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Embroidery machine

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    Embroidery machine

    After seeing so many wonderful gifts created via an embroidery machine at last nights gift exchange-my hexi club is so much fun- I am more interested than ever to get one. DH says "look into it" so I am. Any advice as to what features I should look for or features that are not really used? If you have one do you find you make enough use of it to justify the $$$? I have a friend with one and she has not really been able to figure it out enough to use it for anything other than lettering.
    I would love to see some of your creations.

    Thanks ever so much for any/all input.
    One yard of fabric, like one cookie, is never enough!

    Beth aka Asta

    Re: Embroidery machine

    I have had and sold two so not sure my comments will help but anyway.
    Be sure to get the largest embroidery area you can afford, a minimum of 5x7 and be sure to get a method of uploading designs that is easy for you to understand.
    I had to Brothers and was satisfied with their quality.


      Re: Embroidery machine

      I have two Babylocks. The first question to ask yourself: will you be using the machine solely for embroidery, or do you want one that you can sew on as well? The ones that do both are usually more expensive. Claire is 100% right, buy the machine with the largest hoop you can afford. I bought my second machine recently because my first one -- an older model that was pre-owned -- broke twice this year. That machine can be used for either sewing or embroidery. The machine I purchased recently is embroidery only and has a larger hoop.

      Babylocks and Brothers are very similar in features and price. My choice came down to the interface (I already had a Babylock so that was easier for me) and the designs that came with the machine. The Brother had a lot of Disney designs, which I would not use. I use my machine mostly for edge-to-edge quilting, but I do embroider occasionally.
      Last edited by JulieC; December 4th, 2019, 09:47 AM.


        Re: Embroidery machine

        I love machine embroidery, I probably use my embroidery machines more than my sewing machines. There are so many things you can make with them and the designs get better and better each year.

        Definetly get a machine with the biggest hoop size you can afford. My first machine has a 5x7 hoop as it's largest but there are more "in the hoop designs" now for larger items such as purses and such than there were when I started about 5 years ago so I moved up to a larger machine. Between the two machines I can do pretty much everything I want now.

        Also purchase from a dealer who will give you good service with your machine. It is also very helpful if they are experienced in machine embroidery themselves so they know how the machine operates and can answer any questions/ or problems you may experience. When I was shopping for my second machine and had questions about it there were a number of dealers who didn't know the answers to my questions cause they sold the machine I was inquiring about but never operated it.

        Shop around and I hope you find one, I think you will be hooked once you get one!
        If you could choose to be anything choose kindness.

        Visit my Flickr page, sewing and cakes![email protected]/


          Re: Embroidery machine

          I agree with everything Cathy said. In addition, it's important to me to have a LED screen that's in color. My first emb machine had a screen that was black and white and it was nearly impossible to figure things out. I'm talking about the picture of the design you are sewing. Also, get a machine with the largest hoops you can afford. I also appreciate the cutting feature and the low bobbin warning. My machine is a Janome 12000. The following are a few of the kinds of things you can do with an emb machine. It's really FUN!!!

          Aubrey.jpg Banners2Go.jpg ClutchBag.jpg HalloweenMat.jpglaceyangel.jpg
          Last edited by Bubby; December 4th, 2019, 10:25 AM.

          Scottie Mom Barb


            Re: Embroidery machine

            I have a Husky/Viking Topaz 50 which both sews and embroiders. The largest hoop it will take is a 200 x 360 which is basically the size of a piece of paper, big enough for anything I have ever done. I prefer magnetic hoops over spring hoops but that's just me. I have used Madeira thread primarily. If you want an exact match to a picture stay away from off brands that don't have a conversion chart. If you are just getting close or doing your own things the cheaper off brands seem to work just as well. The downside to a Husky is you just about have to buy your hoops at Joann's or online and they are PRICEY! I use the largest hoop the most often and if I need a smaller hooping area I use parchment paper cut to the hoop size with a cutout in the middle for the design size. Works well for me. Hope this helps. I do have a caveat though.......WARNING machine embroidery can be hazardous to your family life


              Re: Embroidery machine

              Money had been a factor for me (still is). I wasn't sure if I'd even like doing embroidery but I wanted to try and see. I got the Brother SE400. It cost around $400. Only has a hoop that can do 4x4 designs. Turns out I do like doing embroidery and if I had the extra money I'd get the larger Brother with the larger 5x7 design capability. The SE400 also could do sewing which the larger model can't. At this stage that would be ok because I have another sewing machine for various stitching.. The problem with the SE400 is the sewing part of the machine stopped working after 3 years and could not be repaired. The embroidery part still works fine so I continue to use it for just embroidery. From what I've read in various forums is that this is not an unfamiliar problem with the SE400. I liked the way the machine had stitch, it had many options and it was smooth sewing....until it didn't. I'd probably try the Brother PE800 which runs around $528 next as that has a 5x7 hoop. It's probably about all I could afford.
              Women are Angels.
              When someone
              break's our wings
              we will continue to
              fly...usually on a
              We're flexible like that.
              - embroitique


                Re: Embroidery machine

                I have a very nice one, but have not gotten the chance to really get into using it yet.

                I'm told, and have read, that the most important thing people want is the hoop size....

                No rainbows!


                If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!


                  Re: Embroidery machine

                  I agree with everyone--get the largest hoop size you can afford. And I second Cathy's advice about buying from a dealer where you can get support.


                    Re: Embroidery machine

                    I have a Bernina with a 5x7 hoop. Love what it can do. I need to learn more. It seems beautifully too. Right now it needs to go to the shop. My daughter was sewing and the timing went. I bought a box of sulky. It was $250, it's pricy but fun!


                      Re: Embroidery machine

                      Do you want to (legally) sew Disney designs? If you do, then you have only one choice: BROTHER. Only Brother is licensed to sew Disney creations.

                      Having said that, I've owned two Brother embroidery machines and two Janome embroidery machines. All four have been trusty workhorses, even the so-nicely-priced SE400 that Carli Wolf mentioned. So if you want Disney, buy the biggest hoop Brother machine that you can afford!

                      (I quickly decided that the 4x4 hoop on the SE400 was too small and replaced it with a Janome 11000. Only after purchasing the Janome did I learn that only Brother has copyrighted Disney designs. Hence I purchased an embroidery-only Brother with a 6x10 hoop specifically for Disney to augment my Janome 11000.)
                      Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?


                        Re: Embroidery machine

                        DH bought a Pfaff Creative 1.5 when we started quilting. We have all the hoops that it can accommodate, but I think biggest is about 5x7. Although we downloaded and bought a lot of free designs, we have barely used them. We use the machine mostly for making very pretty and elaborate quilt labels.

                        Threads - we bought a lots of embroidery threads, but found they caused issues with tension, and would often break. I tried Glide thread which I use on my LA., and I have never had an issue since then.

                        Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

                        Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.


                          Re: Embroidery machine

                          First, check the local dealers and schedule a demo (or two) on their machine. The dealer may have a trade-in or consignment machine available. They may also offer a class or event. Our dealer provides machines for events if you don't have one.

                          There are so many different levels of machines and features available. I made 4 visits before deciding on my first machine. Some brands have embroidery only machines. A nice option if you already have a sewing machine to use. I wanted a machine that I could grow into instead of "out-of" meaning I would learn the new features. I sew or work on a machine embroidery project every day.



                            Re: Embroidery machine

                            I have the Husqvarna topaz 50. Its nice. I guess I'm not very crafty. After making dish towels for friends and using it for quilting designs I found that it didn't make me feel as creative as FMQ eventhough it truly is more professional looking. I like the art side of crafts and I want to be able to say, "yes, I made that" but as my grandson told his mother..."yeah but you used that cheater machine and gramma does her own". Maybe that's why I can't seem to get into it. We are all different


                              Re: Embroidery machine

                              My husband bought my embroidery machine for Xmas 1998.
                              I use my Emb. machine mainly to stitch quilt blocks for
                              crib quilts/lap quilts. These quilts make wonderful baby
                              shower quilts and Xmas gifts. I’ve made quilts for my
                              grandchildren and nieces and nephews. I just finished
                              embroidering bed quilts for my granddaughters for
                              wedding gifts. Wonderful emb. Designs are available.
                              I also emb. my quilt labels with the same designs I
                              used in the quilt top. I use the 5X7 hoop most of the time.
                              I use Isacord emb. Thread recommended by my
                              Bernina dealer. I use OESD heavy weight stabilizer
                              and 505 temporary fabric adhesive.
                              It’s important to use quality fabrics when
                              embroidering and a good stabilizer to produce
                              a quality end product.
                              For me machine embroidery is a creative outlet I
                              can incorporate into my quilts.
                              Research machines and products so you are
                              educated so you can purchase a machine you
                              will be satisfied with. Have fun creating .