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What’s Your Favorite Embroidery Machine Feature?

Recently, a student asked me what features I enjoy most on an embroidery machine.  She kinda stumped me because frankly, I’ve gotten pretty spoiled when it comes to machine features.  I mean, I have two machines that have cameras viewing the needle!  Which is a good thing because my eyes are aging faster than the rest of me – or so I think cause I can’t really see the rest of the damage all that well!

Anyway, back to machine features. I think the appropriate question should have been, ‘What’s my favorite feature on a specific machine?”  That I could have answered easily because every machine has features that make it special, that simplify the embroidery process for the user.

There are some basic features that a machine would have to have for me to consider purchasing it.

  1. 360 degree rotation.  I still struggle hooping my fabric square to the hoop.  If the machine can rotate in one degree increments, then I can make sure my design will stitch as planned.  I use templates and the Angle Finder to determine the rotation.
  2. Trace Feature.  When I’m connecting embroidery designs or trying to fit a design in a defined space, the trace feature lets me see the outer dimension of the design.  A Trace Feature that lets you select one point on the perimeter of the design is a great time-saver.  But I can live with the auto-trace too.
  3. Thread cutter.  I’m so used to thread cutters now that I run into trouble when I’m on a machine that doesn’t cut.  The foot might get snap in a thread jump because I neglected to trim the thread.  And it’s comical to watch me yank the fabric out of the hoop with trails of thread flowing off the bobbin and needle.
  4. 130 x 180 sewing field.  I know, I know, many of you can not afford a machine that has a 130 x 180 sewing field.  But once you make that jump, you can’t believe you ever restricted yourself to a 100 x 100 hoop.

And there are more – the machine manufacturers offer us many luxurious features such as needle cams, stadium lighting, humongous sewing fields, baste function, on-screen editing, auto-applique – the list goes on and on.





  • LeAnne Law

    The features I would love to have on my new machine (some day) is the trim threads and the huge sewing field for quilt blocks. Right now I’m limited to a 5×8 field, but when I win the lottery….

  • Katrina H

    Auto threader is one that I can’t live without!

  • Phyllis F

    I love my push button needle threader and my separate bobbin winder.

  • Sherie

    I LOVE the needle threader on my new machine, the BIG screen so I can see what I am doing and the tons!!! of stitches.

  • Paule-Marie

    What’s not to love? However, what drew me to it is the larger space to the right of the needle since I have been known to quilt twin and full size quilts on my machine. BUT, the really big draw was the stadium lighting and the automatic needle threader. Even though I had my eyes operated on a couple of years ago and can see good enough to drive without my glasses, I am a few years past the half century mark and need ALL the light I can get.

  • Cheryl

    Without a doubt, I love my USB Stick. I can sit at my computer and fix up my embroidery file, write it to the USB Stick. Then, I can take the Stick to my machine, open the file and not be tethered to the computer by wires. My machine also allows more adjustments to be made to the file, without going back to a computer.

  • Betsy

    My grandma taught me to sew many, many years ago but I kind of lost interest after my children grew up and didn’t want to wear Mom’s hand-made clothing anymore. I recently treated myself to a fabulous embroidery machine. OMG, every feature is my favorite and I have discovered the joy of sewing all over again. If I had to pick just a couple of features, the needle threader and thread cutter are “the cat’s meow”, as Grandma would have said. It will take a while to learn everything this machine can do but I’m grateful to sites like yours that give me a lot of tips and ideas.

  • Gail Beam

    I love the fix feature on my D1. I hardly ever hoop anything but the stabilizwe, since I use the fix feature to attach the material or item to the hoop.. My machine uses any brand or type of thread, and I have heard that many people have to use a certain type of thread or their machine does not operate right.

  • Roberta Bland

    I love the “your bobbin is almost empty” feature. It is stopped so that I can put in another bobbin, back up a few stitches, push the “go” button and carry on. No skipped or missed stitches at all. Machines have come a long way.

  • Wendy Scott


    I received my prize in the mail yesterday, can’t wait to try it out. I loaded it onto my laptop last night and I hope to get to stitch out a sea shell with stippleing tonight. I love it!!!

    Thanks a lot!!


    • Amanda

      Awesome! We hope you enjoy! We would love to see some pictures of what you do with it- even if it’s just blocks like what we did ;).

      Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine

  • Wendy Scott

    Oh I love the auto lift of my pressure foot especaily when I am doing curves.

    My Rose does not do this and sometimes when I switch machines I forget.


  • Katherine

    I love advancing the stitches, or picking where you want to start or go back. So many others to choose from

  • Ilene Barnett

    What would I ever do without the needle threader? It just makes changing threads throughout the design so much easier. Along with the automatic thread cutter – those are two great basic features to have.

  • Deb Fischer

    I just upgraded to the Baby Lock Elisimo and absolutely LOVE my automatic jump stitch thread cutter. It has saved countless hours of snipping all those jump stitches! Would not ever want to live without it again.

  • Audrey Goodwin

    I have a Janome 9500 and I love it. Downloading my designs onto a compact flash card and pop into the adapter and into my machine. My passion is making greeting cards and now I enjoy making cards with embroidered designs. My family and friends love them too.

  • Shirley Covert

    I can’t love without my many feet. They make sewing many different techniques a joy.

  • sue race on march 23,2012

    pfaff came out with a new embroidery-sewing machine. the creative
    sensation. it looks like a wonderfull machine,but what do you and your staff think about the machine and it’s functions. is this the one i should purchase or should i wait for the next model?