Multi Hoop Heaven

I was particularly anxious about the multi-position hoop.  My Designer Ruby has a 7.87″ X 14.17″ hoop.  It is big enough for many, many embroideries.  I did not buy the Diamond because its 13.78″ x14.17″ hoop operated the same as the Janome MegaHoop.   I had a MegaHoop for the MC9500. I never satisfactorily embroidered a MegaHoop design. With these hoops, the machine embroiders half the design and stops. The hoop is rotated and then the machine embroiders the other half of the design.  As I said, I was never successful.  Either my elements were upside down, off set or there was a space between them. I know I’m not alone with this difficulty.  As long as I was member of Yahoo’s Janome group, I noticed that the new members would introduce themselves and immediately ask for help with the MegaHoop.  To my surprise, the same thing happens with my Viking group.  People join, gush about how wonderful the Diamond is and then ask for help with the big hoop.  Almost without fail, they say their “dealer” advises that they need to be careful and practice more. They know it can be done, because they saw the samples at the dealer before purchasing their own machine. They get lots of sympathy from the group, along with a reference to the file we have created which specifies the steps needed.  Periodically, I also post my sympathies and the comment that I purchased the Ruby because after my experience with the Janome I had no confidence I would be able to make the Diamond’s lovely hoop work.

Success, comes down to splitting designs and precise rehooping .  Fact is, your embroidery field is what it is.  I don’t care if the dealer says you can stitch a 16 ‘ by 16’ design in your 4″x4″ hoop. Your dealer is not lying. It is entirely possible.  In fact, Take heart! Before you , a whole generation of home embroiders have proved it possible.  But you must do it one 4×4″ hoop at a time. Most software, including my beloved Embird, will automatically split a large design into sections that fit into the field your machine can embroidery.  That’s good.  Problem is they split the design along straight lines.  Let me illustrate.  Let’s start with this Bonsai Tree.

It is approximately 2.98″ x 5.52″ and typical of those designs which made me desperate to trade in Bernette Deco 500 which had a 3.94″ x 3.94″ embroidery field.  Embird, and most other editing programs, will split the deign into two embroidery fields, shown below and which I have designated with orange and green outlines and diagonals.

You need to hoop your fabric carefully, stitch out the top hoop (orange outline and diagonals).  When it is finished, you hoop your fabric a second time and stitch out the bottom half (green outline and diagonals).  Several things can go wrong.  First off, while the machine is stitching, it typically causes fabric creep.  Just the fact that your design will stitch mostly in on direction will cause the fabric to move or creep.  Although you think the fabric within Hooping #2 is perfectly aligned, the fabric has crept slightly and the stitch-outs will not align.  Even if by some miracle you do keep the designs aligned, there will be a line, a small white space  between the two parts of the design.  The line is caused by the physical stitching of two lines next to each other.  Try stitching two lines of satin stitch next to each other at your sewing machine.  Even if you overlap the two lines, when you look at the work, there is a visible line either space or a deeper color denoting the two stitched lines.  It’s a physical property that you can’t correct.

To my knowledge, for best results, splitting should be done manually.  I also try to split along ‘expected’ lines.  Look at my split below with red outlines and diagonals:

This is how I would probably split this design and then I would add an “alignment” stitching. Look closely for the wide Blue line in the design below.

I would split along the red line in Embird Editor and  use Embird Studio to create the Blue Alignment stitching. At the embroidery machine,  I stitch out the first hoop, for me the top hoop. Then I would rehoop the fabric and stitch using Water Soluble Thread only the blue line.  The WST will disappear with a spritz of water, eventually. For now, I stitch it, and look to see if it is placed the way I want the second half of my design to align. If not, I edit the position of the 2nd half of the design moving the design up or downwards.  Oddly enough, I seem to be able to hoop the vertical alignment perfectly.  It’s the horizontal that kicks me in the rear.  That was the Janome MC9500. For the Bernette Deco, I purchased a HoopIt All which essentially has and unlimited number of embroidery fields, because the hoop slides up or down.   Usually, I could hoop my fabric once; stitch the first hoop; slide the hoop up and stitch my alignment stitch. If not correct, I would slide the hoop a bit more and stitch the alignment stitch a second time.  Most of the time, 2 tries was all I needed for perfect alignment.  Also, because I’ve split the design along an “expected” break, your eye will blend the two stitch-outs together even if I do not get them exactly together.  It’s just how your vision works. Your brain expects to see a slight irregular division between things and so it is unnoticed. Where a straight line is unnatural and your brain immediately hones in on and says “what’s wrong here?”.

But the Brother Multi-Hoop, is a slightly different animal and since I’ve written so much today, I’ll continue with this thought tomorrow.