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How to use an LED pointer to perfectly place your embroidery design

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I set up the lettering and fixed the size so that it would fit in my Dreamweaver XE large hoop. Today I’m stitching and I’ll show you how you can easily ensure that your design will fit on your ribbon. Are you following along?

For these embroidered ribbons I’m using a 75/11 embroidery needle, so go ahead and change the needle in your machine if you need to.

The Dreamweaver XE from Brother.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
The Dreamweaver XE

After the embroidery frame is attached, press the LED pointer key in the embroidery screen. This will turn on the LED pointer which will indicate where the needle will puncture the fabric (the needle drop position). Also, when the LED pointer is turned on, the presser foot height is automatically adjusted according to the fabric thickness. If it’s pressed again, the height will be adjusted again. The light turns off automatically when the presser foot is lowered.

When engaged, the LED pointer on the Dreamweaver XE will indicate the needle drop position on the fabric.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
The LED pointer key

This LED light corresponds to the green cross on the LCD display, which is the center of my embroidery design. As you can see, the light looks like it is almost at the center point of the ribbon.

The LED pointer on the Dreamweaver XE indicates the needle drop position.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Needle drop position

If your LED pointer is NOT centered on your ribbon, use the arrows on the LCD screen of the Dreamweaver XE to move the design on the screen. This will also make the embroidery hoop move, so keep adjusting the design (and hoop) until the illuminated needle drop position is centered on the ribbon.

The arrows on the LCD screen of the Dreamweaver XE are used to move the design on the screen until the needle drop position is centered on the ribbon.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
The LED pointer on the Dreamweaver XE indicates the needle drop position.
A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE

To check the outer limits of the pattern, press the Trial key on the embroidery screen.

To check the position of the pattern, press the Trial key on the Dreamweaver XE from Brother.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
The Trial key

Select the desired position on the arrow chart and the embroidery frame of the Dreamweaver XE moves to that spot. Look at the LED pointer to check that it’s still on the ribbon, and that there’s enough space to sew the pattern. Press all 4 corners on the grid on the screen to ensure that your entire pattern will fit on the ribbon.

Select the desired position on the arrow chart and the embroidery frame of the Dreamweaver XE moves to that spot to check that there is enough space to sew the pattern.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Select the desired position

The LED pointer shows that the bottom right corner of the design will fit on the ribbon.

The LED pointer on the Brother Dreamweaver XE shows that the bottom right corner of the design will fit on the ribbon. A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Bottom right corner

After the first ribbon is stitched, use the LED pointer and the arrow buttons to move the design up or down into position on one of the other ribbons. After stitching the first ribbon, I decided to change the wording so that my letters weren’t so squished together. Here are the three ribbons I embroidered using the Dreamweaver XE from Brother.

Three ribbons embroidered using the Dreamweaver XE from Brother.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Embroidered ribbons

Pull the embroidered ribbon off of the stabilizer sheet and remove the excess stabilizer from the back of the ribbon.

Pull the embroidered ribbon off of the stabilizer sheet and remove excess stabilizer from the back of the ribbon. A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Pull off stabilizer

Use small, sharp scissors to trim any excess threads between the letters.

The scissors that come with the Dreamweaver XE are especially good for this little job!

Use small, sharp scissors to trim any excess threads between the letters.  A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Cut threads

As you can see, practice made perfect as my third ribbon (the pink with black lettering) turned out the best. I can see all sorts of ways that these ribbons could be used!

Here are the three ribbons that were embroidered with words using the Dreamweaver XE from Brother. A tutorial on how to make quilt labels using machine embroidery and ribbons using the Brother Dreamweaver XE
Finished ribbons

Tomorrow I’ll design a badge that I’ll stitch on felted wool using the Brother Dreamweaver XE. I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, so I can’t wait!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Adjusting machine embroidery fonts to the hoop – Dreamweaver XE

Go to part 4: How to import and modify an embroidery design on the Brother Dreamweaver XE

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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