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Embroidery Tips & Techniques

We want to know

We are a tiny team here at Designs.  We are committed to inspiring our readers – issue after issue.  We strive to come up with new ideas, inspiration, techniques and expert advice.  Since much of what I’ve learned about embroidery has come through trial and error, I know I still have a lot to learn so I lean on some folks who know way more than me. And they are a great resource for you too.

Our two wonderful experts are Deborah Jones and Scotty Goodman.

Many of you are familiar with Deborah Jones, Ask the Expert columnist. She’s the go-to person for tricky stabilizer/fabric/thread combo questions.  In fact, she wrote a book on that! But did you know she’s also an expert on many facets of embroidery including embroidery as a business?  She has a wealth of information to share regarding starting a home-based business, working with contract embroiderers on large jobs and pricing your embroidery.  Are these subjects you’re interested in?  Deborah is open to suggestions – after all, what’s the use of writing if no one is interested in your subject?

Scotty Goodman, Great Scott columnist, is our Dr. Oz. You can ask Scotty anything about the health of your machine and he’ll be happy to reply.  Isn’t it amazing the stuff people ask the real Dr. Oz?  Subjects they wouldn’t be comfortable talking about with their own doctor, they ask Dr. Oz (on TV, no less!). If there’s something you always wanted to ask your local dealer but didn’t have the nerve, then by all means, ask Scotty!  He won’t wonder what you were thinking when you tried to embroider on cork/wood/metal.  He’ll be happy to tell you why the results weren’t exactly what you hoped. 

So come on, tell us how to steer Scotty and Deborah.  They’d love to hear what the readers want to know!  Leave a comment and win a subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery.


Last week we wanted to know what you are working on.  The winner of Perfect Alignment Software is…Desiree!

“What’s in my hoop? I’ve been doing personalized beach towels for gifts, and t-shirts for myself. I found a great bath sheet at Costco that looks like a beach towel when embroidered with a “beachy” design. And I found some t-shirts that fit me wonderfully at Sam’s, only to find that they don’t have them anymore when I went back for more! Oh well, I should expect that from these places-here today, gone tomorrow!”

Congratulations, Desiree!




  • Cathy

    Would love to know more business tips, pricing info, niche markets and so on!

    • Deborah

      Thanks for your suggestions. I have a new column in Designs Magazine called for Love and Money. In Volume 68, I wrote about Niche Markets and in Volume 69, I wrote on Pricing. Keep checking out that column that will contain a total of six business topics. The latest? Sourcing blanks in Volume 71.
      Best regards,

  • Lynn Z from Calgary Canada

    Scotty: I am an avid embroiderer and love making presents for all my friends. Sometimes I have my embroidery machine busy from dawn till dusk. Is that too hard on my machine? Should I be turning it off and letting it “rest” every so many hours? It never complains, and just keeps on happily embroidering – but I sure wouldn’t want to wear it out. What do you suggest?

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Lynn, Most machines are designed for continuous use, but get a little “throaty” when they need their “Spa Treatment”. Funny sounds, registration problems and other adolescent tantrums are ample warning. Use the heck out of your machine. New features on future models may prompt your next purchase before wear ‘n tear take it’s toll.

  • Dale Fedor

    Scotty: how long can we expect to be able to get replacement parts for our machines (like I need a new cutter assembly on a Ult ’03)? Sure I would like a new machine but being retired & living off of social security, a new machine is not in my future.

    Deborah: how do we build the confidence to ask to be paid for our work? I make loads of gifts which everyone likes but I know EVERY little mistake or missed stitch and would hesitate on asking for money.

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Dale, While Brother has been an excellent resource for parts, my tea leaves cannot portend the future for replacements. When parts do run out, many dealers have a graveyard of old machines that can donate their organs to prolong the life of your “ULT”. The greater question is how long can you operate with floppy disks?
      Great Scott!

      • Deborah

        This is a very common concern, but I can assure you that the people who appreciate your embroidery aren’t just being nice. They don’t examine the embroidery like you do – they just enjoy embroidery as it’s meant to be enjoyed.
        These same people would find your work worthwhile to pay for. The challenge is not only to be confident to charge for your work, but also to be confident in the prices you are charging. Check prices of the professional embroiderers in your area and try not to let your uncertainty guide your pricing. In other words, your embroidery has value so don’t sell yourself short.
        My biggest tip – come up with a minimum price for names, initials and so on. Create a simple price guide for things you commonly embroider. Seeing it in print may help you when giving a price.
        Best of luck!

  • Peanut

    I love visiting the Designs in Machine Embroidery site. I always learn something new and see interesting projects. My only regret is that everything is available in the USA only and in order to get the products in Canada, I need to go through the hassle of customs and duty …… a Canadian supplier would be a welcome addition!

    • Eileen Roche

      I hear you, Peanut. Wish I had control over that!

  • Beth Rowan

    Deborah: If someone wanted to get into the business of digitizing embroidery designs, where would they start? What kind of things would they need to look to be able to do in the software, and how can you digitize to properly have designs stitch out in all of the different embroidery formats?

    Scotty: Where can a home enthusiast go to find out information about the reliability and useful life of different brands of embroidery machines? Not something that Consumer Reports normally covers!


    • Great Scott!

      Great question! Consumer reports never recommends the “Best”, only the “Best Buy”. CR would have more industry credibility if they included expert opinion in their rating.
      Durability is not an issue. Most machines will last for years. I am still servicing embroidery models that are 20+ years old. Here is the challenge: Cheap machines can be quite durable, but they may not handle fabric well or be otherwise challenging to use.
      Until there is a better method, find a local or regional dealer that you are comfortable with. They will listen to your needs and make recommendations based on your intent and desires. Specialty retailers (sewing machine stores) carry models that are not available on the internet or at mass retailers. Approximately 80% of existing embroidery models can only be sold by trained dealerships in a face-to-face environment. Take advantage of that.

      Great idea for a future column.

    • Deborah

      Dear Beth,
      Wow – I admire your desire to learn the art of digitizing. It’s a fascinating and rewarding area of our craft.
      Digitizing software could be compared to a hammer – it’s a tool. A hammer in my hands is certainly not going to create the same quality of bookcase as a master carpenter 🙂
      The same principle applies to digitizing. There are many good software packages that will do the job. The more important factor is the technique of the digitizer.
      Some features in higher-priced digitizing streamline processes that can be accomplished in more steps in lower-priced software.
      My best advice is to watch designs that stitch well on your machine and learn to identify why they run well. Study the path and order of the elements. Experiment with the settings by making stitched “charts” using simple objects created using different settings such as density, pull compensation and underlay types.
      You may be able to recruit testers who are willing to stitch your designs on a variety of machine types.
      Let us hear how you are progressing,

  • Edith

    I’m always looking for something easy/quick to make for 20-30 people, both men and women with no religious aspects…

  • Susan

    I would love to know the ins and outs of the embroidery business, legal as well as regarding the actual embroidery itself.

    I think knowing more about the embroidery machiens would be great, too. Especially if there was someone/somewhere one could read comparisons from an unbiased (i.e. not a dealer) person.

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Susan,
      Choosing a top-of-the-line machine is like purchasing a BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lexus. They have more similarities than differences and most users would be overjoyed with any choice. The differences are more subtle and can be overshadowed by dealer support (or lack of).
      Watch Volume 69 “Your NEXT Embroidery Machine” where I simplify available technology.
      While dealers may be biased, their bias (hopefully) is based on experience. While logical & pragmatic, independent raters do not seem to use relevant parameters. So our current choice is depth with bias vs. a meaningless rating.
      Maybe, one day, I can impanel a bias-balanced group that can offer insights.
      Great Scott!

  • Donna G.

    I’d like to know what Scotty and Deborah see as the future trends in embroidery and embroidery machines. I’m always amazed at the innovations, and just when I think I’ve “seen it all”, something new comes along!

    • Great Scott!

      When I look at early design samples, I marvel at how simple and cartoony designs looked. Today, I look at trendy ready-to-wear for inspiration.
      I hope to see more mixed-media, easier multi-hooping, cutwork, more compelling interface screens and intuitive controls.
      Wouldn’t a laser cutter be cool?
      Dream the dream with me. Send your wish list to [email protected]

  • Jean Cardinal

    I really need to know how to embroider really dense designs. My machine is an older one that uses floppy discs and cannot change the density of the designs, so what else can I do? I do have my machine cleaned and adjusted every year. I have tried different needles (brands, sizes, types), stabilizers, fabric, slowing the speed of the machine, changing the needles often, everything I can think of. I still get broken needles.
    I am using a Designer 1 and can’t afford to buy a new machine. I have sewn for more than 50 years, off and on.
    Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Deborah,
      Designer’s Gallery Studio Studio III with DensityWorks Tool Pack will solve the problem with ease. Software suites like Floriani can save your design based on the fabric that will be used.
      You can cheat by slightly enlarging your design.
      Good Luck,
      Great Scott!

  • Ruby Ridgeway

    I would like to know how to get back to the place I left off when machine is turned off , on embroidery machine. I got Debora’s book and have learned a lot. I am self taught on the embroidery machine and use all ideas. Thanks Ruby

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Ruby, Some models can continue after a power failure. All models feature a method that will step through the stitches; one, ten, hundred or more per step. Just keep pressing to the point you left off. When repositioning the design, save it in memory before sewing. If there is a power loss, your position will be retrievable, too.

    • Eileen Roche

      Ruby, sometimes disaster strikes and we have a woulda/coulda/shoulda situation. If your design was not saved in memory, you can still salvage the the embroidery. Take the hoop off of the machine but do not take the fabric out of the hoop. Go to your computer and print a template of the embroidery design on vellum. Place the template in the hoop aligning it with the actual stitched design. Tape it in place. Turn the machine on and retrieve the design. Place the hoop back on the machine and position the needle over the template’s crosshair, using the machine’s positioning keys. Remove the template. Advance through the design to the area that was stitched last. As you advance, keep your eye on the needle, it should be moving right over the stitches. Start stitching a few stitches before the last one that was placed.

      If the design is built-in and you don’t have a template of the design, use the same technique, eyeballing the needle as it moves through the design. You may have to reposition the design, advance through the stitches, verify the position and reposition again. It can be tricky but definitely do-able. The key is DONT TAKE THE FABRIC OUT OF THE HOOP. If you do, that’s an entirely different lesson!

  • Dee Bratcher

    Thank you for all the articles, sharing of projects, etc, now I just need to find more time in a day to work on all the things I see – can you help with that???

    Seriously – quick tips, streamlinging processes, shortcuts and things not to shortcut would be great to learn about.

    Looking forward to the next article!

  • Debbie R

    You have a wonderful magazine. What is the best way to bring in new customers? I need to grow my business. Pricing is another issue, We have these chain Embroidery stores come into the area and are practically giving away their embroidery. I can’t seem to complete with their extremely inexpensive prices. I’m sure these are challenges you have with your magazine as well.

  • Linda

    Could we have an article with detailed information on re-hooping a large design or even continuous designs using the hoops that come with the machine. Not all of us have the Magna Hoop Jumbo or Snap Hoop. Also perhaps some techniques where the stabilizer can be “patched” or even making a “window” in the stabilizer. Also quilting and piecing in the hoop seem to the new thing and more information on that would be helpful.


    • Eileen Roche

      Great idea, Susan. Look for that in a future issue. Continuous embroidery in standards hoops is a topic we’ve covered many times but never enough!

  • Susan

    Love your magazine! Would like to see your insight on embroidery business start-up. There are many sites that are out there but your information is always current and right on. I just purchased an Ellisimo (with limited embroidery experience I might add) and I have reaped the wealth of information you provide. Thanks for being there for creators like me.

  • Joyce

    Scotty, I have an older Babylock esente and just got a new computer with Vista. I am wondering if I can use the my computer to transfer my designs to my machine or do I need to upgrade the machine.

    • Great Scott!

      Hey Joyce,
      The 90’s called…they want their shoulder pads back.
      Seriously though, your machine is quite functional. You don’t have to upgrade.
      Baby Lock Palette software suite v9.0 or Palette Petite include a cardwriter and blank card. They work beautifully with your Esante and are Vista/Win7 compatible. Check with your local dealer about upgrading older software. That being said…Newer machines feature newer technology. Easier, faster, bigger, better, equals more fun, more productivity, less frustration.
      Embroider fantastic, today!

  • annie smith

    Hi Eileen–

    I’m trying to find a way to email you and can’t find your email address — so leaving a message here.
    I’m doing a review and giveaway of your book, today, and want to let you know so you can let your followers know and they can be a part of the giveaway too.

    Please email me at [email protected] so we can talk!


    • Eileen Roche

      I’m so excited to have Annie review my latest book, Machine Embroidered Quilting & Applique. Check out her review and leave a comment on her blog to win a copy of the book. Just click here - You’ll find a wealth of information!

      • Glenda Fowler

        I watched the video on the simplearts web site. I really enjoyed the review of your book. It contains a lot of useful information for machine embroidery.


    i just need to get BUSY.
    I always have stabilizer questions when trying to do a project out of a class. got a new bigger machine and it is NOT going to a class. had enough trouble getting it up to my sewing room. NOT doing it again. i will have to have my friend come show me how to do stuff or get the book out and read.

  • Eileen Roche

    You can do it JoAn. Just lock yourself in your sewing room, hoop some scrap fabric and get to know your machine. You’ll be comfortable in about 1 hour. Just take a design through some simple editing steps such as moving in the hoop, adding a basting outline, rotating, mirror imaging and merging two or more designs. Gain a little confidence and you’ll be ready to fly!

  • Brenda McNeil

    I too am new to machine embroidery. I have jumped right in and made many things – Pocketbooks, baby things, Totes for walkers. I know there is so much more to this than I realize. I love looking at designs and downloading them.. I am having some trouble opening them once I have downloaded. My PC got several virus’ and I am not sure if they came from any of the sites I downloaded from. I now have a MacBook and have to learn anew. Am SO looking forward to reading comments and learning from all of you, Any suggestions to a newbie about downloading and using designs?

  • Desiree

    I recently purchased the Brother 10-needle machine and am trying to start a business, so would love to have as much information as I can get. Pricing items is not easy. Everyone says it varies depending on where you live. I’m sure that’s true, but that doesn’t answer the question. I would like tips on how to get customers. I need to get this machine earning it’s keep!

  • Tracy

    I know several years ago what I paid for my, then, top of the line machine. There have been 2 more since then and will soon be a 3rd one “even better” on the market. What I have is a combo model for sewing and embroidery. I’m wondering… Why do the new machines cost to much? You have to get a second mortgage on your home to have the funds to purchase them now. If you have a fixed income- they are out of reach for most. I know technology makes the newer ones faster, easier, more features … What is it about them tho that means we have to pay so much more for them each time a new one appears?

    • Eileen Roche

      That’s a good question, Tracy. Off the top of my head, I would say the mere size of the new machines adds to the bottom line – more materials, more packing, more energy to ship around the world. And research and development is expensive. Its take hours and hours to design, test, redesign, perfect and then release new product. That process also involves many employees – again adding to cost.

      But I too would be interested in knowing if there are other factors I’m not considering adding to the increased cost. I’ll see what I can find out.

  • Froma sommers

    I am having so much fun with POSH PINCUSHIONS.

    • Eileen Roche

      Glad to hear it! They are adorable – Katherine Artines did a fine job with that book.

  • Janice

    You have a wonderful magazine, that is very helpful. I woulkd like to see help with rehooping larger designs. I’m sure there is more than one way to do it.

  • Debbie St. Germain

    I just found your blog from Annie’s link and I am glad I did.
    I have a creative vision and have not even attached my embroidery piece. I bought my machine and the store close, so I need to learn on my own. I will definitely be back to read through the posts and tutorials.


  • Alice

    Hi Scotty, I have a Baby loc Ellure Plus and it has been squeaking when I stitch. I am pretty sure it isn’t the carriage and that it is in need of oil but I can not find anything in my machines books on where or how to oil it myself and taking it to the shop is not an option right now. Can you tell me where I might find this info or give me some general direction on oiling these electronic machines? Alll of my other machines have all been from the stone age so not too much in the way of electronics to mess up.

    I appreciate any guidance.


    • Great Scott!

      Now slowly…reach to your bookshelf…and retrieve DiME Volume 68. My column Great Scott! features “Spa Treatment for your Sewing Machine”. These machines cannot be maintained correctly by the end user.
      If you do not have the issue, send me an email and I will forward a PDF. [email protected]
      Find a qualified technician at click on the dealer locator.
      Meanwhile crank up that iPod!
      Great Scott!

  • karin

    Hi, Scotty,
    I have a Babylock Ellegante & sometimes the buttons for auto-thread, needle up/down, & presser foot up/down, just all don’t work. I can turn it off & back on, still nuthin. The only way I’ve found to get them to work again is to leave it off overnight, or sometimes, hit the button for stopping with presser foot up & needle down (toggle it). What’s up with that??? I’ve had 2 different dealer repairmen check it out. Hubby suggested that maybe I overheated it (had been using it steadily for over 8 hrs first time it happened, but proved that wrong after it did it after only a couple hours use). Doesn’t happen just on embroidery, but mostly. THANKS!!!

    • Great Scott!

      Hey Karin,
      Try standing on one foot when you press that button and orient the machine in an easterly direction.
      Seriously though…Usually broken machines stay broken. We rarely find machines with intermittant problems which is why I have most of my hair intact.
      Have you been able to duplicate the problem with a technician present or does it occur when nobody else (qualified) is around?
      The button cluster is attached to a circuit board that connects to another board with a delicate cable. The button board may have issues, the cable or its connectors may be damaged.
      What may be less remarkable for this blog, but huge for normal people is 8 HOURS OF USE?!
      Please consider Baby Lock’s Enterprise- 10 needles!, or at least the Embroidery Professional 6 needle. Tell hubby that Great Scott thinks you deserve it!

  • Nancy

    I have a top of line Bernina and am intimidated to do much with the embroidery aspect. My dealer says tell me what you want to know and I’ll teach you, but I really don’t know where to start, as I’ve never had an embroidery machine before. Any suggestions?

    • Great Scott!

      Start with “Nancy”!
      Go through your closet and drawers. Pull items from your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in 2 years. These make great “test” garments. Be fearless, make mistakes, have fun. You have a fantastic creative tool.
      Part of the learning curve is proper stabilization. Ask if your dealer has an “Embroidery Club”. If not, help him start one. Interact with other kindered spirits.
      When you feel confident, send me a “Great Scott! polo shirt.
      You GO Girl!

    • Eileen Roche

      Hi Nancy, Great Scott has given you some great advice below but I would like to add my two cents. Get comfortable with your machine by practicing on scrap fabric. Start with 1/2 yd of felt – not bamboo felt, not hand-dyed, nothing special. Hoop it with tear-away stabilizer. Then select one of the gorgeous built-in designs on the Bernina 830. Choose a small one, say under 3″ x 3″. Refer to the manual to learn how to move that one design towards the top of the hoop. Stitch the design. Now find the mirror image key, touch it and move the design away from the first design. Stitch the design again. Now, rotate the design and move it again. By now, you’ve learned three crucial things – moving in the hoop (this is helpful when you want to place a design anywhere EXCEPT the exact center of the hoop), mirror imaging, and rotating.

      Next up, learn to merge mutliple designs into one hoop, like stitching the name, Nancy. Again, refer to your manual for retrieving one design and then adding others. By now, you’re comfortable with your machine. The next challenge is to get comfortable with machine embroidery.

      Now is the time to go to your dealer and ask for demonstrations on hooping properly and stabilizing fabrics. Then move on to embellishing worthy items – like wardrobe has-beens!

  • Sue Cubberley

    I am new to your blog. Found it from Annie Smith at Simplearts. What wonderful information. Will have to spend sometime reading all of the older posts.

    • Eileen Roche

      Welcome Sue! Make sure to subscribe to the blog so you can keep up with all current posts. We’re glad you’re here.

  • Ashta

    Eileen, I embroider and sew a lot for family but have been contemplating making items to sell at small venues like one of the local farmer’s markets or school craft bazaars. Although I’ve looked at items that are currently sold, I’m generally disappointed in the types of items, quality and price. Do you have any suggestions on what kinds of items sell well and the quality level this “perfectionist” should aim for?

    Great Scott, I have a Singer CE-100 that will no longer accept the small hoop (appx 4×6). The dealer/repair shop (certified by Singer) says this is very common for this machine after the first 2 years or so, and they haven’t been able to find a way to fix it. Although I have a lovely Viking Diamond, I’d like to sometimes have two projects going at the same time (is that addiction or what?!). Do you know if this problem is a common complaint for this machine and are there any fixes?

    Thanks to both of you for a wonderful blog!

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Ashta,
      The Futura sensor is of the “bent metal” design. A metal piece pushes against another two pieces of metal. When they make contact, your machine determines the hoop size. There is a ribbon cable attached to the sensor. If money is not an issue, the tech can replace all related parts. Stymied techs can contact Singer’s technical department for assistance.
      Good Luck,
      Great Scott!

  • Desiree Kumpf

    I recently bought the Brother 10-needle machine. I love it, but do miss being able to use the magna-hoop. I’m wondering if the snap hoop is similar to the magna-hoop and if it’s compatible with my machine? I see the Babylock 10-needle listed, so I imagine it would be, but asking to make sure. I have the Fast Frame hoops, but don’t always want to use sticky stabilizer. Also the largest Fast Frame hoop is about 7″x7″, so hoping there would be a snap hoop larger than that.

    Eileen, I just saw that I’m this week’s winner! Thank you! It doesn’t say if I’ll be contacted or if I’m supposed to contact you.

    • eileenroche

      Hi Desiree, Congrats on winning the Perfect Alignment Software. Amanda ([email protected]) should be emailing you to get your address. If you don’t hear from her- please send her an email.

  • Susan

    Hi Scotty:

    I own a Pfaff creative Vision and seem to be having issues with my thread shredding ONLY when using the embroidery unit.
    I’ve had it in for service on this issue and it was fine for a few weeks, but it is back again. The dealer is over one hundred miles away, so I was wondering if you had any ideas. Here are the changes I’ve tried: different needle sizes and kinds, different thread brands, different stabilizers, rethreading from the spool down to the needle.
    Thank-you for your help,


    • Great Scott!

      Hi Susan,
      I am working on a script for a new TV show, “CSI-Embroidery”.
      Shredding takes detective work. Assuming you are using quality thread and your needle is good, I would sew out a “built-in” design. If that design sews well, your problem, most likely, is density. Refer to the earlier post regarding “DensityWorks”. If the design still shreds, follow these steps:
      1. Drive 100+ miles.
      2. Let tech fix CreativeVision.
      Let us know what worked.
      Great Scott!

  • Leslie

    I am sewing a jacket out of black polyester crepe and stitched a large design (10 x 14) on the back piece using the brother PR1000. The first time I used no-show mesh and sticky stabilizer and had some puckers. My dealer told me not to use sticky stabilizer, just the no-show mesh and to hoop the fabric (someone else at the same dealer told me NOT to hoop this particular fabric, she also suggested I use armoweft and then no-show mesh). I did as she suggested AND hooped it and the puckering was worse. I stitched it out a third time using 2 layers of no-show mesh, hooped it tight, and it came out better but still puckered. The 4th time, I used 2 layers of no-show mesh, hoop grip, and tighted the hoop extra tight with a tool. The embroidery was beautiful until I cut away the extra no-show mesh 2 inches from around the design – it then puckered!! I have learned a lot in the process and I am going to use my attempts as a tote, pillow, and framed picture. But I still want a jacket back out of the crepe – is there anything I can do other than change fabrics and hope it won’t pucker too?

    • Eileen Roche

      Leslie, I’m impressed with your persistence! You didn’t say whether or not you used FUSIBLE no show- mesh. Fusible makes a world of difference. I would fuse the no show mesh to the wrong side of the fabric. Hoop the fabric with hoop grip. Slide a sheet of tear-away under the hoop (two sheets is okay too). But I dont know what design you are using so an added suggestion is to decrease the density of the design. I believe that’s a built-in feature on your new Brother PR10000. Good luck!

  • Lyn Hale

    I am an avid hand embroiderer as well as a machine embroiderer. I love visiting Designs in Machine Embroidery but I live in Christchurch New Zealand! We don’t see this magazine here & it does not seem possible to get it without paying customs duty etc; & in NZ dollars it is twice as much on the price. Any way of making it a digital magazine for the likes of us then we can download it – no postage no customs duty? Love all of the ideas & would love the magazine more!

  • Mary Coonts

    If you digitize a design yourself for sale or for free how do you protect your work? Is there a simple, inexpensive way to protect your designs?

    • Eileen Roche

      Oh Mary, that is the dilemna of the digital file, so easy to steal and share. There is no simple, inexpensive way to protect your designs that I’m aware of. Maybe some fellow digitizers would like to speak up and comment about this issue. if so, join the conversation.

      • Carol Seavitt

        Mary and Eileen — while I’m not a digitizer, I have researched this whole ‘copy write’ issue for designs. Bottom line — you can copy write your work and individuals MUST pay for the design. It is up to the digitizer to make sure the individual ‘purchases’ the right to use. If the purchaser then sells their ‘work of art’ with your design and has not purchased the design — then you have the right to sue. Big companies still go after the sellers even when they purchase the designs (Disney as an example). I haven’t investigated the cost of copy write — but this is the avenue to pursue. Hope this helps

  • Miriam Landers

    I would like Scotty to write an article on TRUE and FALSE things regaring our sewing machines. Like when using metalic thread do you really need to the the spool/cone of thread quite a distance from the machine. Should you or shouldn’t you use Sewers Ease on metalic/unruley thread with our top of the line embroidery machines. How often should you oil your machine. After how many hours of sewing should you get your machine serviced? It seems like everytime I take a class/seminar I hear different information.

    I would love to see Deborah write an article on tips and tech’s for continous machine embroidery.

    • Great Scott!

      Hi Miriam,
      Great Idea! Reminds me of “Truth or Dare” from middle school.
      I have heard wacky fables that become fact after postings in discussion boards make them into truths. Some of the concepts are highly subjective; what works with one brand or model is nonsense with another.
      Regarding service: See DiME V68 “Spa Treatment for your Sewing Machine”.

      NOTE TO ALL: Send your dubious claims & curoiusities to [email protected] I will try to validate or debunk them in a future article.

      P.S. MAGNETS WILL NOT HURT YOUR EMBROIDERY MACHINE!!! They may, however, erase data on your old-school 3.5″ floppy disks.

  • Carol Seavitt

    Question for Deborah or Scotty — I’ve been looking for compatibility of hoops. Currently I have a Viking Designer Diamond and would love to know where to purchase ‘different’ hoops (i.e., sock, hat). But I’m not finding them anywhere on-line for my machine.

  • Great Scott!

    Hi Carol,
    SnapHoops & MagnaHoops may save the day, but dream the dream with me…
    Baby Lock & Brother multi-needle machines can embroider a cap correctly. The Designs in Machine Embroidery Quick-Snap frame makes socks, baby onsies, pockets, gloves and other impossible item into professional quality products.
    6 needles 8″x12″ field, auto jump-stitch trimming.
    10 needles 14″x14″ field, optical recognition.

    Go for it!

  • alayna

    I would love to know more about starting a home-based embroidery business as well as tips for hooping things quickly and correctly. I would also love ideas for embroidery for adults – there is a lot of things for kids/babies, which I love, but I would like to do some things for me and my friends – beyond tea towels!

  • Diane Stump

    I would like to know more about the process of machine embroidery from start to finish. I am new to the craft and would greatly benefit from a video course. If one is already available, please direct me to it. Thanks.

  • Marilyn Mason

    I contracted MRSA in Jan 2008, and slowly am relearning my embroidery machine. I am doing good, considering the doctors didn’t know what kind of quality of life I would have afterwards. (3% chance of living). So, I love reading what everyone is doing with their “stuff”, but occasionally a basic thing that will really look impressive would make me and new to embroidery machine owners look really smart! I keep my magazines and would pour over them in the hospitals and rehabs and think “one day”… But some of the rehooping and so forth are a little advanced right now. I hear my shopping area is getting a new Brother dealer so I hope to take some refresher classes and “catch up”. I have very talented friends that I can call on for help and I encourage everyone to get with a network of quilting/sewing/embroidery buddies that will answer questions and show you hands on if you don’t get it right away. So, I don’t know if this really answers your question, but I thank you for your inspirations and your advertizers area a quideline for exploring. The more advanced ideas give me a place to “shoot” for. Thank you.

  • Barbara

    I had an interesting conversation with my husband last night after I finished venting about the trials of being a Mac user in a PC embroidery environment. He commented about the thousands of dollars worth of great machines and my seemingly endless frustration with something or other that doesn’t work — and the need for a computer science degree to manage most of the electronic products on the market today. The truth is that at least 80% of my problems come from the person siting in front of the machine. What I would love to see is a table of the issues that many hobbyists experience that aren’t covered in the owner’s manual, sort of an “Embroidery Problem-Solving for Hobbyists.”

  • Janice Beitz

    I would like to see reviews by experts on various types and brands of stabilizers and the best uses for each.

  • Patricia Chambers

    I want to know how to use Burlap in embroidery. I have a daughter-in-law that made some curtains for her kitchen and used for part of them burlap and I told I would try to make a runner for her nine foot table. How hard would it be to use burlap?

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