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Thread: Machine embroidery beginner tips

  1. #1
    Member evanssophiya's Avatar
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    Machine embroidery beginner tips

    I don't know in the correct thread I wrote or not. But still I’ll ask. Can a beginner have some tips here? I need my first embroidery machine. What was the first one you had? How did you choose her? So far I have only read a bunch of reviews and am completely confused.

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    your first consideration when looking for a machine should be budget.
    once you have decided how much you can spend your options will narrow.

    i have been very happy with my Brother machine.
    it's a high end so cost a small fortune.
    however there are machines out there that will fit into most budgets.

    Babylock is also worthy of recommendation.
    i'm sure others will tell you if they are happy with different brands they use.

    make sure to choose a brand for which you can find certified local service and repair.
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  3. #3
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    I have the Husqvarna Designer Topaz 20. I have had it about 4 years now. And I love it - but I was not looking for an embroidery machine when I bought it. It was time for my little FW to go in for a full spa treatment and the shop is also a Husqvarna/Viking dealer and he asked if he could interest me in an embroidery machine. My response was. "I don't have $4000.00 to invest in a sewing machine." He said he could make me a deal for not even half. And wishing 20 minutes I was hooked. It was the floor model, and had the full warranty and 4 lessons. I did not know when I bought the machine about needing an embroidery program - the one from Viking 5D Embroidery was $350.00, but it expanded the program that came with the machine 100%. And I have a friend that helped me learn all the things the embroidery things. (i.e. the difference of an alphabet vs font). My largest hoop is 200 x 260mm. And even though I have been tempted to look at machines with bigger hoops I don't think I will.

    My friend that helped me with my machine moved to the Phoenix area and she bought the Brother PE770. It uses the Embrilliance program and it has a lot of options my program does not have. But her largest hoop is 5 x 7 - so when she wants a larger pattern she uses my machine.

    You can check out different machines at shows and dealers. Find out what you like and what you can afford.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 10-02-2019 at 03:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Brother are great machines, especially if your on a budget or just starting out. I recommend Janome or Babylock also. I would suggest to get the 5x7 hoop size or you will probably find yourself wishing you did. A 4x4 hoop size would be fine to start out with but limits you.

  5. #5
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    Super Member Gay's Avatar
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    I have Brother machines & love them, very user friendly. Get one with the largest embroidery hoop you can afford. You can spend heaps on accessories like computer programs etc, so shop around before buying the first you see.

  6. #6
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    I have a Babylock and chose that over Brother because my DH hates Disney. My dealer sells both and they are about the same. I've taken classes on the Brother that is equivalent to my Babylock.

    Since there is a good learning curve, you want to make sure to get a machine you'll have support for -either online tutorials or in person classes. My first embroidery machine was a used Pfaff - I never did figure out how to use the embroidery part until after I bought my first Babylock and had learned on that one. After I knew the basics, it wasn't too hard to figure out how to get the Pfaff to work, which I did before I gave it away to someone that wanted to explore machine embroidery.

    Once you get a machine, take time to learn about stabilizers and what and when to use the different products. That can make a big difference in the quality of the finished product.

    And if you want to do more modifying and creating your own designs and already have a home computer, I'd suggest getting separate software to use.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I chose my brother dreamweaver because I had wanted a pe700e for years but fell in love with muvit foot for sewing and the dreamweaver had a 7 x 12 hoop which I later upgraded to 8 x 12 so it was a big enough hoop to grow into without wanting more and had enough features, and brothers are easy to use out of box without classes which I did before my class
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  8. #8
    Junior Member BonnieJP's Avatar
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    My embroidery machine is a Bernette 340 that I purchased a dozen years ago or so. I like it because the quality of the embroidery is excellent, but If I had to do it over, I would go with a machine that:
    1. can do normal sewing and embroidery (one less machine to take up space in my sewing room) and
    2. can embroider larger designs (my Bernette's maximum design size is 7.87" x 5.5")
    Make sure the machine you choose has the option to add designs via internet download or USB stick because that can add thousands of additional designs to the ones the machine comes with. Embroidery designs are usually fairly cheap and sometimes even free from sites like:

    https://www.emblibrary.com/EL/default.aspx
    or
    https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 10-03-2019 at 04:39 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

  9. #9
    Member evanssophiya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deedum View Post
    Brother are great machines, especially if your on a budget or just starting out. I recommend Janome or Babylock also. I would suggest to get the 5x7 hoop size or you will probably find yourself wishing you did. A 4x4 hoop size would be fine to start out with but limits you.
    More recently, I read reviews on another forum and everyone wrote that Brother is a great machine, but there are thousands of them saying that instead of a Brother everyone buys Janome. I was very surprised at this.

    I think the budget will allow me to buy Brother (Brother PE800) since I had a financial goal for such a purchase and I want to buy one machine once and for ages
    Last edited by evanssophiya; 10-04-2019 at 01:01 AM.

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    tee hee.....I don't know if you can buy an embroidery machine "for ages" cuz....an embroidery machine is basically a sewing computer.....how long does your phone last before it gets outdated? and your I-pad...or whatever computer device you own....at some point, the systems in your sewing computer will not support the newer stuff out there...and replacement boards will no longer be available. Now if you are lucky, you will have one that continues on but if something does....you eventually have to search for used replacement parts. My first embroidery machine was a Viking D1...I think it is about 20 or so years old now...it still works last time I tried it...but...it has an old floppy drive...getting the floppies to put the designs on is a bit tough....and the software I used doesn't run on the newer windows operating systems. the D1 still runs great and is my go to machine for heavy sewing....but I seldom use her now. I haven't tried transferring my old embroidery designs stored on a floppy to a usb yet....I have an old external floppy drive I can plug into my desktop....but...yeah...see what I mean...anyway...I do not do embroidery as much now.....I just bought a new Bernina 570 which I got an embroidery arm for....but I haven't tried it out yet for that....I loved doing embroidery when I was working, I would come home tired and just sit and watch the needle do the stitch outs....I made a lot of little white lace snowflakes as tree ornaments and that is what my sister mainly uses on her tree now....so pretty....started adding the little crystals to them...

  11. #11
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Every one is going to tell you something different. Test drive a machine and get one from a good dealer. A dealer is important for the high end machines. That being said....I'm a Pfaff girl myself. I have a Creative Sensation Pro and I love it.

  12. #12
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    My first embroidery machine was a Viking in 2000 - I quickly needed/wanted a machine that could do more! Almost 20 years later I still have that machine — I only use it for sewing now. I have 5 Babylock embroidery machines and love them a lot. I think all embroidery machines are good...to me the difference is the supplies you use — stabilizers, thread, and needles are the keys to a successful stitch out. Good Luck!

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    This is kind of like asking someone what is the best breed of dog. There is no simple answer, and we all prefer the dog we have now or had growing up.

    I agree that all the brands I have seen do a good job, so I might advise letting go of brand as your main criteria and just going to try some different machines and see what is in your budget and which interface and/or features appeal to you. There is no absolute best, because people's projects, budgets, materials, experience, education, support, etc, all varies so much. What is best for me may seem awkward for you, or too expensive, or not fancy enough....maybe you want lasers and cameras and scanners, or maybe you want bare bones.

    Brother has a great range of models and prices, including some entry level types (and all the way up to cutting edge gizmos). So many people do recommend them for beginners or folks on a budget. Excellent machines with a wide range of options. On the other hand, Bernina has a narrower range, so you would have to buy midrange or high end only, no embroidery offered on their low end of budget (Although they just released a cute little Bernette 79 that looks interesting). But they are good machines, too. And as your comment said, lots of folks have excellent Janomes stitching away.

    I did not choose my machine based mainly on embroidery features because that is only one piece of the pie. I choose it on which SM I liked best for all the various projects I do and what my experience told me that I needed most (they ALL look smashing on a brochure and on the sales floor, lol). Of course, this will be different if embroidery is all you wish to do.

    For instance, if you wish to monogram ready-made tee shirts or put little hippos on ready-made bibs, then a less expensive embroidery-only machine with a 5x7 would be great. But if you wish to make the tee shirts and bibs yourself, then all the other SM features are equally, if not more, important (like how does it handle knits? Is there a binding attachment? etc.) Or if you wish to make a big old quilt from scratch and use the embroidery machine to do edge-to-edge quilting, that is a whole other magilla, and you will want as large a hoop as you can get without breaking the bank, and the SM will need a strong motor and strong feed for managing a heavy quilt, and accurate stitching and feed for 1/4" piecing and adding a binding at the end. If you wish to do part of the quilting free motion, then how well does the machine do that? Does it handle rulers easily?

    No quick and easy answer to your question! And we have not even begun to look at whether a model has easy placement/correction methods, or if you can combine designs and manage fonts on the screen without needing software on your computer, or if it self threads, or if it gets you back to the right place after a thread break, or if it gives a clear and reliable warning when the bobbin is running low, or if it has a jumbo bobbin to avoid running out often, or if you can change the bobbin without moving the project? And dozens of other factors.

    It is a complicated decision, so many people just say a brand name in order to simplify the reply, and it is often Brother if the recommendation needs to be budget sensitive because they offer more options in the entry level range (just as they usually do on regular SM as well). Go try some! Then we can answer specific questions about what features are important.

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