20 Jul

Meeting my Embroidery Module

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.

5 thoughts on “Meeting my Embroidery Module

  1. i love your MacGyver set-up! just making it all work!

    and the star looked beautiful before taking away the stabilizer. i look forward to seeing your progress. i’ve never done any machine embroidery…

  2. Get the embroidery module mastery book. I think it is on the Bernina Aurora yahoo group….if not, let me know and I’ll copy mine. My “classes” were useless as the instructor didn’t know how to do the 440, and the three other people in the class had 730s…I still don’t know how to use it 100%…but then I haven’t gone through the book yet either…dd swiped the laptop I bought to dedicate to this from me almost right away….she’s going to college this fall with her new laptop and I get mine back. 🙂

  3. I use a little netbook as well. The trick to seeing everything on the little screen is to go to Control Panel/Display and then change the screen resolution to something larger and hit apply. What will happen is that you can then scroll up and down to see all of the embroidery software window. It’s a pain, but it’s useful for doing the actual embroidery. Install the software on your regular desktop to do any major changes, save the embroidery design to a thumbdrive and then install it on the netbook.

    Good luck with it! I still have a lot of experimenting to do as well but I’m so glad that I finally got the embroidery module. Looks like you’re already off to a fine start! 🙂

  4. Oh, just had another thought … what happens if you embroider the stars on the wash-away and only cut out a bit away from the stars. Then sew them to your apron before you wash it?

Comments are closed.