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Forum > Sewing Machines > Not loving the 350 PE alphabet... ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Not loving the 350 PE alphabet...
Am I doing something wrong?
Theresse
Theresse
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Subject: Not loving the alphabet on the 350 pe Date: 2/16/13 3:03 AM

Howdy. Well I guess it was foolish to think I could sew out larger letters as opposed to sizes that would fit merely on a label.

I'd like some clarification please - for those of you who have one of the 300 series machines:

1. IS there any way to make the lettering any larger than the stitch width/height? I doubt it but you never know...I thought I'd ask. ;)

2. I was trying to sew out the word LEO and the "L" is almost half the size of the E and isn't upper case. Maybe that's just the look Bernina was going for, but switching to the other alphabet option (out of the two on the 350) didn't help the L either. My 6 year-old won't be able to recognize his own name! I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my machine or are they all this way? Can someone please test this by typing out the name LEO for me too? I also thought we'd have upper/lower case options or a cursive type option but this is my own fault for assuming that when I read we had more than one alphabet option (silly me).

3. Lastly - assuming there's no way I can fix any of this - can anyone recommend a video that teaches how to do the lettering by hand, if that ends up being my only reasonable option? So I guess that would be good ol' fashioned embroidery then eh?! Is it super hard? Are there any tricks or helpful hints...websites...anything?

Other than this small issue, I absolutely ADORE this machine. It only pains me at the moment cause of having kids who love to see their name on things. I'd gone through all this trouble attempting to make my 3 boys heart-shaped valentines pillows (albeit late - past V Day!) and learning how to applique another heart on top, too...and the boys have been sorta helping me and we've all been excited for me to have a little lovey sentence to each of them from me, stitched onto each of their pillows. E.g. "Mommy loves Leo."

Thank you!
-- Edited on 2/16/13 3:04 AM --
-- Edited on 2/16/13 3:46 AM --

SewBusy63
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Date: 2/16/13 8:56 AM

No, you cannot change the size of the lettering. Are you sure there is no upper and lower case to choose from? I have yet to see an alphabet stitch out nicely/readable on any sewing machine, although the 830 comes pretty close. I do all mine on the embroidery side. Sorry I can't help with the other questions. :)


-- Edited on 2/16/13 9:38 AM --

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~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

ilesliemy
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Date: 2/16/13 10:27 AM

There is an upper case on my Activa 230 so there must be one on your 350! Also as to names I free motion names all the time and sayings and quotes! Just lower your feed dogs and try writing your name a dozen times or so. Smaller is easier than large at first so start with half inch size at first and you can even make large letters with outlines and fill in the middle with a tiny design. I think this is fun and you might think so too!
Leslie

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Bernina Gal

GreenMtn
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In reply to Theresse <<
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Date: 2/16/13 12:57 PM

The lettering on any of the 5.5 Berninas is very basic. I make a very basic quilt label with my intials and date, but that is it. I normally use a stabilizer on the back and an embroidery thread.

In my opinion, true monogram type lettering is only possible using an embroidery unit on one of the machines.

A friend has a Viking with wider stitches and the lettering is ok, not wonderful but ok. I imagine the wider stitch Berninas are better with the lettering as well.

beauturbo
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In reply to Theresse <<


Date: 2/16/13 3:27 PM

They are not all the same at all. That is why some cost a little and maybe some others a whole huge lot. Actually, the more they cost and the larger hoops they have (which is most times very related to each other) most times the more built in alphabets and choices of sizes you do get. And yours was the least expensive so really can't be just like another one that cost many multiples of thousands of dollars instead.

But, you have a 4 X4 inch hoop, so that means you can really sew out lettering that each letter is even up to that size. And any kind of letter or font you want. You would just have to do it, by feeding a different hooped embroidery design, (that you got free or paid for someplace that the actual embroidery design, was of a letter) as a separate computer file into the machine to sew out. With 4 x 4 inch hoop though, and really large letters, you would have to be hooping a lot to get whole sentences that way. but certainly could be done. Does not really matter what machine you have, it's pretty unlimited. But with a more limited machine, you got to do more all the planning work and figure that out, to make up sort of the difference instead.

Once actually sewn out that way, and when you learn how to re-hoop and just what you want to do with it, and sewing techniques and embroidery skills and such, after everything sewn out and done, no one could ever tell by just looking at your work, if it was really done on a $400 machine, a $4000 machine or even a $12,000 machine. That is the really nice thing about sewing!

I think most quick and easy way to get largish letters on young boys pillows (with a new machine and not enough learning time) would be to use the built in Monogram letters in there. And not embroider them out on direct on the pillows if you want a sentence. Because that is not a good time to learn to re-hoop over and over again, and really keep all matched up.

Maby just use the largest built in Monogram looking letters and embroider them out on something else in the hoop, one at a time or several at a time, on something that does not unravel, like felt or ultrasuede. Then cut around them leaving 1/'8 inch or so, fabric there around all edges of them. Then place them all on the pillows where you want to spell whatever you want, and use straight stitch sewing to sew them down onto pillow tops afterwards. That probably would work nice for first project, boys might have fun with that, and letters could be pretty big that way. Maybe try that.
-- Edited on 2/16/13 3:31 PM --

KPM
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Date: 2/16/13 4:18 PM

Theresse, what you describe shows the limitations of a 5mm machine. The Bernina 1630, for one, will do what you want, and does pretty darn great monograms without a hoop, but it's a 7mm machine I think.

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Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

Maia B
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Date: 2/16/13 5:39 PM

The lettering on a non-embroidery machine will only be as wide as the stitch width, 5.5mm for the 350. So not too impressive, but it should be neat and legible, if tiny. You probably need some stabilizer if the L isn't as tall as the E.

I don't do machine embroidery, but I use the alphabets and deco stitches on my machines to put my sons' names on clothes, etc. Unless the article is pretty beefy, 9mm letters definitely benefit from stabilizer.

Kids love their names on stuff. I also put secret pockets and messages on things.

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sewfrequent

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Date: 2/16/13 6:22 PM

Agreed, the stabilizer is hugely important. choose something that will tear away easily and you your letters will look much nicer. I know the bernina letters are small but they're very legible and you will enjoy the large cap letters when you find them. The alphabets on my 430 are not intuitive so I can see how you may not realize they are there. My manual left a lot of important details out in this area. You do know to clip the joining threads and that helps also to make it crisper to read.

SandiMacD
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Date: 2/19/13 5:32 PM

I can empathize. This was one problem I also had with my Bernina 430. No sales person explained the limitations of lettering, it was not covered in my Mastery Class and was not even in the Manual. I couldn't find anything online at the Bernina site and if it wasn't for the Bernina Yahoo Groups I would still be trying to figure out how to sew more than one letter.
I finally managed to sew 3 initials in caps but never did learn how to use the memory to make words or names or mix upper and lower case letters.
Someone in the YG finally explained that to get the lettering results I was looking for I needed to use an embroidery machine. So I got an entry level embroidery machine and moved on to learn all about embroidery fonts. Problem solved.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Soolip
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Date: 2/19/13 5:54 PM

I've found the alphabet stitching on all machines to be rather ugly. I'm a professional typographer, and the lack of kerning drives me nuts.

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