Really, it is, I didn’t make it up! And if I did, I would have never settled on just one month because it’s always National Embroidery Month here at Designs.
So why just one month? One month is for sissies; one month is for people who dabble in embroidery. The rest of us – well, every year is National Embroidery Year, this year might be the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit, but I vote for the Year of the Needle. And that’s a machine needle – thank you very much!
Oh I know, hand (that annoying four-letter word that seems to creep in everyone’s vocabulary) embroidery is making a comeback. But hand embroidery is really just the training wheels of embroidery. Once you’re hooked on that flying feeling, you’ll want to soar with a machine! Why? Once you’re hooked there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the embroidery projects you want to tackle by hand. Once you’re hooked, you want your work to look professional and last forever. Once you’re hooked, you’re absolutely blown away at what the digital world, your artistic skills and an embroidery machine can produce!
In order to get hooked, you have to give yourself permission to buy the right products (the proper tools really do make all the difference), make some mistakes, ask a lot of questions and experiment.
Let’s start with the right products. You need a decent embroidery machine that comes with education. So shop for a dealer that you enjoy visiting and buy your machine there. Get one at the top of your price range (every dollar brings more luscious features) with at least a 5” x 7” embroidery hoop, ability to rotate in 1 degree increments, on-screen editing, USB capability, baste feature and the trace feature. Test drive it, inquire about lessons at the dealer (machine intro lessons should come with your purchase) and then take it home and out of the box.
Once it’s home, hoop some fabric that you’re willing to part with and experiment. Stitch some of the built-in designs, move the design in the hoop and stitch it in a new location. Read the manual – really they’re written for a reason. Switch to a different type of fabric and stabilizer and see the difference. Make notes and refer to them later when you try to remember what worked and what didn’t.
It’s time to ask questions now that you’re familiar with your machine. So head to that intro class and ask away! Use the internet, search blogs, manufacturer’s and design company websites. There is a ton of information out there.
Keep experimenting – you’ll learn something new with every project and before you know it, you’ll be helping others enjoy this great hobby.
I think that’s what I love the most about this hobby, the participants are so sharing and kind to each other. I’m just back from leading a 2-day hands-on event in Atlanta. I can’t tell you how lovely the 84 attendees were. Each was so gracious to us (my Stitching Sister Marie Zinno and I), the staff at Discover Sewing and each of their tablemates. The attendees were blown away by the features on the Brother Quattro machine. That machine made the twelve (yep, 12) projects we created over two days absolutely flawless. Every challenge (such as funky fabrics – fur, vinyl, terrycloth and poor hooping techniques) was met with a user-friendly feature that solved any dilemma we put in front of it. Oh the fun we had in putting that machine through its hoops! Sorry – couldn’t resist!
What was the result? Eighty-four times twenty-one finished, flawless embroidery projects. That’s 252 projects! Now that’s an accomplishment. Try that with a hand needle!
So what are you stitching? You know, right now, today? I’m working on three projects – funky t-shirts, another trench coat by Indygo Junction (with that fabulous collar) and a sentimental wall hanging for my sweetie (in time for Valentine’s Day, I hope, I’m planning, I swear I’ll make the deadline).
Tell us what you’re working on and you could win a… Snap Hoop!
Last week we asked what colors you were using in your embroidery. The winner of Machine Embroidery with Confidence by Nancy Zieman and a set of Robison-Anton threads is…Brigitte Cowan!
She said…”I am using Sulky 561 for a redwork quilt for my mother. She loves antiques and I couldn’t think of a quilt that would be better than a redwork quilt. I love redwork, no thread changes, lol.”
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