Monday, June 30, 2008

New Addition! I Did It!

I did it! I got brave and did it! I now own an embroidery machine! I got a Janome 350e today. The dealer was SO wonderful to work with. He answered all my questions and was really honest with me. So...Here she/he is:

I know most people name their machines but haven't come up with one for this one yet. However; I haven't named it "Frustrating" LOL.

My biggest concern was that I am easily frustrated and worried about not liking the machine after I bought it. He was honest and said that I will get frustrated. It won't always work the way you want it to and I will screw up the designs. was okay if I did. Sigh. Finally. Someone who doesn't say, "Oh..this machine is the best machine out there. You won't have any problems with it. Ever." Ummm..yeah.

He didn't try to sell me extra stuff. In fact he discouraged it until I was more proficient with the machine. He said to try the built in designs and learn from them. He explained stabilizers and the hoops. I just bought the machine, some stabilizers (not the rolls..just some packages), a starter set of thread (beautiful colors), needles, and a machine embroidery book. He threw in most of the stuff for free so that was nice. I paid half price for the book too.

He didn't have the software but said I got 10% discount with every class I took so I'd get the software and clothsetter then.

I brought my 6600 in and he got my bobbin winder to work much better. it first ever embroidery thingy:

The only problem I had was the thread kept falling off the spool when it was unwinding. It got caught under the spool and messed up the design. If you can't find it, even better. LOL. I don't know if I described the problem right to the dealer as he was lost. He said to bring the machine in as it shouldn't do that. I think it's just I probably don't have the thread in right. I just held the thread lightly as it went through the first guide so it had the right tension. Everything else went perfect. Wow..that's a first for me. I figured it would start eating fabric or making a huge mess.

My girls went nuts over the butterfly. They each wanted one on their shirts and some down their jeans. Sigh. I've created a monster now. They were loving all the built in designs and wanted me to make more. The butterfly took 20 minutes to stitch out. I'm tired.

The machine has automatic thread cutters which I LOVE. It's so easy to change threads that way. I love that I can hit the stop button if I notice there's a mistake or just need to stop it. It starts right up where it left off. You can even move the needle back some or forward if needed to work with the design.

It does have a USB port so I can transfer designs from the computer.

It has a touch screen as well. Really cool and easy to use. That's always nice. Even the manual was user friendly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Machine Embroidery And Janome Lesson

Sigh. Never go into a sewing machine dealer and just look. *homerdrools* She showed me a Janome embroidery machine that I think I want. It's the 350E. Now, I've never done machine embroidery but always admired it from a distance. They had a quilt that was machine embroidered that was stunning. *really homerdrools* That didn't help either. I just stood there and admired it.

I had my lesson and it is me. She showed me how to work with the seams so that the machine doesn't choke up when I get to one. She showed me how to pin fabric together so that your machine works with it. Yeah..there is a trick to that pinning. Most of all she told me to RELAX. The machine isn't going to break and the more tense you get the harder you push down on the pedal. That starts an endless cycle. Because you push down on the pedal when you tense up, lower the speed. I have generalized anxiety disorder, relaxing is something I don't do very well. Add in bipolar frustration and it can be a nasty mix.

Now..I was told that Mode 2 #13 was the piecing stitch. She said it was for using the decorative stitches and I should use Mode 1 #1 stitch. You can use it for piecing, but said because the stitches were so small, going over seams would be really difficult because the fabric isn't moving as fast. The machine gets hung up on the bulk and stalls out. Hmmm.

Machine Embroidery Questions

Okay..anyone ever used the Janome 350 embroidery machine? Is machine embroidery worth it? I just see dollar signs. You have to buy the cards (aren't cheap), threads that match the designs, and stabilizers. This one has a USB card port as well. My computer sits next to my sewing machine so if I needed to use it, I could. I know the cards came in collections but what if I wanted the butteryfly from collection A and the roses from collection B? Ouch on price. What if I only use that card a couple of times and never use it again? That's a waste. She said that it would be expensive to get started but would even out over time. I appreciated her honesty on that. Of course she said she'd give me a package deal. LOL

I hate to spend the money and find out I hate machine embroidery. All you do is sit there and watch the machine and change out threads. Would that get old? She did tell me how to do jeans. You open up the side and do it. And..everyone knows that I get FRUSTRATED so easily. I can't just go up to Omaha every time I get stuck.

Back to work on these blocks. I took apart the ones that had pleats and have redone them. I hope to get the rest done today.

*Edited* It works!!!! My machine isn't possessed! At least for now it isn't. The pinning was so easy! Starting with the needle down means my thread doesn't come undone from the hook thingy. Slowing down the speed has helped too. Pinning more (now that I know how to do it) has made my seams more accurate.

Being self taught and living in the middle of nowhere Nebraska makes quilting difficult sometimes. You know you are doing something wrong, but can't figure it out.

*Another edit* I figured out why my thread is coming out of my take up thingy! It gets caught under the handle and jams! Not sure why yet, but at least I know what is going on.