Our 7 Top Tips for Machine Embroidery Newbies

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You've invested in a machine and now it's staring you in the face. Here's the must-have 411 for everyone who's discovering machine embroidery for the first time. Stitchers, rev your engines!

Seven Top Tips for Beginners

1. Relax

Being nervous when diving into a new craft is understandable, especially when it involves a major piece of equipment. But what is the worst thing that can happen, really? We guarantee you'll make a few messes before you turn out a masterpiece, so this is a good time to get comfortable with that and invite your sense of humor to the party.

2. Be ready to learn

When Thomas Edison was developing the light bulb, he had plenty of outcomes that could be considered unsuccessful. "I have not failed,” he said. “I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Just playing and practicing on your own is huge, but so it actively seeking out guidance for new skills. One new skill you might need to learn pretty quickly? How to use stabilizers. And lucky for you, there's a class for that .

3. Start small

One of the fastest ways to sabotage yourself is to start off with a project that is not rated for novices or beginners. So slow down there, cowboy! Start small and easy, then progress to more challenging techniques as your skills grow.

4. Take notes

Make your own “recipes” for machine embroidery. Grab a notebook and keep records of what you've tried and how things went. Document the stabilizer you used, thread types and colors, fabric type/blend, any machine adjustments you made and anything else that may help you either replicate or improve the design next time. Better yet, keep these notes on your phone or computer where it's easy to include photos.

5. Sew before you shop

It's easy to get carried away by the excitement of a new craft and spend a lot of money on things that really are not necessary. All you need to get started is a machine/hoop, scissors, thread, fabric, stabilizer and a design. Get some stitching time under your belt and do some research before investing in extras.

6. Organize your space

No, you do not have to build an additional room in your home. But it really does help to have an area where you can sew and walk away without having to pack absolutely everything up and store it in a different location. Even getting creative with how you use closets or other storage space near your sewing area can help.

7. Test stitch

There are so many variables in machine embroidery! The same design will stitch out differently depending on the digitizer, stabilizer, fabric, needle and thread used. Design files can become corrupted during download and even during conversion. You can head off lots of problems by taking the time to test stitch designs on a similar fabric before embroidering the actual piece.

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Our 7 Top Tips for Machine Embroidery Newbies