June 2017

I am a new fan of the basting feature. What’s to love? Two things, it firmly attaches the item to the stabilizer and is a fabulous alignment tool when mishaps occur.

If you’re hooping stabilizer and fabric, then attaching the fabric to the stabilizer with a basting stitch is probably not necessary. If you’re using adhesives or a magnetic hoop, then the basting feature is added security.

Regardless of what hoop you’re using there is always the possibility of trouble ahead. Trouble? What trouble? Well, let’s see, bird nesting, empty bobbin (I know the machine is supposed to tell you before that happens), fabric pops out of the hoop, thread gets tangles around the foot or stitched over the foot (oh yes, I have seen it all!). Regardless of what caused the trouble, often the next step is to remove the hoop from the machine before completing the design. And possibly, removing the fabric from the hoop. AAAAAAHHHH! Many times, when this happens, you scrap the project and start over.

But if a basting file was stitched first, you have a very good chance of getting everything aligned in the hoop.

First, make a note of the stitch number when the snafu occurred. Write it down. Also write down the location and rotation of the design.

Fix the problem. Reattach the hoop to the machine. If the needle is centered over the last stitch, you might be in good shape. Travel back through the design a few stitches and see if the needle is centered over the stitches. If so, advance to the last stitch and complete the design.

If not, go to the first stitch of the design – the basting stitches. Travel through the basting stitches and watch where the foot is located in reference to the stitched outline.

Rehoop the fabric to align the foot with the stitched outline or rotate the design and continue the process. The real proof is when you travel around the corner of the basting line. The basting file is a square or rectangle and as long as the needle is centered over one horizontal and one vertical line, your design will be aligned.

If you’re using a flat magnetic hoop it’s so simple to realign the fabric. Just lift the top frame and slide the fabric into the proper position.

Once you’ve confirmed the needle is aligned with the basting line, advance to the last stitch and complete the design.

Basting outlines are like auto insurance, you can drive without it but if you have an accident you’re really in trouble.

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