It’s day two, and I’m excited to get back to work on the tote bag. I prepared all the pieces for the tote bag yesterday, using a garment press to fuse the interfacing in place. Next, I headed over to the mySewnet embroidery library, selected an endless embroidery design and sent it via Wi-Fi to the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90. Wow!
Today, we’ll stitch out the endless embroidery design.
Endless designs are fun to work with and can be used in multiple ways. They require numerous hoopings, which you could do in a regular hoop, but that would take a long time and be challenging to line up. Today, I’ll show you a better way.
Endless embroidery designs have reference points to make it easy to line up the design. Did you know you can make almost any design into an endless embroidery design? Yes, the Wizard in the mySewnet embroidery software allows you to make any design endless by adding in reference points, making lining up each subsequent design a breeze.
Let’s get started.
The first thing I did was to sew on the band of the tote bag. I did change this process up slightly from my earlier Quilted tote bag tutorial – but it was easier to do the endless embroidery and the quilting this way. If I had worked on the two pieces separately, I’d have to seam them together, resulting in a bulky seam allowance. The bottom line is, there are multiple ways to put anything together.
There are several endless hoops you can use for this process – the Husqvarna Viking Endless Embroidery Hoop II (180 x 100 mm) and the Husqvarna Viking Mega Endless Hoop (260 x 150 mm). The beauty of the endless hoop is that it’s easy to use the clamp to release the project and move it to the next point. I didn’t have access to an endless hoop – remember, I wasn’t planning on doing this embroidery, so I used the Husqvarna Viking Large Metal Hoop (240 x 150 mm), and it worked just fine. Using the magnets made it easy to rehoop, although not quite as convenient as using the Endless Hoop.
It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but the metal hoop has small ridges at the center point of the embroidery area on all four sides. When using the metal hoop, use your fingers to align your reference lines with the ridges. In this case, I aligned one vertical reference line with the ridges on the top and bottom of the metal hoop. As you can see, I got lucky and had just enough fabric on the band to fit nicely into the metal hoop.
Be careful as you are lining up the chalk line with the ridges on the hoop. The end of the hoop extends beyond the bed of the embroidery arm, so don’t press down hard.
I used a Clover White Pen Style Chaco Liner to mark my vertical reference line. This tool is my all-time favorite marking tool. While you can’t readily see the line in the photo below, it’s there. The chalk lines can bounce away due to the vibrations of the embroidery machine. If that happens, re-mark the area. If you use another marking device, be sure to test it first. I don’t like to expend lots of effort to remove reference lines, and the white Chaco Liner is one of the best marking devices around!
When using the metal hoop for endless designs, you can start by hooping the project on your flat surface. Remember, all hoopings should be done on a flat surface, not on your knee or in the air! But once the first design is complete, leave the metal hoop attached to the embroidery unit and remove the magnets and the project.
When you remove the magnets, try to space them out so they don’t try to connect. Then when you want to position one of the magnets, they are easy to grab. Be careful not to get your finger pinched between the magnets, as they are powerful and can hurt! A Lot! If you’re not careful, they’ll attach to themselves or your scissors or anything else metal in your workspace.
Remember when using a metal hoop, use no more than eight magnets. Four Inspira magnets come with each metal hoop, and you can purchase additional sets of four. The added weight of extra magnets can cause premature wear and tear on the embroidery arm.
I found it easy to hoop my fabric with the metal hoop. When working with the endless designs, I would get one corner lined up and position one of the magnets. Then I’d set another corner and place a magnet, and so on. The results were perfectly aligned, and I was very excited about how easy this was.
I did a test sample first to make sure I was happy with the design. At first, I was worried about the long stitches in this design, and I didn’t want them to get snagged. However, after the test, it was apparent that wouldn’t happen, and the high-loft fleece helps protect them.
When working with an endless embroidery design, depending on the start point on your fabric and the size of the hoop, you may need to add some extra material at the ends (both start and end), so you have something to hoop. If the fabric is not secure in the hoop, the design will not stitch out properly. I didn’t have to add anything to the beginning, but you’ll see later that I had to add some extra to the end.
When the design is complete, the needle will move back to the beginning of the embroidery design.
The needle is sitting right on top of the reference marker, so it’s ready for me to advance the fabric. I’ll remove the magnets and the project from the hoop, but I’ll leave the large metal hoop attached to the embroidery arm.
Here’s the end reference point at the end of this design
Now I position the fabric on the metal hoop so the needle pops into the hole made by the end reference mark. Once the needle is in the correct position, I place one of the magnets near that position. I used the ridges on the hoop to line up the chalk line and added the other magnets. If you have two reference points at the top, you can manually advance the embroidery design to get the needle lined up with the second reference line and add another magnet. It’s so easy to line up, add the magnets, and it lined up perfectly.
I watched as the design started to stitch, and if the fabric happened to be one stitch out (Okay, so I’m picky!), I used my finger to nudge the fabric as it was stitching, so it lined up perfectly. Remember, the fabric is fluid, and one can manipulate it to suit your purpose. See how the design matches exactly at the reference point? I’ll clean up the threads when the stitching is complete.
When I got to the end of the row, I had two choices. There were about two inches of the band left without embroidery. Should I stop, or should I continue? If I stopped, I would have to make the tote bag slightly smaller, and if I continued, I didn’t have enough fabric at the end to hoop the project. I decided to continue, so I added a piece of scrap fabric to the end of the band. It didn’t matter what, since it won’t be stitched on, I just needed it so I could hoop the last part of the project.
I lined up the design and hit START. But this time, instead of letting it run entirely to the end of the design, I stopped it once the embroidery passed the edge of the black fabric. There was no need to let it go onto my scrap fabric. There were three stitching lines in this endless design, and I did the same thing for all three lines. I hit STOP to stop the current stitching, advanced to the next color block and repeated the process until I had two inches of the design. A great trick to get the exact length you need!
The photo below shows what the end of the design looks like, and you can see in the photo above that I stopped it once it was past the edge of the black fabric. Why stitch out the entire design when I didn’t need it?
Even with seven hoopings, the actual stitching took no time at all. Once I got the hang of matching the reference points, the process was fast. I like fast! Wait – I like fast, but I also like a job well done. And I’m thrilled with how all the joins matched up perfectly—even the very first one.
Here’s the outer section for the tote bag. It’s ready for the threads to be trimmed and to cut the outer bag pieces.
Tomorrow, I’ll trim the outer bag pieces, and I still have to deal with the edges of the high-loft, non-fusible fleece I used. I’ll use the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90 to fix those edges and assemble the tote bag. Be sure to come back to see how easy that will be!
Have a great day!
This is part 2 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 1: Exploring the mySewnet Ecosystem for machine embroidery