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How to baste fabric in preparation for machine embroidery

I’m back with the HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80.

Yesterday I assembled the fabrics and supplies for the Inspira sewing machine cover. I also cut and stabilized the outer pieces. Today, it’s all about the embroidery.

I’ll be embroidering on the sewing machine cover pieces that have already been cut to size. You know what that means – YES – I have to position the embroidery designs exactly where I want them on the fabric pieces. This takes a little bit of finesse. But with a great tool on the Designer Brilliance 80 called Design Positioning, the task is super easy.

HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80 sewing machine with embroidery unit
HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80 sewing machine with embroidery unit

Hooping the fabric pieces

You’ll notice that the piece of fabric is smaller than the embroidery hoop I’m using. No worries – I’ve got a big piece of Inspira Tear a Way stabilizer in the hoop and the fabric is captured by the hoop on the two sides. I could use painter’s tape (to tape the fabric to the stabilizer) to help hold the top and bottom if I choose. I’ll be chatting about basting in a minute.

This is one of the outer side pockets. Using chalk, I’ve marked the vertical center of the piece to help me get the fabric centered in the hoop. I also marked a line 1″ from the top as that’s where the embroidery design needs to be positioned.

Before Design Positioning, positioning the embroidery design exactly where you want it was tricky. I could have positioned a larger piece of fabric into the hoop, stitched out the embroidery design and then cut the side pocket out, ensuring the embroidery was where it needs to be. While easy, it would be very wasteful.

The Designer Brilliance 80 has Design Positioning and I’m going to show you how easy it is to position your embroidery designs exactly where you need them to be.

The fabric is marked and hooped for embroidery using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
The fabric is marked and hooped

Getting help

Let’s say that I’m not familiar with a technique, like Design Positioning, I can get help in several places. The physical manuals, the built-in Quick Help, and the built-in manuals are sources to get information. I also like to download the .pdf version of the manual to my iPad. This allows me to sit at the sewing machine and follow the instructions in the manual on the iPad.

The bottom line is that’s so much flexibility in getting help, you’re sure to find a way to get the information that you need. It’s like having an expert with you at all times. And there’s nothing like experimenting. You can’t break the sewing machine – if something goes totally wrong, you can always turn the sewing machine off. Have a cup of tea and then come back.

An iPad with the user's guide is positioned next to the sewing machine for easy reference connected to the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
The .pdf version of the manual has been downloaded to the iPad

Moving to Embroidery Stitch Out

Once I was happy with the hooped fabric, I switched to embroidery stitch-out mode.

I love this checklist that appears when you enter Embroidery Stitch Out. Even if you’ve been doing embroidery for a while, it’s good to peruse this list especially when you’re starting out for the day.  Check all the machine settings. Do you have the correct foot? The straight stitch plate?

In addition to settings on the sewing machine, there are settings for the embroidery design. Be sure and check those out. There’s nothing like starting an embroidery design and you forgot to color sort (if you needed or wanted to do that).

Embroidery Stitch Out screen on the Designer Brilliance 80
Embroidery Stitch Out screen on the Designer Brilliance 80

Basting the fabric

You’ll notice that I added a couple of pieces of tape to help hold the fabric in place before it gets basted. That’s totally your choice.

If the edges of the fabric that I’m stitching on are not completely caught in the embroidery hoop, I like to baste around the design, not around the hoop. You can see on the checklist as I enter the Embroidery Stitch Out mode that I have the option to baste around the hoop or baste around the design.

Now here’s something to consider. In this instance, my design likely needs to be moved as I want it to sit 1″ below the top of the side pocket. If I baste around the design now, that isn’t going to work. I need to position my design first and then I can baste around the design. In this instance, I don’t want to baste around the hoop because my fabric doesn’t fill the hoop and I don’t want the foot getting caught on those loose edges.

Here’s a tip about the basting. Most of us are used to using the START/STOP button on the function panel to start and stop the embroidery stitch outs. Did you know that you can also use your foot pedal? Yes – if you want to be extra careful when basting (or some special embroidery technique), use your foot pedal for maximum control or you could slow the speed of the Designer Brilliance 80 down so you’re completely in control.

In the photo below, I’ve got my design positioned where I want it to be and I’ve basted around the design. You can see that the basting is about ⅜” below that chalk line. That’s exactly where I wanted my design to be positioned so I’m happy.

A line of basting stitches has been stitched around the design using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
A line of basting stitches has been stitched around the design

Below is the pop-up box for the basting options when you’re in stitch out mode. I can baste around the hoop, or baste around the design. Because the fabric doesn’t fill the hoop, I want to baste around the design rather than basting around the hoop.

Again, if you’re not sure which buttons do what – you simply have to touch the Quick Help (that white question mark at the top of the screen) and then touch any function on the screen and you get the necessary information about that function. Trust me – that has saved me loads of times. I should know all this stuff, but it’s hard to remember it all. That Quick Help is a godsend. You’re never alone!

By the way (and because I can never seem to remember the position of this basting button when in Embroidery Stitch Out mode), the baste button is on the bottom of the list of color changes. The flower with the basting stitches around it. Makes sense.

Basting options pop-up message in Embroidery Stitch Out mode
Basting options pop-up message in Embroidery Stitch Out mode

Design Positioning

Positioning this design was very simple as I only needed to get the design slightly more than 1″ from the top of the piece. That was easy.

Design positioning can be done with one reference point or two if you want super precision.

I’ll go into more details about how Design Positioning works tomorrow.

In the photo below, I’m in Design Positioning mode and using the red cross-hairs to move my design.

Using the red cross-hairs in Design Positioning to place the design using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
Using the red cross-hairs in Design Positioning to place the design

Here are some photos of my embroidery as it’s stitching out.

I love the high contrast thread colors as they really showcase the beautiful embroidery designs.

Stitching out the embroidery designs on the side pocket using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
Stitching out the embroidery designs on the side pocket

The embroidery design on side pocket number one using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
Side pocket number one

The embroidery design for side pocket number two using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
The embroidery design for side pocket number two

Stitching the design on the main body using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
Stitching the design on the main body

Stitching out the embroidery design on the back pocket using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
Stitching out the embroidery design on the back pocket

I’m very happy with my choice of canvas for the fabric. It’s got a little bit more body than quilting cotton and the embroidery stitches just pop off the fabric. I ended up putting fusible fleece behind fabric pieces for the main body, the side pockets, as well as the front and back pockets.

Some of the embroidery designs called for two colors. I chose to do each design in one color only. I LOVE these designs. They’re very elegant and beautiful and the high contrast thread makes them really stand out.

I can see using these designs on other projects – tote bags? Cushions? Oh yes – I’ll be stitching more of these out. The embroidery speed of the Designer Brilliance 80 means the designs didn’t take long to stitch out.

The embroidery on the main body, two sides pockets, and the front and back pockets, using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80
The embroidery on the main body, two sides pockets, and the front and back pockets

And there we have another exciting day of working with the HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80. The built-in help, the amazing Design Positioning tools, and all the other features – well, it’s so easy to do machine embroidery. I think I’ll be doing a lot more in the near future.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: 2 critical steps to prepping a new quilting project

Go to part 3: How to use the Design Positioning feature on the Designer Brilliance 80

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. 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.

4 Comments

  1. kathy Persons

    OOOOOOOh my dream machine. I have been reading all your tutorial~

    • Kathy – Thanks for your comment. Yes – this is a dream machine. If it’s not in your reach at the moment, put a picture of it on your fridge. Then you can see it every day and work towards it! It’s definitely worth the money. Thanks following QUILTsocial. Elaine

  2. Brenda West

    Someday I would love to have a machine that could do all this. So cool how it works. Just love this – your advice is perfect – will have to save this page for when I can do this. Thanks

  3. Very nice feature of basting on this ME machine. I definitely want to check out this machine.

    Beautiful design too!

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