Save Your Sanity; Read Your Manual

Blog.  When I first saw this word I though it peculiar.  That was a long time ago and there are words and abbreviations now being used that are much more peculiar.

So, I decided to read a “blog” (pre-ATG).  So long and boring I cannot even remember the subject!   I need pauses so I can take a breath and rest my eyes! 

So here goes my first attempt.  I scanned the gamut of blogs here at ATG.  Many are tutorials and have nice pictures.  Videos are great.  But I do not have all those great media products.  Maybe an amateur  picture or two, but mostly I have words.

ATG embraces crafts our Grandmothers and Grandfathers used, only without the added convenience of electronics.   Thank-you, all you great minds than never stop working on building the “better mouse-trap”!

Techniques where handed down by the “hands-on” approach and notes.  Eventually, hand written diaries.

We now have books, magazines, videos, forums and blogs!

However, there is bound to be a problem that those forms of communication just can’t help us with.

This is where instructions for patterns/products and manuals for the machines we use come into play.

We need to take the time to read and apply each step and not skip around or go by just the pictures. 
Everything about the machinery is important from those first pages about power supply through maintenance.

The most perplexing piece of craft equipment today is probably a toss-up between the embroidery machine and the serger.  Air-jet threading sergers are anxiety free (at least for me).

The embroidery machine.  It is so amazing to watch it work!   There have been added features since I purchased my BabyLock Ellegante and would like to hear from those with newer machines.

One thing we have in common, no matter which brand or model embroidery machine we are using  is thread.   Many good brands, however, the thread manufacturers sorta threw a monkey wrench into the works when they began offering spools/cones of thread that were cross-wound along with the standard wound spools we were all use to for sewing.  

Not all embroidery machines have spool pin options needed to handle the variety and the manual may not address this, but a thread stand is usually the answer to most thread issues. 

Then there is the bobbin.  Looks just like the one in the sewing machine and it is.  Except, machine embroidery requires a lighter weight bobbin thread and not the same thread as for the top stitching.  The correct weight should be noted in the manual for the embroidery machine.  Free-standing lace would be the exception; comments welcomed.

So to sum it all up - it is best to learn the machine, test new products and techniques before attempting your project.  A little time in preparation can save production down-time as well as an item from being ruined.

This is the end of my first blog.  Should you not be familiar with my idioms, those peculiar words can be found on the Internet! 

PS:  Sewing machine manufacturers have come up with great improvements since Barthelamy Thimonnier put the first mechanical sewing device in to commercial use in his tailor’s shop. 

There is a great history of the sewing machine by Grace Rogers Cooper of the Smithsonian at the Gutenberg Library -     The  first sewing machine needles;  the machines - just amazing.

By Pattiann

Comments (6) -

tourlady522 6/1/2013 8:02:03 AM

Thanks for this blog. I have been trying to read my manual but it is so big that I quit reading it but now I think I will go back and start again. I have the new Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold and there is so much to learn on it.


I hope you get all you want doing this blog.  I think it is great and how many times has something not worked just right and I read the manuel that came with it and found out where the problem was.  Do I read all the manuels now, no, I still try and fly by the seat of my pants.

Good Advice - I haven't read it front to back but I use it as reference for specific issues.  Brother did a great job with explanation along with supporting pictures in the manual that came with my machine. Smile

PattiAnn, I am delighted to welcome your blog.  You are straight forward and easy to understand.  

I like to think of a blog as a 'conversation' that I might have with a friend over a cup of coffee.  While it is one way, it is easy to respond to you with further input or even questions.

I LOVE TO TALK EMBROIDERY!  I could do it all day long - and come to think of it, often do.

Your recommendation to go back to read your manual is totally on the mark!  I am often surprised by what I missed or have forgotten.  

Thanks again, and I look forward to more blogs from you.  

ps:  do put in some photos, it makes the reading more fun and I try to put in some humorous ones as well.  

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

And, before I got so busy with my embroidery business, I was involved with Project Gutenberg as a proof reader.  I enjoyed doing it despite not being the best proof reader. . .

I even was proofing the (volumes) of the Warren Report, on the Kennedy assassination.   I only did about 20 or so pages, and it very was interesting.  

You can chose what you want to work on and some of the books are truly interesting.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Congrats on the new machine, TourLady.  

Reading manuals or watching instructional DVDs put me right to sleep.  That is how I found it is best for me to sit at the machine and test as I read.

Enjoy the new machine and let us know which new features are to "die for"!

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