Tag Archives: embroidery

Machine Shopping Tips fm Jenny Gabriel

Jenny Gabriel - alter ego: StitchinJenny

The Holidays are coming and some of you may be ready to buy your first sewing machine, embroidery machine, or even your very first serger.  If so, good for you!  You’re worth it!

Choosing the right machine can be an overwhelming task so I’m posting some shopping tips here for your review.  Keep in mind, the ideas expressed here are my personal opinions and do not necessarily represent SewVac Outlet’s staff or owner.

Embroidery Machines:

Here’s some info. about embroidery machines that you may find helpful:
  • Ask your dealer questions about how to transfer embroidery designs to the embroidery machine.
  • Ask about the maximum size for embroidery. The least expensive embroidery machine has a 4×4 hoop size. As you go up in hoop size the price goes up as well.
If you have your heart set on a sewing/embroidery machine combo, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, the best deal I’ve seen lately is the BabyLock Ellure Plus.  BabyLock is a very good brand.  This model has a usb port and comes with 2 hoops:  5×7 & 5×12.  The 5×12 is awesome for sewing out larger designs.  I think it’s on sale at a reduced price right now at Humble Sewing Center.   I can’t quote prices here, but I can say that the sale price is a real steal.  Check out this link to find out more about the Ellure Plus:  http://www.babylock.com/embroidery/ellure-plus3/
If you’re looking for an Embroidery Only machine, I personally love the Janome 350E.  

Janome 350E

This machine is not a sewing/embroidery combo so it does not sew at all.  However, I own this model and love it!  It is very user friendly and has more on-screen embroidery editing abilities than most embroidery machines for the same price.  It definitely has more embroidery “muscle” for your money.   Check out this link to find out more:  http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Embroidery/MC350E

Sewing Machines

My favorite Sewing Machine brand is Janome.  I own the MC6600.  This is one fully loaded workhorse of a machine!  However, most ladies don’t need so much sewing muscle, so the model I recommend the most often is the Janome DC2011.  When you start comparing features and prices, you’re going to find that, compared to other brands, Janome gives you a lot more bang for your buck.  Pretty much any Janome you get will be a good machine.
Here’s a link to check out the DC2011:
Here are some features to look for in a sewing machine:
  • drop in bobbin
  • speed control slider
  • one-step button hole
  • adjustable stitch width
  • adjustable stitch length
  • decorative stitches
  • 7mm widest stitch width
  • (I prefer the computerized machines that have an LCD screen.  They are going to include a lot more convenience features than a basic mechanical machine.)
  • Make sure the inside of the machine has metal parts and not plastic.  The computerized Brothers at Walmart have no metal frame inside and are full of cheap parts.  (Seen this first hand.)
Whatever brand you choose, avoid getting a machine at Walmart, Target, Sears, department stores etc.  The manufacturers do not support these models.  Only the models that are sold at sewing machine dealerships are supported by the manufacturers.
In other words, you won’t be able to get parts for a machine that you buy at Walmart etc.  If you are planning to buy your machine online, don’t purchase until you make sure that your local dealership will be able to get parts for it in case you need repairs in the future.  Also, dealerships are able to offer better warranties than online purchases, so be sure to do your homework before you buy!

Sergers:

Recommended Serger Features to look for: 
Any serger you buy should have:
  • at least 4 threads
  • differential feed (this is what helps you tame those stretchy knit fabrics with ease and it does other cool stuff, too)
  • it’s accessories:  long tweezers, screw driver for changing needles, etc.
  • If you get a Janome or a Babylock, both of these brands can usually do a pretty rolled hem stitch.  If possible, have the dealer demo the serger’s rolled hem before buying.
Recommended Serger Brands:
I consider myself a serger expert.  I teach a lot of serger classes each year.  I’ve seen almost every model and brand you can think of.  I’ve seen many a serger bite the dust in my Serger 101 class because of being a poor quality make & model.  In my opinion, any current model of Janome or BabyLock Serger will be a good machine that will serve you well.
My favorite Janome is the Janome 1110DX  and the Queen of all sergers is the Babylock Evolution.

Janome 1110DX

BabyLock Evolution

BabyLock Sergers:   http://www.babylock.com/sergers/
Janome
As far as price, there are some other Janome models for less than the one I’m discussing here, but this one’s a little easier to thread.  It’s the middle of the road machine.  Not the base model and not the top of the line either.  Many ladies have brought this with them to my classes and it’s always done great.
BabyLock
Another exceptional brand for sergers is Babylock.  They have jet air threading and automatic tension settings which makes them the easiest serger to use on the entire serger market.  Pricewise, lowest to highest is:  Imagine, Enlighten, Evolution (top of the line).
These machines typically cost more than other brands, but they are so easy to use that it’s worth every penny.
Well, I hope this helps you on your journey and machine hunt.
Happy Shopping!
Let’s Get Sewing!
Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Tips for Embroidery with Metallic Threads

Machine Embroidery Tips: Using Metallic Thread

Have you ever tried to use metallic thread for machine embroidery and it just keeps breaking over and over and OVER???  Me too!!!  Sooooo, I looked up some tips and I’m posting them here for your review.  I want to be sure to give credit where it’s due so, want to let you know I found this info on a site called:  http://www.annaboveembroidery.com

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Potholder in the Hoop – November 2011

Potholder Anita Goodesign Mix and Match Quilting Sunbonnet Sue in the Kitchen

Hi everyone, I am sure that you are working on your holiday projects by now. I am just getting started so I have a lot to do. We usually give our neighbors a gift at Christmas. I like to give them something that I created. Sometimes the gift comes from my kitchen and sometimes from my sewing room. This year, it will come from my sewing room. I am going to make a Potholder in an embroidery hoop using the Anita Goodesign Sunbonnet Sue in the Kitchen design collection. This collection is part of the Mix and Math Quilting series which you may know that I think is wonderful. You may have seen my Mix and Match Christmas Quilt which is still a work in progress at the store.

The potholder will also be featured in our November Embroidery Club. Please note, the fee for Embroidery Club has changed it is now $10.

Supply List

  • Anita Goodesign Sunbonnet Sue in the Kitchen
  • 8 x 12 hoop, 7×11 hoop, 6×10 hoop, or 5×7 hoop
  • 1/3 yd muslin
  • 4- 10” jelly roll pieces
  • 1/4 yd coordinating fabric for base
  • 1/4 yd coordinating fabric for back
  • 1/4 yd Insul-Bright
  • 5” ribbon
  • no show mesh stabilizer for 1 hooping
  • embroidery thread to coordinate with design
  • 1 spool all-purpose sewing thread
  • Embroidery Machine, power cord and foot pedal
  • Embroidery Hoop (make sure you bring the correct hoop size!)
  • PROJECTS CD
  • Printed design for placement (optional)
  • Sewing Machine Feet: Embroidery Foot, Regular Sewing Foot, Walking Foot (if you
  • have one), Edge Stitching Foot (if you have one)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Embroidery Needle, size 75/11
  • Universal Needle, size 90/12
  • Potholder: medium weight quilting cotton, muslin
  • If you are using a hoop smaller than the 8×12, you will be adding additional borders to you potholder to make it the 7 ½” x 7 ½” finished size. You can also make potholders smaller, if desired.

Sewing Equipment

  • Embroidery Machine, power cord and foot pedal
  • Embroidery Hoop (make sure you bring the correct hoop size!)
  • Printed design for placement (optional)
  • Sewing Machine Feet: Embroidery Foot, Regular Sewing Foot, Walking Foot (if you have one), Edge Stitching Foot (if you have one).
  • USB, Compact Flash or Programmable Card as required for your embroidery machine.

Notions:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Embroidery Needle, size 75/11
  • Universal Needle, size 90/12
  • Potholder: medium weight quilting cotton, muslin
  • If you are using a hoop smaller than the 8×12, you will be adding additional borders to you potholder to make it the 7 ½” x 7 ½” finished size. You can also make potholders smaller, if desired.

Fabric Suggestions:

  • Potholder: medium weight quilting cotton, muslin

Notes

  • If you are using a hoop smaller than the 8×12, you will be adding additional borders to you potholder to make it the 7 ½” x 7 ½” finished size. You can also make potholders smaller, if desired.
  • You can use another Anita Goodesign Mix and Match Quilt block for your potholder. If so, please print the page in the tutorial which shows the stitching order for the selected block.





Tips on Using a Wing Needle

I recently did a class where we used a wing needle. We tried different stitches on the machine to see what the results would be. As everyone tried the different stitches, they shared the results with others in the class. Each person kept their samples and made a note of the stitch that they used for that sample. It was a fun to see everyone enjoy creating beautiful stitches with a wing needle.

If you have never used a wing needle, now might be the time to try one. A WING NEEDLE is used to produce beautiful heirloom sewing effects. Use those heirloom stitches on your sewing machine and a natural fabric and fine thread for the best results.  When the needle goes through the fabric, the wings push the yarns of the fabric to the sides, creating holes. The more often the needle goes through the same hole, the more pronounced the opening is. Most machines have decorative stitches that can be used to create even more intricate decorative effects, such as blanket stitch, honeycomb, stars – even stitches designed to produce the look of purchased entredeux. Wing needle stitching is a quick and easy embellishment for purchased items – linen and/or cotton shirts, tablecloths & napkins – anywhere you want a subtle decorative touch.

A wing needle can be used for embroidery too. Use your wing needle for the parts of your design that have running stitches, motif fills, or bean
stitches. Stitch a test design first to make sure that you are happy with the results. When using a wing needle in embroidery, slow down the speed of stitching on your machine.

Tips for using your wing needle:

  1. Do not use your needle threader with a wing needle.
  2. Use a light weight embroidery thread, the same or one shade darker than your fabric.
  3. Use some stabilizer under your fabric, and if the holes are not defined enough, use a double layer.
  4. Go slow, and try not to stop while stitching, this can cause an uneven and misaligned row of stitches.
  5. Natural and loosely woven fabrics work the best.
  6. Have fun!

Introducing the new Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000The Horizon Memory Craft 12000 will expand your sewing, quilting and embroidery to new horizons. You can see the Horizon Memory Craft at Sew Vac Outlet (Humble Sewing Center) on Saturday, October 1, 2011. 

This top of the line Janome sewing/embroidery machine has a 15″ embossed stainless steel plate in the bed and 11″ to the right of the needle; it has the most workspace of any Janome. It has the largest, most stable embroidery system we’ve ever developed. And an amazing list of new features.

The Horizon Memory Craft 12000 will change the way you create, and make the creative journey more enjoyable than ever before.

Real-Time PC Connection With Horizon Link™ 
Create and edit designs on the touchscreen in real time on your computer. Use your mouse to drag, drop and edit. This means your editing screen can be as large as your computer monitor. Or take your laptop with you to edit on the go.

AcuFeed Flex™ Layered Fabric Feeding System
Our AcuFeed™ system has been a favorite among quilters for its amazing precision and power. Now it’s even better. AcuFeed Flex™ is easy to remove and comes in two widths with multiple feet to address different tasks.

Create Your Own Stitches
Design your own original decorative stitches from scratch. Using the Stitch Composer,™ it’s easy. And your Memory Craft 12000 can use your new creation just like one of its own built-in stitches, altering length and width and adding it to combinations.

The Linear Motion Embroidery System™
It slips neatly onto the back of your machine to give you a bigger embroidery area than ever before, with even greater accuracy. So discreet and sleek, you can leave it attached for regular sewing. And it’s the only home-use sewing machine to allow Free Arm embroidery.

Then there’s the 9mm Stitch WidthAuto Presser Foot LiftOne Step Needle Plate ConversionVariable Width Zigzag during FMQ, and so much more.

Introducing the New Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

Baby Lock recently introduced a new Ellisimo Gold.  New features in the Ellisimo include color visualization and the on screen designer. You can also resize embroidery designs on the Ellisimo Gold up 200% and down 60% while adjusting the density for the perfect embroidery.

Introducing the Ellisimo Gold from Baby Lock from Tacony Corporation on Vimeo.