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Kay says, “Just STITCH!”

Susan Beck

Kay Hickman-02

As a BERNINA Educator, Kay Hickman is an expert in Machine Embroidery and Embroidery Software. An excellent teacher, she especially likes to work with beginners and novice stitchers. Kay recently taught classes at Meissner’s Sewing and while she was there we asked her a few questions about starting to stitch. Her answers offer some great tips for beginning embroiderers.

Meissner Sewing: What is a good type of beginning project for someone new to machine embroidery?

Kay: Just STITCH! Get out your kitchen towels (old is GOOD!) and stitch a design. Today’s machines come with many built-in designs - find one you like and start stitching. Stitch on your old towels, washcloths, t-shirts, anything that you really don’t care if you “mess up”. If you are anxious about what stabilizer to use, download the eBook, All About Stabilizers. If you just want the practice, use cotton fabric cut large enough for your hoop with OESD Ultra Clean & Tear stabilizer cut the same size. Hoop these together and practice away!

Meissner Sewing: List three things that every beginner needs to know before starting to embroider.

Kay: 1) Not every project will be perfect. 2) Stitch a test sample using the fabric and stabilizer that you will use for your project (if it is a garment, go to your local thrift store and find something similar). 3) Buy at least one cut-away stabilizer, one tear-away stabilizer and one water soluble stabilizer before you leave the store.  (My pick: Medium Weight CutAway, Ultra Clean & Tear, and AquaMesh – all from OESD).

Meissner Sewing: What are common mistakes made by a beginning stitcher?

Kay: 1) Thinking that your first project will be perfect. Cut yourself some slack here - there are a lot of things to learn! 2) Not loosening the screw in the outer ring enough. This makes it really hard to get the fabric in the hoop. 3) Not tightening the screw enough after hooping. This is SO important! The compression between the inner and outer rings of the hoop has to be tight enough that the fabric cannot move during the embroidery process.

Meissner Sewing: What type of embroidery projects are your favorite?

Kay: 1) Quick. 2) Easy. 3) Quick and Easy

Look for more Meissner classes from Kay in January 2016. She will be teaching classes on BERNINA Embroidery Software 7 and DesignWorks - sign up now!




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