks for Christmas to inspire reading, and free standing lace egg holders at Easter. A year ago I also made awards for kids that were first in math and reading. The tea towels make great door prizes and hostess gifts. You can also quilt with an embroidery machine.

doloresbeger 02-05-2021 05:00 AM

I will make a suggestion that you buy locally. The dealers are so much help when you are first starting to get into embroidery. Saving some money in the beginning may cost you later on. A lot of dealers don't want to service machines bought on the internet. Just a thought. I have embroidered for years and found my dealer to be a wealth of information and classes. They usually give free lessons on new machines which will help a lot.

Rhonda K 02-05-2021 05:55 AM

Your adventure with the planet flags looks so creative.

I love machine embroidery and have brother/BL machines. They are very user friendly. The concept of making your own designs is feasible. It does takes time to learn the features and create them. It is much simpler to buy the design and go.

CaleyH 02-05-2021 07:38 AM

Doloresbeger, Thanks. Nearest shop is about 75 miles from where I live. If this pandemic ever ends, then maybe I will make a road trip.

QuiltingCandy and RhondaK, Yes, I've heard that Brother makes some fairly good embroidery machines for the beginner. I've looked at those, but unfortunately they are above my current financial ability. I also like Babylock, but they are even higher priced.

As this is just an information gathering for me, getting a machine right now isn't important. I am just goi9ng to keep studying the idea before making a decision.

I do like the idea of embroidering the quilts with basic patterns. That had crossed my mine when I first started looking.

Macybaby 02-09-2021 07:15 AM

I believe the "extra" ability to import a graphic is going to put anything way over your budget. Most lower cost machines don't come with designing software, and most have a pretty small display too. I bought stand alone software to do that and it was around $2,000. I bought it two years ago and have only used it once to divide up a grouped design. I really want to learn more, but time is limited. So for now I'm still buying designs. The software I bought pretty much does have the capability of creating a stitch file from a graphic. you can then go in and tweak it (like change fill patterns or or size). You tell it the size and what type of fabric you are stitching on, and it goes from there. It also comes with free upgrades.

I also bought software that you can draw out a design and it will create a stitch pattern. This is really neat if you like to do pencil drawing and want to create a stitch design. This needs a tablet that you can draw on to work, and the software lets you impose a picture that you can then trace over to create the stitching.

There is a lot involved and taking a graphic and converting it to a design that can be stitched out (it's called digitizing). There are also a lot of people out there that will do it for you at a modest cost, and a huge, huge number of already created designs you can buy for under $5. So to start out, just look for a decent machine and buy designs, and if you get seriously hooked, then you can deal with the rest.

juliasb 02-09-2021 07:46 AM

I love to do machine embroidery. I went bonkers and bought every thread possible for my endeavors. I have boxes full of thread! I will be getting a Janome Memory craft machine next weekend that I can't wait to try out. I love my Brothers machines and have been using them for years. They are great machines
Go slowly as you take to learning. Watch what is going on. Make sure you have enough fabric over the sides of the hoop. You can always cut it down after your are finished . Also use the right fusible to stabilize each piece. This is very important. You will learn quickly. If I am doing something important for someone else or a special project I will do a sample block first. I can always use the sample in a quilt later on but I get a true idea of what the end result will be.

CaleyH 02-09-2021 09:15 AM

Thanks All, After a lot of research, watching videos, and listening to All of You here on the Forum, I've decided that embroidery is way out of my league, price wise.

I've also watched some videos on free handed embroidery with a regular sewing machine. That's kind of what I did when I created those rough things called Jupiter and Saturn on three layers of cloth. What I found was I was doing it the hard way, without a darning foot, but somehow managed to do it with a regular foot, and with the feed dog up.

I figure if I can accomplish what I did with doing things wrong, I just might be able to do it the correct way. So, instead of laying down several thousand dollars on something I might not stick with, I will try free handed embroidery on my Baby Lock Jazz 2 sewing machine. And I believe doing this will also teach me some control for when I do free handed quilting.

Thanks again.

Macybaby 02-09-2021 02:04 PM

Even with free hand embroidery, get the right stabilizer underneath. it makes a world of difference especially if you don't have the option of using a hoop. I started gluing the fabric to the stabilizer (washable school glue) instead of trying to move a hoop around, or trying to keep the fabric tight so it does not pucker.

You can do some really neat stuff that way. I have a vintage Singer book for doing free hand embroidery, and it's got lots of detailed instructions and projects. And it's all about doing it on straight stitch machine. Though with today's stabilizers (including wash away) some of it's a lot easier to accomplish.

This is the book I have, since copywrites have expired, you can get affordable copies now. I have an original for my collection. I know nothing about this site, linked only to show the book I was talking about.

Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery... book by Singer Sewing Company (thriftbooks.com)

j50 02-09-2021 05:25 PM

google "thread painting" and" thread sketching"
I think you will find this very interesting. You can do a free hand drawing or paint over an existing scene. I have done this and it is very satisfying.

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