My sewing machine is available with an embroidery module. I opted not to buy it when I bought my machine, but now, I have a project that could use it, and I have the funds to make the investment.
My set-up got a little crazy. Ideally, the software should be installed on a laptop so that I can take it and my machine to the Bernina store for lessons. We don’t have a PC laptop, but the neighbor has a little notebook I could borrow. The notebook doesn’t have a CD drive though, so I had to attach an external one we had laying around. The program display is larger than the notebook’s screen though, so I’m trying to get it to display on my man’s monitor. That didn’t work, but I may just install the software onto the tower and skip the classes for now.
My goal is to embroider stars to apply patch-like to an apron base. The ladies at the store recommended an easily cut away base such as tulle, and a wash away stabilizer. I tested several variations on the theme. Who knew a non-machine embroiderer like I had so many stabilizers in my stash? Left to right, I tried: a papery tear and wash away one which was great for embroidery onto a fabric base and for less solid designs, but tore too easily for my stars; a waxy feeling papery tear-away that didn’t work at all; a wash-away that felt almost like fabric which worked nearly-perfect when doubled (thank you Tami for that insight); and a plasticy wash-away that failed miserably. (Click the photo to get a closer look.)
Ooh, pretty! I liked this a lot, so I filled a whole hoop full.
Then I washed away the stabilizer and realized the error of my ways. The tulle base kept that star in shape, but the rest just turned into weird little starfish (click to see them larger).
Obviously, I need to do a little more experimentation, but I feel like I’m on the right track. I think I will sew a base layer of stars directly onto my apron. Then I will add on top of that, free-floating stars that I embroider onto tulle and two layers of the fabricy stabilizer (as luck would have it, that’s the one I have the most of!). Or, I may have to use a solid fabric base, though this particular motif is not conducive to outlining in stitch, cutting away the excess, and then finishing the fill embroidery. I’ll also look for a star that has stubbier points.
My daughter had me embroider a kitty for her which turned out great and taught me a bit about changing thread colors.
So far, I’m liking having this option on my machine. I look forward to growing my skills with it.