Favorite Features of the Baby Lock Solaris Upgrade #2
Nicholas Myers·November 02, 2020
We absolutely love the possibilities that the Baby Lock Solaris Upgrade #2 has to offer. Below we will be discussing our 5 favorite features of this machine and why you should be excited with us!
1. Endpoint Sewing
Under the sewing feature on your Solaris you’ll see a little drop down menu on the side. At the bottom you’ll see the End Point Sewing feature, once clicked you’ll see a graphic on what to do. Along with this you’ll see end point sewing stickers with your Solaris upgrade. Not to be confused with the positioning stickers you would use on an embroidery. You can see an example of that below.
These stickers are useful when you want to end at a particular point. This first graphic will allow you to end in the middle of one of your decorative stitches. The second graphic will allow you to compress stitches so you can end on a full and complete stitch.
As an example we have the flower decorative stitch and in our drop down menu on the right hand side we have the end point graphic highlighted so we know it’s active. In the next image you’ll see we place a line with a chalk pen and placed a sticker on a horizontal line. What this will do since we have the end point option active is the Solaris 2 will use the camera as it’s sewing and will track the sticker and when it reaches that line it will end there.
The Solaris 2 compressed the stitches to get them a little closer together to end on full and complete stitch.
2. IQ Positioning App
If you aren’t already familiar with the IQ monitoring app with Solaris lets you walk away from The Solaris 2 and lets you know if you’re ready for a thread change or done embroidering.The IQ Positioning App reads the QR codes on the hoop and takes a picture. Then it sends the image to the Solaris 2 over a Wi-Fi connection. This works really well for putting a logo on a shirt for example.
An amazing benefit to the Solaris is having the projector built-in. The reason the app is such a game changer is it takes out the step of downloading an image from the Internet from your computer, uploading to a USB drive, and then uploading to the Solaris 2. Instead this can all be done from your phone. The app itself is blue and is called IQ Intuition Positioning. Once booted it will automatically recognize the Solaris 2. And then will display multiple options. For this blog we are going to go with “Image For Creating A Design.” Make sure you download an image (6:43) to use for this ahead of time, here is the one we used.
Then we’ll send it to the Solaris 2 via Wi-Fi, and it will give you a notification saying that it’s sent to IQ Designer. Then you’ll click on the IQ Designer option on the main screen of the Solaris 2 and get another notification, click OK. Near the top right of the screen to the right of the search bar you’ll click on an icon that looks like a leaf and an arrow. Then a new window will appear at the bottom of the screen and you’ll click line design.
On the next screen you’ll have the option to determine where you want to pull your design from. In this video we used our Wi-Fi however this can be done by USB or through the Solaris 2 as well. Once you’ve chosen your image source a list of images should appear. Touch your image and a preview will appear in a couple seconds and if you’re satisfied then touch the “Set” button. On the next screen you’ll see your chosen picture and the ability to adjust the gray scale and crop the image if needed, once you’re satisfied press OK. Keep in mind that you can view your original image and your results but touching the buttons in the top right.
After you’ve pressed OK you’ll have some new options. In the top right corner you’ll see an icon that looks like zig zags up and down (at least in this video) and this is a satin stitch but this can be changed by touching the icon. If you’re not already familiar with this screen this is your IQ Designer and on the right hand side you have all of your line and fill properties. If you look on that side you’ll see a block of color which allows for decorative stitching.
Inside of this button you’ll have your regional properties and in the second row you’ll have your option of fill types. From left to right these are fill stitch, stippling and decorative. When an option is selected it’s going to give you another menu and once you press “Select” it will bring up a secondary menu that there will be an image list of different decorative stitches you can choose from. If you scroll to the bottom the list numbers 37- 42 are new designs.
Once a design is selected click OK and then you’ll be able to choose your color if you haven’t already. With a color selected you’ll be brought back to your image and if you click the paint bucket tool and can fill anywhere on the screen you choose. If you make a mistake on the bottom part of the screen are some arrows that will undo any mistakes you’ve potentially made, which is a beautiful new feature.
3. Decorative Fills
Our third new feature is something we didn’t know we needed is inside fills. If you’re wondering what that is click on the embroidery option from the main menu of your Baby Lock Solaris 2 machine. If you’re familiar with creating an outline or a stamp in IQ designer this is going to help you out! We’re going to use lettering in our example, particularly the letter A. With the letter selected you’ll click the “Edit” button on the top right of the screen and a drop down will appear. A flower icon will appear and when pressed it will save the outline of the shape you chose and create a stamp from it so later in IQ Designer you can recall the shape and play around with it. The feature that we love is the Inside On/Off. When switched it on it will create an outline of the inside portions of the shape as well as the outside.
4. Inside Fills
Once we were happy with our A shape we saved it, clicked memory, and were prompted that it would save to IQ Designer. From the main menu we will enter IQ Designer again, and on the right hand side we will recall our shapes by clicking on the icon that has a square and a circle. Once inside you’ll recognize the flower icon that we’ve used before, and this holds all of the stamps we’ve created. In the video (11:22) the first image reflects the old feature that shows the outline but not inside the negative space of the A, however the second image does have the negative space because of the Inside On option. With a complete A we can go ahead and fill the outline with color.
Another feature alongside the previously mentioned one is the ability to add background fill to your design. In this example we’ll select a design, in this case a gecko and once it’s set you’ll click edit and notice in the dropdown we’ll have the stippling effect. Once this button is pressed it will create stippling on the background of the image. In addition, you can adjust the stippling distance or spacing to your preferences or by using the flower button in the top right of the screen you can create a ripple effect or you can create a decorative fill behind our image with the fancy square pattern.
In our example our gecko is crawling around on some leaves but if you want to switch that up click “Select” on the pattern and it will present a myriad of other choices to switch the background pattern to.
5. Magnetic Sash Frame
The picture of a hoop above may or may not look familiar to you; this is the new magnetic frame from Baby Lock compatible with the Solaris 2. This is a 7 x 14 in embroidery field and it comes with these awesome little magnets.
In the pictures above you’ll see a quilt pattern that we’ve set on top of the magnetic frame, and with each magnet you’ll see indentations of triangles and those point directly to your embroidery field. You can drag these from the field to the edge of the hoop and they will magnetically clamp on, they should be comfortable even with your fingers close. Included are some smaller magnets that clamp on as well and help keep the sides out of the way. If the clamps are not on your magnetic sash perfectly you can slide them to a new position without having to remove them. If for whatever reason you need to un-hoop the magnets there is a tool you can use that can help you remove them easily. Check the GIF below to see how.
When placing the hoop into the Solaris 2 you’ll want the area in the top left corner to be clear to allow the embroidery foot to enter so don’t let the magnetic clamps be too close in that space. When placing your border or sashing in the hoop it’s important to remember that you want it to be centered and not too close to any side or corner, this allows the Solaris 2 for extra movement and manipulation. Examine the image below for a visual representation.
In our example we have the measurements of 9 in wide by 20 in long and a 3 in border which we’ve measured from the inside to the outside of the shape. Full disclosure we understand that quilts are normally much larger and usually square and we are going to show you a mock measurement that is 118 by 118 and we want to show that you can quilt and sash your borders for a whole king size quilt.
Our last feature if you haven’t done continuous borders on your Solaris 2 it is super easy with the Baby Lock Solaris 2. To begin we start on the main menu and click on embroidery, and on the next screen you’ll see an icon with the denotation of a “Q” for quilting and select it. Within Q1 you have several quilting borders with a few extra additions in this upgrade. In Q2 it allows you to do multiple colors and grapevines, and in Q3 is your hexagonal quilt borders.
In our example we are going to be doing a square border and using the selection of 007. Once selected you’ll be directed to a screen that says Type of Split. Previously you would work in quadrants and this allows you to work in smaller sections by cutting up the design and allows for more flexibility. When selected the Solaris 2 will then ask for the dimensions of the border, this is where we will be setting our 188 by 188 border in inches, and if you prefer to work in the metric system you can change this in your Solaris 2. After the width and height are set in options 1 and 2 then you’ll be asked to set the width of the border in number 3. For our example ours will be 3 in and we’ll input 3.0 and click set and click next.
The Solaris 2 will then show us how it will cut up our border and if we are satisfied with the preview we can click next and it will tell us that the data has been saved to the machine’s memory and ask if we would like to embroider the data. When yes is clicked on the next screen you’ll see the available saved patterns in the Solaris 2 and how many hoopings they have in the bottom left corner of each pattern, determine the saved pattern you want and click it. You’ll then be brought to a page with each individual aspects of the hoopings and if there are any mistakes that are made you can go back and fix that one aspect. In our example we are just going to choose the entire pattern and set it.
The Solaris 2 will then direct you to begin sewing from the upper right corner of the fabric and attach the embroidery frame in the initial sewing. So we are going to position our design in the corner of our border and you’ll see the Solaris 2 project our design onto the fabric. To move the hoop you can use the buttons on the screen or click and drag to move to the desired position. The Solaris 2 will project a laser below the foot to help you align your crosshairs accurately. See the image below for how it looks.
Once you are happy with your position click OK and the hoop will move, go ahead and drop your foot and then click start. In our example we were about 1/8th of an inch off of 3 inches, in another video it was recommended to round to the nearest half inch so experiment with this and we all are only going to get better over time. Once the Solaris 2 has finished with the corner it will ask if it’s ok to move on. Once OK is clicked the Solaris 2 will move onto the next aspect it will let us know that if anything rotates we can adjust our design to compensate for the rotation, this is great if you’re not hooped perfectly.
When working on the second second aspect we recommend that the green cross hair ends on the last stitch of the previous aspect otherwise there will be a gap in stitches. Once you’re satisfied with your position select OK, drop the foot, and press go. After the aspect is finished as per usual the Solaris 2 will ask to connect the next pattern, once OK is clicked if there is not enough room on the hoop the Solaris 2 will ask you to hoop the fabric again. On a king sized quilt you’ll have at least 6 to 8 re-hoops.
When moving fabric of a king sized quilt into a new hopping position we find it easiest to remove all the magnets except the small ones at the bottom and we can than advance our fabric along our frame by tugging and pulling from the already embroidered part of the fabric. This allows the fabric to slide along the metal frame and the magnets help keep the fabric in place. Once satisfied with the new position apply the rest of the magnets again to begin the process over. An important note is if you have too much fabric underneath the top where you are stitching your machine may run into an error. If you would like to rotate your aspect you can either rotate them clockwise or counterclockwise by 10 degrees or 1 degree at a time. If this is confusing reference timestamp 29:02 in the video.
That comprises our list of favorite features of the Baby Lock Solaris 2, if you’re interested in getting one yourself call us at 719-596-1165 and then press 1. We absolutely love this machine and all its possibilities and we know you will too.