Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First try at Machine Embroidery

Since I was thinking about buying the embroidery unit for my Bernina 450, when I was home over memorial day I thought I'd play around a bit with my mom's embroidery system.  She has a Bernina 180, which is a bit old but works great.

To start off though, I wanted to work with my mom a bit to learn some of the things she's learned.  There's actually quite a bit to your selection of stabilizer/interfacing, how to hoop, etc.  She's really gotten into designing and digitizing her own patterns which is where the creative aspect comes in for us, but obviously I started out with purchased designs.     The awesome Urban Threads was having a 50% off sale, so  I embroidered a onesie with this adorable robokitty (sorry I don't have a picture of it).  I also embroidered two firebirds on the back of my hoodie.  I love this design and was pleased to be able to get them lined up fairly well (although I probably could have used a 4th layer of stabilizer).

When I got home I went to the local Bernina store (Emily is great up there BTW) and bought the embroidery module for my machine.  I went through the manual and everything, but am having lots of problems with my initial test embroideries.  Any time there is satin stitch (either in letters or on a design), the bobbin thread pulls up terribly from the back (look at the white all over the designs and letters).  It got a bit better but didn't go away when I tightened the bobbin tension (as tight as I could!) and loosened the top (third picture with red bird).  Interestingly it doesn't happen on fill stitches (non satin stitch bird in fourth picture).

In case you can't read it, underneath the bird it says "This is a bird.  She lives by our door and poops on our porch.  We are happy to have her anyway."  I wanted to test letters but couldn't think of anything clever to say....

The last two pictures are some key fobs I made after doing more embroidery tests, as you can see the bobbin thread is still pulling to the front!  Any suggestions?  It's really frustrating me.

Linking up with Lee and Nina-Marie as ever!


  1. Oh, how frustrating! Tension problems seriously make me cry. I saw that you'd already tightened the bobbin up as much as possible and it's still happening. I'd take your stitch-outs to the store and see if they can problem-solve for you, because I'd want training on how to resolve the problem or a refund if it can't be made to work properly. So not fun for you!

  2. I have nothing helpful to say, but the birds and wording crack me up. :)

  3. Try a couple of different stabilizers and see what works for you. Also, a machine-embroiderer that I know keeps some permanent art markers by her thread basket and touches up by hand when the bobbin thread comes to the front.