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Oh Brother!

Oh Brother, what innovations! On Monday, I attended Brother’s Back to Business dealer event in Nashville, TN and got to see the introduction of Brother’s amazing new line of products. It was a whirlwind day – so much to see and so much presented to the dealers and media by Dean Shulman, senior vice president of Brother International Corporation. Dean not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk on Monday. Check out his fetching Western shirt.

Dean was so excited about all of the new Brother products but let’s start with the 10-needle Entrepreneur. If you’ve been thinking about stepping up to a multi-needle machine and you already love the Brother embroidery system, then this is the machine for you. Loaded with user-friendly features, such as an illuminated work area (very little shadow from those ever-so-productive 10 needles), precise alignment (think the Snowman®), the InnovEye (birds’ eye camera view of the embroidery area), increased magnification on the LED screen, and superior thread changing abilities.

You have already enjoyed many of these features on your Brother Quattro, but Brother didn’t stop there. They’ve include an eyelet thread system that maintains consistent tension on the threads plus an automatic threading system for all 10 needles. Speaking of thread, wait til you see the InnovaChrome LED Thread Color System. Each spool sits on a stand above a multicolor LED light. These lights will display the color as designated by the embroidery design so that you can color match the thread to the light – no guessing just what shade of green is required. Just hold the spool to the light and verify the color. But that’s not all; the lights are also a messaging center. They flash when a thread breaks (just the cone so you know where the problem is located), the design is complete or it’s time to change spools (on designs with more than 10 thread colors).

And there was more exciting news from Brother. Fashion and lifestyle maven Laura Ashley brings classic style with clean lines and fresh color combos to Brother’s innovative line of sewing and embroidery products. Known for her colorful prints, Laura Ashley is world-renowned for putting a fresh stamp on common household items. And now she’s teamed up with Brother. Expect to see first class sewing machines with unique decorative stitches and later – embroidery designs. Many of the designs will most likely coordinate with existing fabrics and linens. So you’ll have the ability to put your personal stamp on your own favorite Laura Ashley items.

Let’s not forget the ever-popular Project Runway. Project Runway sponsorship is Brother’s way to reach the young and creative. Of course, many of us in the sewing industry wouldn’t miss an episode and many more people wouldn’t stitch on anything but a Project Runway machine. Now if we could just get those fledging designers to embroider on the show!





  • Karin

    Putting a USB port on the embroidery machine was an absolute stroke of genius. One step further will be to make it wireless, but then I’d have to go buy yet ANOTHER machine! Oh, well, such is life!

    Oh, and now that I know how to thread my serger, I’m not sure how I lived so long without that, too. 🙂

    • eileen


      I agree, Karin, the USB port makes loading designs into a machine so simple. They hold mega amounts of designs and today’s machines are as fast as reading a stick on a laptop.
      Funny you mentioned ‘wireless’ I was just discussing that possibility with a software engineer the other day…

  • Bev Passwaters

    I love your digital magazine and like the fact you have your back issues available but as of yet I’ve not been able to download the magazines.

  • Karen Rilstone

    I could not live without my embroidery software as I am able to take designs to the next level by customizing them with words or taking only parts of them to reuse in some fashion. Embroidery software adds a totally necessary dimension to my enjoyment of the process, allowing me to put the ‘me’ in my work.

    • eileen

      Glad to hear your vote for embroidery software! I think many of us are finally catching on (learning, that is) to the creativity that’s been locked inside of our software. Tackling emboirdery software can be daunting but with the right teacher (or sheer will power), there is no end to putting the ‘me’ into my work!

  • Enis Blizman

    Hum, technology! Gotta love it! I love the way the makers of these wonderful embroidery machines come up with new and better was for me to enjoy my hobby. And, I think the InnovaChrome LED Thread Color System is a totally awesome idea. I don’t have a Brother machine, but would like to try out this feature. I think I will at this years American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan, in September.

    • eileen


      A trip to the American Sewing Expo in Novi would be well worth it. Not only will get a glimpse (wear your sunglasses!) of the InnvaChrome LED Thread Color System but you’ll see dozens of vendors, have your pick of tons of classes and rub shoulders with fellow embroiderers/sewists/quilters. Sounds like fun!

  • Bette Gove

    I love the technology that is user friendly…
    things that are intuitively easy to pick up.

    things that frustrate me is when I do what I’m supposed to and it doesn’t work!



    I love my stipple butterflies and can’t wait to them. Although I am having some technical challenges with Boatload of Bags, I’m sure I will enjoy using those CD’s as well. Always in the market for something unusual

  • Kitty

    Isn’t the development of technology amazing? I was just talking yesterday about the fact that my first computer had a 4K memory – and no windows programs to make things easier! I look at my Brother and think back to the 1932 Singer I learned on and think “wow”. I helped a class of fiber arts students use sewing machines for the first time and the wonder in their voices as they learned what they could do was so much fun.

  • Lisa Hoesing

    I love technology. I can’t wait to download wireless to my Brother4500!

  • Cindy Jordan

    I am what I call technologically challenged. But I love my embroidery machine. I had no trouble learning how to use it and I love being able to transfer my designs with the usb connection to my computer. My sister’s machine only has a card reader and she wishes that she could transfer from the computer also. I think a new innovation would be to make a card that had a usb connector on it so that she could transfer straight from her computer. A wireless connection would be great, also, but I would not want to buy a new machine just to have that feature.

  • Tammy

    I find that the internet is technology I use the most. It is great for finding and buying designs. I also love to watch YouTube videos to find new techniques and instructions on how to projects.

  • Paule-Marie

    I simply love the computer and computerized machines. The computer has made both my job (banking) and my hobbies so much easier. I can buy designs, fabric, supplies on line – I live in a rural area so my specialty shops are limited. I will shop at my quilt store first and they have some machine embroidery products, but I can’t just go down the street to another shop to find what I am looking for.

    What’s frustrating? The computer. There just isn’t enough time in the day for everything. And sometimes, I get hooked into the computer and don’t get anything accomplished. (I should be getting ready to exercise and then quilting a quilt and make an embroidered label right now.)

  • Peggy

    I love being able to transfer my designs via usb and wired; wireless would be just perfect!!! The most frustrating technology is the needle threader on my machine which only works a small percent of the time, after that much $$$$ why can’t my needle threader work every single time???

    • eileen

      I don’t know what brand of machine you’re using but that needle threader should work every time. Have you taken it in to the dealer? It could be a very easy fix. I never have a problem with my needle threaders – good thing because my eyes need all the help they can get!

  • Nancy

    I love exploring whatever is the latest technology. I bought my first computer in 1984 (it had to be built, you could’t just walk into a store and buy one). It had a 10 MEG hard drive, ran only DOS, no mouse, and amber monitor and my husband is still using it to run his law office. To me the best computer leap was to wireless laptops. I love curling up in bed and keeping up with the latest designs, projects, magazines, tutorials, videos…you get the idea. Then, the next day everything I’ve downloaded is waiting for me in the Sanctuary, my creating room, ready to be put to use.

  • Jackie

    Love the internet, the ability to connect with people who also love to sew and share their knowledge has really helped me to spread my wings and try new things.

    • eileen

      Hi Jackie,
      I used to call machine embroidery a ‘solitary sport’, something you did completely by yourself. The majority of embroiderers don’t have a neighbor, sister or friend who shares her passion with embroidery. But today, it’s so easy to connect with other embroiderers via the internet. I find that very satisfying.

  • Susan Spiers

    Most helpful-Internet access!
    Most frustrating-Technology is moving too fast for me to keep up! (of course I’m not a young woman anymore, I leave that up to my daughter)!

  • eileen

    Oh but, Susan, all of that technology is KEEPING you young! You’re continually challenged to expand your abilities. Most likely, you are light-years beyond your non-embroidering peers.

  • Debbie

    I would love the wireless from my computer to my machine. And a needle threader that does not require you to hold you thread, tongue and head in just the right order to work. After spending the big bucks on these machines why not have an electronic threader or soemthing???

  • Kathy Meyers

    I don’t think I could get along without my needle threader! Or the self winding bobbin! My eyes aren’t what they used to be.
    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to transfer my designs wirelessly. I have to use a card writing box which is so annoying! Especially since the box and the sewing machine are in two different places, one upstairs, one downstairs! Course I do get my exercise! LOL

  • Cheryl

    I love my computer with internet connection and Designer 6 software. This software was a real big improvement over Designer 5. Since I prefer desktop computers over laptops, for the added speed and power, having USB ports are great, but the idea of wireless is even better.

    Smart phones seem like a waste of money. Do we really need constant contact with the internet and texting while driving, and talking to someone while checking out at the grocery counter? Let’s leave embroidery out of that mess!


    • eileen


      It seems that many people can’t go to the grocery store with a list any more – just a cell phone to call home and say, “do we need more…peanut butter?”

  • Barbara

    In general, I don’t like being owned by electronic gadgets. I don’t like social networking sights like Facebook or Twitter. It wastes too much time when I could be sewing, cooking, or spending time with my loved ones. I like face-to-face contact if I’m going to socialize. However, I do love my new iPhone. It’s great when I’m waiting for something to happen; i.e., doctor’s appointments, sitting under a hairdryer, etc.

  • Cindy Davies

    I enjoy digitizing my own embroideries.

  • Judy Inhoff

    I love the internet where I can download designs, see new products and techniques. Thanks for a chance to win a great prize.

  • Shirley Covert

    I love surfing for designs and embroidery/sewing projects that others make. Sewing is my passion and I absolutely love Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine and can’t wait for it to arrive. I read it cover to cover.

  • Theresa lensmyer

    When I purchased my Brother Innovis 2500 about 4 years ago, I loved the usb feature to transfer designs. I just wish I could use a larger capacity usb, but just have several and they are more organized.
    My favorite technology is software though. I was not originally told about extra software (which was a big mistake on my dealers part) so I spent lots of money buying different sizes of designs and fonts that were a total waste of money. Now my software will change sizes with a click and drag.
    (I also have a problem with my needle threader and have brought it in and he adjusted it, then said I would probably need a new part which was well over $100)

  • Jan Boggan Henson

    I have been machine embroidering since 1997 when I also started my website for inspiration and ideas. I have tried many types of editing software but still prefer Embird to the more expensive offerings. Embird does everything I need to do in manipulating designs to my preference. I do not digitize since I have more designs than I will ever use. I now own a Designer SE from Husqvarna Viking and the Creative Vision from Pfaff. I don’t think I will ever tire of creating with machine embroidery. Thank you for your magazine and all the inspiration it provides.

  • Karen Trott

    I am drooling over the new Brother 10 needle machine. I have the Brother 620, and the Quatro. The new machine sounds like the very best of both. Oh, the times 6 needles is just not quite enough, and to have auto threading, and magic little snowmen, all on one machine – wow.

    Designs In Machine Embroidery is an outstanding magazine. I do wish it had more advanced stitching, and digitizing content. I have done my own digitizing since PE Design 2 and a used Brother 8500. From my limited experience with other digitizing software, and machines it’s hard to beat Brother overall. I use PE Design 8 mostly.

    DME magazine online has not been easy for me. I can not get the free design places to work, and haven’t gotten any response for help on it. You can’t read it in the car, out on the patio, or in bed. (I don’t have a kindle or whatever)
    So given a choice of only one, I would want the printed on paper old fashion magazine.

    One question about the latest edition of DME,; according to the cover, page 6 is supposed to have 5 tips on monogramming. I seem to be missing it.
    My page 6 had BETWEEN FRIENDS, Eileen’s column, and references experts sharing their techniques but I could not find them.
    I found monogramming in a couple of articles but nothing I thought was the five tricks to improve monogramming. Can you point me to the right place?
    I do appreciate what Eileen and Nancy had done and are doing for machine embroidery and its enthusiasts. You set a pretty high standard. Please continue to good work.
    karen trott

  • Gail Beam

    Would love to have one of the new machines that uses a USB port or CD, or one with a larger hoop,, but I am stuck with my D1, which uses a floppy. I do like my D 1, but the new technology that is available with the new machines would be awesome to have!

    • Anita

      Hi Gail, Just reading the blog and saw your note. I too have a D1 with the floppy to transfer patterns. I drool over the new technology in the newer machines and see how nice the usb feature would be. I use Studio 3 for my software and it too is older. I don’t want to LEARN a new machine but think the software change is a must. There is soooo much out there I stay confused. Which one would fill my needs?? Do you have an opinon on software? And possably the new machines?

  • Mary Snyder

    It boggles the mind how the embroidery machine knows what to do, “How do they do that.?” Goes ditto for the printer. What amazing technology and minds that make it happen.


    Oh Brother

    Now there is a machine. I have the PR650 and would love to have the new 1000. Does anyone know the price?

  • Beverly Seibenhener

    I really prefer the USB connection to the embroidery machines rather than anything else. That way if I want to do the design on another of my machines, I can still do that and have a back up copy on the USB thumb drive.

    I don’t have Brother machines but I have used them at conferences, etc.

    I do enjoy your products and magazines.

  • Betsy

    Well, I am trying to learn how to use my new laptop and my new embroidery machine at the same time. Phew! Brain-freeze! Not a day goes by without me marveling at the advances in technology made in both machines. I have to admit, though, that I do get frustrated at times trying to figure them out and find myself talking out loud to these machines….just wish they would talk back and answer my questions!!! I guess that’s where DME comes in handy!

  • Doreen

    I use/have MasterWorks, Designer’s Gallery Studio III, Palette V5. I have found that is not as easy as they make it appear at their seminars. Even going through the manual and experimenting sometimes (most times) I can not get the software to do what they showed me it could do so easily. It’s very frustrating.

  • Anita

    Yes it can get a little ditzy, when you want to sew and you have to spend soooo much time at the computer first. I beleive all the gadgets have a mind of their own!
    Which of the software do YOU like to use best? I am looking at all of it out there, and am totally confused.

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