No announcement yet.

Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

    This is a serious question. Could someone please explain the appeal of embroidery capabilities in a sewing machine? It seems to me that it is expensive (cost of machine!, cost of thread!) and also that you just have to sit there and watch it while it does the embroidery all by itself (so not a lot of user engagement). It doesn't seem all that creative to just choose a picture and let the machine sew it for you (no offense, please). I can see that it would be nice to embroider an important date (such as on a wedding quilt) or a name (such as on a baby quilt) but other than that I just don't get it.

    This MAY be a case of "If you don't get it, I can't explain it to you" but maybe there are things I just haven't thought of that would be really great. Looking at the cost of embroidery machines, though, it seems like a LOT of extra money for embroidered pictures (in comparison, absolutely gorgeous fabric is just not that expensive). I am very happy for all of the people who are happy with their machines and I am NOT putting anyone down, I am just curious as to what the appeal is. I wonder how many people get the embroidery capabilities "just to have them" but then don't ever really end up using them that much once they get them. I hope no one takes this question wrong because I really would like to know!


    Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

    also that you just have to sit there and watch it while it does the embroidery all by itself
    And there you go, that's the appeal.
    Since you're always on my mind can you straighten out the mess up there?


      Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

      My sister wanted one like that, that had it all......but I have convinced her not to.
      Get a stand alone embroidery machine......then while it is doing it's thing she can be sewing on something else.
      She has quit her job and is quilting full time now because she has had so many requests!

      Eventually when she does get one she will be able to add embroidered elements to her quilts and personalization also!
      I wish I had one!


        Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

        I would guess it is something like the difference in quilting the traditional way and machine quilting.


          Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

          Ozzie - I use to do ALOT of hand embroidery . . love love loved it .. but like anything else - with age - it starts to break down . .
          and my eyes are just not what they use to be -- my 1st big boy (sewing machine) was a combo -- sewing and embroidery . .
          don't like it . . to much pain in the bahooka to change out . . so I purchased a stand alone embroidery machine . .
          both of my machine are for pleasure and for making money . . although I'm still learning all the thee's and thou's - tips and tricks on my embroidery machine . . it's paid for itself over and over again . .
          2015 is here
          Be Bold and Bravely put one foot in front of the other :)


            Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

            When I started looking for a new machine last fall I was just looking at sewing machines only. My DH suggested I look ar combo machines for the flexibility. I bought the Pfaff Creative Sensation and love it. I embroider a lot more than I thought I would. Some are purchased designs and some I have created. I also have done a large amount of applique work including a quilt for DH that is all wild flowers. You can create as much as you like or buy all the designs. For what I like to do it doesgive me lots of options. The machine is user friendly and sews beautifully. I have a second sewing machine if I need to sew something while the other is running. Just my opinion.


              Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

              I don't really know , but I'm one of those "If I see it ...I want it!" people. But I agree with you..unless you are doing it professionally and time & quantity are an issue...I don't understand putting in a program and go clean your house. I want the frustrations and tears of doing it yourself and being really satisfied at the end. I have looked at the long arms (another "see it..want it") with the computer setup and I think I would miss the hands on. I really don't want to quilt other people's tops so I don't plan on going professional at that. But I would like to sell some of my quilts someday when I think I'm good enough.


                Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                I'm one of those embroidery machine/duo users - absolutely LOVE it. Not only am I able to create my own designs, I don't have to sit and watch it like a baby . . . I'm very much hooked on what is known as In The Hoop (ITH) designs - I can make all sorts of things that come out looking very professional and take a minimum of effort on my part. The fact that I can make a purse or phone case, or Ipod case or a doll or a bib, and it comes out with no raw seams and can be personalized makes my day . . .

                Guess beauty is all in the eye of the beholder - the designs can be customized and are far more accurate than any that you may try doing by a piece by piece method . . . When I got my first embroidery machine I personalized business shirts for our Mom and Pop business - I've done quilt labels, name tags, quilt blocks, personalized bibs for babies, pincushions, diaper bags . . . and the list goes on.
                Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
                it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

                "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."


                  Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                  I bought one several years ago and I like it. Sometimes I quilt, sometimes I sew, sometimes I embroidery. I love making little burp cloths most of all for babies. I can embroidery on quilts, basket liners, towels. A lot of things a person can embroidery on. To me it is another tool. Much like a serger. Yes, they are a bit expensive but what isn't. I guess a sewing machine sews, and an embroidery machine does embroidery. Each to their own.
                  Attached Files


                    Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                    ozziepuppy, though I now really love my combo sewing/embroidery machine, I used to ask precisely the same question you are asking. I thought, "Why in the world would someone want machine embroidery on a handmade item?"

                    Then I got the idea that having machine-written labels on my quilts would be WAY better than Sharpie marker labels. So I bought a Brother SE400 combo machine. About a month later, a daughter asked me to make graduation ribbons for a youth group she worked with. She found this cool Christian design and I promptly pumped out 24 embroidered ribbons.

                    I was hooked. I loved the beautiful designs that little machine could make. In less than two years, I upgraded to a used Janome Memory Craft 11000 because the Brother had a max hoop size of 4"x4". That was too limiting for me.

                    In other words, embroidery for me was like Lays potato chips -- I couldn't "eat" just one. I just love the embellishing that embroidery adds to a project. And I don't care one hoot that a machine did it instead of me. I've tried hand embroidery and I'm just not very good at it.

                    So I have truly done a 180 degree turn on embroidery. Like you said, no one could have convinced me that the expense was worth it. But now that I've tried it, the expenses are just a part of the hobby.
                    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?


                      Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                      A few years ago, my cheap sewing machine bit the dust. A friend of mine had a combo machine. I ended up getting an entry level combo machine. To begin with I did lots of embroidery and was scared of any type of sewing needed to be done on an embroidery project. Now, I sew much more, but when I am embroidering, I am usually setting up the next project or getting quilt projects ready or using my serger. I am not comfortable leaving it running for very long without being monitored - broken needles, etc happen and much easier to find the spot to go back to if you are in the room when it happens. I have fun with it in both modes.

                      M*QC forum is full of the best people!

                      I'm not just buying fabric, I am supporting the economy...

                      A bad day in the sewing room is better than a good day at the office.


                        Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                        The appeal to me is that I can create such cool gifties for people. If someone's favorite flower was an Iris , rose, daisy, I have a generous amount of designs to choose from. I can make napkins, tablecloths, wine bags. There are so many cool teen and punk designs on Urban threads that my dd uses to make bags for her friends, You can make greeting cards and ornaments, and all kinds of stuff.

                        Think of it as working with paper and scrapbooking, but it's with fabric and thread
                        🌺 Lorie


                          Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                          Love that comment, Leah! I'm still chuckling.


                            Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                            I like what has already been said and trying to come up with something that adds. I started with an embroidery machine and if it was standing still in my house it has something sew on it! All my children (adult) have monogramed towels and kitchen towels, pillow cases with glow in the dark thread for the grandchildren, daughters have aprons with things they love on them. My son asked me to do a "sign" for his shop at work it was kind of snarky but fun... what is funny is I have yet to incorporate into my quilting. I know it would be easy and I could just haven't.
                            And actually, I don't have to watch my machine but I tend to hang around in case a thread breaks etc…. but I find when people stop by they are fascinated and especially men!



                              Re: Explain the Appeal of Embroidery

                              I really LOVE having the ability to embroider! It takes a project to the next level, truly customized and personalized. Yes you are buying a design, but you are putting it in a quilt with purchased fabric with someone else's design also. Not many people design their own prints for fabric, in fact I don't know a single person that DOES. We buy what someone else has designed. And we have to accept the exact way they made it because we can't change a thing about it.

                              With embroidery, you CAN change fabric to be truly what YOU want it to be, to fit what you are making. I can give so many examples, but a few are:

                              I needed a quilt for a very special person's soon to be born son. I asked for colors and the nursery theme. The answer was navy blue, baby blue, sage green and lots of whales. Sure I found fabric with whales. PERFECT and absolutely adorable. But I wanted it to be SPECIAL. Not just fabric printed with whales, I wanted to add my own. So I found some equally perfect whale designs. NOW I had a truly customized quilt for a very special little guy.

                              ANY machine you buy is only capable of performing one task at a time. You can not applique and sew seams on the same machine at the same time. It is not even something anyone would consider, kind of silly to even think it. An embroidery machine is no different. You can not do two things at once on it. I have multiple machines because I LOVE sewing machines. So I CAN sew while one of my machines is embroidering, however it is a bit too simplistic to think you can just set a design then walk away and come back to a finished project. It doesn't quite work that way :-) You still have to work the machine.

                              Embroidery allows you to make things truly unique, to embellish the same mass produced fabric that anyone can buy.

                              Another example. I make quilts for Project Linus, and I like rag quilts because they are fast, easy and the extra texture is great for kids in stressful situations. ANYONE can sew front and back sections together with big "x"'s, or a simple decorative stitch, but an embroidery machine takes it to the next level and makes it truly awesome!

                              This is so much more than just squares attached together.

                              You have a machine do the stitching for the same reasons we use sewing machines at all. They can do it faster, and stronger.

                              Here is another rag quilt for a very ill, very wonderful lady who LOVES hummingbirds. Why just stick two pieces of fabric together, when you can attach them with hummingbirds?

                              This has not even TOUCHED the surface of customized apparel.

                              College graduation stoles, in standard designs, run anywhere from $90 +. But they are not TRULY customized for YOUR special graduate.

                              The ability to make something so special, so unique and so exactly how you want it to be, is priceless.

                              My grandson gave this to his Auntie Belle when she went to grad school. She loves owls. And she tells him on the phone every times she talks to him that she "loves him to the moon and back"

                              just ONE side on an apron is OK, but when you can make your own, why not make it two?
                              the reverse side of the apron for Auntie Belle

                              I do not sew for money anymore, and would not even CONSIDER doing it again. I do not need to earn money for my sewing to justify the cost of my machines. I buy them because they are awesome and I want to be able to do what *I* want, when I want it, and HOW I want it to be. I like absolute control and endless options.

                              Quilt for a friend's granddaughter, battling leukemia. I asked all our collective friends for a bit of fabric for this quilt. I could have just sewn them together, but this is so much more for a young, sick child than just fabric bits sewn in a pattern.

                              Gifts for baby showers

                              And the very dear to me Mommy to be

                              Then there is the appeal of having the ability to make something like this, for no other reason than it is incredibly beautiful

                              And gosh I forgot about labels! You spend countless hours working on quilts, to have a unique, custom, LONG LASTING label, is just the icing on the cupcake
                              Last edited by Cat n bull; April 2, 2014, 08:36 PM.