Starting Points on my new Platinum 16 Mid Arm

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Husqvarna Platinum 16 | No Comments
All these lines, patterns, letters and fill on one bobbin

All these lines, patterns, letters and fill on one bobbin

 

I’m so excited to play with my new machine!  It’s an industrial machine, and it sews *fast*!

The mechanics of the machine are very simple. You can preset three stitch speeds, and whether you want the needle to stop in the up or down position. The thread tension is set manually. There are no feed dogs to move the fabric, so the stitch length and density are in your hands (and feet). You control the the stitch length by how fast you move the fabric , the density by where you move the fabric, and the stitch speed with the foot pedal (up o whatever you preset as your maximum speed).

I’ve done quite a bit of free motion sewing, so for me, this was not difficult. Because the machine is so fast, I found it hard at first to ‘bounce’ when making sharp points or suddenly changing direction. Instead of a clean turn with just one stitch at the turning point, I would take a couple (or more) stitches in place. That gave me a little thread ball, on the back. Some people wouldn’t care about that, but when I’m making pieces for galleries or competitions, the back of my work needs to be as good as the front. Practice and easing off the foot pedal at the turns helped.

My first quilt sandwich was very loose:  a single layer of scrap batting, cotton on the bottom and an old poly-cotton on top. I was so eager to start that I didn’t press or baste the fabrics. As a result, the stitching didn’t lie as flat as I’d like. There was a lot of draw-up (shrinkage). To offset this, there are four things that I will make habits:

  • press my fabrics well
  • baste all but the smallest pieces. Usually I spray baste, because I like the firmness it gives to the quilt, helping it to move well under the needle.
  • train my hands to practice ‘taut sewing’, so the area immediately around the needle is under slight tension. This acts like a stabilizer and minimizes draw-up
  • move my hands more frequently as I work. Joan Coyne, the SVP Inc. Regional Manager who helped me with my purchase, recommended that my hands be placed so that I have about a 10” square area to work on at any one time.

I have half a dozen test sandwiches ready to go now, and my next challenge is to try different threads weights, fibre contents and plies, on top and in the bobbin. I’m going to keep a binder of results for reference. I’ll post some photos and notes on the results.

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