Angie Lawrence illuminates the Luminaire
What’s that coming up the lane? It’s my lovely-jubbly Brother XP1 Luminaire – or Lumi-Loo as she will come to be known. I live in a fairly remote area, so my delivery guy had to put the extremely large and heavy box on to a trolley and trudge up the lane to my house. Fortunately he was also sweet enough to lug it into the house for me.
Once unpacked and set up in my sewing room, I simply could not decide what to do first – so many new and exciting features to choose from! Should I explore the new quilting fills in Design Centre or sew out one of the many new designs (including Disney!)? Perhaps I should take look at the new projector feature which makes placement of designs a breeze? Maybe I should sew out a huge design on the giant, new hoop?
In the end, I decided to explore Design Centre and one of the new designs that particularly intrigued me; the patchwork applique set (image to the left). These are all such beautiful patterns – just imagine how fantastic a quilt made of just these designs would look – but in the end I settled on design ten.
The first thing I wanted to do was alter the shape of the design. I wanted to make a bag panel, so it needed to fit into a rectangle rather than a square. This was easily done by resizing – using the button on the right which resizes on the screen by adding or decreasing stitches so there is no need for software – the same reason I use this option on the Brother XV/Dream Machine, as it gives a much better result in terms of stitch density.
Next, I decided to slightly amend the design by leaving out the middle applique piece and adding a little rose for interest – another of the machine’s built-in designs. A little more resizing, rotating and colour-changing and it was in place.
I chose a medium blue denim as my base fabric and stabilised with polymesh cutaway. I hooped both together, tightening the hoop with the handy-dandy Brother multi-tool. This has three screwdriver blade settings to help you easily change your needle and change the presser foot shank, and slips over the end of the hoop screw making it easy to loosen and tighten. One came with the XP1 Luminaire, but they are also available separately.
Then I started to sew. Wow – what a revelation! The machine is so quiet and performs flawlessly and steadily, even when sewing or embroidering at top speed. My first bag panel was complete in a very short time.
Then I turned my attention to the back panel of the bag. I wanted something that reflected the design on the front but was just a little different, so I headed for Design Centre. In ‘Shapes’, I selected a hexagon, squashed it a bit and resized. Once happy with that, I copied and pasted twice more and placed the hexagons in the pattern I wanted on the panel, then selected the double running stitch in Line Fill, applying it to all three hexagons and saving the design. Still in Design Centre, I then opened it again, but this time I selected satin stitch in Line Fill, widened it a little and saved to Design Centre.
Now for the embroidery! I opened the first design, a running stitch outline, in Design Centre and took it through to ‘Embroidery’. Under the ‘Add’ button, I selected the satin stitch-outlined hexagons I’d made earlier from the Design Centre memory.
Almost finished, I nevertheless wanted to try another new feature of the XP1/Luminaire – echo quilting! For this, I decided to use a multicoloured thread in the same shades as the fabric, and short while later, I had three lovely little hexagon appliques echoing the colours and fabrics on the front!
Now to find a lining and finish the bag – although I’m sure putting it together will be a breeze with the XP1/Luminaire! I’ll be sure and post a picture when I do!
Until next time!
P.S. Regular readers will know I also have a Brother XV/Dream Machine which I love. There’s still much to discover with this wonderful machine so I will no doubt be doing the odd blog on her too!