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Machine embroidery 101 on THE Dream Machine 2

by Jean Boyd

Yesterday I gave you some information on stabilizers and that you’ll need for doing embroidery on THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother. I found that the best way to start using the embroidery unit was to watch the videos that are built into the machine. Just press the video button at the top of the LCD screen and then choose Embroidery Basic Operation from the list of topics that appears. Every step that you need to start embroidering is shown on a video that you watch right on the screen on the machine. How cool is that?

I also read through many sections of the manual, but then it was time to just start embroidering.

LCD screen showing the help menu

LCD screen showing the help menu

See how easy it is to set up your stabilizer and the hoop on THE Dream Machine 2!

See how easy it is to set up your stabilizer and the hoop on THE Dream Machine 2!

Even though I’m a complete newbie about machine embroidery, I wanted to try some of these wonderful designs right away to see how it all worked. I chose this heart design from the built-in embroidery designs.

Once you select the design it appears on the LCD display screen along with a menu that allows you to resize, move and rotate the design along with many other options. You just touch the buttons on the screen either with your finger or the stylus that comes with the machine. There’s a lot of information that appears on this screen. Right at the top of the screen, you’ll see the size of the design. My heart design was 3.06″ x 2.96″. You’ll also see the 4 hoop sizes at the top of the screen. All of them have a red + sign which means you can use any of the 4 hoops that come with the machine. There’s one red + sign that is highlighted (the smallest hoop)  which means this is the best hoop to use for this design.

LCD screen showing my chosen heart design and options that are available

LCD screen showing my chosen heart design and options that are available

It’s very important to use a light-weight bobbin thread when doing machine embroidery, so I filled the bobbin with the Brother bobbin thread that came with the machine, as I mentioned in Monday’s post. I used a variegated, 30 weight rayon thread in the top.

To prepare the fabric, you loosen the screw on the bottom section of the hoop. Cut a piece of light-weight tear-away stabilizer that’s slightly bigger than the hoop. The fabric can be whatever size you need for your project. Lay the stabilizer and fabric, right side up, on top of the bottom section of the hoop. Place the top section of the hoop on the fabric and press gently to lock the 2 sections together. Make sure to do this on a table or other firm surface. Tighten the screw on the hoop. Gently stretch the fabric and stabilizer so they’re taut in the hoop.

Fabric and stabilizer have been placed in the hoop and are ready for embroidery.

Fabric and stabilizer have been placed in the hoop and are ready for embroidery.

Raise the presser foot using the presser foot lifter button. Raise the frame-securing lever on the side of the embroidery unit. Slide the embroidery frame into the holder on the embroidery unit and lower the frame-securing lever.

Hooped fabric attached to the embroidery frame

Hooped fabric attached to the embroidery frame

It’s really hard to make a mistake with THE Dream Machine 2. If the start/stop button is red, the machine won’t sew and you’ll see a message on the LCD screen that tells you what to do. When the button is green, you’re ready to sew or embroider.

THE Dream Machine 2 machine embroidery at work! – YouTube

Using the embroidery unit on THE Dream Machine 2 is really easy! Check out www.quiltsocial.com for more details

Machine embroidered heart design from the design library on THE Dream Machine 2

Machine embroidered heart design from the design library on THE Dream Machine 2

I removed the fabric from the hoop and gently tore away the excess stabilizer from the back. You don’t want to accidentally tear out any stitches from the embroidery!

Gently tear away the stabilizer from the embroidery

Gently tear away the stabilizer from the embroidery

A small amount of stabilizer will remain in the stitched area.

A small amount of stabilizer will remain in the stitched area.

Although it seemed a bit intimidating at first, I found that using the embroidery unit on THE Dream Machine 2was really quite easy. The on-screen help is excellent and the manual has every detail you would ever need.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how I used this embroidered piece to make a small mug rug.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: What to know about stabilizers and threads for machine embroidery

Go to part 4: Machine embroidery + crazy quilting makes a gratifying mug rug

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