Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist Sewing Machine Review

The Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist is a versatile sewing machine with all the capabilities needed by advanced sewers and the ease of use that makes it a good choice for beginners. Weighing in at more than twenty pounds, the machine is best for sewers who don’t require portability. The sturdy construction and the diversity of features make this machine a good one that will last. The internal skeleton is constructed of heavy duty metal for a strong machine that holds all the mechanisms in perfect alignment and ensures smooth and even stitching and long-term durability.

Many of the features of the Quantum Stylist are designed to give the sewer an easier, more enjoyable user experience. The threading system is so simple that it can be completed in six seconds. The presser feet snap on for easy changing whenever needed and there is even an Error Warning to signal when everything isn’t just right.

Features

600 Built-In Stitches

The machine comes with 600 built-in stitches for basic sewing, decorative stitching, quilting, crafting, and a lot more. Beginning-level sewers can start with the basics and grow their skills without the need to upgrade their machine.

Professional Buttonholes
Singer 9960 buttonhole

The Quantum Stylist also has thirteen fully automatic 1-step buttonholes that result in professional-looking buttonholes every time. There is also an exclusive buttonhole underplate that keeps buttonholes neat and even.

Five Built-In Alphabet Fonts

For crafters who want the option to add personalization to their work with monograms, the Singer 9960 offers a choice of five separate built-in fonts including block or script numbers and alphabets offered in lower and upper case using a 5mm stitch width.

Drop Feed

An easily accessible lever lowers the feed dogs to free-motion stitching during embroidery, monogram, and button sewing.

Singer 9960 drop feed
7mm Stitch Width

Most of the built-in stitches can be set for a maximum 7mm width to create a variety of satin and decorative stitches.

Automated Thread Features

An automated thread cutter and needle threader make it fast and easy to bring a seam to an end and start the next one with little time lapse in-between. The one-touch thread cutter trims both upper and lower threads while the automatic needle threader makes threading a cinch.

Automated Stitch Length & Width

Optimal settings for stitch length and width are automatically set, but they give you the option to override these settings to customize your sewing needs.

Electronic Auto Pilot and Speed Control

The Singer sewing machine provides complete control of sewing speed to prevent errors from occurring during difficult areas. Just unplug the foot control and press the START button to make the machine sew automatically. The operator still controls the speed by adjusting the SPEED LEVER.

Needle Up/Down Button

Change the position of the needle from down-to-up or up-to-down with a touch of a button when the machine is not sewing.

Extension Table

The Quantum stylist comes with an extension table to provide sewers with a larger working area that is needed for quilting or other large projects.

Large LCD

The back-lit screen comes with brightness control to provide clear and easy viewing of the stitch functions. Easy viewing of stitch length, stitch width, tension settings, recommended presser foot, the position of the needle up/down and a lot more options are readily available.

Dual StayBright™ LED Lights

The two lights provide optimal viewing of the work surface with long-lasting bulbs (100,000 hours) which are always cool to the touch.

Top Drop-In Bobbin
Singer 9960 bobbin

Unlike most sewing machines that have the bobbin in the top, the 9960 Quantum Stylist implements a top drop-in bobbin system that makes it easier and faster to replace the bobbin. A clear cover makes it easy to monitor the bobbin thread supply.

Mirror Imaging and Elongation Functions

Mirror imaging gives the sewer even more creative options by creating mirror images with just the touch of a button. There is also an elongation function that “stretches” stitches up to five times their length.

Needle Positions

The sewing machine boasts 25 different needle positions to accommodate a wide range of projects from zippers to applying decorative trim. There are also electronic twin needle settings that can be adjusted for twin needle sewing at the touch of a button.

7-Segment Feeding System

The specially-designed feeding system ensures the fabric is picked up and supported from the front of the presser foot to the rear for more accurate feeding without missed stitches or puckered material.

Box Feed

This function moves the feed dogs in a box motion instead of the traditional arc motion to assure perfect feeding throughout the entire sewing process. The box feed keeps the feed dogs in perfect and equal contact with the fabric and presser foot.

High Sewing Speed

The machine boasts a sewing speed of 850 stitches-per-minute for fast sewing and project completion.

Center ZigZag Taper

This feature allows the zigzag stitch to taper into the center and not to either side for more attractive appliqueing.

Automatic Locking Stitch Function

Push a button to tie-off decorative or utility stitches for more even stitching that is less likely to unravel.

Heavy Material Features

The Automatic Presser Foot Control automatically adjust the pressure on the fabric from the presser foot to accommodate a wide variety of fabric weights. When sewing heavy or multiple layers of fabric, Optimum Power Control senses the need for additional power to maintain the sewing speed.

Automatic Reverse

Reinforce the ends of the stitch by pushing the Automatic Reverse button.

Horizontal Threading

Provides more even feeding of the thread for a better quality stitch and less thread breakage.

Direct Button Stitch Selection

This feature offers direct access to eight of the most popular stitches for fast and easy selection.

Stitch Reference Chart

The chart is located on the upper lid of the machine for easy access to stitch selection for a variety of projects without the need for tedious screen searching.

Accessories
Singer 9960 accessories

Singer 9960 accessories

The 9960 Quantum Stylist comes with a wide assortment of accessories which makes it even more versatile for sewing a broad range of projects. The accessories include a multi-size needle set, a seam ripper, quilting bar, seam guide, screwdrivers, cleaning brush, and several spool caps. Although not designed to be portable, the Singer sewing machine also comes with a dust cover and transportation case to keep the machine clean during storage or when moving from location to location.

The Singer Quantum Stylist also comes with nineteen presser feet including: All-Purpose Foot (on machine), Zipper Foot, Button Sewing Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, Buttonhole Foot and Underplate, Open Toe Foot, Blind Hem Foot, Overcasting Foot, Narrow Hem Foot, Cording Foot, Straight Stitch Foot, Darning & Freehand Embroidery Foot, Even Feed / Walking Foot, Adjustable Bias Binder Foot, Single Welt Cording Foot, Braiding Foot with Guide, Clear Piping Foot, Stitch in the Ditch Foot, and Fancy Trim Foot.

Pros

Versatility and ease-of-use are two of the biggest reasons that this machine gets such high ratings. Whether sewers are looking for a machine for basic sewing, embroidery, quilting, monogramming, or other uses, the 9960 Quantum Stylist has the features that will make it easy to get the results they want.

The heavy metal construction of the sewing machine makes it one that will last for a lifetime. The flexibility for beginner to pro level sewing makes the Quantum Stylist a good choice for teaching the next generation of crafters.

Cons

Some buyers are disappointed by the lack of video tutorials for this machine. However, most find that the easy-to-use features really require no additional instruction.

Customer Reviews

Many of the customers who bought the Singer Quantum Stylist have owned previous sewing machines and find that this model has a lot more to offer than many of those with a higher price tag. The number of options they have for sewing new projects without the need to learn complicated programming has made this machine a favorite for many.

Price

Stores that sell the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist usually have it priced around $365 but buyers can find the best prices at Amazon.

Residential VS Industrial Sewing Machines: What is the Difference?

residential vs industrial sewing machines

Sewing machines that are labeled “residential”, “personal”, “home”, or “domestic” all refer to machines that were designed for use at home. “Commercial”, “industrial”, or “professional” machines are those that are made for more frequent use like you would need in any type of sewing business. Originally, the distinction between residential vs industrial sewing machines was that of one them was used by housewives to make the family’s clothes and the heavy duty machine that was used in manufacturing to produce garments or other sewn items all day long.

Not surprisingly, machines that are made to put in more hours during the day are stronger, more powerful, and typically more expensive than those made for personal use. There are also other differences that may determine which type of machine is the best one for your use.

Residential Industrial
Types of StitchesEven the simplest home sewing machine comes with several stitch options and many come with anywhere from 20 to 100 and more.An industrial machine is designed to perform a single stitch or function to place less wear on it.
Quality of SewingChanges in thread, material, or tension can result in low-quality stitches that require adjustment.Provides the highest quality of stitch.
Sewing SpeedMost have a similar maximum sewing speed that allows the sewer to go at a comfortable pace.Industrial machines are made to go at a faster speed to increase sewing production.
Maintenance RequirementsMost models require no maintenance and, unlike models of the past, have their own built-in oil system. When repairs are required, parts and service are usually easy to find, especially for top brands.Due to their industrial use and the volume of fabric fibers that goes through them, these machines must be constantly cleaned and oiled.
ThreadAll types and weights of thread can be used to sew different types and weights of fabrics.Heavier deniers of thread are often used to sew commercial products. These threads are sometimes a problem for the sewer when they hang up in the machine.
CostA good quality basic sewing machine will cost just over $100 with specialty machines and those with more features costing anywhere from under $200 to more than $600.Most good quality industrial sewing machines are more than $1,000.

Residential VS Industrial Sewing Machines: Which One is Right for You?

Often, sewers who are asking the question about the difference between these two types of machines are considering their investment for operating a small or home-based sewing business. Unless you plan to specialize in something like curtains that only require a single stitch, an industrial machine may not be the right choice for you. You may also require a standard sewing machine to do different stitches for whatever you want to sew.

Heavy Duty Sewing Machines

Industrial machines are almost made of solid metal while residential machines are made largely of plastic. Most of the top brands have “heavy duty” sewing machines available that are made with more metal than other residential machines and many of them have more powerful motors. These machines combine some of the best features of residential and industrial machines and often provide a happy medium for those who need both flexibility and durability in the machine they buy. For some, it will make the difference in having to buy more than one machine to get everything you need.

Types of Thread and Needles Used for Machine Embroidery

Sometimes even experienced embroiderers underestimate the importance of choosing the right needle and thread. Not only do these two factors play an integral role in the outcome of the embroidery, but the right combination will make the process go a lot smoother along the way. With so many types of thread and needles to choose from, making the right choice can be overwhelming. Needles come in a variety of types and sizes and each works best with a certain type of thread. The key to making the right choice in needle and thread starts with the type of fabric being embroidered. Once you understand the different options in needles and thread and how they work together to embroider, you should be able to choose the best combination for any project.

Types of Thread and Needles

The Parts of the Needle

The uppermost part of the needle is the thickest and it is called the “shank.” Embroidery machine needles have a shank that is rounded in the front and flat in the back. This design lets you place the needle into the machine easily in the correct direction.

The point of the needle is the part that comes into contact with the embroidery fabric first. The point makes an opening in the fabric, either by piercing it or going between the threads, carrying the thread to the back of the fabric.

The long part of the needle between the point and the shank is the shaft. The shaft is smaller than the shank and larger than the point. The eye is the opening in the needle near the point. The thread is channeled through the eye so that the needle carries it through the fabric to make a stitch. There is also a visible groove at the bottom of the eye that is positioned to the front when inserted which directs the thread through the needle.

There is an indentation on the back of the needle opposite of the groove called the scarf. When the needle is on the bottom of the fabric, the scarf allows the bobbin casing to come near enough to the eye to catch the thread and make a stitch.

Standard Embroidery Needles

Standard embroidery needles are made for use with polyester and rayon embroidery threads on virtually any type of fabric. The size of embroidery needles are listed in a double number format such as 75/11. The first number represents the European metric system in millimeters and the second one is the American number system. (If you are purchasing twin or triple needles, the first number represents the distance between the needles and the second number is the European needle size.) The 75/11 needle is the standard sized needle and usually what is included with a new embroidery machine. Needles numbered lower than 11 are finer and those numbered higher are thicker.

Getting to the Point

Normally, sharp needles are used on woven fabrics while ballpoint needles are used to embroider knits or delicate fabrics. When embroidering on fabrics that tend to “fuzz up” or get runs or tears, it may be due to the sharp point of the needle. Try switching to a ball point needle to get cleaner results. Some types of fabrics may not respond as well to sharp needles as others.

Over time, and with practice, embroiderers usually find the size and type of needles that they prefer even if they are not typically what is recommended. When you are not getting the results you expect on a project, you may want to change your needle size or just change to a fresh needle to try and get better results.

Why Needle Size Matters

Once you have chosen your embroidery fabric, the next step is to choose the best size and type of needle. The way the fabric is woven will determine how big the needle should be and how large the hole should be that the needle makes when stitching.

There are also specialty needles that are used with certain types of fabrics and threads. For example, if you are embroidering with extra thick thread such as heavy wool, then a thick thread needle will have an even larger eye to accommodate the threads bulky size. Specialty needles for use on leather have a wedged point that will leave a smaller hole in the fabric. Other types of specialty needles include hemstitch needles with create open decorative stitches and twin needles used for topstitching.

While embroidery pros don’t always agree on technique, most do agree that you should change needles regularly. If a needle begins to get bent, replace it to prevent breakage. Having the right needle won’t matter if it is not in good shape.

Embroidery Machine Thread

Types of Thread and Needles

Although needle size increases as the number gets higher, embroidery thread is exactly the opposite. A higher number weight is actually a lighter weight thread while decreasing numbers are heavier. That means that a 30-weight embroidery thread is heavier than the standard 40-weight thread.

Embroidery thread comes in a variety of materials including:

· Rayon

· Polyester

· Cotton

· Silk

· Variegated

· Metallic

· Clear

· Light or Solar Activated

Rayon has long been a favorite for its easy accessibility and wide array of color choices. The biggest problem with rayon is that the colors tend to fade over time. Today, polyester embroidery thread is quickly taking the place of rayon as a favorite choice because it is strong, has a similar appearance and shine to that of rayon, and it also resists fading. Polyester threads are made from multiple filaments to create a trilobal pattern that catches light and makes embroidery shinier.

Cotton thread is often used in traditional or heirloom embroidery where a matte finish is desired. Machine embroidery using cotton thread looks more like hand embroidery making it ideal for quilting some some designs.

Specialty Threads

There are numerous types of threads on the market that are used for special types of projects. Of these, metallics are very popular in spite of the difficulty many people have in using them. The thread is made by wrapping holographic fibers around a core. Round thread tends to work best and a larger topstitch needle can help. Some experts also recommend lowering the machine tension when working with metallic threads.

Light sensitive thread that appears white in normal lighting and glows in the dark is ideal for creating holiday items, especially for kids. Clear thread is used when you don’t want embroidery stitches to show on the top of the fabric, such as with applique.

The choice in embroidery thread is based primarily on the appearance you want for your final project but the fabric choice matters here, too. The fabric should be capable of handling the thread weight for the pattern. Using a heavy weight thread for a dense embroidery pattern on a piece of lightweight fabric isn’t going to turn out well. Think of balancing out the weight between the fabric, needle, and the thread you use for the design you are creating.

Different thread content will determine whether the design is shiny, vibrant, or matte and subdued for an old-fashioned look. Even more important that the thread material is the quality. Always use good quality thread that is compatible with your embroidery machine.

Bringing It All Together

FABRIC WEIGHT EXAMPLES THREAD TYPE & SIZE NEEDLE TYPE & SIZE
Lightweight/ThinGeorgette, Satin, Linen, Lace*, ChiffonCotton or Synthetic** 60-90 Silk 50Sharp 65/9 to 75-11
MediumCotton Broadcloth, Velvet, Gabardine, Flannel, TaffetaCotton or Synthetic 60-90 Silk 50Sharp 75-11 to 90-14
Heavy/ThickDenim, Upholstery Fabric, Brocade, Poplin, CanvasCotton 30 or 50 Synthetic or Silk 50-60Sharp 100/16 Sharp 90/14 to 100/16
Stretchy KnitsJersey, Lycra, TricotSpecialty Thread for Knits 50-60Ball Point 75/11 to 90/14
Sheer Fabrics that Fray EasilyGauze, Georgette, BatisteCotton or Synthetic 50-90 Silk 50Sharp 65/9-90/14
TopstitchingAnySynthetic 30 Silk 50-60100/16 75/11 to 90/14
Bobbin ThreadAnySpecial Bobbin Thread in Various Weights to Match the Machine Thread Weight and Fiber Content

*Some sewers prefer to use a sharp needle to sew lace but other recommend a ballpoint for working on the intricate patterns. Be certain to use stabilizer underneath so that the needle and thread has a solid canvas for the embroidery. This material also makes it easier to use a sharp needle in spite of open lace designs.

**Synthetic may be either polyester or rayon thread.

Any type of fabric not included in the chart will fall in the category of “specialty fabrics” and will require the specialized threads and needles made specifically for these types of fabrics. Although you will probably run across some problems along the way, making careful choices in the fabric, thread, and needles you use for each project will help eliminate your need for troubleshooting and make you a more successful embroiderer!

Singer XL-550 Futura Sewing Machine Review

Singer XL-550 Futura

The Singer XL-550 Futura was designed for people who love to sew. The machine combines a large variety of sewing stitches with virtually unlimited embroidery designs and automated features to help users get the perfect results from any project they tackle. The features of the sewing machine allow sewers to craft fashion items, personalize them with monograms, quilt fabrics, and add decorative detailing to any project for professional looking results that are always unique.

Features

SwiftSmart Threading System

One of the biggest complaints buyers have when they purchase a new sewing machine is the difficulty in learning how to thread it. The SwiftSmart threading system and automatic needle threader save time and frustration by simplifying the entire threading process.

Variety of Built-In Sewing Stitches

The Futura comes with 215 built-in stitches so sewers can find the perfect stitch for every project.

Automatic 1-Step Buttonholes

The sewing machine comes with 6 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes built in. Both sides of the buttonholes are sewn in the same direction to create a smooth, uniform stitch. The machine also features and Endless Button Hole.

Multiple Built-In Embroidery Designs

With 125 built-in embroidery designs, there is nothing getting in the way of creativity! Automated features make creating monograms and details virtually error-proof.

Separate Bobbin Winding Motor

The capacity to wind a bobbin while sewing is a great time saver that lets users keep sewing instead of stopping to wind a new bobbin.

Singer XL-550 Futura

StayBright™ LED Lights

The Singer XL-400 has 6 StayBright™ LED lights to illuminate the entire sewing surface to make it easier to view stitches and prevent eye strain.

Speed Control

The speed can be easily adjusted on the front of the machine for better control over the precision of the stitches and the speed with which a project is completed.

Two Built-In Spool Pins

The machine features horizontal and vertical thread delivery for use during twin needle sewing, topstitching, and other types of specialty sewing.

Drop & Sew™ Bobbin System

Just drop the bobbin in and the automatic thread pick up does the rest. The bobbin is covered with a clear cover for monitoring of thread supply.

Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter

The presser foot has more room for sewing multiple layers and heavy fabrics such as quilts or craft projects.

Accessories

The Singer XL-400 comes with two accessory trays, a large 10” x 6” and small 4” x 4” embroidery hoops, and bonus software that allows users to turn their own artwork, clipart, and logos into embroidery designs. The software CD includes installation software, AutoPunch™, HyperFont™ and AutoPunch to convert fonts on the PC into embroidery and allow editing of existing designs. Additional embroidery designs can be downloaded at myembroideries.com.

Pros

The Singer Futura has a number of automated features to make all types of sewing faster and easier. Sewers can edit all designs using their computer screen. Designs can be combined, monogrammed, made in custom colors, rotated, flipped, repeated, or resized for virtually unlimited options in design. There is also a lettering program with 20 fonts which can be rotated and shaped using 30 lettering frames including arcs, waves, banners, and more. The sewing machine connects to a computer via USB cable for onscreen editing using the included Windows compatible software.

Cons

Some users find the machine difficult to use and the features hard to learn. Those who spend some time learning what the Futura has to offer find that the learning curve is worth the time investment to get great results.

Some buyers complain that they had difficulty accessing the built-in embroidery tutorials. The tutorials can be accessed by following these instructions:

> Open the software.

> Click on the Help tab at the top of the toolbar.

> Click on How-To Tutorial.

> Choose a category.

Customer Reviews

Many customers recommend becoming familiar with the features of the machine before sewing a real project. Most buyers felt they got a good value and absolutely loved the Singer machine once they became familiar with the features.

Price

Most stores that carry the Singer XL-400 have it priced at over $1,500 but buyers can find the best prices at Amazon.

What Is a Quilt Sandwich and How Is It Assembled?

A quilt sandwich is the top, batting, and the back that are put together to begin quilting. With a few exceptions of “quilt-as-you-go” patterns, most quilts begin with constructing the design for the top. This is the part of the sandwich that will get the most interest but the overall stitching and placement of all three layers will determine how smooth and professional looking the final project will be. A poor job assembling the sandwich can ruin all the work that went into piecing and stitching a beautifully designed top piece.

Quilt sandwich

Getting Started

The most important thing to know before you start is that all three layers are not the same size. You will need to cut the backing and batting between four and six inches wider and longer than the quilt top.

Press the backing material to get all of the wrinkles out and create a smooth, flat surface. Press the quilt top to make it flat and prevent puckers when it is being stitched. If you will be hand stitching the quilt, you will need to use a needle and thread to baste it into place. If you will quilt it on a sewing machine, use long quilting needles to hold the layers together. Have the right tools ready when you put the quilt sandwich together.

If you will be using batting that has been rolled up and packaged, take it out at least one day before use and lay it across a bed, working the creases and folds out of it. It needs to be completely flat by the time you put it in your quilt sandwich.

Finally, find a large flat surface where you can assemble the quilt without interruption. If you only have a table that is smaller than the quilt size, you may prefer to use a large open space in the floor where you can extend each piece to its full size without worrying about the edges falling off the sides of the table. This works best on floors that are not carpeted if possible.

Step 1

Place the backing on the surface with the wrong (inner) side up. Use masking tape to secure the edges to the floor (again, if not carpeted). It isn’t necessary to tape the entire perimeter of the fabric to the floor, but you should add a piece every half a foot or so to prevent slippage. Don’t pull the fabric too tight, just focus on keeping it flat and smooth against the floor.

Step 2

Place the batting on top of the fabric, patting it to remove any lingering folds or creases.

Step 3

Place the quilt top right side up on top of the other two layers, centering it to make sure the bottom two layers extend several inches beyond the edges of the quilt top.

Step 4

Either hand baste or pin the three layers together, beginning at the center of the sandwich. Try to avoid placing pins and basting where you will be stitching the quilt. This will prevent you from having to remove either as you go, causing the position of the layers to shift before they are sewn. Also, stitching over the basting thread repeatedly can make it difficult or impossible to remove. Position hand or pin basting every three to four inches in a grid pattern that extends from the center to the sides of the quilt.

Step 5

Once the entire surface is basted, remove the tape from the quilt and floor. You have now assembled a quilt sandwich and are ready to start quilting!

Embroidery vs Monogramming: What’s the Difference?

The terms “embroidery” and “monogramming” are often used interchangeably but, while the two words are related, they do not have the same meaning. If you are requesting either embroidery or monogramming from a business, you are probably going to get what you ask for based on the description of what you want. For example, if you ask to have your name monogrammed on a tote bag, that’s probably what the business owner will do. But once you know the meaning of each of these types of art, you will understand why monogramming your name on anything is not possible! If you are offering embroidery or monogramming services to friends or customers, you should know what the real difference between embroidery vs monogramming.

Monogram

embroidery vs monogramming

A monogram is a motif of two or more initials that are used to add decoration or to show possession, depending on where it is placed. Monogramming got its start with early Greek and Roman rulers as a means to sign documents or to mark currency produced during their time of rule. Initially, only two initials were used. During the Middle Ages, monograms became useful to artisans who wanted to personalize their crafts. The monogram became a symbol of prestige during the Victorian era. Although the lower class used monograms too, they were typically imprinted using a personalized stamp while noblemen would have their monograms embroidered on household linens.

A monogram may symbolize something other than a person’s initials, but that is almost always the case. The definition still holds true whether the design is made by cutting into a material, painting it on a wall or a rock, adding ink to paper, or embroidering the design into fabric.

Embroidery

Embroidery is the art of stitching to create decorative designs on material using a needle and thread. Historically, embroidery was also used by some countries to record important historical events but the various techniques used by different countries are most commonly noted for their beauty and realism in design.

The form of embroidery used in America today reflects the various techniques brought here by immigrants from other countries. Although hand embroidery has become a common interest for many crafters, the introduction of embroidery sewing machines for the home has made it possible to create professional quality embroidery at home for personal use or for business. The internet allows home sewers to download hundreds of designs to their sewing machines where they can edit or combine them so that the scope of designs available to them is virtually unlimited.

Bringing Monogramming and Embroidery Together

Today, monogramming has become a popular form of personalization for clothes, household linens, and all types of accessories for kids and adults alike. Modern household embroidery machines may include monogramming designs when you purchase them or you can buy stand-alone monogramming software to provide you with more monogram patterns so that you can create one-of-a-kind looks.

People realized centuries ago that embroidery was a more preferable way to symbolize a monogram than with any other method available. Embroidery thread allows you to create vibrant, sophisticated, or fun monograms for any use or age that is also long-lasting. Home embroidery businesses may include monogramming as part of their offerings or they may be dedicated to monogramming gift items without providing any other type of embroidery. No matter what your monogram is embroidered on, there is simply no better way to symbolize your sense of style or your ownership!

Singer SE300 Legacy Sewing Machine Review

The Singer SE 300 Legacy is a stylish new sewing and embroidery machine that represents a new era in sewing machines. The new design includes a wide range of stitches and other features so that the sewer always has the choices they need to create the perfect project design. Ease of use and versatility combine to make the Singer Legacy a good choice for sewers who are branching out into embroidery for the first time as well as those who have various degrees of sewing and embroidery experience.

Singer SE300 Legacy

Features

Built-In Stitches

The Singer sewing machine boasts an impressive 250 built-in stitches that give sewers more choices for every type of projects they do. Of these, there are 10 OneTouch basic stitches, 8 basic stitches, and 7 stretch stitches that make it easy for beginners to learn and excel at their craft. The stitches also include 14 fully automatic buttonholes, 23 elongation stitches, 30 heirloom stitches, 18 satin stitches, and 22 quilting stitches for those with more experience who want to venture out into new, more creative areas of sewing.

High-Speed Sewing and Embroidery

Even the most advanced sewers can be brought to a halt with a sewing machine that doesn’t work quickly enough. The SE300 sews regular stitches at 800 stitches per minute and embroiders at 700 stitches per minute for fast efficient completion of every project.

Singer SE300 Legacy
LCD TouchScreen

Setting the machine to embroider or sew in the stitch of choice is fast and easy with the generous LCD touchscreen. This feature saves time by allowing you to go back and forth between stitch sizes or styles with by touching the screen.

Downloadable, Updatable Software

Complimentary software is available to add even more options to the creative stitch designs. The software can be easily updated online so the sewing machine continues to grow with the seamstress.

Extra-Large Embroidery Area

The generous 10-1/4” x 6” hoop allows more room for creating larger-than-average embroidery designs. There is also a 7-7/8” work area with a wider needle-to-tower area for easier maneuvering of larger projects.

Bobbin Winding while Embroidering

This feature prevents the user from stopping to rewind when the bobbin unexpectedly runs out of thread. The machine automatically takes care of the problem without the need to stop to rewind and then start over.

Simple Thread Features

The Singer Legacy is equipped with automated adjustable thread tension, a built-in needle threader, and thread cutter so that managing thread while sewing takes little more than a thought. There is also an upper thread sensor that signals when the thread is getting low.

Multiple Embroidery Designs

The Singer SE300 includes an impressive 200 embroidery designs and 6 alphabet options that allow the sewer to turn any project into a canvas for their artwork and add personalization.

Singer SE300 Legacy
Staybright™ LED Lights

View every stitch in perfect detail with the 3 LED light system to illuminate the entire project.

USB Stick Embroidery Design Transfer

The included USB stick allows users to save designs from their computer and transfer to the sewing machine. Save favorites for re-use later on.

Accessories

The Singer Legacy comes with a large 10-1/4” x 6” and small 4” x 4” snap-on embroidery hoops, ten snap-on presser feet including a buttonhole foot with underplate, a quilting bar, thread spool net, spool pin felt, thread spool caps, auxiliary spool pin, screwdrivers, lint brush, bobbins, needles, and USB embroidery stick.

Pros

The Singer Legacy is highly versatile as a sewing machine, embroidery machine, and for adding monograms. It is easy to operate and gives the buyer the option to add even more designs by downloading from online. The built-in stitches are marked on the top cover for easy selection.

Cons

Some buyers thought the initial set-up of the machine was a little confusing but those who referred to the included Instruction Manual found the answers they needed to get started.

Customer Reviews

The Singer SE 300 is fast and easy to use without the need for classes or instructional videos. Most buyers felt that the machine performed exceptionally well and that the Singer Legacy offers a good value for the price.

Price

Most places where the Singer Legacy is offered for sale have the machine priced between $1,200 and $1,600 but buyers can find the best prices at Amazon.

What Are the Basic Skills Needed for Quilting?

At some point, every accomplished quilter made the decision to try quilting for the first time. More often than not, their inspiration comes from seeing the diversity of beautiful, artistic quilts that someone else has done. Like any craft, quilting requires a certain set of skills that will improve over time. Learning the basic skills needed for quilting before you choose your first project will help you get the best results possible and keep getting better with every project that you do.

Skills Needed for Quilting

1. How to Sew

If you plan to hand-sew, you will need to be adept at sewing through the quilt sandwich and leaving consistent stitches on the top and bottom of the quilt. You will be able to start with just a straight running stitch for most of what you do but you may find that it takes more skill to sew by hand than by machine and it will certainly take you a lot longer.

If you will be quilting by machine, then start by learning everything about your sewing machine. The time to learn the different stitches and stitch lengths, threading pattern, and tension adjustment are before you get started on your quilting project. You will also need to know how to consistently sew straight ¼” seams to prevent distortions when putting the pieces together.

2. Learn the Lingo

A basic guide book can go a long way towards teaching you the terms and techniques that you will run across with quilting patterns. If you don’t know what an abbreviated term means, it could bring your project to a halt or cause a fault in the finished product.

3. Cut Precise Pieces

This is one area of quilting that can be especially challenging for new crafters who haven’t developed the patience needed to get things just right. It may be a good idea to make your first project from a pre-cut quilt kit just to get the ‘feel’ for how the pieces fit together. Once you start cutting your own, you will need to know how to use a ruler, quilting square, and rotary cutter to get your pieces just as accurate as those that come pre-cut.

4. How to Square

No matter what design the quilt may be, it will be put together in squares. Each piece, each square, and the entire quilt top need to be squared prior to cutting to create a perfectly square quilt.

5. Chain Piece

This technique saves time, prevents seams from puckering, and helps keep you organized.

Skills Needed for Quilting

6. Pressing

If you have sewn clothing, you know that seams have to be pressed in a certain direction. The same is true in quilting. The direction you press the seams will determine how the quilt block lays.

7. Adding Borders

The border is the part that frames the entire quilt and compliments the design. You need to know how to cut the fabric out and stitch it to keep the quilt square.

8. Make a Smooth Sandwich

Once the quilt top is made and ready to add to the rest of the quilt, the top, batting, and back are put together into a ‘sandwich’. The quilter needs to be able to do this without any ripples or folds that will alter the fit of the three pieces and stand out as a glaring imperfection once the quilt is made.

9. Add the Finishing Touches

Binding the quilt is the final part of the quilting job and mitered corners should always be included. You may also want to add your personal label to commemorate your first completed quilting project!

There are many tutorials online that can help you master any of these skills. A good quilting guide will also help you with choosing projects at the right level of difficulty for your skills and knowing which fabrics are right for the project.

Although learning the basic skills may require some trial-and-error until you get the knack, you can expect to keep getting better as you continue to practice and add more techniques and skills to your reservoir of talent. The more you learn about quilting, the more you will enjoy trying new and more challenging projects.

Singer 7258 Stylist Sewing Machine Review

Singer 7258 Stylist

The Singer 7258 Stylist comes with a host of features that makes it ideal for beginners and intermediate sewers who enjoy fashion sewing, quilting, home sewing, and more. The machine has been the winner of the Consumers Digest Award twice based on characteristics including performance, ease of use, and more. The Singer Stylist has a number of automated features that make it easy to sew with perfect tension and stitches for every type of project.

Features

100 Built-In Stitches

The Stylist has an impressive 100 built-in stitches to use for a variety of sewing projects. There are 9 basic stitches and 8 stretch stitches for sewing woven and stretch fabrics. The machine includes 6 1-step buttonholes for the perfect finish to any fashion sewing. Use the push-button stitch selection to choose the right stitch and get the optimum settings for length, width, and tension automatically. The variety of stitches and automated features allow sewers to create a variety of projects including fashions for the entire family, quilting, crafts, decorative or heirloom sewing.

Staybright™ LED Light

The LED technology behind the Staybright light offers excellent viewing in any setting.

Automatic Tension

Even a minor mistake in the tension setting can lead to tangled thread or skipped stitches. The automatic tension resolves any tensions for the sewer so stitch quality is achieved and maintained from one sewing project to the next.

Top Loading Bobbin System

The bobbin system implements a magnetic vertical axis rotating hook that operates quietly and resists thread jams. The clear bobbin cover allows monitoring of the bobbin thread to prevent running out mid-seam.

Automated Bobbin Features

The automatic bobbin winding clutch needle bar automatically disengages to prevent the needle from moving for improved safety when winding the bobbin. The bobbin winder stop automatically stops turning once the bobbin is filled.

Automatic Locking Straight Stitch Function

The push of a button allows the seamstress to tie-off each end of a straight stitch to reinforce stitching and keep it from unraveling. There is also a tacking stitch feature for auto-tying decorative stitches at the end of a stitch sequence.

Adjustable Width Stitching

Most stitches can be adjusted up to 6mm in width to create more attractive satin and decorative stitches. Give applique a bolder, more pronounced edge.

6-Second Threading

Threading the machine is no longer the biggest challenge to sewing! Thread the Singer Stylist in just 6 seconds by following the arrow diagrams and get started sewing in no time.

Automatic Needle Threader

The automatic needle threader is sewing’s biggest timesaver!

Audible Tone

The audible tone ensures sewers always have the right settings for the project. If they don’t, the machine sounds an audible tone to let them know they need to make an adjustment.

Twin Needle Capability

Using a twin needle is easy on the Singer 7258. Adjust selected stitches by reducing the stitch width. The machine also has 13 needle positions that can be changed for different projects such as inserting zippers or topstitching. When using the center zigzag stitch to taper, the stitch tapers to the center for a more attractive appearance when tapering into or out of a point.

Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter

Choose from two presser foot heights for sewing fabrics of normal thickness or those that are bulkier or have multiple layers like a quilt.

6-Segment Feeding System

The specially designed feed dog efficiently picks up the fabric and provides it with support from the time it enters the front of the presser foot until it leaves the rear. This provides more accurate feeding of the fabric for a better quality of stitching.

Accessories

The machine comes with ten snap-on presser feet, including all-purpose, zipper, buttonhole, blind hem, satin stitch, overcasting, darning and embroidery, gathering, rolled hem, and quarter inch foot for quilting. Also included are a pack of needles, bobbins, thread spool caps, spool pin felt, auxiliary spool pin, darning plate, seam ripper, lint brush, needle plate screwdriver, soft-sided dust cover, 69-inch power cord, foot pedal, instruction manual, and a machine intro DVD. On-board storage keeps accessories close where they are always handy when needed.

Pros

The Singer 7258 is a versatile machine that has a number of automated features that make it user-friendly. The programmable needle up/down makes quilting and applique easier while the start/stop button & speed control put the sewing speed of up to 750 stitches-per-minute into the sewers hands. The automatic reverse button lets them transition to sewing in reverse quickly and easily.

The amount of pressure on the presser foot is automatically determined by the machine, along with the right stitch length and width. The machine even features optimum power control that compensates with more power when the job is more challenging. All of these features are packed into a machine with a rigid internal aluminum skeleton that holds all of the mechanisms in perfect alignment.

Cons

Some buyers have had problems with the bobbin winding features and with thread jamming in the bobbin. Those who took the time to watch the companion DVD included with the sewing machine before operating found that the features were easy to use and had no problems with these issues. As with any sewing machine, learning how the features work is the only way to get the best performance.

Customer Reviews

The majority of consumers who purchased the Singer Stylist felt that it was a great value and that it includes many of the same features in high-end machines that cost much more. The machine has all the basics and is easy enough to use for a beginner while offering the features that make more advanced sewing easier as well. The criteria used on which the machine was given the Consumers Digest award included: Performances, features, warranty, ease of use, quality of construction, efficiency, styling, and maintenance and service requirements.

Price

The Singer 7258 Stylist sewing machine usually sells for about $160, but buyers can find the best prices at Amazon.

Top 5 Trends in Embroidery for Kids

Embroidery for kids is an easy way to add fun, color, and even inspiration to kids’ clothing and accessories. Your embroidery machine is the perfect tool for creating custom designs that they will cherish. There are thousands of designs available online that you can download for your machine. Although some are obviously designed with kids in mind, current trends include some less expected methods and styles of embroidery to personalize what you make for your own kids and give as gifts.

1. Monogramming 

 Experts have long advised against printing a child’s entire name on any of their clothing or accessories to prevent strangers from being able to gain their trust. But monograms are a decorative way of adding personalization to anything without putting kids at risk. More people are having baby layette items monogrammed to give as gifts instead of just giving the solid color “onesies” that all look the same. Adding a monogram says that the giver took the time to consider the gift and they are acknowledging the importance of the new baby’s name.

Older children like monogramming too. Many like the formal, adult-like appeal of having their names on clothing, tote bags, hats, or backpacks. Another popular trend is to monogram boot cuffs. You also have the choice of using the first letters of all their names for a complete monogram or adding decorative details to the first letter of their first name and turning it into a work of art. Best of all, monograms work equally well for use on girls or boys clothing.

2. Disney –

Disney sets the standard for embroidery patterns for kids’, combining old favorites with new characters and bright colors that bring every embroidery project to life. Little girls still love the Barbie Princesses Jasmine, Cinderella, Snow White, and the newest addition from Frozen, Elsa. Boys love the shenanigans of Lightning McQueen, Mater, and Snotrod from Cars and the new version of the Ninja Turtles. Whatever their favorites might be, nothing delights kids more than having them embroidered on their clothes so they are with them everywhere they go.

3. Big, Bold, and Lots of Coverage –

 Embroidery patterns that cover large portions of the material are being used to create signature pieces, be it tops or bottoms that are paired with solids for an even bigger fashion statement. They may be eclectic designs that look like a sampler of design patterns or all within a single theme. The key to duplicating the look that has hit the runways for kids this year is in choosing the right thread colors to really make individual features of the embroidery pop. Jackets are great projects for this style of embroidery since they can be used with almost any color of tops and bottoms.

4. Sports –

 The capabilities of today’s embroidery machines makes it possible to embroider sports designs that are much more complex than those usually found on kids clothing. Instead of a simple football, you can now embroider the quarterback carrying the ball to the finish line. There are all types of sports available including those that are cute and whimsical as well as more realistic interpretations of real sports figures.

5. Flowers -

 Flowers are probably one of the oldest subjects of embroidery and they remain a focus of many of today’s signs. Flowers may be small and delicate to add a feminine touch to a little girl’s dress or they may be large and colorful to make a skirt more festive and fun. A common trend being seen in kids fashion is the embroidered skirt overlay that may only hang down a few inches over the skirt or come near the bottom. If using mesh to embroider a floral background for a skirt overlay, be certain to choose a pattern that is light enough to be supported by the lightweight fabric. Another option is to embroider a floral ruffle to sew onto the hemline.

One of the advantages of having your own embroidery sewing machine is that you can design kids’ clothes and make your own designs from start to finish. The end result will be unique and stylish clothes that kids will love to wear. You can also add a touch of embroidery to socks, hats, bags, and all kinds of accessories to coordinate their outfit. The ease of embroidery with one of the new embroidery sewing machines makes it possible for you to be yours and your kids’ personal fashion designer.

1 2 3 5