Baby Lock has a new line of sewing, quilting and embroidery machines that I have been reading about for several months. The embroidery only machine in this brand new line is called the Flourish.
One day, while visiting Laura’s Sew and Vac in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, I had an opportunity to review this addition to the Baby Lock family of embroidery machines.
At A Glance
The Baby Lock Flourish is a little smaller than most of the other embroidery only machines that I have reviewed. The largest hoop area is 6 ¼” x 10 ¼”, large enough to handle most machine embroidery tasks with ease.
There is a color LCD touch screen; automatic tension control; an automatic needle threader and clearly marked on board threading and bobbin winding guides.
Upper and lower thread sensors make it possible for users to complete machine embroidery projects with fewer interruptions to change thread because there wasn’t enough when starting out.
Function keys… start/stop, needle up/down, presser foot up/down and thread tie off and cut… are conveniently situated on the machine head.
Other function keys… previous/next screen keys; help key; a key to manage preset functions; embroidery key; and the presser foot/needle exchange key which must be engaged prior to changing the presser foot or needle.
The Baby Lock Flourish also has a USB port on the right side of the machine, a see through bobbin cover, and a removable embroidery unit.
- Updateable software
- 114 On board embroidery designs
- 13 On board embroidery fonts
- On screen editing
- Automatic needle threader
- Automatic thread tie off
- USB port
- Needle up/down
- Quick-Set, top loading bobbin
- Quick-Set bobbin winder
- Automatic thread sensors
- Ability to combine embroidery designs on screen
- Font editing
- Size and select letters individually
- Ability to split text
- Multi-color text
- Multiple fonts
- Multi-line text
- Character/Text array function
- Character spacing
- Horizontal and vertical options on Japanese fonts
- 1°, 10°, and 90° Pattern rotation
- Design enlargement and reduction (up to 20% down to 10%)
- Mirror imaging
- Design color selections
- 1MB memory storage for embroidery
- Reads embroidery designs with a stitch capacity of up to 200,000 stitches per design
- Color LCD Touch Screen
- Estimated embroidery time display and stitch count
- Needle position placement (1, 10, or 100 stitch increments)
- Measurements displayed in inches or millimeters (mm)
- Thread color indicator
- On-screen hoop size indicator
- Low bobbin thread indicator
- 300 color names
- 9-point trial check points
- Conversion to 18 different languages
Working on the Baby Lock Flourish
The people at Baby Lock made sure that the threading and bobbin winding process on the new Baby Lock Flourish would be as easy and uncomplicated as possible. The on board guides are clearly indicated and easy enough for a child at the elementary school level to follow.
Finding an embroidery design or programming a sequence is equally as easy. I managed to figure it all out within a matter of a few seconds by merely touching a few buttons.
The first thing I did was go to the menu selection tab. There I had a choice of selecting a design, a frame or an alphanumeric font. For this particular review, I selected the design menu.
From there, I had several options from which to choose. Like most people, I like flowers, so I went into the floral menu and selected one that piqued my interest.
For the sake of time efficiency and simplicity, I decided to select a single color embroidery design to sample for this review. After all, I was in a place of business and wanted to review more than one machine.
The entire process took less than five minutes. I first went into the design menu then scrolled through until I came upon one that required the use of only a single color embroidery design that appealed to me.
Creating a multi-color embroidery design would have been a bit more time consuming, albeit very good for promoting the machine itself.
Once the design was chosen, I snapped the fabric and stabilizer into the hoop, slid it into place on the embroidery unit, and then using the nine points check feature, I did a quick test to make sure my design was in the right position and the right size by simply by touching a button that outlines the perimeter of my design.
If it is too large or too small, all that is necessary to make a correction is to touch another button to change the size.
After everything was checked and confirmed to be the correct proportion and in the right position, there was nothing left for me to do but to touch the start/stop button and let the machine do its job… and it did it flawlessly.
I literally took a few steps away from the machine and engaged in a conversation with Laura, the store owner, for a few moments.
The Baby Lock Flourish is so quiet, if I hadn’t actually looked at it stitching, I would not have known it was doing anything at all. My design was completed in only a few short minutes and was perfect in every way.
I touched the thread tie off/cut button and slid the hoop off the unit just as easily as I put it into place. Lifted the inner hoop off the fabric and stabilizer and voila – my design was completely finished and ready to go.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- Embroidery presser foot
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
- Extra needles
- 4 Bobbins
- Bobbin center pin and instruction sheet
- 2 Screwdrivers (1large/1 small)
- Disc shaped screwdriver
- L shaped screwdriver
- 3 Spool caps (1 large/1 medium/1 small)
- Thread spool insert
- Spool net
- 1 Spool of embroidery bobbin thread
- 2 Embroidery hoops
- Extra-large – 6 ¼”x 10 ¼”
- Large – 5 x 7
- Accessory bag
- Soft cover
- Owner’s manual
- Quick reference guide
- Embroidery design guide
- Double jumbo spool thread stand
- Embroidery hoops
- Medium – 4 x 4
- Small – 1 x 2 ½”
- Border frame – 7 x 4
- Quilt embroidery frame – 6 x 6
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The Baby Lock Flourish is by far one of the most user friendly embroidery only machines I have reviewed to date. It is so easy to operate that I am tempted to say that a child could learn to use it. I do not recommend it for use by a child younger than 10 or 12 years of age, however.
I especially like the ease with which the fabric is inserted in the hoops and the hoops are attached to the machine. When I began sewing, we used the old wooden embroidery hoops and did all of our embroidery by hand.
In fact, I still have two which I still use on very rare occasions. Even when I started using a sewing machine to create embroidered designs, I used those wooden hoops, and continue to use them on my old mechanical sewing machines. It’s time consuming. It’s not easy. It’s not a lot of fun. But it gets the job done.
Without an embroidery machine, it is necessary to first transfer the design onto tracing paper or water soluble stabilizer which goes on top of the fabric, then place the fabric atop a layer of tear off stabilizer.
To maintain true stability, I often baste the top stabilizer or paper on which I drew or traced my design to my fabric and then lock all three layers into the embroidery hoop, making sure everything is taut.
The next challenge is getting the hoop beneath the needle. Thank goodness the machine I use for embroidery has a presser foot release that allows me to get plenty of extra clearance when necessary.
I then lower the presser foot, drop the feed dogs and very carefully trace the drawing using free motion sewing. Is there any wonder that I do very little machine embroidery? After reviewing the Baby Lock Fusion, however, I am beginning to seriously rethink the possibilities.
This affordable embroidery only machine does not have a footprint that is as large as many of the other embroidery machines I have reviewed. However, this means that the embroidery field isn’t as large either.
The largest hoop that works with this machine is 6 ¼” x 10 ¼”, which is large enough for nearly every conceivable machine embroidery task for an article of clothing, with the exception of a single design that runs the length of a pants leg or a sleeve or a design that covers the entire front or back of a shirt, blouse, coat or jacket.
I do have one question however. Since the Baby Lock Fusion is an embroidery only machine, why is the embroidery unit not permanently attached to the machine? It seems to me that a machine that does nothing but embroidery should not have a detachable embroidery unit.
In my very humble opinion, I believe that if the embroidery unit were permanently attached, it would eliminate the possibility of damage caused by unnecessary handling of the unit.
The Baby Lock Fusion is reasonably priced, lightweight, user friendly and relatively compact when compared with other machines of its type.
If your sewing room allows for space to accommodate a single purpose machine in addition to your sewing machine and serger, and if you are seriously interested in embellishing your sewing projects with embroidered designs, frames and monograms, you just might want to consider a visit to your local authorized Baby Lock dealer to see this machine for yourself.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Affordable, Easy to operate embroidery only machine
- Smaller embroidery field