I’m thrilled to be here to share with you some of the embroidery features on the PFAFF® creative icon™ 2. As we explore embroidering on the PFAFF creative icon 2 we’ll look at incorporating embroidery into our quilts and other projects. We’ll see how easy it is to create a quilt label in the hoop and embroider a pillow using the PFAFF360 x 350 creative Grand Dream hoop.
Let’s get started!
To embroider a quilt label you’ll need a piece of fabric slightly larger than your hoop. I used the 260 x 200mm creative elite hoop that came with my machine.
I like to use a fusible interfacing behind my fabric such as Pellon SF101. This prevents any shadowing of the thread or leftover stabilizer behind light-coloured fabrics. You will also need a piece of PFAFF Tear Away Fast and Easy Stabilizer to fit your hoop. I’m using Robison Anton 40wt Rayon embroidery thread and a bobbin wound with embroidery bobbin thread.
My favorite needle for embroidery is the PFAFF Titanium Embroidery needle size 90. The titanium finish lasts longer, reduces adhesive build-up and has better penetration on denser fabrics.
I always have my PFAFF 4 ½” Easy snip scissors close by for trimming any threads.
The Embroidery screen
When I turn on my PFAFF creative icon 2, I have a choice of sewing, embroidery or going to mySewnet blog. When I click on Embroidery, it takes me to the Embroidery Edit screen and I’m ready to start creating my embroidery for my quilt label.
Before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the Embroidery Edit screen where we’ll do the customizing of our embroidery designs.
The information window lets us know which size hoop we have selected and which Embroidery foot is attached.
The colored area of the screen is the stitchable area of the selected hoop.
On the right-hand side of the screen is the Menu where we’ll find the tools to load either the built-in designs (over 850 to choose from), fonts or designs from mySewnet Library (with an active mySewnet Library Subscription). There’s File Manager to load from the mySewnet Cloud or a USB drive. I can change the colors of the designs, turn the projector on or off, and even bring in our sewing stitches to our embroidery. I can also share my project with other creative icon 2 users with the mySewnet project icon.
The bottom of the screen is where we find our Editing tools, Hoop selection, Resizing screen as well as more creative options such as Shape Creator and Applique Creator. Sequencing in embroidery will allow me to program sewing stitches and sewing fonts for use in my embroidery design. Stitch Creator lets us create or modify a new stitch for use in embroidery. Lots of creative options to choose from!
Using Mini Designs, Shape Creator and fonts to create a quilt label
On my creative icon 2, I’ll first change my hoop size to the 260 x 200 hoop. I’ll do that on the Hoop Options screen which is also where I can change my background color, set a grid size, etc.
The Design Menu has different categories of designs to choose from. Everything from signature creative icon 2 designs to quilting, children, holidays and more. I love the Mini design category where I have lots of small designs that are amazing and are perfect for using with Shape Creator.
I’ll use the small heart design #81 and the flower design #48 from the Mini Design category to make my quilt frame. To find information about the design – touch the design and then select the “i” at the bottom of the design page. Design Size, number of colors and stitch count are included in the information about each design. Touch and hold on to the design to load it onto the embroidery edit screen.
To work with them together in Shape Creator, I’ll select them both in the Layers menu and then open the Shape Creator feature on my creative icon 2.
Don’t forget if you want to know more about Shape Creator, click on the Help Center at the top of the screen and go to Shape Creator in the Index. It’s great having the User’s Guide built right into my machine!
I’ll select Shape Creator at the bottom of the screen and when Shape Creator opens, I’ll use the Basic Shape menu and the Square clockwise shape. The shape opens with the two Mini Designs placed on the proportional square shape.
I want my shape to be more rectangle than square so in the Edit Shape screen. I’ll touch the center of the wheel to unlock proportional so I can change the shape to a rectangle. I’ve set my size to 168.3 mm wide x 117.4 mm high. I’ve also chosen to work with multiple designs for my shape and have set the repeats to 20. When I’m happy with the size and how my designs are working together with the rectangle shape, I’ll touch OK to go back to the Embroidery Edit screen. How do I know how many designs I need – I don’t. I simply keep adding/subtracting repeats until I have the look I want or until my shape is full of designs.
Looking at the design I’d like the corner hearts to be rotated with the points of the heart facing the center. When I close the Shape Creator screen all the design elements are selected and grouped. It’s easy in the Layers Menu to Ungroup the elements so I can work with each element of the design. To de-select the elements just touch outside the work area.
Now I can select each corner heart and use the rotate handle at the top of the design or, in the Edit Design window, click on rotate and use the arrows to rotate the design 45 degrees. I can also fine-tune the position of each heart.
Once I’ve selected each heart, rotated, and moved it to where I want it to be, I can go back to the Layers Menu and Select All and Group them. That way, I can’t accidentally select one of the elements and change it. It’s kind of like locking all the design elements together and you can see in the Layers that all the design elements now appear as one design.
Adding Text to the Quilt Label
Now that my quilt label “frame” has been created I’m ready to add some text.
When I click on the Font Menu (A in the Side Menu) I have a variety of different fonts and sizes to choose from. I want a smaller font, so I chose the Belle Font size 10mm for my label. Once I select my font a keyboard opens where I type my text. After typing my text, I can also choose the shape for my text. Since I wanted the top row of my text to be curved, I chose the arch shape.
When I’m happy with how my text is looking, I close the keyboard to accept the text and move it to where I want it on the label. I love that if I need to edit the selected text, all I need to do is click on it again to open the keyboard where I can change the size, change the font, correct any typos etc.
When I’ve finished adding my text to my label. I want to make sure that all the text and design elements are grouped for my finished label. To do that I’ll open the Layers Menu and click on Select All and then Group.
I decided I wanted to rotate my design before stitching it out. In the Edit Design menu, with the design selected, all I have to do is click on the rotate icon and touch the center of the wheel to rotate it 90 degrees. So easy!
When I’m ready to save it I’ll click on the Save icon in the lower Menu and in the pop-up window choose where I want to save it to – mySewnet Cloud or a USB stick if I had one inserted in my creative icon 2.
Embroidering my Quilt Label
I’m now ready to stitch out my Quilt Label.
To stitch out my embroidery I’ll press the “GO” icon on the lower right of the screen and that takes me to the Embroidery review screen.
This is where I review my embroidery setting options. The review screen shows me which needle plate and embroidery foot are attached. It also gives me the option to set the Basting feature as well as my color editing settings.
Since I have multiple small designs and lots of letters in my design, if I don’t set my color editing options, my creative icon 2 will stop after each color of each design and each letter. I don’t want that to happen (it’s super annoying!!!) so I’ll colorsort the colors so that my creative icon 2 will stitch all the same colors together and, with Color Merge selected, my machine will not stop between each design or letter in that color. I absolutely love this feature! The ColorSort feature is also very smart in that if combining all the same colors affects the stitch out of the design, my machine will not colorsort that part of the design.
I can also choose whether I want my automatic thread cutter on or off. For now, I will leave it on but when I get to the lettering I’ll go back into the settings and turn it off. I love that I have the flexibility to choose when I want to use the thread cutter. When I’m happy with my settings I’ll touch OK to continue to the embroidery stitch-out screen.
I’ve hooped my PFAFF Tear Away Fast and Easy Stabilizer and my interfaced fabric in my 260 x 200 hoop. I’ve put a new PFAFF Titanium Embroidery needle size 90 needle on my machine and threaded it with Robison Anton 40wt Rayon thread on top and a white embroidery bobbin thread in the bobbin.
I’ve turned on my projector so I can see where the design is going to be embroidered on my fabric.
I’ll attach the hoop to the embroidery arm and I’m ready to press the Start button. Since I set the ColorSort and Color Merge in the preview screen, my creative icon 2 will embroider all the same color designs before stopping for a color change. When I get to the text, I’ll open the Settings menu, go to the Embroidery Tab, and turn off the Thread Cut option. Since the text is so close together I’ll get better results if I don’t use the Thread Cut option.
Finishing my Quilt Label
When I’m finished stitching my label, I’m ready to finish it and attach it to the back of my quilt.
I’ll trim the jump stitches between the letters on the front but I will leave them on the back of the quilt label. I’ve also trimmed my label to the size I want. My favorite method to finish the label is to sew fusible interfacing to the label with the fusible side to the right side of my label. Stitch around the label. Then make a small slice in the middle of the interfacing and turn the label right side out.
I could also press under ¼” seam allowance and stitch it to the back or bind the label before I sew it to the quilt back. I can even sew some small squares or half-square triangles to the outside edges of the label before I sew it to the quilt back.
The fusible side of the interfacing will be on the back of the label and I can fuse it into place before I finish stitching it to the back of the quilt.
The Mini Designs and Font size options on the PFAFF creative icon 2 make it so easy to create one-of-a-kind quilt labels for all my quilt backs.
This is part 1 of 5 in this series