Friday, February 27, 2015

Embroidery Machine Reviews By Our Customers

Buying an embroidery machine can be intimidating. With hoop sizes and price ranges – it is like learning a new language! Not to mention that the embroidery module bumps up the price of the machine. Often times, sewists throw their hands up and give up saying “I don’t need embroidered towels anyway.”

Buying an embroidery machine is so much more than embroidered towels and it opens up a whole new world of sewing! From applique to in the hoop bags, there are so many amazing things an embroidery machine can allow you to do beyond the monogram.

How do you begin your search? 

When you are looking for any new machine, the best thing you can do is try a variety of machines. While you can certainly buy a machine at “big box stores”, you cannot try out the machine before purchasing and there isn’t anyone there to teach you how to use it. Beyond threading the machine, embroidery has a learning curve. It helps to have someone to turn to for a lesson or for help when you need it. Sewing machine stores often offer lessons when you purchase a machine. They want to not only ensure you are happy but also want to establish a relationship with you.

If you can, your best bet is to go to a sewing expo at a convention center. Usually several sewing machine dealers are present and you can sit down and try out many different brands all in one day. If you don’t have an expo in your area, do a Google search for sewing machine dealers in your state. (Quilt shops sometimes carry machines too!) Take a week or two and visit a few. Have them stitch out an embroidery design so you can see the stitch quality in addition to seeing if it is easy to use.

What To Look For In A New Embroidery Machine 

I wanted to get some more tips for you, so I headed straight to the Pickle Pie Facebook page and asked my followers what they loved about their machine. The response was overwhelming!

Here are their top tips of things to look for in a new embroidery machine:

  • Hoops: The Bigger The Better! You may think you will only use a small hoop but if you have a large hoop, I guarantee you will use it. (Just take a look at the Chloe Crossbody and Tablet Bag if you doubt it) 
  •  Buy from a dealer that will teach you how to use the machine - you can work with a smaller hoop if you learn how. 
  • Embroidery only machines: Plus is that it only does embroidery, con is sometimes limited hoop size. 
  • Screen Size: Make sure you can see the design well enough to stitch out the design. 
  • Software: Do you need it? Is it easy to use? Chances are if you are just starting out, you do not need software unless you want to design your own embroidery designs or digitize images right from the start. 
  • Bobbin sensors make a difference! It costs more, but the machine stops when the bobbin runs out. You will realize you need this the first time you walk away from the machine only to return five minutes later to find the bobbin ran out!
  • Get the most bells and whistles you can afford. You may think you can settle, but if you have extras like different hoops, chances are you will use them. 
  • Multi needle machine – My fans really like their multi-needle machines. If you really get into embroidery, you will want to check these out. 
  • Brands Matter – Customers seemed to be mostly brand loyal, once they found the machine they liked, they stuck with the brand. One more reason to try out more than one brand. 

For more detailed information about specific machine models, see the comments on this Facebook link. There is some great information straight from people who use the machines. Just remember buying a machine is subjective - you have to find the right machine for you and your budget. Please like us while you are there to keep up with all of our sales including flash sales and $5 Friday.

Get That New Embroidery Machine Out Of The Box

Congratulations! You bought a new embroidery machine. So why is it still neatly packaged in the box?!? Why not take it out and start learning about all the amazing things you can do with it? A whole new world of creative possibility is at your fingertips. It is easy once you learn the basics.

An embroidery machine can do so much more than monogram towels. If you have explored our website, you know that I design in-the-hoop projects such as:

·      Purses
·      Pot holders and coasters
·      Gift bags and tags
·      Hair accessories
·      Pincusions
·      Baby Accessories
·      Toys
·      Appliques
·      Banners

And more!

Open The Box

Depending on the machine you purchased, it may be packaged in one box, or the embroidery module may be in a separate box by itself. Open the box and take out the machine and/or the embroidery module.

What do you need to get started?

There will be an instruction manual, some embroidery designs will be included in your machine and you may even have a starter pack of stabilizer. Depending upon what kinds of projects you want to make, you will need some basics:

·      Stabilizer – There are many different types of stabilizer on the market and each has a different purpose. Check out Stabilizer 101 for specifics.  
·      Embroidery Thread – Because embroidery designs are heavily stitched, the thread you use in embroidery projects need to be strong in addition to being beautiful. I love Floriani polyester thread for it’s sheen and durability.
·      Fabric  - From store bought wearables, to custom made designs, to perfectly stitched in the hoop projects, you will be using fabric in your embroidery machine. The type is completely up to you!

Ready, Set, Sew!

For starters, you will want to hoop up a test scrap and stitch out a design. Grab a piece of fabric from your stash, an appropriate stabilizer from your starter pack, and a design from your machine.

Hoop up the fabric and stabilizer and follow the manufacturers instructions for using your machine. Don’t worry about having everything perfect, this one is just to get a feel for the machine. So hoop up some scrap fabric and don’t worry if the thread doesn’t match.