Late last week, I decided that I needed to actually start using the embroidery features of my machine—I paid a whole lot of money for a machine capable of it, so why haven’t I been using it? (That was rhetorical.) So, I decided to get started.
The first step was installing the software that allows my computer to communicate with the sewing machine (including running a couple of updates that were due on the machine itself). Except, Husqvarna Viking (and to my knowledge, every other manufacturer/software suite for embroidery) doesn’t support OSX—it’s all Windows only. I’m a Mac user and have been for years.
So, step one was switching back to my old laptop so that I had a working CD drive with which to install things (it’s a really long story about why I have two MacBooks [one is technically Carl’s old one] and switch my hard drive back and forth on occasion, but suffice it to say my priority in machine buying was a fancy sewing machine instead of replacing the two five year old laptops). Then, I had to completely reinstall my operating system. Then I had to find my old copy of Windows XP from when I was in college and had to use Windows sometimes because I was in Computer Science and sometimes that’s not OSX friendly either, and use that to dual boot. So, finally, I have a computer that is running Windows.
Then, I installed the software that came with my sewing machine. Or, tried. They gave me a 4D disk (old version) with a 5D (new version) key printed in the User Manual. So, I had to contact their tech support, but while I did, I searched around and found the manual for another model that would have shipped before 5D was released, and used that key (turns out, that is the key that Support later gave me). I still think that I’m being cheated by not being given 5D. They said to use the software update, but that doesn’t show any updates. Maybe it’s because I’m using a 11 year old version of Windows.
Finally, I decided to use the USB stick to run the machine updates, instead of directly connecting the laptop (mostly because the laptop’s wireless doesn’t work with our home network [re: one reason for the two laptops], and we only have one ethernet cable in the house—no where near my sewing room). I got that all set up, only to have the sewing machine tell me it needs to connect to the computer, because there’s too much updating needed for the USB stick method. So I did, and now my machine is all updated. Yay.
As a result of the above, I did two different embroidery projects this weekend.
One was part of a class at the Viking shop—ultimately it is going to be a table mat (or a pillow?), but for now, I’ve only finished the embroidery part. It was interesting doing trapunto in the hoop.
Did you know you can run two colors of thread through the machine? It makes the most interesting color mash in straight line embroidery (the above is a mix of rusty cotton and gold silk).
Then, I decided to be exceptionally lazy while working on my latest quilt project (a gift, but I’ll reveal it later this month), so I searched for a free heart outline that I could use as a quilting motif, and let my machine do a fair bit of my quilting for me. This is something I definitely want to explore in the future.
So, hopefully my future embroidery posts will be successes rather than woes.
Do you do much machine embroidery? Any tips for this newbie?