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Create stippling-in-the-hoop with the Brother Luminaire

by Liana Kirkey

Hi, again, folks…Welcome back! When I left off yesterday after meandering through some of the Brother Luminaire embroidery editing tools, I was dithering whether my finished design needed stippling. I love the Design Preview option on the Brother Luminaire…it helps bring what you imagine to life with a pretty good picture of a possible reality.

If you’ll recall, just before stitching yesterday, I saved my design compilation to the machine’s memory. So today, when I booted up my machine, I recalled yesterday’s design, tried to add stippling to it…and ran into a roadblock: I created yesterday’s design to completely fill the hoop, and the Luminaire just told me (via a ‘sad face’ message on screen) the pattern extended to the edge of the screen and there wasn’t room to add continuous stippling all around the design. Smart machine!

So…on to Plan B. Do you remember the gorgeous feather I stitched for Tuesday’s post, where we explored the Luminaire’s embroidery screen workflow? I still haven’t taken it out of the hoop, so I could try it with that one.

I recalled the feather design, added stippling to surround it, adjusted and tweaked the settings, and touched the Design Preview icon. Voilà! What do you think…does it need stippling?

Simulated preview of auto-stippling added around an embroidery design.

I’m thinking not, based on two things: I didn’t stitch this design on batting, and I really like to see more stippling around the design – see at the top and bottom of the feather, where the stippling is sparse? To solve both of those issues, I guess I could re-hoop it with batting in the larger hoop…but it’s not what I really want, and, well, there’s a new plan formulating in the back of my mind. Third time might be the charm!

By now I know you’re thinking, to heck with the Plan, how did I get the stippling in there? You know, you’re playing right into my hands, because that’s exactly what I wanted to show you today, in a little instant-gratification project…okay, maybe not so little, but definitely quick! Remember the 10⅝” x 16” hoop? It’s just the right size to make a placemat. So in it I hooped an embroidery quilt sandwich (fabric on top of batting on top of Polymesh on top of more fabric).

Here’s the quilt embroidery sandwich materials and layering sequence I used.

In the Luminaire, I’ve loaded up another one of the built-ins; this time I was looking for a design that’s mostly line-work (I’ll tell you why in a minute) and I found what I wanted in the Zundt design menu: a spectacular paisley element.

After setting the design, I played, of course. I rotated it and moved it to the upper left corner of the screen, using some of the editing tools we played with yesterday.

Selecting and positioning: click-and-drag to rotate and move the design as desired.

Then I touched the most magical button: Auto-Stipple! That gave me a screen where I can choose the hoop size to fill with stippling, the distance I want my stippling from my design, and how big I want the spacing on my stippling. You can see these in the next pic – they are pretty self-explanatory and so very easy to use!

Auto-stipple and the available controls make it easy to achieve perfect results.

That’s pretty much it – that’s all it takes to program stippling around your embroidery design!

But you know me…I can’t seem to leave well-enough alone, so I’m going to take it a few steps further, just because I can. I’ll set my colors: a royal blue (think there’s a theme going here?) for the paisley feature, and a light blue to match my fabric for the stippling. What do you think?

I like to set my colors on screen so I can see a more accurate design preview.

Now…I hooped a complete quilt sandwich, not just a quilt cracker, because I want this project to be reversible. That’s the reason I was looking for a design that was mostly line-work, with little or no fill stitching. And…that’s why I also made sure to wind bobbins with my top colors. This type of project is one of the rare times I change my embroidery bobbin to match the top thread.

I’m not a machine quilter, but I do know when quilting, one brings the bottom thread up to the top surface and secures them out of the way. I used the thread navigation tool – see it there along the bottom of the embroidery screen? The Luminaire has great stitch control; I can move through my design one, ten, a hundred, or a thousand stitches at a time! Here I only need to jump one stitch forward to put me at the design’s starting point.

The stitch navigation screen is straightforward and intuitive.

With the needle poised over the start point of my design, pushing the needle-down button (on the machine head) once, then again while holding the top thread, pulls up the bottom thread so I can tape both them out of the way. I really like OESD tear-away tape for this.

Bringing the bobbin thread up to the top lets you take the next step and tape it out of the way.

One last step before hitting Go; I turned off the automatic thread trimming, for both end color and jump stitches. I’ll tell you why after you see how I did it:

The Luminaire’s auto-trimmers turned off.

With the machine not trimming the threads for me, it means I have to do it. At the end of each color, I’ll trim them long enough to thread through a hand-sewing needle and weave the tails under other stitching or between the fabric layers, whichever is most suitable. While it is an extra step, it means no messy knots and tails on the back, which means this project can truly be reversible!

Hiding the thread starts and ends using traditional quilting methods – threading it in and under!

My placemat panel is completely stitched now, with the thread tails perfectly woven out of sight. All that remains is to bind it and it’s a done deal. Wasn’t that fast? Isn’t it pretty? I love the subtlety of the perfectly color-matched stippling, though it does make it a bit hard to see in pictures. I can just see it set off perfectly with white bone china? But please, hold the gravy!

The finished auto-stippled placemat, ready to square up and bind.

I mentioned earlier this method will deliver perfectly reversible results…here’s a close-up of the reverse side, just so you can see how perfect it is!

The reverse side of this embroidery-quilted placemat is as perfect as the top side!

The Auto-stippling function is one of my favorite tools, and I’m sure – quilter or not – it will quickly become a favorite for you, too!

There are plenty of other tools on the Brother Luminaire Innov-is XP1 that just might compete for favorites. Tomorrow, I want to share another with you, and I hope to intrigue you into returning to make a quick project with the Appliqué Creator function on the Brother Luminaire.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Playing with the Brother Luminaire embroidery editing tools

Go to part 5: Making your own appliqués on the Brother Luminaire

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