Friday, August 24, 2012

Brother Sew Straight Laser Guide -- Part 2

One of the reasons that I got so excited about the laser guide on the Dreamweaver machine is that I make a lot of flying geese.  Star quilts are definitely among my favorites and the flying geese unit is an excellent way to make the star points.  I did a blog post on how I like to make flying geese units; if you missed that or would like to review it, click here

The first thing I have to do to make these units is to draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the wrong side of each of the smaller squares cut for the units.  In the example that I used in the blog post, I used a silver pencil to be able to see the line on the back of this somewhat dark fabric. 

This is "Blossoms & Stars" from Needle In A Hayes Stack by my friend, Tiffany Hayes.  As you can see, there are four large star blocks in the center and 16 more in the pieced border area of this quilt.

Here's the center -- I love it!  This is also going to be way fun to quilt, although I won't be carting it around as part of my trunk show because it's 96" square.  Those pesky weight limits on airplane luggage!

I still have those 16 smaller blocks to make -- the finished flying geese units should ideally measure 2-1/2" by 4-1/2", 2" by 4" after they are stitched to the rest of the block units.

In my last post, I found that when piecing my results were best if I set the laser in the 10.5 position, used the J foot and set my needle position at 4.5.  So that's how I set up the machine.  I also engaged the pivot function; this is an action that I can engage or disengage with a touch of my finger on Dreamweaver's touch screen.  When engaged, it lifts the presser foot when I lift my foot from the pedal.  Although Dreamweaver does come with a knee lifter to raise the presser foot, it's nice to not have to use it after every single small seam when I'm doing chain piecing like this. 

I love using a knee lifter for machine quilting, but my knee can get really tired if I'm doing a lot of piecing.  It's really handy to have the option to use the pivot function for one way that I use the machine and the knee lifter for others -- another way that I am able to customize this machine to the project I'm sewing and the way I like to sew.

As you can see in the photo above, I am lining up the point of my squares with the laser light.....

While sewing, I'm moving the fabric into the machine, keeping the light lined up with my destination, point to point to point....

...until I finish that seam, still keeping the laser lined up with that last point.  When I used to draw the lines, I had to keep my eyes on the line to make sure that I was feeding the fabric properly.  Now I keep my eyes on the laser -- not the foot....not the needle....the laser.  The hardest part for me was to remember not to look at the side of the foot, but to look at the laser line

Once I've cut the large square, corner to corner, I start sewing the other square to the resulting units.  Again, it's just a matter of lining up the laser with the points of the square and stitching 1/4" away from the laser line.

These are my two sewn units; now I just need to cut and press to have my finished flying geese!

As I said above, the unit before sewing to the other parts of the star should measure 2-1/2" by 4-1/2" -- what do you think?

I think I just saved a boatload of time by not having to draw all those lines on the back of 64 little squares with some sort of marking tool -- happy girl!!!  Not that I'm impatient to see this beautiful quilt finished, or anything like that.....

Brother has provided me with the DreamWeaverTM XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own....


  1. Wow....very handy! Lasers are awesome!

  2. It's about time, they have lasers on lots of mens tools

    1. Isn't that the truth? My husband has things that make a laser light go across a wall so he can make sure that, for instance, pictures are hung at the exact same level.

  3. So did you get this machine?

    1. Yes, I did! I just got back from a month long trip, so this weekend I'm going to clean up the sewing room to give myself space to work and fire her up! I've got three or four projects that I would love to get done this summer on this machine.....

  4. So did you get this machine?

  5. Come on ladies it's got lasers this is a mans machine. I love it.


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