Machine Embroidery Project

I’m still working on using my embroidery machine for projects. I stopped using it for some years as I just lost interest. I didn’t have that many designs on the cards, and the machine is too old to use the new ones available online. It doesn’t have a USB connection, and I didn’t invest in the box that would do conversions from online to cards. I thought I might sell the machine, and all the stuff I have to go with it and get a new one. But the new ones are really expensive, and the old machine didn’t have any takers. So, what to do? I went to ebay and found a couple of new-to-me cards. I got three cards with some really pretty designs. I’ve been having some fun stitching out a few, and I have a project in mind. Last time I showed this project, I had done this orchid in pink.

Each card is supposed to have a color guide, so you know what color to put next. The orchid is on the lower right.

But, the card I wanted to use next didn’t have the color guide. I didn’t realize this when I ordered it on etsy, and I contacted the seller, only to find they didn’t have it. I was lamenting this on the last virtual retreat, and was asked, can’t I see the design on the machine’s screen to know? Well, actually, no. My screen is not in color, remember the machine is 25 years old, and it just shows little bits of the design, like this. No way I can tell over the course of 16 color changes what goes where without some kind of guide.

So, now what? Well, I began looking for the same card for sale on ebay and other sites. When I found one that had the color guide, I took screen shots as best I could. Then I printed out the screen shots to use. I also figured out a way to keep the colors straight without having them roll away. I got an egg carton, numbered the bottom of the cells and placed the colors in the cells. You’ll notice that the #8 cell is empty, that is because it uses the same color as #3.

OK, this is working, the colors are looking right. The leaves are green like they should be.

Changing colors, I moved #3 to #8 so it is ready in line when I need it again.

All stitched out, this is a charming little birdhouse, with flowers and a butterfly.

I pulled the tear away stabilizer off the back, but I left the threads.

Here it is with the water soluble stabilizer removed from the front.

Now I have three stitched out designs, and these will be used in the wall hanging. The finish will be to trim them, then put sashing around them and sew in a row of three like a bell pull for a wall hanging. I’ll use the Square Template set from MadamSew for trimming. The project will be finished for the MadamSew blog, as I write posts for them about once a month. I just had one published this week on Thrifty Quilting, if you’d like to see it. MadamSew is one of my affiliate sponsors for the blog, so purchases you make from them using my links helps pay the costs of the blog.

It will be similar to the one I did for Autumn Jubilee – see that project at Autumn Jubilee Embroidered Wall Hanging.

What are you working on now?

23 thoughts on “Machine Embroidery Project

  1. The bird house is just darling! Your machine still stitches nicely in spite of its age! And the egg carton organizer is brilliant! I love using common items to solve little issues. I’ve got a spring felt mat project ready to stitch but I’ve been crocheting an afghan for our son and a few small spring items for the grands. Guess my crafting is whimsy driven. Haha!

  2. Connie Wolfe

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way! You are an example of working your way steadily through a barrier. The egg carton idea is terrific, too. I’ve struggled with choosing the correct color threads and keeping them in proper order but plan to try your idea with my next project. The designs stitched out great, so I’m thinking that your machine is a keeper.

  3. lynn bourgeois

    Just a quick note Carole, Your embroideries are sweet. Today my first two Jeffrey Archer books will arrive from the library. Looking forward to getting started on both of his series. Wasn’t able to locate The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Have a great day Lynn >

  4. Linda Dupler

    Hi what model is your embroidery machine? If it is a Bernina I have some embroidery cards you may gladly have.

  5. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I really love that birdhouse! I had a Brother back in the day – my first embroidery machine and it used cards. I may still have a few. I’ll look around!

  6. Darlene S

    Very pretty. And how clever you are to track down the color sheet and give a stitch out a go. I also like your egg carton thread holder.

  7. I am SO glad you found a solution!! A woman who is on a mission can do just about anything! I love the egg carton idea and I am going to share this blog post with my embroidery friends! I can see how it makes it easy to get your threads organized and carry them to the machine across the room too! I’m going to suggest you put the make and model of your machine in the blog post, because you may find that you have friends reading that have cards to send you. 🙂

  8. Julie

    The birdhouse is a hit! Soon it will be time to clean out last year’s nests & get them ready for this year’s arrivals. Over the weekend a red winged blackbird was seen in the neighborhood. Not that he’ll need a birdhouse, but he is the first harbinger of spring around here. Can’t wait to hear him sing. It was a productive week, I finished a mystery quilt, used up a quantity of scraps, made shamrock mug rugs, & just finished pinning a quilt. I’ll be quilting soon.

  9. Joan Sheppard

    Really lovely. Also enjoyed your contribution to Madam Sew. A friend called recently about “upscaling” old sweaters. Some turned out pretty wild! But good point you made – it doesn’t have to be new, it’s just fun to shop – with friends for new quilt fabric!

  10. Charlieo

    What brand of cards? I have some Pfaff cards that have directions that look very similar to what you show. If you are interested, and I can find them…they are yours.

    1. My machine is a old Brother PC7500. I know it can use cards from Brother, Bernina, Simplicity, Deco, Baby Lock, some Amazing Designs and some Anita Goodesign. Unfortunately, I cannot use Pfaff cards, they won’t fit. Thanks so much for the offer!!

  11. Sharon Kwilter

    Lovely. What kind of machine do you have? I have a Pfaff that does embroidery and I’ve never used the embroidery option. This might convince me to try it.

  12. I doubt that you can use the Pfaff cards. They were pretty exclusive to their own machines. I’m wondering if I have the color chart you need for the card you got on ebay. If you want to give me the name of it I’ll look through my stash of designs.

  13. thedarlingdogwood

    I don’t have an embroidery machine so it’s always interesting for me to see what others use them for. The bird house in this post is fun.

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