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Topic: I'm new, needing advice on learning to machine embroider please  (Read 2181 times)
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« on: May 15, 2008 11:41:19 AM »

Hi ladies (and gents if your there too) I just found this fabulous website a few days ago and have spent an embarrassingly insane amount of time here since.

Kinda glad I've had pneumonia its given me an excuse to sit on my rear and read alot of your fantastic threads and look at all your wonderful completed projects. Grin

Ok no more rambling onto the topic at hand...

Although I'm pretty crafty in other areas I'm lucky if I can sew a straight line... how hard is it to learn how to machine embroider?
I don't want to spend a fortune on a machine to find out if its even plausible for me either.. I'd say $200 tops is what I'd be willing to invest.

I'm currently manufacturing BOY #8 (not a typo.. Grin)   and I have a thing about embroidered blankets, onesies, bibs, etc. honestly I'm sick of paying someone else a fortune to do this for me lol

I'm sure this goes without saying but I also have a very limited amount of time to work on my crafts (usually in the middle of the night when my insomnia kicks in Wink )

So what am I in for? Should I just forget it and keep paying the professionals or have a go??

Thanks in advance for any advice on this!! Smiley

Sarah (who owns a brand new sewing machine that sits in its box and mocks her because it knows she's terrified of it)  Embarrassed
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008 09:36:09 AM »

Embroidery can be very expensive, but it is soooo worth it. My favorite hobby to date.

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008 08:17:12 AM »

You won't find much of an embroidery machine for $200 sadly.  I spent $800 on mine and that was fairly cheap.
They do sell a Disney machine at Walmart - do not buy this machine... I am serious.  It takes cartridges of thread and when you don't use the cartridges it is a bear to keep threaded.  I knew someone in town that had one and she just despised it - not to mention the hoop size was nonexistent.

You might be able to get a used one from a dealer - I would call around and see what you can find.

It is an expensive thing to get started but once you have an embroidery machine you will not regret it at all!  I love my machine!  Okay. I  do wish I had a bigger hoop size.  I have hoop envy in a big way!

I am collecting quilts, afghans & blankets for those that lost their homes.  Pm me!
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2008 07:29:25 PM »

I have to agree with the response above, $200 won't get much embroidery, though you might be able to pick up a Brother or Singer that does fancier stitches (Greek Keys, leaves); don't know if that's enough for your creative stitching needs.

I got a local quilt shop's demo Janome 350e when they decided to get out of the machine selling business for about $1000. Now that it's summer I hope to play with it a little more.
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2008 01:27:49 AM »

Okay, I really should look around the net for tutorials first rather than jump on Craftster, but I want to start machine embroidering too. I've got a regular machine, a tensioned embroidery foot, universal and embroidery needles, some goggles, that stabiliser stuff, an embroidery hoop, polyester thread, woven fabric, plus a knowledge of how to lower the feed dogs and adjust the top and bobbin tension.

I don't need an embroidery machine, and neither does the OP? I want to do freehand embroidery, yes? With my own organic designs. So if anyone's got any beginner's advice/caution for me, that would be wicked. Thanks kindly.

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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2008 04:33:09 AM »

You might want to look in to thread painting - I believe that is more like what you want to do.  It is apples and oranges.


this one looks even better...

there are oodles more online if you google thread painting...
I hope that gets you pushed in to the right direction there.
My local sewing machine store is having some famous thread painter come give a seminar on it.  I am going to try and attend.... although the directions on diy look pretty darn straight forward!

I am collecting quilts, afghans & blankets for those that lost their homes.  Pm me!
CraftyDeb website
CraftyDeb Designs etsy
tons of sewing & quilting tutorial links[/url
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2008 07:54:07 PM »

Keep in mind that with embroidery, you'll spend just as much or more on supplies than you do on the machine itself...thread, stablizers, designs, software, etc.  Not to discourage, but it can be an expensive (but fun)hobby!
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2008 03:24:43 AM »

Oh right, "thread painting"? Thanks for the links!

This is a tutorial on it, a lot of people seem to refer to it as "free-motion machine embroidery" or "freehand machine embroidery":

So there isn't really a place on Craftster (yet) for free-motion machine embroidery? Maybe I should ask the moderators to create one, if this ain't the place.

Starting tonight! W00t!! Inspired by all the many beautiful examples on etsy and flickr!

ETA: The Nancy Price thread painting links are very interesting, they show how one can do 3D type appliques, but the instructions can just as easily apply to "line art".

I went over to the Quilting section of Craftster, wasn't much on free-motion machine embroidery, but I found this advice from kellen46:
Uneven stitch lengths in your quilting is a result of uneven feeding the fabric under the needle. You tend to go faster on the straightways and so get bigger stitches, you go slower on the curves so get the smaller ones. Free motion is like trying pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. Your machine needs to go fast as can be but your hands need to go slow and steady. If you have a machine that can go to slower speed it might help you in learning to machine quilt. If not work on setting your sewing speed with your foot peddle. One other reason you stitching is uneven may be that you are too tense when you sew, this leads to jerky movement, you will get spikeys rather than curvies, and your needle will "Jump". You will get better as you do more, it is a matter of practice, practice, practice.

Also this link to a video: http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/03/free-motion-quilting.html

And a link to a flickr discussion: http://www.flickr.com/groups/quilts/discuss/72157603769221154/

This is my first attempt at free-motion machine embroidery an hour ago (complete with thread snags and breakages, oh my!)

I am SO excited!!!

Right, signing off on this thread. Hope the OP and anyone else finds the info in this comment useful!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008 06:19:53 AM by aliengrace » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008 12:18:35 PM »

It has already been pointed out that emboridery by machine is a VERY expensive investment.

As for feet that you need and all that?  Throw everything you know about sewing out the window...this is a whole new thing.  You'll soon find that it is very easy.  If you are not trying to digitize, you'll find yourself an old hand in no time! 

My dealer and I've had many conversations about combo machines...you use about 3/4 the machine for embroidrey (including arm) and about 3/4 of the machine for sewing...what I mean is that basically about 1/4 or perhaps a little more of the machine is used by both modes...but in fact when you buy a combo machine, you'll find they are more expensive than either an embroidrey only or a sewing machine because they are actually two machines in one. 

You use a lighter weight thread in embroidery.  40WT is most often used for top thread, sometimes 30 or 50.  60WT thread is used for the bobbin, sometime even smaller.  I don't even know that I had heard of weights of thread when sewing but that is much larger.

In sewing you want the threads to be evenly weighted.  In embroidery, the bobbin thread shoud be half again tighter than when sewing.  The top thread should be seen at the sides of each stitch underneath...1/3 top, 1/3 bobbin, 1/3 top.

The recommended needles can be different.

You use stabilizer which does not stretch, bend move and for the most part is not needed (except for stretch fabrics) after the item is finished, compared to interfacing which is shaped to move and stretch with the garment and the wearer and often used to add stiffness and body to the garment.  In embroidery you want as little "extra" body, stiffness, etc as possible as the stitches add stiffness and body. 

The list goes on....

I do, however, think that the knowledge you have about fabrics, threads, etc is very helpful when you are doing embroidery, once you learn what you are trying to accomplish.
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