Five Embroidery Things to Try in 2016

As the year winds down, we often reflect on what we've done and what we would like to accomplish in the new year. Here are five ideas you should consider.

1. Make Time

As makers, we continually do for others. Take time for yourself.

Practice makes perfect. All artisans spend time at their craft, and embroidery is no different. Be sure to allow yourself time to perfect your skills. Block out time every day, whether you are at your machine, reading books and magazines, and even following social media. 

Forums, like those on, provide technical assistance in addition to project ideas. They also typically focus on specific brand equipment like Brother.

Everyone has a different take on the same project. Website galleries are wonderful resources for design ideas. 

2. Take a Class

There is so much to learn. I know I am always learning something new. Whether you enroll in a class at your local dealer, quilt shop, or take an online class like those at Craftsy, you are sure to learn a thing or two!

Craftsy classes are available any time, day or night, and can be taken over again or paused and reviewed as you complete your projects. Students have access to instructor feedback and share their work with fellow students who offer tips, encouragement, and kudos for jobs well done.

Dealers often provide refresher courses in machine use or special techniques. Discounts are typically given to students for class supplies. Be sure to sign up for newsletters and social media posts so you are aware of what's available.

3. Be Brave: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Ever think you might like applique? How about cutwork? Want to make a quilt? Make 2016 the year that you try something new. Take a class or elicit the help of someone who has some experience with the technique you wish to try. What can it hurt? It will be fun and you may even like it!

4. Get Organized

This time of year, my sewing room looks like a crafting and sewing apocalypse. I have found that if I don't routinely straighten things up and put everything where it belongs (or at least in the vicinity where it belongs) working on projects is often an effort in futility. I can accomplish more in much less time when my supplies, designs, threads, and stabilizers are easy to find.

Sometimes, finding designs is the most frustrating part. We download throughout the year and somehow the designs disappear with the same frequency as mismatched socks. Try out an embroidery cataloging program.

5. Stop Procrastinating

This year, we almost lost Pat, The Avid Embroiderer. I also lost a very dear friend unexpectedly. She had recently retired, bought an embroidery machine, and we were going to get together for some "lessons." Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I am a master procrastinator and that needs to stop. Make today count; sometimes, tomorrow doesn't come. 

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!

Debbie SewBlest

Comments (3) -

Thank you for the mention.  Each day I  know that I had a stroke of luck.  I had 9 doctors attending me during my heart and kidney failure event.  Four doctors told me that one doctor saved my life when it looked rather bleak.  I walk each day and listen to the birds and other urban noises and am grateful for those things.

Regarding your 5 things, I think those items go for life as well as embroidery.  
1.  Take time for yourself, if you are drained, you cannot be effective in your life.
2.  Keep learning all your life.  I was reading that for better brain health, scientist encourage you to try something truly new to you.  
3.  Your comfort zone is almost a negative thing.  Reaching to new things (there is a lot out there) makes you more well rounded.  
4.  I cannot comment on organization.  I am constantly working on having my life more organized, it is always a work in progress.  
5.  Procrastination (see #4).  

I want to be the best me, for me, by me and demonstrated by me.  May you be blessed in ways you have not yet imagined.  


Doing machine embroidery has been a wonderful blessing to me. The creative aspect of it has helped me in many ways. I agree with the great advise given re the 5 ways to try new things in the upcoming year and will refer to that often. Thankyou!

Great - thanks  bjfarms and keep on stitching!

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