EMB 101 Tips for Beginners (and the rest of us!)

We were all beginners at one point and we’re still learning along the way. Everyone needs a refresher at some point in time. Here are some tips that will help make your embroidery experiences a success!


Know Your Machine

I probably could have bought a decent used car with what it cost for my first embroidery machine some 20 years ago. Embroidery machines are an investment, not only financially but an investment in time.


Reputable dealers offer beginner classes when you purchase a new machine and most are free. Ideally, you should take your machine home, read the manual, watch some videos, and become acquainted. Along the way, keep a notebook of questions to ask.


After some time spent with your machine, schedule a class with the dealer. You will get more out of it once you have used your machine a bit.


Be Realistic

Don’t start embroidering a 20-block quilt right out of the box. Choose beginner-friendly designs and progress to more complex projects.


When you learned to drive a car, or bake a pie, you probably were not good at it right away. Everything grows with practice.


Learn a Lot

If you can, take classes. If not, there are hundreds of thousands of free resources online. Watch YouTube videos. Follow social media blogs, groups and discussion forums. Most of these groups are kind and generous with their advice, especially for beginners. They are also good troubleshooting resources when projects run amok.


Use Good Supplies

Most of us are on a budget but it doesn’t pay to use coffee filters and dryer sheets as stabilizer. Buy quality fabric, thread, needles, and stabilizers.


Most embroidery machines are adjusted at the factory and tested by the dealer before they are sold, so they should be in good working order 99 percent of the time. If you are experiencing problems with a project, it is difficult to know what you are doing wrong. Eliminate the agony of troubleshooting by using good products. Experiment with alternatives after you know how items should stitch out.


Designs are the same way. Use reputable brands because a crappy design will stitch out poorly even when you use the correct stabilizer, needle, thread, and fabric.

Debbie SewBlest


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