The Avid Embroiderer Presents - 10 Tips and Tricks that will make your embroidery better and a St. Patrick's Day freebie.

 I was thinking about all the tips I have collected over the years and realized that they were scattered all over the place in my computer and paper notes.  I really have some good ones but finding them is the issue❣

Here are 10 of my favorites and I think they are a little off the beaten path.  I hope you find a few new ones for your personal use.

1.   When cleaning the fuzz out of your machine, take a flexible drinking straw, tape one end to the narrow end of a funnel.  Hugo's Amazing Tape is especially good for this.   Place your vacuum hose against the wide portion of the funnel.  You can get more of the lint in your machine without damage because the straw will 'give' against metal or plastic.  BTW, Hugo's Tape, 50 YARDS not inches, is Amazing for so many other things - my daughter used it when she last moved and was very happy with the results.  You will think of 100 uses and reuses for it❣
2.   If necessary, clean the bobbin case and area using rubbing alcohol on a Q-Tip or a scrap of fabric.  Remember that most home machines DO NOT recommend oiling their machine, that is done by a technician only.  Use any liquid sparingly.  I occasionally use the canned air but do so very prudently.

3.  There are so many ways to prevent puckering, here are just a few - lower your tension. It allows for more 'give' in your fabric. Use more stabilizer, you can 'float' a piece under the hoop after you have started embroidering. You can even use 2 float pieces if needed.  If your software or machine adjusts density, use a .3 (point 3) removal of stitches or a percentage if that is the method available. Unless you are doing something very detailed, that short of a stitch will not affect your design. I have always said that it is difficult to over stabilize but under stabilization is an issue looking to destroy your project.
4.   There are a couple of things about the Manual that came with your machine.  The first is that it does NOT teach you how to embroider.  It does not even give you tips or tricks.  However, knowing your machine is very important to your projects and the machines performance.  Reading it at the opening of the new machine is overwhelming and generally too much information to handle at one time. 

The second thing is that you really need to find some time to read the Manual after you have logged some time on your equipment.  The fundamentals may well surprise you.  It is generally known that when we are self-taught on a computer or any machine, we create bad habits.  Learning how to do the tasks as the machine was meant to do them will likely be a better, simpler and more effective method that you will learn from a Manual.  
5.   Did you know that thread looks darker on the spool than it does on fabric? And, if you are combining a monogram with a small design, the colors will appear to be different.  Why? Because of the way the light lays upon the thread.  All of nature shows us when we look at a leafy tree, depending on the amount/angle of light leaves are varied.  Check out my blog on colors in relationship to the spool color.  

6.   I have learned that it is much easier to clip threads on free-standing lace before I rinse out the stabilizer. It is easy to see and to clip those leftover bits of thread.  And, don't forget to make the bobbin thread the same color as the top thread which is the generally accepted method.  Or, you can do the bobbin in a complementary or opposing color for interesting results.  As with all embroidery projects, do a 'discovery sew' (test on the same materials) and play with your ideas.  
7.   Get a head start on Christmas! If you do one Christmas project a week, from now until then, you will have a very nice collection. Even if it is something as small as a snowflake. Keep your collection in a pretty container and add to it regularly.  Starting in September is great, but starting now is even better. 
8.   When changing thread colors, cut the thread near the spool, then pull through the needle to remove. This will help to keep the lint out of the tension areas.  I have occasionally used dental floss to do this as well.  It does not leave anything behind and picks up even more lint.

9.   Always take your 'tips' from the professionals.  For instance, most laptop computers have a small adjustment in the bottom rear to incline your keyboard just a little.  To tilt your machine forward instead of straining your neck, insert two door stops under the rear of your machine. This is adjustable and helps to see your work better with less contortion to your body.

10.   After you have read these tips and if you found them to be useful, as you are still at your pc, press and hold the Ctrl key along with the "A" key.  Then select the Ctrl key and "C" which puts everything into the 'clipboard'.  Go to your word processing software and with a fresh page, do a Ctrl key along with the "V" key in a document. Save it to your folder called - Embroidery Tips, Tricks and Ideas.  (You do have one, don't you?)  A folder such as that will hold all sorts of embroidery things AND can be searched for keywords.  

I have so many more tips, if you like them, I will do another.  Please let me know what you think, I watch for readers to make comments and appreciate every one of them.  I know that we all want our work to be very professional and little tips, especially the 'devil is in the details' type are just what we need.

More tips and tricks are available in this CD AND it is currently on Sale with $10 off❣  I have this particular CD and have found it to be time and disaster recovery information:

Here is your freebie for this time.  It is a "LUCK" design just in time for St. Patrick's Day. (575.8KB)  

Comments (5) -

*After CTRL-A to select *A*ll, you need to CTRL-C to *C*opy it to your clipboard Smile  Then you can CTRL-V to paste it ;)

moomommy - thank you so much for catching that!  I appreciate your feedback.  

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

As usual these are important tips! Always glad to read your posts Pat. I am anxious to get back to embroidering!

Thank you so much - I found this article really helpful. As I'm fairly new to embroidery it's very encouraging to get expert help and a lovely gratis gift, too. Many thanks once more and I shall now check in on a regular basis.

Thanks for the comments!!!!

After doing machine embroidery for nearly 15 years, I know that finding answers to the simplest problem(s) can be challenging.  After looking through my past blogs, I see a trend that I am sharing my issues rather than teaching you a project.  I like doing that!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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