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Multi-position with Embrilliance: Trial, Information, Success!

This morning, I finished my trial multi-position hooping. For my trial, I made a quilt block stipple. It was only two pieces, and went fairly quickly. I used StitchArtist Level 1 to make the stipple, and then used Essentials/Enthusiast (I have them both, and both contain the multi-position feature) to split it into two pieces, each of which fit in my hoop, but would not have fit all together.

The Embrilliance manual suggests printing the actual size production sheet for each file. I started by not doing that. The Embrilliance manual suggests marking the three center points for the split design (one center point for each part of the split, plus one center point for the design as a whole). I started by also not doing that. So now I have a really clear idea of why those two recommendations were made. See what I do for you?

What I did was to just pop the sample fabric in the hoop and begin stitching the design. It worked great, of course. But then I was faced with alignment. Oh yes, this is why the actual size production sheets are very useful. It is also why marking the three center points before you begin to stitch is helpful. I did everything wrong, but my sample still worked out. How? Well, I first assumed the machine/Embrilliance would just magically align the designs. Not so. I got to pick out the basting stitches. Basting stitches? Yes. When you have Essentials/Enthusiast split a design, it automatically makes basting stitches and alignment marks. This is awesome. When you stitch the basting stitches, (and alignments, if you planned the stitching order correctly) you can quickly see that your alignment is wrong before you stitch further. I know because, as I said, I tried it.

In my pictures, I have not yet removed all of the basting stitches, or the alignment marks. Embrilliance defaults to a different stitching color for the alignment and basting stitches from the color used for the main body of the design, but I stitched them in the same color at the machine. Basically, everything in my picture that is not a straight line is what I’m going to keep. Everything else will be removed.

So what now? Even with part of the design already stitched and nothing marked, it is not too late to save the sample. I recalled what I learned in Bobbi Bullard’s Continuous Line Embroidery Craftsy Class*, and marked the position of the top of the basting stitch on my hoop, as a guide for aligning for the next hooping.

Secondly, I revisited Embrilliance’s instructions and read them more carefully. I printed the actual size production sheets. At this point, the only one I really needed in order to align my two files was the production sheet for the second file. It has a handy ¾ crosshair printed on it. I just aligned that crosshair with the ¾ crosshair stitched at the end of the first file. Then I marked the center point for the last file, referencing from that spot.

To hoop for stitching, I aligned the top basting stitch from the first file with the mark I had made on the hoop, and I attempted to get my marked center point near the center of the hoop. Neither of these must be done to perfection, because starting points can be altered at the machine. But both of them are very helpful and must be done because reference points are needed.

And in the end, that was all it took, simply moving the center start point of the file to the spot marked in my hoop -- and stitch away. First to stitch was the basting stitch. Simple. Next the body of the design, and last the ¾ crosshair. Personally, for the way I (mis)managed things, I would like to have had the crosshair stitch first, before the body of the design. This would have allowed for a greater degree of accuracy in my alignment.

The Brother PE-700 I used is very limited when it comes to moving the start point in the hoop -- you have to do it before you begin stitching or tracing, and you can only move the center. Meaning, you cannot travel to the corner of a design to make sure it is hooped high enough, and then move the start point. No. You can only move your start point before you begin tracing or stitching, and if you want to re-trace, you have to go back to the center before you can begin, or before you can move the start point again. Given those limitations, I would like to have the crosshair mark stitch first, then the basting lines, and then finally the body of the design. That way, when the crosshair mark is stitched, I can quickly start over and move the start point if I need to, before committing to the entire design.

Since the stitching order of the crosshair alignment mark is something I can control in Embrilliance, I will definitely be watching that for next time.

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