Thoughts from the other side of the counter

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oh Brother! Part II

Coffee anyone?  This cup
is just about the right size.
The view from the breakfast
counter at the Brother B2B
in Nashville.
             A business trip is an interesting experience.  It’s like a fun, educational break from the “real world” combined with lack of sleep.   It sure seems that the older we get, the harder it is to fall asleep outside our own home, our own bed, with our own comfy pillowcase.  So the next morning at the Brother B2B in Nashville, the person in the mirror looking back at me said, “Coffee.  You NEED strong coffee.  A big cup!”  The second day of our business trip was not much different from the first lol.

            Okay.  Now for a recap of our previous post in case you missed it, with a few extras features thrown in the mix before doing a review of our second day attending the Brother B2B.  Just in case you missed the first post (You can go back and read it here!), some of our staff were able to preview the new line of  Brother machines at the B2B convention which included their new TOL Dream machine.  Also, shown below is an awesome video by Brother on their ultimate machine. 

Dreamy it is!  It features:

1.       A 9.5” X 14” embroider field (38% larger than the previous largest frame for their single needle embroidery machines).

2.      A new Stability Plus Frame with rubber, ribbed edges for less slippage.

3.      New Zoom and Adjustment Features:  up to 400% within My Design Center and up to 200% in other modes.

4.      A new, yet familiar interface with a 10.1” built-in, hi-def LCD screen—the largest on the home-sewing market.

5.      Expandable library of Built-In Tutorial videos.  (You can even use the screen to watch videos or listen to music when you’re not sewing.)

6.      Improved scanning with the Innoveye 2 Technology.  Scanning speed is up to 2X as fast as previous models and has virtual stitch preview and width adjustment an industry first (we’ll talk about that later!).    Alignment of embroidery designs is easier than ever with the built-in camera and scanner.

7.      My Design Center.  Now you can draw or doodle directly on the LCD display or use the Scanimation scanning frame to scan line art, handwriting or printed clip art and allow the machine to auto digitize it into embroidery data.  Even better, you can scan a JPEG from a USB stick and turn it into stitch data for embroidery using the machine.  No software is needed!

8.      Stippling and Freehand Quilting. Could Brother have made it any easier?  You can define the stippling area, choose a stippling design, perform an inside and/or outside stipple of an embroidery design, or create custom draw stippling.  Yes!  Create your own stippling pattern!  How exciting.

9.      Improved Color Shuffling and with more color possibilities at your fingertips along with a LED thread color and monitoring system much the Brother commercial embroidery machines.

10.   Designs and LOTS of them!  930+ built ins and over 166 Disney designs at your fingertips.

11.  The J foot—a longer foot AND longer feed dogs for improved fabric feeding with box feed.

12.  And the finale…did I mention undo’s?  A user can undo a whopping 50X!  That's a super feature for those of us who like to change our minds a lot.

Our first project in Oh Brother, Part I was about mostly about Scanimation, Borders,
Fills, and Stippling.  Now we’re moving on to project #2 on the DREAM machine, which was the Couched Clutch.  Brother has a new foot for couching that can be used with the MuVit Digital Feed foot.  This foot was used to complete this project shown below:
The new couching foot by Brother that can be used
with the MuVit Digital Feed foot.

The men at Pocono Sew and
Vac can talk the talk AND
walk the walk! 
Paul's pretty good at this!
 It’s always fascinating how people can dream up ways to create simple projects that are a snap to stitch up, and the Couched Clutch is one of them.  It would be a perfect party favor for a group of young girls or a simple, crafty tote.  Each group was given a placemat (the inexpensive dollar store variety), along with a stencil, measuring, and marking tools.  At right, Paul doing a trace off of a stencil with a disappearing marker onto the placement.  Measurement lines for fabric folds were added as shown at left.  Next we set up the machine to couch yarn on the stencil design.  It’s a quick and easy process.  Notice the guide attachment we installed on the side of the machine for the yarn which was then guided directly into the hole on the couching foot as shown below.
Guide attachment for the
Couching Foot.
The couching foot/technique is very easy, but it’s important to make sure enough yarn is loose so that it feeds freely from the skein.  Also, you can understand the importance of the pivot feature when examining the curves of the flower design.  Thank you, Brother, for that fab function!
 Two features, exclusive to Brother machines, which were especially useful on this project, were the laser line and virtual stitch functions.  The serpentine and blanket stitches were chosen to stitch the ribbon in place on the placemat.  Sometimes when a sewist is using a ribbon along with a decorative stitch, the width needs to be customized to tack down the ribbon to the fabric.  The following pics illustrate how the chosen stitch image is superimposed in real time over the ribbon.

This Virtual Stitch Preview.
SEW cool!
Virtual Stitch Preview with the serpentine
  This is what Brother calls, “Virtual Stitch Preview" shown at right and left.  It’s easy to see if the stitch needs to be widened or narrowed.  This is such a super useful feature!  No more guessing games and test stitchouts to see if a stitch width fits the sewing task.  Simply view the stitch pattern on the ribbon in real time and step on the pedal or press the <GO> button.  And as for that laser guide, we used it when stitching this project for a perfectly straight sewing guide line as show to the left.  Not necessarily a new feature for Brother users, but it’s still amazing!  See that laser guide in action as shown at left.
That laser guide sure comes
in handy!

Moving on to the task of creating a custom stitch.  It’s probably an underutilized feature for many users, but it’s nice to mention that it does exist and allows for stitch patterns beyond the built-in machine stitches.  It was really easy for us to create a custom stitch, however, it was not without errors.  Rest assured, error-prone users or ones that change their mind a lot, the 50X's undo feature is especially handy.  So don’t worry about getting into a jam and wanting to change something with a very limited number of undo’s.  An ample allotment of undos will get you out of virtually all tricky situations. .
The Custom Stitch feature.  It's actually very easy to
create custom stitches.
We're working on our
customer stitch.
All in all, the clutch project took about 15-20 minutes and about 30 if one adds in creating a custom stitch.  We did use our customized, decorative stitch on the clutch.  Our finished clutch will be on display at the store when the DREAM machine arrives in late September/early October. 

Note:  Go easy on us ;) .  We stitched fast to complete the project.  It’s not perfect, but the workshops move very quickly to cover the highlighted features.
The finished Couched Clutch!  Not perfect, but everyone has to work fast
in order to take home a finished project.
Overall, the DREAM machine features utilized on both the embroidery and sewing projects were very impressive and a breeze to use.  Brother thought of just about everything. Here at the store, we can’t wait to have this awesome machine delivered and setup on our showroom floor.   Come in and ask for demos on the great, TOL machine.  We have already taken several pre-orders and are taking trade-ins in order to help you take home the machine of your dreams.  Yeah, it’s THAT good!  By the way, shown below is one of the best souvenirs I saw in Nashville!  Feel free to take it to heart :) .
Now how about that DREAM machine!
Stay tuned for Oh Brother, Part III. 

As always from your friends at Pocono Sew and Vac, have a Great Day and Happy Sewing!

No comments:

Post a Comment