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1 way to minimize thread changes during embroidery with THE Dream Machine 2

 

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how you can change the settings on the embroidery design screen of THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother to make it easier to finalize a design. I used this awesome grid feature to finish designing our embroidered miniature quilt. Let’s start stitching!!

 

THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother
THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother

 

After you touch the “Embroider” button on the bottom of the design screen, the display will change to show the overall size of the finished embroidery, the stitch count, the number of thread changes and the time it will take to embroider the entire design.

Since each of my blocks is a separate embroidery design, you can see at the right side of the screen (beside the spool icon) that there are a total of 65 thread changes to be done!!! Since I’m using the same colored threads over and over again, I decided to come up with a way to minimize the number of times I needed to rethread the machine.

 

The embroidery size and stitch count display
The embroidery size and stitch count display

 

The first step is to stabilize my black Toscana fabric from Northcott. I decided to use Sulky Totally Stable and ironed it to the back of the fabric.

 

Totally Stable from Sulky
Totally Stable from Sulky

 

The Sky Blue section of the first block was the first part to be embroidered, so I threaded the machine with my sky blue thread.

 

Embroidering the Sky Blue section of the first block
Embroidering the Sky Blue section of the first block

 

After this section was stitched, the machine wanted me to change the thread to pink.

Instead of rethreading the machine with the next color that was listed on the embroidery screen, I used the arrow down button to scroll to the next section that was labelled “sky blue” and stitched out that section. After each section was stitched, I scrolled down to the next sky blue section and had the machine stitch out that part. All of the sky blue sections were stitched while that color of thread was on the machine.

No thread changes yet!

 

The Sky Blue block sections
The Sky Blue block sections

 

Next I scrolled back up to the beginning of the design and selected the first pink section. I rethreaded the machine with the pink thread and followed the same process to stitch first the pink and then the purple sections. I couldn’t believe how cute my little quilt was looking!!

 

Adding the pink and purple threads
Adding the pink and purple threads

 

After all of the blocks were stitched, I started stitching the cornerstone blocks. I had the THE Dream Machine 2 stitch all of the aqua sections first and then scrolled back and had it stitch all of the pink sections last.

 

Stitching the last of the cornerstones
Stitching the last of the cornerstones

 

By using this simple technique, I was able to decrease the number of thread changes from 65 to less than 10!

Not all designs will work with this technique – if you’ve got an embroidery design where colors are layered on top of each other you must have the machine stitch the bottom-most color first and then work your way towards the top color or your design won’t look right.

Now that I see the stitched version of my design, I decided I don’t want to add the outside blocks that would have been the cornerstones of an outer border. I love it just the way it is, so tomorrow we’re going to layer, quilt and bind my miniature quilt!

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Iron out the kinks on your embroidery design on THE Dream Machine 2

Go to part 5: 3 machine features that make finishing a miniature quilt super easy

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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