I have a new maker machine. It’s a Brother PE 535 Embroidery machine. I’ve been wanting an embroidery machine ever since I saw Andrea Mayr-Stadler introduce Turtle Stitch at the Scratch Conference in Boston almost 4 years ago. I wasn’t ready to start a new crafting project then but I am ready now.
TurtleStitch brings back that good old Turtle Logo coding fun with a nice bytes-to-bits end product that I can hold in my hand and add to my quilts. I am a quilter. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother are and were all quilters. I was never enchanted by embroidery designs but I do like the idea of creating my own using math and code.
I’ve been looking on twitter and on the TurtleStitch community site for inspiration. I have been recreating some of my BeetleBlocks designs in TurtleStitch, I’m starting to play with stitch types and changing color, too. Exporting the designs to the machine has been easy. I find I have to plan the projects around minimizing thread color changes and where the needle ends but my successes so far embolden me to try new things.
I’m using some of my own hand-dyed fabric from a project from a few years ago and a purchased box of colored thread that caught my eye. I also have some water-soluble stabilizer from yet another project so I may investigate making ornaments but for now, I have plans for a quilt. A Lebanon Rec & Park Quilt Retreat (that I lead) is coming up next weekend so I hope I have a few more designs ready by then and can start sewing them together.
Looking ahead to this summer, the next Scratch Conference in Boston is in July. I can plan on bringing my machine if we want to find time to play. I may also have to consult with my friendly librarians to see if this can be another summer class for middle school kids. I need to do some more exploring myself, first.