It’s the last week before Christmas!! And if you’re in need of some quick and easy last minute gifts, you’re in luck!! This week on QUILTsocial I’m using THE Dream Machine 2 from Brother to make some awesome, quick and easy presents!
I picked THE Dream Machine 2 up from my friend Jean Boyd last week and got it all set up in my sewing room. I was a little afraid that it wouldn’t fit on my table with the embroidery unit attached, but there ended up being lots of room!
I can’t wait to play with the embroidery functions of this machine!! I’ve been reading Jean’s QUILTsocial posts for the last three months and have been chomping at the bit to get the machine back so that I could try it out for myself.
Since it’s so close to Christmas, I didn’t want to make any large projects this week, so I thought of a few quick and easy projects that we can make throughout the week. Today’s project is an embroidered tea towel. Simple tea towels can be bought at almost any store and are a great base for machine embroidery using THE Dream Machine 2.
Before we start to embroider, the regular foot must be removed so that the embroidery foot W+ can be attached to the machine. This foot mounts on the shaft AND plugs into the back of the machine.
DecoBob prewound bobbins from WonderFil Threads work wonderfully for machine embroidery as this thread is very fine and doesn’t add a lot of bulk to the back of the embroidery piece.
Before the tea towel can be embroidered, it needs to be stabilized. This helps to keep the stitches from pulling on the fabric and makes the design stitch out nicely. Jean talked about different types of stabilizers in her September 26th QUILTsocial post. I decided to try Sulky Totally Stable as the stabilizer for my tea towel embroidery, so I cut a piece that was bigger than the hoop and ironed it to the back of the fabric.
Next, I mounted the tea towel in one of the hoops that came with THE Dream Machine 2. Since my design is small, I was able to use the smallest embroidery hoop. I decided to roll up and pin the edges of the tea towel so that they wouldn’t get caught up in the moving parts of the embroidery unit as the machine was stitching.
I selected a design and set it on the embroidery screen of THE Dream Machine 2. Jean talked extensively about setting up the machine for embroidery in her September 27th post on QUILTsocial. Her posts were really great, so I encourage you to check them out if you haven’t already.
The machine stitched out the white part of my snowman, but as you can see from the photo, the top thread tension was obviously too high, as the bobbin thread pulled through to the top of the embroidery piece. Guess I better figure out why!!
I checked out the awesome manual that came with the machine and realized that the standard bobbin case was still in the machine. The machine comes with multiple bobbin cases, to use for the different functions of the machine. The embroidery bobbin case for THE Dream Machine 2 is made for use with threads that require a higher tension, such as the DecoBob that I’m using. It’s the same color as the standard case, but is marked with a purple dot on the inside of the bobbin cavity. The standard bobbin case has a green marking on the screw.
I selected a fresh tea towel and ironed on another piece of stabilizer. Since this tea towel was white, I picked a different design from the embroidery patterns included in THE Dream Machine 2. I think the Christmas cardinal design will look great stitched on a white background! In order to have most of the tea towel fabric away from the moving arm of the embroidery unit, I decided to mount the tea towel sideways on the machine. This meant that I needed to rotate the cardinal design 90° as well using the edit menu.
I used black instead of dark brown thread and beige instead of light brown, so my design doesn’t look exactly like it does in the diagram, but I really like it!
Here’s the finished tea towel featuring the Christmas cardinal embroidery stitched with THE Dream Machine 2. I think a matched set of these towels would make a great hostess gift! She doesn’t need to know how quick and easy they were to make!!
Join me tomorrow and we’ll try out another embroidery design to make an adorable Christmas t-shirt!