I am all about embroidery. My embroidery is on quilts, home decor, clothing, accessories, and so much more. I love a machine like my Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker machine to do all the different embroidered projects I have in mind. But, before I even go to the machine I have a million questions that go through my mind in deciding about the embroidery design and its use.
So often I hear my students complain that a design is no good. The design may indeed be an issue but there are a multitude of other factors that can influence the outcome of the design. I suggest the following questions be asked before you give up on an embroidery design.
Is the design digitizing a problem in itself?
Are you using the correct needle? Is it dull and need replacing? Correct size?
What stabilizer is needed to stitch the perfect design?
What is your fabric choice? Quality of fabric, print too busy and detracts from design, etc.?
What threads are you choosing? (consider thickness, types, etc.)
Hooping? (correct hoop size, proper hoop technique used?)
Fluff build up in machine? (cleaned it lately?)
Using correct tension setting?
Bobbin case and bobbin thread selection? (Which case is correct for the project and what is the weight of bobbin thread are you choosing?)
Matching design properties to fabric type? (too dense/loose, drape of fabric affected?)
Consider placement? (use a template for correct orientation/alignment)
Multi hooping errors? (Do you know the correct techniques for multi hooping and are there multi hooping alignment stitches built into the design?)
Test stitch out of design? (good to do a test sew to correct digitizing errors)
Thread color choices? (color can add or detract from designs and blending different thread types like cotton, polyester, rayon, metallic, etc. can make for a messy confusing design)
Regular maintenance of machine? (Fine tuning the machine by the dealer can aid in tension issues and timing problems being solved. A well maintained machine stitches best results.)
If you are digitizing the design yourself, have you added push/pull compensation? (this helps with large areas not filling well against registration outlines.)
Are there enough underlay stitches? (Underlay stitches needed to stabilize material and help to lay down the large area fill stitches properly.)
Presser foot height clearance? (Some fabrics and layered designs need a higher presser foot setting to clear the elements without creating drag while stitching)
Thread end cap usage? ( Use the correct end cap to secure your upper thread in place and help to keep the thread from snagging on the spool ends.)
Locking the hoop in the carriage? (If partially locked in place it can vibrate loose during stitching. Make sure it is firmly locked before beginning stitching.)
No matter what machine you choose to stitch with, the embroidery designs can be influence by so much more than the machine choice. Of course, you can count on Janome machines to stitch with perfection when they are properly maintained.