Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Thrift Store Embroidery Machine

A few weeks ago, I spotted this embroidery machine at the thrift.  It was an older machine, but appeared to be in good condition.  I turned it on, and it worked.  Although it was missing the hoop, and the memory card.  The price was 59.95.  I thought it might be fun to check out machine embroidery, if I could find the parts needed to play with it.  I offered 20.00 for the machine, and they sold it to me.  I began my search for a hoop.  Ebay, Craig's List, Sewing Centers.  No luck.  Well, I take that back.  I did find one on ebay for about 100 dollars.  I wasn't willing to spend that much though.  I heard about a Bernina shop in N. Orange County, so one day last week when I was out and about with my Mom, I threw the machine in the back of my car, and we took it to the sewing center to see if they could help.  Sure enough, he had a hoop for this machine.  And he was eager to sell it.  He said the machine was from the 80's, and obsolete.  That I probably wouldn't be able to find a memory card for it, and would only be able to play with the limited built in memory.  He sold the hoop to me at a great price.  But I also needed bobbins and needles.  Now the price was climbing.  My Mom was sitting there shaking her head at me, wondering why I was putting money into a machine that was obsolete.  I was wandering around the beautiful shop, eyeing the machines that they had.  Oh how I would love to have one that could do more.  And then I asked him about some of the lower end machines, that might be good for learning machine embroidery on.  I had zeroed in on one in particular.    After learning that he had none in his shop of that model, but would sell me the one on the floor for a greatly reduced price, I was curious to learn more.  Long story short, I bought the new Bernina.  And also the hoop for the old one.  He threw in a few bobbins, and then we were off.  Me with my two new (one old and obsolete) embroidery machines, so eager to get home to play with them!  First, my thrifted machine, with new hoop.
Isn't she cute?  I got it all hooped up, and began to play with the designs in the memory.
First I made an all blue hummingbird.  Only because I wasn't sure how to go about changing all of the colors. Then I did Noah's name in an oval frame.  Then I began to get fingertip towels out of my linen closet, and play on those.  I made a holiday swag of holly and berries, but neglected to turn the image!  Oopsie.  I then tried a sea shell and rotated the image, but I was one rotation too short.  Oh well.  I am learning!   I remembered these two gingham napkins I had picked up at a thrift the other day for a dollar.  I had them washed and ready to use, so I hooped one corner, and did this darling image.
This one would have been perfect, had I realized that the last bit to be stitched was grass, and I needed a thread change to green.  I realized it too late, and didn't want to ruin the whole process, so I just let it go.  I still love it.  So I got the other napkin and did the same thing to it, only I mirrored the image to look the other way.   But....this time, I managed to flub the color set up again, and wound up with a black gardland and black flowers.  Ooopsie.  Oh well, I am just playing, and using old textiles to practice with, so no harm.  What fun I was  having too!  At this  point, I haven't even turned on the new machine.  I wanted to get familiar with the process first.  I only had a few spools of machine embroidery thread too, and didn't want to use the new one without using good thread.
Sooo, I got some thread at Joann's over the weekend., and came home to try the new machine out.  Here is the new girl.
I read the manual front to back, and selected my first design.  I didn't change the thread, as the shop owner had it set with thread from the shop.  It was not a color I would choose, but I left it for my first try.
I selected a design with only two thread colors.   This image stitched out pretty well, until the bobbin thread got all bungled  up and the machine stopped!  The hoop puckered, and I had to cut the design free of the hoop, and rehoop it.  When I rewound the bobbin, and put the hoop back on, I didn't know how to go back to go over the space where it got tangled.  So,  I just put it back on, and finished the design.  It turned out pretty good, but not in very appealing colors.
Yesterday I went to the shop where I bought the new machine to get some one on one instruction with it.  We hooped it, and he stitched my name out in small letters on the hoop.  Then I wanted to do a butterfly.  During this design, I was talking to the owner while his son was doing the butterfly, and didn't notice that the foot got tangled on the thread.  VERY important to cut threads as you go to prevent this!  Another learning experience!  So , the design did not finish.
When I got home, I put the same hoop back onto the machine and wanted to just play with it.  I thought maybe the butterfly would look better if I did a design over it.  Then I did my name over that.  I was just playing, but I sure did like how it turned out.
I would like it even more if my name wasn't on it in green going in the wrong direction.  But I was just trying out a few things, and learning how to use the machine, so used the same hoop we had already embroidered on.

The shop had their thread 25% off yesterday, so I bought a few spools to get me started.  The smaller ones I got at Joann's the other day.
Oh, you can see the design I did first on the new machine, sitting underneath my thread box.  I will do another one, I really liked it.
In addition to playing on my embroidery machines, I am doing the sew along for Farm Girl Vintage.  Lori Holt's new book.  Her fabric lines are so pretty.  I have been collecting fabric for this sew along for a few months.  I did the blocks in both the 6" and 12" size.  This one is called Apron Strings.
A few weeks ago I found this beautifully made blanket in a thrift.  It was wrapped up in a clear bag.  I could see the stitch work was beautiful.  It was 5.00, so I rescued it.  When I got it home and took it out of the bag to prepare to wash it, I was amazed at how huge it was!!  And how beautiful the design!!!  All knit!!!  Gorgeous.   Here it is folded up and laying across the back of the sofa in my sewing room.  The quilt seen above that is my beautiful Grandmother's Garden Quilt, that my very own Great Grandma made.
 The cabling on it is just beautiful.  Lattice seen in photo below.
 Then this pretty cable.
 And this design too. Each panel is done with one of these three designs.
It is huge, and warm, and fabulous!  I like to think that whomever made it, would be happy to know that it is being well loved at my house!
Buster Boy would love to lay on it.  But he is going to have to settle with the red and white comforter I put on the sofa for him instead.  He is my constant companion, no matter where I am .  I love him!
If you are looking for me, I will be in my sewing room!!!!
Back soon with more thrift finds.  It was a good month in the shops for me!
Toodle Loo
XO  Kris


Betsy said...

Great finds Kris. I loved learning about machine embroidery since I know absolutely nothing about it. The cow is my favorite!!! The blanket makes me kind of sad and I'm so glad you rescued it. Can't you just imagine the work and love that went into it, only to end up in a thrift store for so little money. It IS sad isn't it? But it's perfect in your home. :-)

Susanne Tyree said...

Haven't a clue about machine embroidery either but looks like fun. In my book "practice makes perfect" and look at all the fun you are having with the new toys. Finding that steal of an afghan at the thrift store was fortunate. No doubt someone who doesn't know the value of hand made items just didn't know what the real worth was....but so nice that you rescued it and now it has a new home. Hope all has been well. I have been absent from blog land way too long, about 2 months. I have a lot of catching up to do.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

You look like you are having fun learning to use the machines, Kris! It will be fun to see what you do!

Gracie Saylor said...

Your practice machine embroidery is impressive, Kris! I'm glad you are enjoying learning to use your new bargain machines, and I too am glad you rescued the fabulous pink knit blanket and can appreciate all the work that went into it! Priceless!!! Thanks for postingxx

Teresa Kasner said...

Wow, you are amazing! I look forward to seeing all the things you make with this. It's right up your alley! Great find on the pink blanket. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Patrica said...

You are in sooo much trouble now! How do you think I ended up with 300 spools of embroidery thread and yards and yards of stabilizer and thousands of embroidery designs?? My obsession will soon become yours I fear :-) This should be fun!!!

Patty Marker said...

You are on a roll. Good for you. I have an older embroidery machine that I have yet to figure out. Maybe as the heat of summer sets in I'll give it a whirl. Your designs have inspired me!

Jill said...

What a wonderful find! I love all your designs! THat would be so fun to play around with. Love the picture of your dog on the sofa, so sweet! Have a wonderful weekend and a happy Mother's Day!


Karen L. Bates said...

Wow, that embroidery machine looks like so much fun. I don't have one but can see where I would be putting a design on just about everything. I can see lots of uses for my trailer with that!

Beautiful blanket...good deal.

Lynne said...

Hey Kris! Looks like you're having loads of fun with those new machines. I bet it can become addicting! Pretty pink blanket, what a good deal.
Enjoy your week :)