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On the learning curve...

by Andrea Kelter on 02/23/16

I recently added an embroidery only machine to my sewing/quilting studio - and am happily on the learning curve of machine embroidery.


Because of the huge technological advancements in computerized sewing machines, I think it's pretty easy to believe that machine embroidery consists of quickly hooping fabric, putting the hoop in the machine, scrolling through designs, and hitting "stitch".  Not so.

It's an intricate balance between fabric types (knits/woven/other) and weights; stabilizer types and weights; stitch density; type and weight of thread; colour selection and more.  And I'm loving it!  To start down the right path, I enrolled (before I even purchased a machine) in Crafty's class "20 Things Every Machine Embroiderer Should  Know".  Very good class, very helpful for neophytes like myself!  

My stitching is currently on premium floursack kitchen towels, because it is destined for my store.  I love the look of monochromatic embroidery, and it is a great place to start learning, so black and white is (mostly) the order of my day at the moment.





But, after making thirty (or so) of these in various designs (all cool, all from Urban Threads - the greatest embroidery design online store ever!) - I began to get curious about branching out.

My reading and homework had kind of scared me off of intricate stitching on floursack towels - but, I want to add some keepsake towels to my inventory - so, ordered some 1.5 oz. tearaway stabilizer, and searched out some 32,000+ stitch designs that are representative of Grand Manan and the Bay of Fundy (one of the most beautiful places in the world - and yes, I am proudly biased!), and this past weekend, I stitched out a seven-colour design on a floursack towel.





I'm thrilled with it!  The photo is just out of the hoop, and the stabilizer has not yet been torn away, and the piece isn't pressed - but LOOK!  No pulling, no distortion of warp or weft - it is pretty close to perfect stitching!!!!!  I like it so much that I purchased my first interesting font, and will be re-hooping to add text tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day...as soon as I have the time to sit down and really concentrate on how to do it correctly!

The never-ending quilt also went back on Minerva this week, because I really, really want to get it done.  However, Murphy's Law stepped in - and so quietly that there was no sound change at all, my upper thread jumped out of a tension disk while I was quilting - necessitating the removal of thousands of stitches.  Hehehe - isn't that always the way?  And I was so close to done, too!  After four or five hours of stitch removal, the problem was solved and we were off to the races.  And I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel!



My only problem now is trying to find enough time to embroider and quilt...sigh.  Oh well, it's sure not the worst problem to have.

Linking up with Connie over at Freemotion by the River today, to see what everyone is up to, and wishing you all a great day!

Comments (7)

1. Patrica said on 2/23/16 - 12:53PM
You're certainly off to a wonderful start in your embroidery adventure. I love machine embroidery and use it a lot in my quilting. What machine do you have? I have a Janome 350E and am thinking of trading up to a 500E soon.
2. Sally said on 2/23/16 - 12:54PM
That shell looks wonderful. I can see why you're thrilled.
3. Andrea @ Tideline Quilts said on 2/23/16 - 04:58PM
Hi Patricia - I just purchased the Singer EM200 Superb. I read a lot of very bad reviews and a few outstanding ones on the machine - but my Singer S18 Studio has been an awesome machine - so I took the chance. It is still early days, but I have embroidered about 25 pieces so far - not one thread break, not one nest, not one issue with the machine. I am absolutely thrilled with her. I love Janome machines as well, and would love to hear what you think of the 500E when you trade up!
4. Andrea @ Tideline Quilts said on 2/23/16 - 04:59PM
Hi Patricia - I just purchased the Singer EM200 Superb. I read a lot of very bad reviews and a few outstanding ones on the machine - but my Singer S18 Studio has been an awesome machine - so I took the chance. It is still early days, but I have embroidered about 25 pieces so far - not one thread break, not one nest, not one issue with the machine. I am absolutely thrilled with her. I love Janome machines as well, and would love to hear what you think of the 500E when you trade up!
5. Andrea @ Tideline Quilts said on 2/23/16 - 05:01PM
Thanks so much for dropping by, Sally! So glad you like my shell...
6. Cathy said on 2/24/16 - 11:31AM
Your embroidery work is so pretty! I absolutely love it. And I hate when Murphy's Law steps in, darn it! At least you're close to being done.
7. Andrea @ Tideline Quilts said on 2/24/16 - 01:42PM
Murphy's Law - gets you every time! LOL... Thanks so much for dropping by, Cathy, and I am so glad you like the embroidery!!!


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