I have been using my Brother PE500 Embroidery machine since I won it in 2013. I’ve learned a lot about machine embroidery and decided if I had the opportunity I would “move on up” to a hoop size bigger than 4″ x 4″.
All of my friends who embroider know I have been suffering from “hoop envy”. You see…that sweet FREE Brother could only do 4×4″ projects, and I was seeing all my friends upgrade to 5×7 hoop machines. I just haven’t used my machine enough to warrant an expensive investment. Attending the Embroidery Club once a month has gotten me motivated to do more machine embroidery projects.
This past January a friend of mine was selling a Janome 11000 quilting sewing embroidery machine. I thought it was a great value and the increase in “hoop size” was exciting. This meant a new maximum embroidery size: 8″ x 11″ with the Macro Hoop, and other hoop sizes -5″x 4″ and 8″x 8″.
Well, when I looked at the machine being sold, and saw the capability and did research with one of my Embroidery Club friends…I knew I had to buy the used machine. Even though it was considered by some to be an “older” machine, it had all the bells (really) and whistles. It had a USB port; and a card slot. That means new technology and old technology. There were so many hoops included which made the purchase price a real value. The original price on the machine new was over $6000, and I valued it on E-bay before buying. Today on E-Bay there is a new machine selling for $5495, and used prices run the range of $1100 to $3400. I didn’t nearly that much, just a bit more than a new Brother 770.
Fast forward to this fall, and I have finally had time to sit down and learn how to operate this machine. From the “sewing” side of things, it has as almost as large a throat and capability as my Janome 8900 which I purchased in 2013. Certainly as many stitches. The screen that is on the machine is fantastic- color-and huge, with lots of “help” videos.
First time I tried to use the automatic needle threader, I just watched the helpful video on the screen and was able to follow along with success. Then, I discovered, even with a huge bag full of hoops and gadgets, that there were some “missing parts”.
I wasn’t worried about not having some of the sewing feet, but I was missing the embroidery foot; and my friend at Embroidery club gave me an extra she happened to have. What was worrisome is there was a part missing that was critical to the operation of the embroidery hoops. It was just a little “filler piece” but without it in place the hoops were not supported and all kinds of jamming up was happening. I was distressed and finally gave up and took the machine in locally for service. The technician was able to locate the part and clean and test run the machine. I was happy to learn that the replacement part was under $5.
When I got the machine back home, I decided I needed to keep my eyes open for a table that would work well for the machine, and not be in the way of all the other stuff I have in my sewing room. I picked up this cute little table on Facebook Marketplace for just $35. It has a thick top (with a little worm wood showing) and is set on this fabulous treadle base…and guess what….The treadle moves! I used a layer of “rubberized shelf lining” under the machine to help reduce vibration. There is plenty of room behind the machine for the hoops to move on the mounting arm. I got out the command trips and starting hanging more hooks on the wall to get those various hoops out of the boxes and hanging up in a convenient spot. Boxes are now safely stored, and all the parts like foot pedal and fabric guide are stored away nearby in a basket.
I got it all set up, and put it to work! I set up and stitched out in the big hoop a label for my Spiral Out Quilt I just finished.
What I liked about this stitch out is I could stitch a temporary “frame” and know my alignment was here I wanted it. If you zoom in on the above photo you can see that “frame”. It was easy to remove after the final stitching was completed.
I had one “flub” on the date “2019”, but otherwise, I learned to set out and space the lines and to even bring in patterns as part of the process. I worked my way through the the screens and options and was pleased with the results. My flub was a lack of “awareness” and a good learning time. A lesson learnt, and mostly a satisfying stitch out.
A little hand stitching and the label was secured. Note about labels — When I make a label, I take a piece of a fusible product, lightweight pellon etc, and stitch it to the label. I stitch completely around, with the fusible side facing the pretty side of the label. Then, I cut a slit in the fusible product and “turn” the label so it has a nice smooth edge. I use my fingers and roll that seam flat, then IRON my label onto my project. This does two things….ensures my label is “hard” to remove, and gives the edge of the label a nice finish. I do hand stitch around the edges as well, and don’t need to battle with pins or shifting while I stitch.
I’ve had fun making a little “teddy” yesterday with my granddaughter. It is available as a free pattern from Kreative Kiwi
Of course, when you hop over to look at the free pattern you will see him in a cute little sleeping bag. I couldn’t resist so I purchased the pattern for the bag and stitched it out last night!
The bear went home with the granddaughter after we made it, but the sleeping bag is going to be a surprise. Poor bear spent a cold night, but he will snuggle into this bag as soon as I can deliver!
I’ve got other projects in mind for Christmas and am heading out to play in the sewing room !
By the way – we got a dusting of snow yesterday in Delaware…the first for the season!
Just a little frosting on the roof and cold temperatures!
Hope you are staying warm where ever you are and having fun in your sewing room!