Hey—welcome back! I hope you’re feeling adventurous today, because I certainly am. Maybe even a tad rebellious, because I want to go beyond yesterday’s sashed border on the beautiful embroidered trinket dish we made. Today, I want to apply a sashed border to an oblong hexagon, but that’s not an automated option in the Sashed Borders feature of the Brother Luminaire2 Innov-is XP2 or the Brother Luminaire XP1 Upgrade Kit (Premium Pack II), which is what I’m using on my XP1.
Or is it?
You can’t see it, but I have that look in my eye, the one my hubby shies away from because he knows it means I’m determined (he says “bull-headed”, and he’s probably right) and tenacious (he says “obsessive”, and I know he’s right). Anyhow, I’ve been tossing this idea around in the back of my mind all week, trying to figure out the logistics, and I finally got to the all-important “aha!” moment. That’s what I want to share with you over the course of today’s and tomorrow’s posts.
Now, if you’ve followed along with me this week as we played with single-color square sashing, 2-color rectangular sashing, and yesterday’s hexagon sashing, you’ll be very well-equipped to master this concept. In fact, I’m counting on your comfort with the steps involved, because today’s process involves just a wee bit of manipulating the provided features. You up for a fun challenge? I promise the results will be worth it!
Let’s start, as usual, with a supply list:
- cutaway stabilizer 20″ wide x 36″ long (I like a polymesh; it’s stable but very lightweight)
- batting 20″ x 36″
- main fabric 20″ x 36″
- thread for embroidering
- wash-away fabric marker
Start by marking guidelines on the fabric. I like to use a wash-away fabric marker for this, so my marks won’t disappear prematurely:
Draw a straight line along the center of the length of fabric. Then place a small mark across the line about 6″ from one short edge. Add another mark at the next 6″ measure, then another 12″ beyond that, and a final mark 6″ further down the line. It should look like this:
Next, mark the 60° angles along which we’ll embroider the hexagonal ends. I imagine a 60° triangle ruler might make this easier, but I did just fine with my trusty 6″ x 24″ gridded ruler with angle markings. You don’t need to draw the dashed lines I’ve shown below, but seeing them here is helpful in achieving the little cross-marks (see them at the top and bottom of the triangles?) to indicate where to draw the guidelines for the hexagon long edge. Be precise!
And finally, draw the long horizontal guides across the intersections of those last little cross-marks, like this:
Now that your fabric is marked, layer it over the batting and cutaway stabilizer, and set it aside while we set up the first part of our design:
At the Luminaire, select Embroidery, Sashed Borders (Menu Q), and Hexagon Borders (Tab 3). I’ll bet that sequence is becoming pretty familiar by now!
I chose the geometric look of Border 001 and Set it, then entered a height of 12″ and a border width of 2″ For this part of the hexagon, I also specified the 9½” x 9½” hoop. After OK’ing that, I set a triple stitch and chose a color, saved it to memory and touched OK to embroidery, and pulled up the 12-part hexagon design, ready to start embroidering. All the same kind of stuff we did yesterday (and the days before). Here’s an abbreviated cheat sheet:
Now that the design is set, the automation begins! Starting with the upper-right corner of the hexagon, follow the initial prompt to hoop your fabric. Make sure to keep the line forming the point of the hexagon parallel to the edge of the hoop, as shown:
Insert the hoop onto your machine, and follow the alignment prompts onscreen. Line the first corner up and stitch it:
Continue hooping, aligning, and stitching as prompted until you have the first five segments completed. Those first five will comprise the right endcap for our oblong hexagon. Touch home to exit this program. Yes! Didn’t see that one coming, didya?
Since we have completed one end, we actually need to start over to start the other end. The reason we do this rather than continuing to use the same pattern is that some design segments have different jobs. Most notably: Segment 1 is a starter unit – it isn’t relying on a previous stitchout for placement. Now that we want to start on the other endcap, we need that starter piece (Segment 1) back. The easiest way to do this is to touch the Home key, OK to exit the design, and re-load it. Do that now.
Then follow the steps we just did for one endcap with the other. It’s exactly the same! Stitch in sequence the first five segments. When you are done that second endcap, yours should look like this:
Now, if you’re anything like me, you really, really want to give it a good pressing, but while the fabric is still marked, resist that temptation. Pressing can make fabric marks permanent, so hold off on that. In fact, all you’re allowed to do until tomorrow is admire your work. Why? Because tomorrow I’ll be back to show you how easy it is to add in the stitching on those long edges using the automatic Border Sashing features on the Brother Luminaire2 Innov-is XP2 or the Brother Luminaire XP1 with the Brother Luminaire XP1 Upgrade Kit (Premium Pack II). See you then!
Okay, maybe you can admire your work and pet it!
This is part 4 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 3: Machine embroidering a hexagon border is easier than you think!