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Alignment and Placement Multi-Needle

Multi-Needle Monday – Centering on Quick-Snap

Recently, my Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, showed me how she quickly centers an item on Quick-Snap. Since the Jnaome, Baby Lock or Brother multi-needle machines do not recognize Quick-Snap, it’s up to the user to ‘embroider responsibly’. Embroidering responsibly means taking complete control of the machine and telling it what to do instead of letting the machine tell you what it can do. When you attach a Quick-Snap frame, be aware of the size of the frame opening and the design you are trying to fit into that space because the machine thinks a large hoop is attached. Always select a frame that is at least 1” larger than the design and trace the design before actually stitching.

Here’s Marie’s tip on the easiest way to center the design. Select your design (1” smaller than the frame) and attach just the bottom frame to the machine. Retrieve the design and trace the design watching where the embroidery foot will travel. In the image below, you can see the first needle is dropped during the tracing motion. This needle is your indication of where all the needles will travel during all colors of the design. QS1
If it looks like the foot will clear the frame, you’re in good shape.
If not, use the positioning keys on the screen to move the design and retrace. QS3
Touch the camera icon on the screen and a view of what the needle sees appears on the screen. QS4
I have a target sticker designating the center of my design on a knit ski cap so I slid the hat over the frame.
On the screen, I watched as I move the hat to align the target sticker with the machine’s green crosshair. Perfect! QS6
I attached the acrylic top, dropped the magnets in place. QS7
How sweet is that? Thanks Marie!

So what do you do if you don’t have the camera? If you don’t have the camera, follow all the steps above but instead of using the camera to align the crosshair, use the needle. Slide the hat over the frame and position the target sticker directly under the needle (the one in the dropped position), verify the crosshair is square to the frame and trace one more time. (If you don’t have the camera and it’s available for your machine, I strongly suggesting upgrading, it’s a worthwhile investment.) If the camera isn’t available for your machine take comfort in the fact that you’ll be a more skilled embroiderer.




  • Royce Zook

    Very good advice. I also re-trace the extents of the design after aligning my center just to make certain the hooped project has appropriate clearance throughout the movement range. I also attach a white piece of paper to the hoop’s bottom frame, physically mark the center of the opening, then locate it either using the camera or the dropped needle and record the co-ordinates shown on the screen. I keep these center co-ordinates, identified by the hoop name and size, in my machine’s diary for future reference.

    • eileenroche

      Excellent Royce! I’ll have to try that!

  • Sue C

    Thanks for the information! You are always so good to share what you know!!

    I have a question (or probably many questions) that has me very confused. I have a Babylock single needle machine that came with a 12 x 7 and a 7 x 5. I purchased a (Babylock) 4×4 hoop. I wanted to purchase an 8X8 or 8 X 12 hoop, but was told by the dealer that I could not use one on my machine. What I am now wondering is, is the issue as you said here, it doesn’t automatically recognize other hoop sizes, but that you can actually put one on and use it, assuming the design fits in that size hoop. Am I correct?

    Another question I have is can I purchase other brand hoops to use with my Babylock machine, with this same thought? How do I know if a hoop is designed for a single needle machine as opposed to a multi needle machine.

    Thank you for your time!
    Sue Cleek

    • eileenroche

      Hi Sue,
      Let me see if I can help you. Single needle machines are limited to a specific sewing field. You didn’t state what Baby Lock machine you have but if your dealer told you the 12″ x 7″ was the largest hoop for your machine, then I suggest following his advice. Your machine manual will also tell you what size hoops are appropriate for your machine.

      Use hoops that are specifically made for your machine – it will tell you on the box. If the hoop is not made for your Baby Lock machine, you will not be able to attach it to the machine. Multi-needle machines have a bit more flexibility as they are created for a commercial environment.

  • Carolyn

    It can be frustrating at first if you don’t have a camera, but it’s definitely worth it once you get the hang of it! Another trick I found helpful is to locate the center point recognized by your machine and attach the self-stick ruler that comes with the snap hook with “0” at your machine’s center, or you can use a marker on your hoop.

  • Judy

    I am trying to figure out if I need something special for the hoop monster for multi needle machine for Brother pr1000e. The new 8by8 and 8 by 12. What arms do they use and such. Any help on this and purchasing them would be helpful

  • eileenroche

    Hi Judy, the 8″ x 12″ hoop attaches to the A arm while the 8″ x 8″ hoop attaches to the B arm.

  • Michelle

    So if I have a 5×7 snap hoop that I bought for my Brother Quatro it will work on a multi needle machine? I want to purchase a multi needle machine was planned to sell the snap hoop with my machine but if it can be used I might want to keep it!