Of course, I couldn’t wait to open the boxes and as soon as I’d tied up all the loose ends from Friday’s judging, written one or two letters, changed the beds and hung the washing on the line, I was free to play. Is it our upbringing that means we can’t allow ourselves to play until the work is done?
Anyway, the small box was the easy part. Inside was the new DesignerPlus software 7 – a really great gift from Bernina, thank you! (Have you seen the price?!) I put it on one side for later!
Opening the big box revealed an assortment of hoops, a box of embroidery needles, foot 26, a USB cable and a box of stabiliser samples.
Underneath was the real deal – the embroidery module.
For my non-sewing friends, this is the bit which fits on the side of the machine and holds the hoop in place. It’s pretty large and rather heavy and increases the length of the machine set up to about a metre. My sewing table is now pretty full and is going to need a little rethink!
Anyway, I’d already watched the YouTube videos and for this first go, I thought I’d just follow them step by step. It was great having my old ipad at my side so I could watch and go over tricky parts once again, such as the additional step needed when threading the bobbin. Though Frank had explained it to me and walked me through it step by step, it was over a week ago and I’ve had a few sleeps since then.
I was happy with the results and delighted to be able to leave it stitching away. It’s quite noisy; possibly because the table is not 100% stable, but I like the stitch countdown and the timer which shows how long until the next thread change or whatever. I didn’t need to babysit it at all.
And then I changed thread. The machine really didn’t like the different (unknown) brand of pale blue I threaded up and it broke twice within a short space of time. I wasn't ready for a fight at this stage; wasn’t ready to employ all the tricks we use to coax a difficult thread to behave itself, so simply unthreaded and got another reel of the brand I’d been using successfully so far.
Except that the pale blue thread broke as I tried to pull it through. Even though I was doing as recommended, and pulling it through from the spool, it snapped and the piece of thread was somewhere in the machine.
Oooer! Time to get out the book.
Time to get out the toolkit too! I can’t say that taking the front off my brand new shiny “sewing computer” was exactly what I wanted to do, but sure enough, there was the thread. Not that it was going to come out easily, though.
Gently gently, hoping that it wasn’t going to break again, leaving some bit left inside, I held my breath as it gradually came unstuck and came free. Phew!
So, the colours are wrong – I didn’t have the right colours to hand and as this was only a practice, I wasn’t too worried. I’m not sure I intended it to be a stripy flower, though! But for a first go, I was fine. 18 000 stitches on the clock, a couple of thread breaks mid-stitch which meant I had to navigate the pattern and retrace my steps to start again and of course, the major thread retrieval. I felt I’d achieved my objectives for the morning.
So, whilst on a roll, I did another 15 000-odd stitches and stitched out another of the designs on the menu. Thank you, Switzerland!