From Newbie to Incredible Designs

When I started this blog in 2008, I found a story about embroidery machines.  It stated that the biggest seller of 'starter' embroidery machines was - - Walmart.  I don't find that story any more, but it still makes sense.  This is the new data that I found and some of my own opinions (you know I have an opinion on everything!!)

  • In 2011, the company surpassed 10,000 stores.  (They employ 2.2 million associates worldwide and serves 200 million customers each week in 27 countries.)
  • Their pricing, with that kind of buying power may well be better than any other retailer.  Even JCP (formerly J.C.Penney), which recently switched to the Walmart style of selling, is not yet able to touch the retail giant.  However, in many of the search engines, you will find JCP competing with Walmart head to head.
  • There is absolutely NO HARD SELLING at Walmart.  The associates are barely able to help a buyer with information.  There are no demonstrations to keep your attention.  I was actually in Joanne's recently and asked for a demo of their Singer embroidery machines and - - - no one had a clue how to use it.
  • Without the fun of watching the machine create a design, where is the interest in these machines coming from?




I think that some of the interest comes from the beautiful vestments and intricate tapestries that we can see in most every church in the world. 


Photos courtesy of


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Smith


In England, around the 1100 to 1350 time frame, Opus Angelicacum was the much reviered embroidery which used silver and gold threads. Imagine doing these by hand with a thread that was likely to be much more delicate than what we can use today.  Just the time involved makes my head spin.



Photos courtesy of


Well, I think I will get out my Madeira Metallic Threads and just whip a few of these things out!  Actually, the newest generation of Madeira Metallics is really more reliable than ever. Each 220 yard/200 m Smart Spool has 40,000 stitches per spool and that will do a lot of exceptional projects.  I really want my projects to be memorable.



I have used the golds in the third box and with multiple shades, this one is truly EXCELLENT.  These come to just over $2 each spool.  The good news about that is that you don't have to worry about the thread getting old and possibly dry or unusable.  Old thread does no one any good.

Comments (4) -

My first embroidery machine came from WalMart and I wasn't even aware there  was such a thing!

I embroidered my husband's initials on an old ball cap.  No one sold machine embroidery supplies so used sewing thread and my stabilizer was printer paper.

Oh well,  we've come a long way least I can say that I have thanks to the Internet.

That is an interesting story, Pattiann.  What made you make the purchase?  

I got mine on Ebay and I would never recommend that to any one!  There is no help, service or guarantee (a sort of guarantee was there).  

We have come a long way, indeed.  New products are coming on line every day.  Tell us about the tool you cannot live without!

Or, tell us where you got your first machine and what prompted you to make that buy?

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

What made me purchase my first EM?  Curiosity and the fact that I was newly retired and thought I needed something to occupy my time (WRONG!)  

My favorite tool for sewing, machine embroidery, serging is the Internet.   That's been my way of continuing my education at my own pace.

Pattiann, we must have been separated at birth!!!  That is exactly what I did, including the significant lack of time in my retirement.

If anyone does have time, let me know, I could use some help!!  LOL

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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