A Multi-Hoop Project

I had one last issue to solve with the multi-position hoop (MPH).  That is placement on my project.  Usually, I don’t worry about being as much as 1/8″ off as long as the horizontal and vertical axis are pointing in the directions I desire.  But I don’t want to finish a project and find my embroidery is off by more than that.  I’m very careful to avoid placing bulls-eyes in certain areas.  I prefer to bring attention to my face although I have, on occasion, embroidered in the center back and along hems.  I don’t embroider blanks. In a way, I’m lucky that I like to sew because I can embroider “flat” without having to open seams or crunch a garment around a hoop. But this means I need to know how to place my hoop so that the embroidery occurs outside of hems, seam allowances and er those bulls-eye areas. To tell the truth, if I want my embroidery in a particular spot, say middle of the back, I don’t want it landing higher or lower i.e. just above the crevice or on the shoulder blades. I’m sure I’ve said enough….  My challenge now was to be sure I can place my design where I want it.

Since I use Embird, I’m able to print out a template.  I like to use clear Vellum which is not clear but frosted.  It is a paper product found usually in the scrap booking section. For me, it is typically a use once and discard material and I constantly seek cheaper and more-clear less-frosted versions.  The last package of 25 I purchased from CreateForLess. For this post, I’m using plain typing paper.  I prefer the clear or frosted material because it helps me envision the final result. But typing paper works, is less expensive than vellum and shows better in photos.  Printing the template for the MPH requires 2 sheets of paper:

which are taped together

and then trimmed. I put the template inside the hoop just checking to see how it should line up.

I figured that Field2’s horizontal axis should align with the tick marks on the hoop and was surprised at how much unused space there is. I mean the template is trimmed to the maximum size of all 3 fields. The template is as big as any embroidery I would ever be able to make with 1 hooping of the MPH.  I wouldn’t expect the foot to need that much manoeuvering room.   I hooped a stabilizer, drew axis lines by using the tick marks on the hoop and then replaced the full template. With that in place, I located the other two (Field 1 and 3) horizontal axis and drew them on the stabilizer.

I proceeded to stitch out a test embroidery and was pleased that the embroider stitched out where I expected, although still wish I could fill the whole inside of the hoop with embroidery.  I was ready now for a real project and choose to use Pamela’s Patterns T-shirt 104 and an elderly piece of fabric.  I’m sure the knit is from the Walmart dollar tables long ago. I also decided to use it because is the light rose color I’m seeing hints of in the stores.  I have a stack of fabrics in this color range (tones and tints) but haven’t used them because of their unpopularity. It’s an interesting color on me creating a porcelain china doll effect.

I altered the design.  I trimmed the template of most of its “white” area and made trial  placements on the garment.  I didn’t want a “hardly there” embroidery.  To add a little more substance, I duplicated and mirrored the design and then copied the string-of-small-boxes (which you can’t see above) and dropped them in a couple of places.  That doesn’t completely fill the 3 embroidery fields, but it does make a bigger statement. I also changed the colors to something I thought blended a bit better with the fabric color.  I printed a new template.

On the garment front, I drew a vertical line down the center.

Then I placed the template on top, lining the vertical axis of the design with the vertical line on the garment. I made tick marks on the garment to indicate where Field2’s horizontal axis fell.

Removed the template and filled in the full horizontal axis.

This is one of those times when the finished design can be off a little without causing problems.  So these two lines were all I needed to line up my fabric in the hoop.

After that, it was a routine matter of changing threads and changing hoop position as described previously.

The resulting embroidery is lovely:

The MPH takes care of a lot of alignment issues. I would do much more prep and testing if I were hooping the garment 3 times instead of just moving the hoop to 3 different positions.  The MPH makes embroidery much more enjoyable. HOWEVER, I wouldn’t recommend the 5×12, Multi-Position Hoop for the new to machine embroidery. I didn’t tackle it until I had worked through working with the other hoops.  The new person has so much to learn. Tying that all together with the MPH would be overwhelming. If you buy it, I’d say put it away; work with the 5×7,4×4 and sock hoop for 6 months.  By that time you’ve probably bumped up against the issue of big-embroidery-plan vs too-small-hoop. It’s doable. Just get some experience under your belt so that you know whether you have a machine, fabric, stabilizing, software, or thread  issue instead of a MPH issue.

Seriously still lovin’ this machine.  As the time of this post’s publication, I’ve got the PE770 working on a FSL table-cloth using one 4×4 hooping at a time.