New Year, New Machine

Were you fortunate enough to get an embroidery machine for Christmas? It’s exciting, and scary, and wonderful, and overwhelming. Now what? What supplies do you need?

It’s tempting when the excitement runs high, but don’t buy every gizmo out there. Allow yourself some time before jumping on the gadget bandwagon. Take your owner’s classes and do plenty of reading, research, and networking with fellow embroiderers.

Here are the minimum basics of what you will need to get started:


Start out with three basic stabilizers: light weight tear-away, medium-weight cutaway, and sheer mesh stabilizers. They should cover any scenario you encounter starting out. A spray adhesive would also be quite useful.

As you get some experience on your machine, you may find that you want to try water-soluble stabilizers, typically used for stitching lace and as a topping for embroidering on fleece or knits.

Stabilizers can be rather pricy but if you join Ann’s Club, you can purchase stabilizers at half price.


Rayon and polyester threads are standards for most machine embroidery. For items that will be laundered frequently, polyester thread is best as it does not fade and is bleach resistant. You don't need 100 spools either. Start with basic primary colors and add other colors according to your projects.

You can save a lot of money by buying assortments of thread. I NEVER follow color charts to the exact color number. I take the colors I have and use what looks good together.

Special bobbin thread is used in the bobbin. Pre-wound bobbins are wonderful, but be sure that your machine is capable of using them and, if so, the type (designated by a letter).


Double curved scissors make clipping threads in the hoop a breeze. Can you get along without them? Yes, but it is so much easier if you have them. Otherwise, standard sewing scissors are fine for cutting fabrics and stabilizers.

If you decide to get into applique, duck bill and Easy Kut scissors are favorites.

Start out with the essentials and then buy items you know you want!

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