Back in 2002, Barbara Skimin published the 2nd edition of “My Custom Stitch A guide for Brother Pacesetter Owners”. I bought the book on Amazon before I even brought my Dream Machine home. I remembered how difficult it was for me to learn the Bernina Stitch Designer. I didn’t want to repeat that experience. Probably shouldn’t have worried because as I wrote yesterday, Brother’s Custom Stitch was incredibly easy to learn.
However, I’ve got the book so I had to at least read it through. This second edition is written for both the ULT 2001/2002 and the Pacesetter 8500/6500. I like this book. Despite the fact that technology has advanced markedly, the book is still fairly relevant. I especially like that the author is much better at explaining why you are doing what you are doing. The first instruction pages are split vertically like the old fashioned stenographer’s book with ‘Do this’ on the left column and ‘why you are doing this’ in the right column. I think it is a good format and filled in some knowledge blanks that neither the dealer nor the manual mention.
When done with the instructional pages, Barbara provides 64 stitches in the 2001/2o02 format and repeated in the 8500/6500 format. The book touts these as ‘new’ stitches and they probably were in 2002. But now some 13 years later in 2015, several of those stitches have been incorporated into the Dream Machine’s Decorative Stitches, a few are very close to a Decorative Stitch (needing only a few extra points to be exactly the same) and , not surprising, some never were and never will be of interest to me. I’m thinking specifically of the bird, mushroom and toothbrush.
The final chapter contains a few projects for using your new stitches. I may even use one. It’s a vest decorated with stitch #3 in this book!
Best of all, at the very back are design sheets for both machine types. I really prefer the format Barbara gives for the 2001/2002 and gleefully scanned and printed several pages for me. It helps me with ‘my plotting issue’ that of reading a horizontal row of instructions and then entering into a vertical display.
I now have vertical instructions to enter in a vertical display. This is just easier for me to wrap my mind around. Plus I like that the author’s page is big. So much easier on these mature eyes. Only downside, to me, is that her chart ends with the max number of points possible in 2002. Our Dream Machines can plot 100 points double what the ULT was capable.
How much is this feature worth to me? I’ll say again, Every year I’ve had the Ruby (6?8?) I wanted to plot a stitch. I really missed this capability. It’s just something I like to do. You’d think with 726 internal stitches I’d be happy. But that figure includes 6 alphabets, 4 of which I’m unlikely to ever use, and several stitches I don’t care for. (I’m not impressed by the 8 ways to stitch ‘I love you’. ) Custom Stitch allows me to add nearly any stitch I see to my machine or edit (by reploting the points) an existing stitch. I love what Bernina calls “Stitch Receipes”. Now I can copy them! I”ve collected a bunch of stitches (all in jpg format) that I’d love to use. I anticipate that some day when I’m bored, I’ll plot most of the stitches in the book and the stitches I’ve collected so I’ll have them available when I’m ready to use them and then there will be a long span of time before I plot again. It’s a feature that I don’t want to be without and, as I stated before, it is the reason I even looked at the Dream Machine. Once I realized all the other capabilities and tested it’s stitching, I was sold. Had to have it.