Sunday, November 29, 2020

In-the-hoop machine embroidery project

I finished a project. This was a kit I bought from after I watched one of their free webinar classes on an in-the-hoop project. I don't think the kit is available any more but you can still get the design from Pickle Pie Designs and use your own fabrics. 

I've been out of machine embroidery for a number of years so these kind of projects, where you do both the embroidery and the construction in the hoop, are new to me. I wouldn't have been able to do them on my 7570 because not only were the hoops too small, but I no longer had a way to get designs into the machine except through the special cards. My new machine is a Pfaff Creative 3.0 and it comes with a large 260x200 mm hoop, or roughly 8x10 inches. This was a fun little project. The first block took me a long time because I didn't want to mess it up, since I only had the fabrics from the kit and no extra. I think it turned out really cute. My kit also included a book, also from Pickle Pie Designs: Modern Machine Embroidery It contains helpful information about machine embroidery, step by step instructions for a number of projects and a CD with designs. 

Machine embroidery is not an inexpensive hobby, nor is it always simple. There are so many different kinds of stabilizers on the market now. Back when I started with my 7570 in the early 2000's, there seemed to be only cut away, tear away and water dissolving. Now they have mesh and woven, heat soluble, fusible and more. Which one to use for which application gets confusing fast, even though the manufacturers all have charts and color coding to help you. There are many different types and weights of threads too. And designs! Oh my, so many designs. 

And then there's the embroidery machine. A few years ago I intended to replace only the embroidery function of my 7570 by buying a standalone machine, but ultimately decided to stay with the Pfaff brand. Back when I bought my 7570, it was their top of the line and only sewing/embroidery machine. This time I went "middle of the road" with the Creative 3.0 - there's a less feature-full 1.5 model and a more feature-full 4.5 model and then the top of the line "Icon." Now my 7570 was expensive when I bought it and the Creative 3.0 was not cheap either but the Icon costs as much as a new car. It projects an image of what you're going to embroidery onto the fabric and has speech recognition. It's no longer a computerized sewing/embroidery machine, it's a computer that sews and embroiders.

It's fun to embellish a few things with embroidery and I plan to do more of it. It's a luxury to have such a machine and to afford the threads and materials to do this for fun. Now I just need to find some more time to devote to it!  

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