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9 check list items for successful machine embroidery before you press START

 

Welcome back! We’ll be exploring a different style of embroidery today. Actually a different embroidery style and showing you how you can edit designs right on the screen of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50!

Let’s get started.

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50
Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50

 

For all the previous stitch-outs I’ve done this week, I’ve been working with one design. Today, I’m going to take a brief look at how to work with multiple designs and how to edit them.

It’s super easy. You can add multiple designs, edit them and see what your design looks like right on the screen before you start to stitch.

I looked through the Sampler book and picked one design that I thought would be interesting. A very simple design with a lot of possibilities.

I brought in four of the same design to the edit screen.

Single embroidery design chosen to create a larger design
Single embroidery design chosen to create a larger design

 

In the embroidery edit mode, you’ll use the buttons that are on the interactive screen in addition to the arrows and little symbols along the bottom and the right-hand side of the screen. Most of them are pretty intuitive and easy to figure out.

In the edit screen, I’m able to adjust the designs, move them around, combine designs, save them and delete them. I can adjust them by mirroring the designs side to side or end to end, Touching the ALT button provides further options such as rotating the design, moving the design to a specific location within the hoop, scaling them in size, etc. There are buttons to center your design in the hoop, move your design inside the hoop if it happens to be outside the hoop area.

This is where you need to take a few minutes, especially at the beginning, with the User’s Guide. This is easy to do, it doesn’t take long, and it’s fun. Or you can just play. Don’t forget to use the Quick Help (the question mark in the top right corner) if you can’t figure out what a particular button does.

If you do read the User’s Guide, you’ll be happy to note that the section on editing is not very long and once you know which button does what, you’ll have no problem. The other thing is that it’s so easy to play on the screen. I found the interactive touch screen to be extremely responsive. There was no lag time when I was moving or rotating the designs. I was very surprised at how responsive it was. I used the stylus which helps to pinpoint the exact spot that you want to touch.

My biggest issue was that I kept forgetting to deselect the design I had just finished editing and select the next design. I ended up moving or rotating the design that I had just edited. But that was totally an operator issue!

There’s a function (Step Through Designs) that allows you to cycle through the designs or you can manually deselect and select the designs. The Designer Topaz 50 did what I was telling it to do, even if that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do!

The embroidery edit screen
The embroidery edit screen

 

Once you have your design elements where you want them to be, you’ll touch GO to get to the Embroidery Stitch-Out screen. You’ll see the total number of stitches in your design, the thread colors will be indicated and all the same information that you’d see in a single design will be on the screen.

The embroidery stitch out screen
The embroidery stitch out screen

 

It’s time to stitch out the design.  My first thread is on the machine so I can hit START on the Function Panel.

The first design is stitching out
The first design is stitching out

 

Thank goodness there is a handy needle threader which makes changing thread colors very easy. Once the hoop is attached to the embroidery unit, space can be a smidgen tight so that needle thread is a good thing.

Using the needle threader when changing threads
Using the needle threader when changing threads

 

Each design will be stitched out in sequence. You can see here that one of the four designs is completed and now moving onto the second one.

Starting to stitch the second design
Starting to stitch the second design

 

The embroidery style that I’m stitching this time is called Thread Velvet. Next time I take pictures, I’ll remember to stop the sewing machine before I take pictures as the camera had a bit of a challenge focusing on that rapidly moving needle. Or perhaps a different mode on the camera!

In this style of embroidery, the stitches are very thick and dimensional. You can see that the second color (the dark one where the machine is currently stitching) is completely obliterated once the last color is put on as shown in the other three designs.

I’ll be showing you tomorrow what it looks like when it’s done.

Almost finished the fourth design element
Almost finished the fourth design element

 

One other very important feature that I must mention is the Automatic Jump Stitch Trim. If you activate this feature, the sewing machine takes care of all the threads on the surface of your work. For instance, in the above design, the thread has to move from one leaf motif to the next. Notice there’s NO thread traveling from one leaf to the next. The Automatic Jump Stitch Trim will trim the top jump thread and pull it to the underside of your work. This saves an enormous amount of time when you’ve finished the design.

In the photo below, you can see what a design looks like if you don’t have the Automatic Jump Stitch Trim feature engaged. This design is NOT a built-in design. It’s just the project that I was babysitting on the other sewing machine and I thought it would be good to show you what the jump stitches look like.

Hmm – I think I need to activate the Automatic Jump Stitch Trim. What was I thinking by not doing that? AHA – I don’t do enough embroidery and I didn’t remember that my Ruby deLuxe had this feature.

 

Jump threads between design elements are visible
Jump threads between design elements are visible

 

While some people tend to use the embroidery units a lot, I’m a casual embroidery user. Therefore I need a check list so I don’t forget anything important. Look how I forgot to use the Automatic Jump Stitch Trim. Not all embroidery designs come with this feature so even though the Designer Topaz 50 has the feature, you may end up with a design that doesn’t have that function programmed into it.

Here’s my check list:

  1. Choose the design
  2. Choose the fabrics
  3. Choose the threads
  4. Choose a stabilizer
  5. After selecting the correct hoop, hoop the fabric and the stablizer
  6. Check the sewing machine settings – Automatic Jump Stitch Trim on or off?
  7. Insert a new needle
  8. Thread the machine with a bobbin weight thread and the first thread color on the top
  9. Keep the space a round your embroidery unit open

This is a basic ‘must do’ list. I’m going to print that out and place by my sewing machine!

As you explore the embroidery part of the Designer Topaz 50, you might want to add to this list the items that are important to you.

I find that one of the most difficult things about doing something new or learning something new, especially a new sewing machine is that we have no idea of the total capabilities of its tools.

If we have no idea that the machine can do a particular task, you’ll never use it – like the Automatic Jump Stitch Trim. So the more familiar you get, the better it is for you. The easier the task becomes, the more often you’ll use that feature. In other words, don’t be afraid to play.

Take the User’s Guide and sit down in front of your sewing machine and one by one work through each section. Even if it’s only one section at a time, there aren’t that many sections and before you know it – you’ve learned a lot!

Join me tomorrow, as I show you all the designs that I’ve stitched this week and what projects I made with them. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can do with the embroidery unit on the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50. The possibilities are as vast as your imagination.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: 4 tips for trimming and thread organization for Machine Embroidery Applique

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. She is a teaching specialist at Northcott and loves going to work in a warehouse full of fabric.

Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com.

When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

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