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Message Board > Machine Embroidery > New to Machine Embroidery ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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New to Machine Embroidery
What projects do you work on an emb machine ?
knit.unwind
knit.unwind
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Date: 5/15/13 9:12 PM

I am interested to try machine embroidery, and am curious on what are the projects we can work on an embroidery machine.

I used to sew garments during my younger days, now I mainly sew quilts , pouches, bags and household stuff.

Do you find it very tedious to use the emb machine ? I'd read some feedback on the frequent thread change on a single needle home emb mc, and the wide variety of stabiliser one has to stock up on.

allorache
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Date: 5/15/13 10:24 PM

I've done lots of t-shirts, some denim shirts, some towels, a bathrobe, name patches for my dogs' harnesses...you can do much more than that I am sure but I have limited time...I don't mind needing to change thread colors. You do need to keep an eye on your machine while it's running, which can be awhile for larger designs, but I do other sewing or stretch out. It's not a cheap hobby, but it is a very fun hobby.

------
Now a Babylock girl almost all the way - Ellegante 3, Evolution, and Melody. Plus a Sailrite LSZ-1 for those heavy duty projects

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 5/15/13 11:33 PM

Quilting. There are many stitching patterns you can download, or create your own.

A co-volunteer was commenting that he wanted his wife to make a small draw string bag for some small tool accessories, but she had no interest. So I made one and embroidered a tool box w/tools on it and he was so happily surprised that he talks about it every time there is a gathering.

The happy little surprises are my favorites.

Of course when I showed it to my husband, I had to make another!

Start with a single needle machine with no smaller than a 5x7 embroidery area. I prefer babylock over Brother only because many of the Brother embroidery only machines use 90 weight bobbin thread which is not so easy to find. The combos use 60 weight, which is easy to find.

I use tear away, cut away, sticky backed and water soluble stabilizers bought when I find them on sale. Same for the threads in colors I know I will be using.

Other must haves are Titanium coated needles for any adhesive stabilizers. This type of needle does not heat up like a regular needle, causing the adhesive to melt, the thread to jam and break. And basic software for editing and viewing downloaded design files.

The only other accessories I have added are a thread stand, magna hoops (optional - not everyone cares for them).

Sometimes a dealer will have a special where many of these items will be included. If not, ask.



-- Edited on 5/15/13 11:56 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

easterbun
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Date: 5/16/13 1:43 AM

What you do with one is completely up to you.. the sky is really the limit. Some people embroider on blanks (shirts, etc) and others are more focused on the creative process and thinking of ways to use their machine that isn't as mainstream. I am currently working on blocks for an applique quilt (a modified version of Hooterville for my niece). I can do many more blocks quickly with my machine than I would have the patience to do by hand - the only time consuming part is cutting out the applique parts and turning under the seam allowances. Having digitized the pattern all I do is prep the applique pieces and stick them down where they are needed - I can line them up perfectly and the machine does a better job than I could stitching them down.

Personally I haven't found that a "wide variety" of stabilizers is really necessary. I bought a bunch of pre-cut tear away sheets that I primarily use under cheap cotton for testing out designs I'm working on, but for real world use I hate how stiff even lightweight tearaway stabilizer makes the final product after it's torn away. So 99% of the time I use Sulky's Sticky Fabri-Solvy as my main stabilizer for almost everything - because it disappears (before that I used regular Sulky Sticky tear away stabilizer a lot because it is easier to use than hooping a lot of the stuff I embroider on). The only exception is if I am trying to embroider a super stretchy knit, in which case I'll usually slip a sheet of regular solvy underneath since it's stiffer and will keep the fabric from stretching as the machine moves. If I have a need to have some kind of backing on my embroidery (like on shirts or anything against the skin) I use Sulky's Tender Touch after I've washed away the solvy.

In my experience with designs that were digitized well extensive stabilizing isn't usually necessary. A design that is going to seriously warp my fabric as it's stitching probably isn't one I'll be happy with in the end anyways... it means it likely has some kind of structural flaw (stitches too dense) or my machine's tension is way out of whack.

Thread changes really aren't that bothersome for most designs - it gets a little tiring when you have to change thread for a small portion of the pattern and then immediately change it again, especially if that happens several times in a short span, but when you get at least a few minutes between colors it's not a big deal - as others have said you'll be watching it anyways.

Thread is one of the more expensive components required - mostly because the initial investment can be expensive if you want a lot of colors to start with. Cheap thread is often not worth the frustration - stick with name brands.

I second the suggestion of titanium needles - they work really well, but I'd also suggest keeping some metallic needles on hand since they have a larger eye and often work with thread that shreds in normal needles (sometimes simply because of where it is in a design, the friction of going through other embroidery can damage the thread, having a larger eye on the needle gives the thread more wiggle room so it won't break).

I'd suggest getting a second hoop of the siz you use the most - if you are embroidering multiple items it makes it easier to "keep working" since you're not taking time out to set up your next piece in between stitching, you can get it ready in advance and when one project is done, the next is already hooped and ready to go.

knit.unwind
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 5/16/13 7:02 AM

I love to sew little surprises for my friends and family too. The smile on their face when they receive the hand made items are well worth my time and effort ,

knit.unwind
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In reply to easterbun <<


Date: 5/16/13 7:10 AM

I like the idea of getting a second hoop, it will be convenient for getting a second emb project ready in advance while 'baby sitting' the machine emb.

Sewmissy2
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Date: 5/16/13 8:02 AM

If you are new to embroidery then I think the most important thing you can do is to buy a machine from a dealer who will give you lessons with your machine. It is very very simple to actually stitch out embroidery. But learning about how to hoop, which stabilizer and needle to use with different fabrics and how to place designs and get them straight will be what you need to learn.

You can learn a lot online, but there is no substitute for getting hands on learning when you buy a machine.

------
Designer 1, bought in 2000
Simplicity 350 serger, bought about 1997
3 Tajima Neo single head embroidery machines
Digitizer by profession
Embroidery software: Tajima DGML by Pulse (commercial) also know Designer's Gallery and Floriani for home use.

knit.unwind
knit.unwind
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Date: 5/16/13 8:13 AM

Yes, I agree that dealer support is essential to fully enjoy the crafting experience. But sad to say , there are not many good sewing machine dealers here .

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to knit.unwind <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 5/16/13 12:25 PM

Quote: knit.unwind
I love to sew little surprises for my friends and family too. The smile on their face when they receive the hand made items are well worth my time and effort ,

I think "priceless" is what are describing!

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

knit.unwind
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 5/16/13 8:31 PM

yes yes yes !!!
-- Edited on 5/16/13 8:32 PM --

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