Back to Basics

When concentration eludes, it’s time to dig into some basics. Lucky for me, I’ve just begun an on-line class through Craftsy with Carol Ann Waugh.   Stupendous Stitching focuses on using the decorative and utility stitches on your home machine to create your own personal surface design. It’s not surprising then, that the first assignment is to stitch out an example of each of the stitches on your sewing machine.

When I purchased my first computerized machine I did just that. But that was long ago and that machine has been replaced.  Let’s face it: the illustrations for most of the stitches on your machine don’t resemble what actually stitches out when you use it. I welcomed the opportunity to create a handy reference for my machines.

I’ve gathered the supplies: Pellon shirt tailor to stabilize the fabric (shirt tailor has fusible web on one side), Wonder-Under, trim to finish the pages and eyelets to allow the pages to be held together in book form.

Franki Kohler, gathering supplies

Gathering supplies

I became so immersed in this project that — oops! — I forgot to take a few in-process photos. There is nothing revolutionary about the process though: beginning with the first stitch on the machine, use the default setting and stitch several inches; vary stitch length and width to see how the stitch changes — even a slight change in the original stitch could reveal your favorite new design. Use a permanent pen to mark the corresponding machine number on your reference fabric. Repeat this process until all the designs have been stitched on fabric. Here are two of my pages finished:

Franki Kohler, 2 pages of stitch reference

2 pages of stitch reference

The pages were trimmed, pairs were fused together, the edges were stitched first with a narrow zigzag stitch, then with a wider zigzag while applying cording. Here are the final pages ready to be finished.

Franki Kohler, final pages ready to be finished

Final pages ready to be finished

When I finish the pages for my Janome 6500 I’ll be doing the same process for my Janome 11000.

7 replies
  1. 379christy
    379christy says:

    I wasn’t going to be so fancy but have this plan on my desk to do. I know it is good idea and now I know how to preserve the stitching. Thanks for sharing.

  2. maureenc
    maureenc says:

    I “should” be doing similar with my MC3500 and my MC4800. As well I “should” update my Embird programs and do stitch outs of the various fonts for alphabets. Time to shift from “should” to “will”.

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