I really don’t know anything about machine embroidery. So far all I’ve done is just stitch a name on some fabric here or there which is just an introduction into the concept. I joined an embroidery group online to see what possibilities are out there, and in the process I found an embroidery mystery quilt. For some reason this totally confused me, but that’s because all I had done up until now was to use one color of thread to stitch a word into one piece of fabric. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. It turns out this picture exemplifies everything that you should not do! See that tiny stitching line that I’m covering up with a satin stitch? The machine stops after that placement stitch, giving me a chance to trim – very closely – to the stitch. All of that extra fabric should’ve been trimmed away. I didn’t know that because well…I haven’t done this before and I didn’t take the time to learn more before I started.
No worries. I knew this was just for practice. I actually didn’t learn that lesson until I was stitching down my 4th piece of fabric when suddenly I had an “aha!” moment. If you look closely at the non-useable finished block, you’ll see snippets of fabric around the 3 circles (the bottom right doesn’t matter because this will be sewn into the seam to the next block). I thought close was good enough, but no it turns out when they say 1-2mm away from the stitching, that means really close. This isn’t as easy as it might seem on paper because the fabric really needs to stay in the hoop in order to maintain the integrity of the stitching line. But it’s not easy cutting that close when going around a circle. For instance, it’s easier for a left-handed person to cut around the left and top sides but not so much the right side or bottom portion.
At least now I know and it didn’t take more than one block to pick up a lot of quick experience. I’m knee deep in papers for every class I’m taking this semester (4!) and preparing for finals so I’m setting this aside for now.