Search here...
Embroidery Tips & Techniques

Machine Features Everybody Needs

Eileen Roche Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen Roche Machine Embroidery BlogLast week, I shared an overview of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons. You can watch the two-part Sewing with Nancy series online here or check your local PBS listings.

When Nancy and I were creating the series, I delved into the basics of machine embroidery and found that the better the tools, the easier the process. So let’s start with our biggest tool – the machine. That doesn’t mean you have to buy the top-of-the-line machine to enjoy machine embroidery but you should arm yourself with basic machine features. When you’re looking for a new embroidery machine make sure it has an adequate sewing field, simple design transfer, trace, rotation, mirror image, baste and stitch advance features.

1. A 5” x 7” Sewing Field. I know, I know, I hear you. A 5” x 7” sewing field costs so much more than an entry level 4” x 4” machine!  You’re right; it is definitely a step up in price but worth every penny.  Ninety percent of embroiderers outgrow their 4” x 4” hoop about six months after they purchase the machine. Now they’re stuck with a machine that’s not easy to trade-in or sell online and that can be frustrating. So, go ahead, splurge a bit and treat yourself to a larger sewing field.

2. Design Transfer. Hmmm, I know a few popular machines allow design transfer via a computer link only. I don’t know about you, but my sewing room is pretty crowded.  I really don’t have an extra square foot of space for a laptop or desktop computer on the same table as my embroidery machine.  So I really love the flexibility of writing to a simple medium – such as a USB stick – from my laptop (which may be parked in another room!). To me, this just simplifies the task.

USB Design Transfer

3. The Trace Feature. Remember how your mom used to cringe when you jumped into a pool or lake without checking the water below you. Well, that’s the feeling I’m trying to avoid when I use the trace feature. The trace feature allows you to position the needle in 10 different locations within the sewing field. This is very helpful when attempting to achieve specific placement on an item. For instance, it you are positioning a monogram above a pocket, select the bottom center point to make sure the design will not actually stitch on the pocket. Selecting the right and left bottom points verifies the design will sit squarely above the pocket. After all, your mother was right – always check the water below before jumping in.

For continuous embroidery, the trace feature is priceless. When you’re connecting a second design to a previously stitched design at the top of the sewing field, for instance, selecting the top three trace positions will show you the designs will (or will not) connect. You can make positioning adjustments before stitching the designs.

4. Rotation. Do not go home with a machine that does not have the ability to rotate a design in one degree increments. Really, do not buy that machine because a machine that doesn’t rotate in one degree increments expects you to hoop PERFECTLY SQUARE every single time. For heavens’ sake, are you kidding me? That’s a beginner’s machine?  I don’t think so, do yourself a favor, save some gray hairs and premature wrinkles and get a machine that spins the designs in one degree.

5. Mirror Image. The mirror image feature is often overlooked because we take it for granted. But without it, many embroidery layouts look very unprofessional. Make sure your new machine has this feature.

Mirror Image Feature Example

6. Baste or Fix Feature. We’ve all been told to hoop everything, in an actual hoop. During the courting stage of your relationship with your machine, you will hoop everything. You’ll place a piece of fabric with stabilizer between the inner and outer rings of your standard embroidery hoop. Then you’ll get confident and you’ll want to embroider something that won’t actually fit in a hoop. So you’ll get creative and use spray adhesive, sticky stabilizer or a magnetic hoop insert. And you’ll press start on the machine, turn around to answer the phone and POP goes the fabric. You didn’t think it would ever happen to you but it did and it will happen again. So use the baste feature, it’s a stitched box around the design that holds your fabric to the hooped stabilizer. It’s like insurance, once you need it, you’re so glad you have it.

Baste Feature

7. Stitch Advance. Stitch advance gives you freedom – freedom to sail through a design and skip colors, freedom to go back and restitch some stitches (don’t ask why, you’ll learn soon enough) Oh okay, here’s why. The thread broke; the sensor didn’t catch it and either did you. But you notice the cute little kitty cat you just stitched is missing an eye. Hmmm…as long as it’s still in the hoop, you can go back and restitch that segment.  Now your kitty is perfect!

Stitch Advance Feature

In Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons, you’ll find a handful of exercises that focus on these basic features. You’ll learn how each feature simplifies the embroidery process, helps in hooping technique and results in gorgeous embroidery.  Back to basics has never been more fun!


Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us your embroidery resolution for 2013. One lucky winner will win a $25 gift certificate to spend on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Get back to basics! Check out the special featuring Eileen and Nancy and let us know how the 6 step process has helped you – or what extra step do you add in your process? One lucky winner will receive a copy of Eileen’s new book Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons.

And the winner is… “I am getting married in June 2013 and I plan on doing several machine embroidery projects for my wedding. The projects will include the vintage inspired dress I plan on making and the linen napkins that I will use as part of my reception decorations. The new series and accompanying book by Eileen and Nancy will be perfect for me as I am a complete novice at machine embroidery, but not sewing. The placement ruler looks awesome! Something I will defintely try!” – Terry

Congratulations Terry on your upcoming wedding and being chosen as our winner! We hope you’ll share some photos of your beautiful wedding projects.




  • Donna Street

    I want 2013 to be filled with machine embroidery time. I have 2 great grand-daughters under 2yrs old and I want them to have beautiful things to wear and hopefully treasure enough to save for generations to come. My plan is to do at least one project a week this year.

  • Peggy Schroeder

    Hi Eileen, I think one of my resolutions for 2013 is to go back and read/study the books that came with my embroidery machines. I have been doing embroidery for years, but there is a LOT I don’t know, or have forgotten, so I want to become more informed with what the machines can do, and the proper way to do it. Especially my six needle Babylock. There is so much to learn, and it seems the older I get, the more I have to study to retain what I have read. The other main resolution I have is to get my house cleaned, purged, and get rid of stuff I don’t use anymore. Once that, and my taxes are done, I can spend the rest of the year locked away with my machines with NO guilt over what I am neglecting. Hope you and Pete have a great New Year.

    • eileenroche

      Thanks Peggy! Happy New Year to you, too!

  • Dell

    For 2013, I plan to make some embroidered items for myself rather than always giving them away.

  • Pamela Wall

    For 2013, once I get my arm out of the sling/cast, I need to really get to work on my embroidery. I feel as though I start over from scratch every time I sit down to work. I wish my machine had the USB stick, but I won’t be able to afford that for a while. My other task needs to be to organize the designs I have! Well, that should keep me busy until 2014.

  • Penny

    I would like to embroider at least one design from each design set that I have already purchased.

  • Jill Turner

    My resolution is to get my sewing studio in a better working order so I can be more productive. Then I hope to take all type of embroidery classes so I LEARN, LEARN AND Learn more. I resolve to put what I learn into practice.

  • Gail Beam

    I just got a Simplicity tape maker machine and I need to learn how to use it and organize my many bolts of material and trim.

  • Jean

    I am trying to use my embroidery machine at least 5 times a week in 2013. I do use iT frequently anyway, bit wa yet to explore new tecniques and projects, starting with a quilt from the book “Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique” I bought from your website.

  • Lola Gerhard

    My resolution is to finish the Christmas items I didn’t get done last month, and to finally install the three upgrades I purchased for my machine. Then I will move on to starting my 2013 birthday and Christmas gifts.

  • Terrie Underwood

    I vow, in 2013, to finish every embroidery project I start! I have a cabinet full of various projects, in different stages, that all need finished. I get so excited about all the beautiful designs, projects, ideas, threads and fabrics, that don’t seem to finish half of what I start.

  • Barbara Rowlan Wong

    2013 I hope to finally learn to use my Babylock Ellegante and my Palette soft wear in a more productive way. Somehow I always seem to be in a rush to do a particular project and never have the time to really make it work for me as well as I know it can.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

  • Barb Miller

    I would really like to sew for my new granddaughter. Baby clothes are so small and are really tough. I’m looking forward to her getting a little bigger so clothes are easier to sew.

  • Carol Keeler

    I plan on organizing my sewing room within an inch of it’s life. It’s had its own way long enough! I want to be able to walk into the room and be able to immediately get my hands on those special fabrics for my embroidery projects, my blanks and those extra spools of embroidery thread! I also want to try not to line up two or three other projects before I have a chance to finish what I am working on at the time. Having such a long list in front of you is frustrating! Sounds like a worth while plan to me!!!

  • Donna G.

    I have two resolutions. One is to use the built-in designs and frames that are in my embroidery machine. I have thousands of stand alone designs and often overlook these great built-ins! The second is to start, and finish, Eileen’s quilt class in Craftsy. It looks like loads of fun! Happy New Year!

    • eileenroche

      Hi Donna! Thanks for joining the Craftsy class – it’s loads of fun over there!

  • Rita Dougherty

    I have 3 resolutions, Lola and Terrie’a, to finish Christmas gifts and other unfinished projects, and Barbara’s, to really learn the programs I have and enjoy the benefits. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this world. ggg

  • Pat Sneary

    I have several embroidery projects that I didn’t get finished last year. One is a small quilt for my little grandson that has his name and the date embroidered on it. Looks like I will have to redo this block with a new year. I plan to work on these before starting any more new ones. Maybe in 2013 I will be more organized!

  • Berenice

    I resolve to spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day embroidering or sewing something and to finish at least one project a week. And to thank my mommy after every project for helping me to buy my magic machine that does all the above and more. I further resolve to start earlier on projects so I am not stressed trying to finish something for the birthday party that starts in one hour…

  • Lynn Leusch

    I have owned my machine for a little over one year and would like this to be the year that I learn more about the functions of my machine. I feel that I sometimes won’t work on a project, because I am afraid of hurting my machine or not know what to do if it gets tangled, etc. I want to learn about stitch adjustments to the different kinds of fabrics, etc, learn about when to use the different kinds of stabilizers and I have purchased the PE design NEXT program and would like to learn how to use it; however I know that, that has a very large learning curve. In essence, I want to spend more time learning about my machine and making more projects…Learn by doing.

  • Shirley

    My plan is to start my Christmas projects now and work on them throughout the year so I am not so stressed when the Holiday season is in full swing. I also plan on making some things for myself instead of giving it all away. This year will be my first experience with a block-of-the month applique quilting project which I think will be lots of fun@

  • Sue Winnie

    Really am planning got get a new machine. My ellegante has been well loved and used but I like the newer features. I might even go to a brother Quattro. I’ll see prices with tax returns

  • Ginger Combs

    Hi, and Happy New Year! I am resolving to NOT dispose of thread on the floor, but to put it in a container next to my machine. I have had to cut the threads from my vacuum cleaner too many times. You’d think I would have learned sooner. Also, I would like to start my Christmas sewing now for December 2013.

    • eileenroche

      Oh Ginger, I despise that vacuum cleaner thread removal task! Boy I wish there was a better way…

    • Leila

      Use the leftover “edge” of sticky stabilizer///it will pick up the threads and that little bit of leftover stabilizer has been “recycled”.

      • Elizabeth Ochs

        There is a product on the market that is used to remove pet hair from furniture. It is put out by scotch .just us it on t6he carpet before you vacuum and there will be no threads


  • FashionedByRose

    My resolution is to use my machine that cost $800 and doesn’t have some of those features for more than sewing and the occasional embroidery.

  • Bonnie

    I need to learn more about the features of my embroidery software. I also need to use up materials I already have on hand before buying more.

  • Elizabeth McRoberts

    I plan on teaching my twelve year old grand daughter quilting and machine embroidery. I have five beautiful grand daughters and I am determined one of them will carry on my love for quilting and machine embroidery.

  • Barbara

    I am awed by everone’s resolutions! Mine are simple — learn a new embroidery machine feature every week, make projects that are useful as well as ornamental, and share what I know with the next generation. Happy New Year!

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    I plan to work through the books that came with my software and really learn how to use the program more fully.

  • Barbara Kratz

    I plan to spend a week organizing my sewing room which is in a state of disarray and then catching up on my unfinished projects from 2012 before starting new ones. Also I am resolved to learn how to use my software, Embird. So I can accomplish more on my machine in the new year.

  • Ginger

    Hi Eileen, I just signed up for the Craftsy class “The Machine Embroidery Quilt” and just also ordered the 2 snap hoops. Am planning on getting a couple or more of quilts done in the hoop this year! Always doing something for somebody else, and this year I plan do these for ME! I can use all the books and classes I can get to help me with the learning techniques that goes with the embroidery and quilting world!

    • eileenroche

      Happy New Year, Ginger and welcome to the Craftsy class. It’s a terrific platform for learning.

  • Stephanie Warhurst

    My resolution for 2013 is to make more time for embriodery on my sewing machine! I am setting up my room so that I can do it more and not have to move around. I want to make my aunt some type of pillow, my uncle passed away on Christmas eve after spending several days in hospital, then she had a heart attack, she is getting better but I want her to feel great…so something for her!

  • Donna F

    my resolution for 2013 is to take inventory of what I already have. Collect it all in one place and use it. I have been collecting designs and supplies and blanks and whenever I go to make a project I have to buy things I already have because I can’t find them. So inventory and organization are the words for 2013.

  • Pam

    I plan to complete all my pending sewing/embroidery projects started in 2012. Hopefully this is possible since I retired from my full time job in December.

    • eileenroche

      Congratulations on your retirement, Pam.

  • Susan J

    Just do more with machine embroidery! Use my thread and design stashes. Look for opportunities to try embroidery in different projects. I look forward to this blog and Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine to inspire me to keep this resolutions. Thanks for all the help in 2012!

    • eileenroche

      You’re welcome, Susan – we love what we do and are honored to share it with some many embroiderers!

  • Beth R

    My resolution is to complete one project every month, trying something new on every other one. Ha – we’ll see!!

  • Jane Scott

    My resolution is to try continuous embroidery, and continue to use up my fabric stash

  • Donna K

    My resolution is to learn how do digitize in the hoop quilt blocks so I can piece on my embroidery machine.

  • Melissa

    Unfortunately, 2012 was so busy that I barely used my poor machine and I sure missed her! So my resolution is to reunite with my old friend and collaborate on all sorts of projects!

  • Brenda

    My resolution for 2013 is to go back and start from the basics and review my processes. I have been in business since 1994 and so much has changed over the years. I feel like through the years we have skipped over details. I want to get back to all the details and do more tracing before I stitch out the designs. I also want to try and sew out more of my designs in different mediums. The look of a design on different mediums can change the entire look.

    Thank you so much for the great blog and suggestions you have! I LOVE trying new things and thinking in new ways instead of getting in a rut. Thank you so much again for your time and expertise!

  • Sue Duisenberg

    I want to spend time embellishing clothing. I seem to steer myself away from embroidering on ready mades–fear of ruining the item. but if I don’t try, I won’t know the possibilities. I see what you do….

  • Rebecca Grace

    My embroidery resolution for 2013 is to REALLY get to know my digitizing software, beyond the basics that were covered in the dealer’s mastery classes. I need to go through the whole manual, one chapter at a time, and then take the time to put what I’ve read into practice — before it seeps right out of my head!

  • Jan in SoDak

    My resolution is to stitch out samples of different stabilizers and fabrics. I don’t do enough embroidery to always remember what combinations work best and then I just end up guessing, which doesn’t always work out so well!

  • Susan Novak

    In 2013 I hope to embroider, sew, or plan projects every day. Even if it’s only 5 min. I also hope to make Christmas gifts all throughout the year, rather than wait until Nov.-Dec. Happy New Year.

  • Carolyn Goodworth Ford

    For 2013 I resolve to take pictures of my projects and put them in a scrapbook. Many of my projects are gifts for family and friends, so I would like to have a record of the projects I did during the year. Sometimes I forget all the things I’ve done (does that mean I’m getting older?). I love the inspiration I get from the magazine and the Sewing Sisters Semniar.

  • Teresa Wright

    I plan on finishing all of my started projects this year. That includes making curtains and drapes for my home. Embroider on the purses and totes that I have started. My grand childrens birthday presents. Too many too list.

  • Jane

    I’m going to get to know my machine. I wish I had known about your blog before I bought a machine. (I am one of those who got an entry level machine) I wish I had a bigger area to use.

  • Carol

    My machine has so many stitches of which I will explore in 2013. Organize of course and continue to learn from Designs. Love your blog and Happy New Year.

  • Linda Turner

    Happy New Year! This is a time to make some resolutions to improve my life and my sewing enjoyment. I always get inspired when I read Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog. Like everyone else, I know about the things she talks about but I don’t always follow thru with trying new things. I want to learn how to do borders this year. I have a Baby Lock Ellegante II and I have gotten some updates on it but I still don’t understand how to position borders to make them blend seamlessly when I move my hoop. I have a darling little granddaughter and I want to put borders on some little dresses! Wish me luck! I know Eileen has some done some lessons on this I will review and try…I promise!
    Thanks again for a fun and educational blog! Linda

  • LeAnne L

    I am definitely going to do more ME. I didn’t get much done in 2012. What a waste of a year.

  • Kathy Van Klaveren

    Since I am becoming a first time Grandma in April, I am working on my grandson’s quilt. I plan on learning to quilt the layers together with designs on my embroidery machine.

  • Sherrie

    I hope to finally get continuous borders or designs down pat. I have not conquered it yet with the hoops that came with my Janome MC 11000. I will practice weekly and hope to conquer it by year end. I love your to watch all of your embroidery videos as I learn so much from them. Thanks for you hard work that we all benefit from.

  • Dee

    I resolve to learn one new technique each month. Your blogs definitely are inspiration. And being a learner, who knows, maybe it can be more than one a month!

  • Denise Z. G.

    My resolution is to put everything back into its place while working on any project in the newly re-organized sewing room. It’s especially important as it is now also a guest room.

  • Gale Reynolds

    My resolution for 2013 is to use my embroidery machine to make quilts and baby stuff for my new Grandbaby due some time in August

  • Marsha Nelson

    My plan is to embroider quilts, dish towels etc. and put them away for my grandchildren when they get married. I also want to learn to use my machine to it’s full capacity this year. And I want to keep my sewing room organized. When I sew I forget about everything else and when done with one project, go to the next. I need to remember to clean up in between. Well, now that I’ve confessed, I hope that I am not the only one that does this. LOL

  • Jackie

    My resolution-to be able to find (detailed or step-by-step) in-depth instructions for the software PE Design PLUS. I’ve attemped several times to clearly understand the instruction book. Sometimes I’ve been confused, causing minor fustration but other times, I’ve been very sucessful and have completed beautiful projects. I’m hoping for more tips and tricks somewhere and I’m always open for suggestions.

    • Judy G

      I, too, would like to find more detailed instructions for my PE Design Next software, preferably following along with some step-by-step projects that carry you from simple to more complex. I would like to see some step-by-step projects for my Quattro 2 sewing/embroidery/crafting machine as well, even if I have to purchase online instruction classes. BROTHER Inc. are you listening?

  • Jacque

    I want to organize my sewing room and I want to try new things in 2013.

  • Connie W

    My 2013 embroidery resolution is to start embroidering personalized gifts for next Christmas, right now, so that I am not stressed out at the last minute, trying to get them done!

  • Beverly

    I plan to finish all the embroidery quilts I have started over the years!

  • Nancy Owens

    I want to take Eileen’s Craftsy Class! And finish the project that comes with it!

    • Chris

      HI, I purchased the craftsy class over 6 months ago, and really want to start it to learn all the great techniques

  • Eileen

    My plan for 2013 is to finally start learning how to use the embroidery feature on my seven month old embroidery/sewing machine. I have had one son and his three children living with me for the past fourteen months and the room to sew in and the time to learn a new skill has been severely hampered. They finally have moved on into a wonderful situation, and I can FINALLY learn how to use my machine!! Yahoo!!!

  • Judy G

    I hope to learn how to use more of the features on my 1-year new Quattro 2 sewing/embroidery/crafting machine by making embroidered and embosssed quilts for members of my family. I recently purchased a new Magna-Hoop which I have already found immensely helpful in reaching this goal. I love the way machine embroidery looks on the front and on the back of my current quilt project!

  • Lilia Orozco

    hmmm … my hope is to first finish, one by one, my unfinished projects and then I plan to go through the manual that came with my machine because I know I will learn so many new things that will help me to be better at sewing and embroidery!

  • Cathy

    My Embroidery Resolution for 2013 is to finally make, with embroidery a wall quilt for myself. I have made several for donation quilts, but would like one to keep for myself.

  • Donna N.

    To finish at least one UFO a month! Many are embroidery ones.

  • Sharon Stoehr

    I’ve been machine embroidering for my grandson and now I am getting a new granddaughter. My Embroidery Resolution for 2013 is to make all the cute girlie designs I have and haven’t been able to use yet!!! Can’t wait.

  • Donna Tomlinson

    In 2013 I want to learn to use my MagnaHoop which I bought and haven’t used yet. I also want to do a machine embroidered quilt like one from Hoopsisters or one from the Stipple series.

  • Karen

    I have some ufo’s I want to finish. I cleaned my fitting room today. I have some design sheets to file,than need to clean up some of my sewing room also. I want to do some things for myself.

  • Fay Engel

    My 2013 Sewing Resolution is to increase my embroidery business. It has been growing every year with repeat customers, but I would like to get new ones. I have the Babylock 6 and 10 needle. I would, also, like to build up a huge inventory of embroidered items and enter craft shows next Fall

    • eileenroche

      Go for it Fay! One easy way to increase your sales is to remember MacDonald’s famous line, “Do you want fries with that?” Whenever one of your customers orders an embroidered polo shirt, ask if they need a hat to go with it. Or a tote bag to go with a monogrammed beach towel. I’m sure you’ll find a ton of items to tack on to an order.

  • Ann

    I want to actually use my embroidery machine more in 2013.
    I have a new grand daughter and want to make somethings for her.
    Also I want to perfect embroidering necklines.

  • Lulie Felder

    Loved reading the important functions our embroidery machines should
    have. I have the Brother 8500 which seems to have most of them. Can anyone tell
    Me all the needed ones it does not have? I can baste using a basting pattern for the 4 x 4
    And the 5 x 7. Thanks, Lulie

  • Lulie

    My resolution is to use my embroidery machine to
    Do more monograms this year – for me and for others!

  • Cassandra

    I plan to finish the unfinished projects, work towards learning to use my software and using it. I would love to do some of the projects in the magazine, but don’t own some of the products needed to accomplish them. How can the projects be done without some of the products; can’t afford everything.

  • Kris Rieger

    I am making a resolution to use my embroidery machine this year. I work a lot of hours and don’t get a lot of time to sew. I purchased a brand new Elissimo last spring and haven’t even used the embroidery unit yet. I have so many designs but haven’t had the time. I vow to make the time. I’m considering signing up for a monthly embroidery club at my local sewing store. It is an embroidery in the hoop club/class that meets monthly. I feel this will get me to use my machine at least once a month. Sounds like a lot of fun.


  • obimom

    Goal one – live each day to it’s fullest. Two – work my way through all those unfinished projects. Three – Make time for new learning experiences. Lastly – have fun and enjoy every day.

  • Pamela Black

    I donate a lot of the stuff I make.
    I am going back to the basics and try everyone of these Lessons, so that I won’t have to do the embroidery 2 or 3 times.
    I want to remember to use the Baste and fix Feature the most. Because one of them jumps out of the hoop no matter what I have been doing!

    These are really good lessons.

  • Susan Slovinsky

    Hoping to finally finish all the UFOs

  • Karen

    For 2013 I have decided to go back through my extensive collection of Designs in Embroidery magazines and pick 2 projects from each issue to make each month. This approach should broaden my experience with embroidery and have me sewing projects that I have admired for years, but just never got around to making.

    I have my first 2 picked out and am gathering the supplies needed…

    • eileenroche

      Great idea – there are a ton of ideas in every issue of Designs! I’m always amazed at the techniques our writers come up with…

  • tammy

    I resolve tonactually.make the projects from the Craftsy classes I purchased- Machine embroidered quilt and Stupendous Stitching.

    • eileenroche

      You can do it Tammy!

  • maureen mcgraw

    Resolved 2013- Complete at least one UFO each month, expand my horizons by learning/trying a new embroidery technique/sewing technique each month and most important always find the time to use my emboridery machine that I do love on a regular basis each week. Sewing/embroidery is my mental health therapy. Love your blog. Maureen

  • Eunice

    My resolution is to actually stitch out Eileen’s quilt in the Craftsy class. Great class, extremely informative, now I need to actually do the work! After that, I want to work through Eileen’s bucket list. There are ome great ideas, and I think I will learn so much.

    BTW, great post, Eileen on choosing an embroidery machine. So true, and wish I would have had that 2 years ago.

  • Carole Baker

    I am going to embroider at least 100 different designs of the zillions I have purchased over the years because “I had to have them”. Part of that will be Eileen’s Craftsy class I got myself for Christmas. The other’s will just be random sew outs that I will place all together at the end. I’ll let you know what I come up with. So far, I’ve done a few!

  • nancyB

    i plan to explore more machine embroidery this year and to put a design of lots of things until I am comfortable with the process.. A little embellishment goes a long way on any garment or accessory.

  • Linda

    Happy New Year 2013! My machine embroidery resolution is to embroider at least one Christmas gift each month. That way I won’t have to spend Christmas morning finishing my last minute creations!

    • eileenroche

      I love that idea, Linda! I wonder if I would actually keep to that schedule….hmmm

  • Carol Howell

    My resolution is to embroider more for myself and my family, than I do for others. Sounds pretty crass, but I have 6 beautiful grand children and they need more embroidery items and decorations on their clothing.

  • Bernice Keller

    I have such a long list of what I want to accomplish this year. I hope to get even a fraction of it done. I, too, want to re-do my space to make it more attractive and efficient. I also want to organized designs so I can spend more time sewing instead of looking. And I want to finish all the protects I have started. But the most important of all, I hope to spend more time with my granddaughter teaching her the joys of sewing.

  • Kathy

    My major embroidery resolution this year is to back up my designs more frequently-like bi-weekly. And to try to organize them somehow. And once they are organized, I will try to use some of them.

  • Paule-Marie

    My resolution is to embroider more. I have a wonderful machine that can do almost anything and I simply have not used her to her full capacity. Now that I am retired and the house is almost done, I should have more time to practice.

  • Karen Jautaikis

    My resolution is to tackle using my 360 x 350 hoop that I have had for five years collecting dust.

  • Carolyn H

    Embroider more! Start with a Designer handbag by Nancy Z. & Eileen.

  • Susan DeWitt

    I did better this year, with only 3 projects left unfinished for Christmas. Have 2 little granddaughters (3 and 4 yrs old) and their clothing is sized correctly for my current fabric stash.
    1)I really need to learn to master my Generations software and use some of the designs I have downloaded.
    2)organize my downloaded designs (so I can find/use them easier)
    3)need to find machine to work with my laptop which works to download files/designs to my ULT on discs– wish it had a flashdrive option…. buying a new embroidery machine is NOT an option

  • Maggie Cooper

    My resolution, well its never make new years resolutions, but in 2013 I’m hoping to get more new Janome software users beyond go, actually create designs for myself AND stitch them for me. Really give my new Tajima Evo a good workout and who knows even finish a few UFOs. I used to write lists of things to do, but somehow nobody else read them, amazing how people think because your retired you have nothing to do, so they try to find you things to do. I have so much to do I feel bad telling my freinds, I’m sorry I just dont have time to spare, so please dont find me things to keep me busy, I’m busier now I’m retired than I ever was when I worked full time.
    I digitise, sew, make garments, draft flat patterns, embroider (machine) teach digitising, crochet, hand knitting, I machine knit, do the odd bit of domestic chors. Sigh, cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping all eat up my precious play time, and aas I get older time seems to pass faster than the speed of light.

  • beth daniels

    My 2013 resolution is to do more machine embroidery projects on my machine. It is not as new as the Babylocks mentioned here, but I can do a 4/4 hoop and a 5×7 hoop, even a 21/2 x 2 1/2 hoop. I bought a catalog software and I need to get my designs in catalog order. I vow to do that in 2013 for sure. I am using one the designs given away free in one of your magazines to do a Christmas present for next year.

  • Cathy Martin

    I will embroider because I love it so much. I won’t leave a thing go out of this house plain! I have a lovely sewing room that will be all arranged and I will make something every week! Thanks for all the inspiration. I love DIME

  • Shelly Christensen

    Hi, my resolution for 2013 is to learn my digitzing software I purchased last year. I bought it than we found we would be moving and we are still remodeling my sewing room, it should be done next week. It will take me a couple of weeks to get organized then I can find my software and get started digitizing. Wish me luck!!

  • Cy Swendsen

    Well… since we are preparing to sell our home and make a 700 mile move, I really need to organize my sewing room while finishing up my UFO’s. Hopefully I can organize while something is stitching out!

  • Cathy

    Last year’s resolution was to create ways to overcome the effects of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia on my ability to sew and embroider. Last year I experimented with seat positioning, machine angle, easier tools to cut and thread and ways to speed up getting to the final outcome so I don’t tax my hands so long. Christmas this year included some embroidered gifts I successfully made using some of the shortcuts I created. I used your angle finder and Nancy Zieman’s 5-10-15 Minutes to Sew to learn how to break up project time and to hoop more effectively, which protects my muscles and joints.
    My resolution this year is to form a sewing group of women who are in some way physically challenged in the sewing room so we can work together on a regular basis to create those things we have missed doing. I believe that by pooling our abilities we will get farther in making what we would like in the sewing and embroidery arenas and perhaps find collaborative ways to resurrect our hobby. Wish us luck!

    • eileenroche

      I do wish you luck Cathy. I’d very interested in knowing how you and your group proceed. When I work in my sewing room, I am always thinking of other embroiderers and how they approach, tackle, struggle or overcome the task that I am doing at that moment. So many of the products and techniques I have invented over the years have been a result of this thought process. Machine embroidery is fun and rewarding but it is definitely challenging. My hat is off to you for staying in ‘game’. Happy New Year, Cathy!

      • Cathy

        Thank you, Eileen for the inventive talent you so thoughtfully apply to machine embroidery. Many of your tools are of direct benefit to me. I will keep you posted re the group. Your magazine helps me to stay enthused when I get discouraged.

    • Peggy Schroeder

      To Cathy:
      I, too, have arthritis and fibromyalgia, along with a bad back and asthma. I find that when I got a comfortable chair, and put one of those Tempurpedic cushions on the seat, it was easier to work. The cushions are expensive, about $100.00, but are worth it. I also try and wear my thumb/hand brace, and I have put hoop gripper tape on the regular hoops, which makes it a little easier. I also put those little gel/foam squiggly things that go on pencils on the screws, and that helps. You can cut them in half and they are just the right size. For the six needle machine, I have a screwdriver thingy with a bulb handle that goes in the groove of the screws and makes it easier. I find that I have to tighten the screws tighter on the 6-needle more than the regular home Brother and Babylock machines that I have.
      It also helps not to just sit at the machines for hours at a time, but if you are like me, I don’t always stay tuned to how long I have been sitting there, the time just flys by, and I pay for it later. When I have all three machines going at the same time, it sounds like a workhouse around here. But when Christmas and birthdays are just around the corner, what can a person do? Just have to “finish” all those projects that I should have started much earlier.
      You can get the pencil things at any stationary store, or places like Wal-Mart. Hope this helps, and Happy Sewing!!

      • Cathy

        Peggy – we must have ancestors in common because we share the same ailments! I will get the pencil eraser and cushion. Thanks for the ideas.
        I also use the Snappy Hooping Aid, hoopless embroidery whenever possible, a chair in which I can vary positions and Magna Hoops. I consulted with an occupational therapist last year and it was worth every penny. She helped me to learn better ways to do things while sewing and crafting and encouraged me to get back into doing what I love. Now to remember to set the timer so I won’t get too absorbed in doing things, like you do!

        • Peggy Schroeder

          I forgot to say the foam/gel things that go on pencils are more of a cushioning thing than an eraser, and they are very cheap-around $2.50 for a package at Wal-Mart, and sometimes the stationary stores sell them by the piece. I also found it is easier on my back to use the roll around chair with the arms on it. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish while still resting at least your elbow on the arm. One other thing I always use is my tape measure that is retractable and hangs on a cord around my neck. It has centimeters on one side and inches on the other, and before I got it, I was always misplacing my tape; it would end up on the floor or under a pile of towels or fabric, and I was always scrambling to find it. It hurts to bend, or lift all that stuff just to find my tape! You can get one of those at almost any fabric store.
          Hope this helps, and yes, there are a lot of us that must have common ancestors, there is so many of us with the fibro and arthritis.
          Hope this helps.

          • Cathy

            Yes, it does. Thank you! 🙂

  • Marthie

    2013 resolution – not to write or type 2012 AND to subscribe digitally to your amazing magazine AND to dust off all the old tips re machine embroidery and incorporate it with all the great tips van you

    • Marthie

      Must read: great tips from you

  • Tris Thompson

    My resolution is to finish as many of my already started projects.
    Off to a good start- 2 finished already.
    I also want to tidy up my sewing room to allow me to work in there.

  • Deborah

    My resolution this year is to learn how to use my embroidery machine in the embroidery mode and to use the digitilizing software I purchase. Another person mentioned to stitch out one design from their purchased design collections – that’s a good one and will try this as well. Everyone has mentioned good resolutions; loved each one.

  • christin


    in 2013 I want to integrate every function of my embroidery machine. Therefore, I integrate one new function for each project, be it a new not used before stitch or embroidery motive or hooping technique. I am still on structuring my list.

    Cheers, christin

  • Susan Burns

    My resolution this year is to better organize all the designs I have into a more useable set of files!

  • Chris

    My resolution this year is to spend more time with my sewing/embroidery machine. I have so much to learn about machine embroidery but I really enjoy it!

  • yolanda cummings

    I want to spend more time learning about all the different things my machine will do, instead of just embroidering designs. I plan to make at least 1 new embroidery project every week and make enough projects to be in the craft shows this year.

  • CaroB

    I bought an embroidery machine over 10 years ago with a max hoop of 4×4 and never took the time to learn how to use it. Three months ago I bought an Ellisimo Gold and I’m in 7th heaven. I just subscribed to your magazine and have now found your blog. I feel like a sponge, obsorbing all of the wonderful information that is available for the home machine embroiderer. As a resolution……I plan to keep sponging, trying new ideas, getting as much enjoyment as possible from this delightful new hobby. I have a feeling that it is going to take over my life. I’m doing a “happy dance” and looking forward to a wonderful time. Thanks Eileen, for feeding our addiction by providing us with information to help in our learning process.

  • Clem

    I want to finish my projects that I started in 2011! My DH has been in the hospital 3 times this year, I told him “enough is enough” 😉 I have made all my grand kids their first quilt when they moved into their “big beds” My last grand son does not have one yet and he has been in his big boy bed for almost a year now… aarrrrgggghhh… I have many new projects in my head and I am trying not to start them until others have been finished… sigh… I will try to finish them all…ok, I will try to finish half…. ok ok.. I will try to finish at least 1/4 of my UFOs before starting another one… fair? I think so. (grin)

  • Janice West

    My embroidery resolution is to make friends with my machine and USE it!!I have an Ellisimo Gold. I have only scratched the surface, I’d like to use it to it’s full potential.

  • Vicky Isliefson

    My embroidery resolution is to embroider something for myself! I have lots of blank dinner napkins and that extra piece of linen from my sister’s monogrammed bread cloth. I want a monogrammed breadcloth. There is also that skirt I made last year the morning before I wore it to an ASG meeting that was supposed to get a design on the draped part at the front. (A really cool design by Lyla Messigner.) I made lots of stuff for Christmas presents, so now it’s my turn!

  • Kaaren Reed

    My husband got me a babylock Shopia 2 for Christmas. I hope to be able to do something with it. I wanted to put our great grandson’s name on a blanket but was stumped on getting the letters to go small enough to fit in the 4×4 hoop. I have promised myself I will keep at it until I master it. I have used my USB and done six kitchen towels as gifts so I am still trying. This site is very helpful too. Thank you

  • Nancy Wimberly

    After retiring as a nurse in Nov., I purchased a Janome horizon 12000 machine. I love it, it is so sweet and does everything. But, I’m still learning things about the machine. I’m doing great with the embroiding. Today I had to learn how to quilt with the auto feed.Yea! I can do it now. Much fun. Now, I’ve got to learn the digitizing program that the dealer gave me when I purchased the machine. That’s my project for the new year. How sad, My son had already learned the whole program of digitizing. Maybe, I don’t need to learn it. Ha!!

  • Doreen

    I am resolved to finish all the unfinished projects in my sewing room. To make something from some of the patterns and books and DVD’s that I have. I am really trying to buy nothing new until I have accomplished at least the unfinished projects. This has not been easy. There are so many gadgets that I still don’t have and pretty fabric and, and , and… Well I’m sure you know what I mean but I’ve been good so far. I actually opened a kit I bought years ago and did in the hoop snowmen and gingerbread men for Christmas presents.

  • Angie G.

    2013 I plan to create my own embroidery designs, organize my sewing/embroidery room, organize and catalog ALL my embroidery designs, and last but not least open up a shop on Etsy.

  • Beth

    I want to actually sit down and complete the tutorial that came with my latest embroidery software.

  • Peggy

    My resolution is to back up all of my designs. I would hate to lose all of them, not to mention the money that would be lost!!!

  • Dorothy Reitsma

    For 2013 I plan to really learn my embroidery machine. I have only had it for a few months and have not had time to really learn. I have so many ideas so this year is the year to learn.

  • Pam Rohrkemper

    I resolve this year, 2013, to stitch out samples before actually stitching my finished projects. I resisted doing it because I didn’t want to waste stabilizer and thread but in the long run, the samples are cheaper than the time it takes to make corrections in the designs or doing the ‘reverse stitching’.

  • Gerry Barrett

    I resolve to actually stitch out some of the many designs I felt I just HAD to have!

  • jan

    this year i definitely want to purchase both an iconizer to help finding my designs easier on my laptop as well as new software since the free one i have been using is ending its usage this year…then i have to make myself learn to use it!!!
    i really wish i could take an embroidery software class…..
    i also hope to do more embroidery for my family in addition to customers!

  • Pam Perry

    I plan to try to fit in the embroidery fun in between working full time and going to school full time. I’m in my last year working on a Bachelors degree and have not had time to embroider much for the past year.

  • Susan Elijah

    I purchased and enrolled in a 10 month crazy quilt class…4 years ago. I have only completed 60 squares of 350+. I vow to finish it this year. My hubby bet me that I wouldn’t. Gotta make a liar out of him.

  • Judy O

    I plan to learn to use my masterworks software.

  • Cathy Dykes

    After having been given sons only, I have been blessed with two beautiful granddaughters ages 1 & 2. I have been having sooo much fun sewing for these two princesses. My 2013 resolution is to challenge myself and branch out into new areas of sewing that I have not done in the past. I am currently in the process of beginning Easter dresses that will involve smocking, embroidery and heirloom sewing. All prayers appreciated. 🙂 I have bitten off a hugh chunk but feel confident I will learn as I go. My plans are to fly my sewing machine to my job sites as I travel with my job. Whew!!! I also would love to attend my first sewing school this year at some time.

  • Duperre super-site! I’m loving it! ‘ Will come back once again – receiving you
    to eat, thank you.

  • I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this plst
    was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re goiing to a
    famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  • Diana

    I delight in, lead to I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for.

    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless
    you man. Have a great day. Bye

  • Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you
    taking the time and energy to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading
    and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  • Normally I Ԁo not learn ƿost on blogs, but I wοuld like to say
    that this write-up vvery pressured me too take a look at аnd do
    it! Youг ԝriting stƴle Һass been ɑmazed me.

    Thank you, very nice post.

  • Somebody essentially lend a hand to make critically posts I might state.
    This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this actual
    put up incredible. Magnificent job!

  • Deena Hofer

    A round of applause for your article.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  • Andre Sanders

    I have the Brother pacesetter 2002D embroidery machine and have loved it and want to upgrade my system. I saw that you have and wondering what is needed and where would i purchase the drive. also what can i do to use software previously purchased on cards, plus are there any locations i can access for new designs that are downloadable

  • Keen Jason

    Nice website.. Love it

  • Webshop til salg

    Nice website.. Love it

  • Hjemmeside

    Amazing reading.. Like your post and it was very useful. Thanks and take care..

Pingback: The Friday Blog Round-Up 1/18/13 » EnMart Embroidery Talk on January 1, 2013