Friday, April 5, 2013
I am really liking my Deco 340 embroidery machine. This is even when it messes up. I tried the other quilt program I bought and it took a little work, but I finally figured it out.
The first one I tried fit in the 4 patch squares of the Star Points. I was able to line up the grid marks of the hoop for the embroidery on the cross where the fabric was stitched together in the middle of the squares. The squares I was working on today are much larger. Each square of the 4 patch is the size of the whole 4 patch in the Star Points. I decided to use the simpler pattern and to do one in each square. I would have just enlarged the pattern and done one big one, but the pattern can only be enlarged about 106%. I DID try it, even with a larger hoop.
So I did one in each corner. Naturally there were issues at the start, but this time I learned my lesson. Stand with the machine and if it messes up, STOP it. This greatly lessens the number of stitches you have to remove!
The pattern is too busy to mark a line on the fabric, even if I had remembered to buy one at Alpine Sewing when I was there. (I did order one online, but I have to wait for that.) Instead I measured each corner and put a pin in the exact center. Then I measured from the other side and marked that. The hard part is getting the fabric centered exactly in the hoop. Tug a little here and it pops out there. Once it is in place I removed the plastic grid and attached the hoop to the machine.
There are little arrows on the screen that I press to move the needle a minute amount one way or the other. I play with them for awhile and then start the machine.
My Deco kindly stitches a few stitches and then pauses while I cut the ends of the top thread and the bobbin thread. Then I push start again and away it goes. There are times when the design call for a row of stitches to be stitched over again. This is both to make the line thicker and more noticeable and to get to the next area to be stitched. At times the lines are not right over the first row. I could be bothered by this, or I could assume it is because the fabric of the quilt is big and heavy and that causes the discrepancy. I'm going with the latter and not worrying about it. If someone examines my quilt that closely there are going to be WAY more problems than that! This is only my third quilt, after all. I expect to get better, but I don't expect to be perfect right off the bat. Good thing, too, because I am not!
It obviously takes longer to finish a square when you have to do four different hoops full of stitches. Each one has to be measured and then aligned and then stitched. It takes 10 to 15 minutes for each hoop, so this is not a quick process. It is, however, WAY faster than hand stitching the whole thing! I also like the way the four areas stitched look on the back of the quilt. It is fun and I love learning new things.
Even as I work on this quilt I am planning the things I am going to embroider next. After this I will write a label and use that for the back of the quilt. I have to decide if I want to do a label and then stitch it on or stitch the label right on the back of the quilt. Hmmmm.