Embroidery and Sewing Machines?

5

I am looking to buy a embroidery and sewing machine and i am not sure which one to get as there are many out there. I have never worked on a sewing machine and really don't do that much sewing however i would like to be able to make a quilt also. I do the hand embroidery and cross stitches and while i love it i would like to be able to do different patterns of like my pictures and things like that without it takeing me two years to finish a project. Does anyone have any suggestions?

This is akin to asking for a car, when you really want is a Bat-mobile that can travel on the air, road and water. Nevertheless, there are a few things you could look for to make your dream come true.

There are many reviews and buying guides on the web:
Embroidery machines: http://www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/best-embroidery-machine.php
Sewing Machines and Patterns Review: http://sewing.patternreview.com/news

Whichever machine you select, get the machine's manual. There is a common assumption that machines are all the same, but it's not true. Used machines can be wonderful, if they've been well cared for. But it does you no good to assume all machines need oil (not true), or to miss out on the machine full creative ability.
Sewing Machine Manuals: http://www.mastersewusa.com/

You can make Couture-level garments on a straight-sew machine, but most modern sewing machines offer more than one stitch. It's creative use of these that make them powerful. I'm speaking of ordinary sewing machines that adjust stitch length, have a Zigzag or other cover stitches, plus whatever geometric or floral designs. For truly giving these options a workout on ordinary sewing machines, I suggest the public library. Seek out books on Decorative Machine Stitching
Fine Machine Stitching http://www.amazon.com/Fine-Machine-Sewing-Revised-Embellishing/dp/1561585866/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257164512&sr=8-2

And consider Bobbin Work. Many an artist has used a simple machine to create amazing works. If the thread, fiber, or ribbon is too thick to go through the needle, why not run it through the bobbin?
Bobbin work: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5025/bobbin-work-when-threads-are-too-thick-for-the-needle

On any machine you're considering, ask if the Feed Dogs can be lowered. Fabric is advanced under the sewing machine's foot by way of a moving metal assembly that pulls the fabric through in one direction only. If you can lower the feed dogs, you can move in any direction opening an entire world of creativity. Seek out web articles and books on Free-Motion Embroidery or Free-Motion Quilting it's a world of hoops and stabilizers – but the work can be done on ordinary sewing machines that have the option of lowering the feed dogs.
Anatomy of a sewing machine: http://www.a1sewingmachine.com/image/basic%20sewing%20machine%20parts.jpg
Watch a video on free motion technique: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3833/video-manuels-free-motion-embroidery-technique
Be advised: Manuel is working on an extraordinarily FAST manual machine. But it you note the hoop, the rotation of it, the turning of the work, it will make other Free Motion Embroidery directions make sense.
How to do free-motion embroidery http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-213.pdf

Machine quilting can be done on any straight sew machine. Some are just better at it than others because they have greater torque, or a larger arm. And these are great when you want to throw money at it. But artists can get a lot out of simple machinery if you learn the concepts of what you want to do. You do not need thousands of dollars to start.

Embroidery machines are quite amazing and you'll be deciding between a bunch of Disney or the ability to digitize your own designs. Give some thought about the size of your work, what parts you need done for you, what magic you expect of the machine – and I greatly encourage researching what other artists have done with machine embroidery. You might just find they use a less expensive model (than what the dealer is telling you) to achieve their work.

The Art isn't just in the machine, it's in you.

Comments on Embroidery and Sewing Machines? Leave a Comment

November 17, 2012

mpeter2314 @ 4:19 pm #

This is akin to asking for a car, when you really want is a Bat-mobile that can travel on the air, road and water. Nevertheless, there are a few things you could look for to make your dream come true.

There are many reviews and buying guides on the web:
Embroidery machines: http://www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/best-embroidery-machine.php
Sewing Machines and Patterns Review: http://sewing.patternreview.com/news

Whichever machine you select, get the machine's manual. There is a common assumption that machines are all the same, but it's not true. Used machines can be wonderful, if they've been well cared for. But it does you no good to assume all machines need oil (not true), or to miss out on the machine full creative ability.
Sewing Machine Manuals: http://www.mastersewusa.com/

You can make Couture-level garments on a straight-sew machine, but most modern sewing machines offer more than one stitch. It's creative use of these that make them powerful. I'm speaking of ordinary sewing machines that adjust stitch length, have a Zigzag or other cover stitches, plus whatever geometric or floral designs. For truly giving these options a workout on ordinary sewing machines, I suggest the public library. Seek out books on Decorative Machine Stitching
Fine Machine Stitching http://www.amazon.com/Fine-Machine-Sewing-Revised-Embellishing/dp/1561585866/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257164512&sr=8-2

And consider Bobbin Work. Many an artist has used a simple machine to create amazing works. If the thread, fiber, or ribbon is too thick to go through the needle, why not run it through the bobbin?
Bobbin work: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5025/bobbin-work-when-threads-are-too-thick-for-the-needle

On any machine you're considering, ask if the Feed Dogs can be lowered. Fabric is advanced under the sewing machine's foot by way of a moving metal assembly that pulls the fabric through in one direction only. If you can lower the feed dogs, you can move in any direction opening an entire world of creativity. Seek out web articles and books on Free-Motion Embroidery or Free-Motion Quilting it's a world of hoops and stabilizers – but the work can be done on ordinary sewing machines that have the option of lowering the feed dogs.
Anatomy of a sewing machine: http://www.a1sewingmachine.com/image/basic%20sewing%20machine%20parts.jpg
Watch a video on free motion technique: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3833/video-manuels-free-motion-embroidery-technique
Be advised: Manuel is working on an extraordinarily FAST manual machine. But it you note the hoop, the rotation of it, the turning of the work, it will make other Free Motion Embroidery directions make sense.
How to do free-motion embroidery http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-213.pdf

Machine quilting can be done on any straight sew machine. Some are just better at it than others because they have greater torque, or a larger arm. And these are great when you want to throw money at it. But artists can get a lot out of simple machinery if you learn the concepts of what you want to do. You do not need thousands of dollars to start.

Embroidery machines are quite amazing and you'll be deciding between a bunch of Disney or the ability to digitize your own designs. Give some thought about the size of your work, what parts you need done for you, what magic you expect of the machine – and I greatly encourage researching what other artists have done with machine embroidery. You might just find they use a less expensive model (than what the dealer is telling you) to achieve their work.

The Art isn't just in the machine, it's in you.
References :
Stippling: http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/tvt035.asp
New Trends in Machine Quilting: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/2373/basic-technique-meets-new-trends-in-machine-quilting
Dissolve, Distort with Machine Stitching http://www.craftstylish.com/item/4255/stitch-dissolve-and-distort-with-machine-embroidery-stitches

drip @ 4:58 pm #

Realize that to digitize your own designs you are going to have to buy some very expensive software for your computer. There are software packages for cross stitching. But none of them are cheap. You need to go to a sewing machine dealer. Sit down and demo the machines they have there. Pfaff, Viking and Bernina are the top brands. My Viking embroidery machine is 15 years old and still sewing great. Make sure to check out a couple of dealers if you can. Any dealer should give you free lessons on how to use the machine you do buy. And I highly suggest taking extra classes on how to embroider, and how to digitize.
References :

Alexa @ 5:38 pm #

Visit as many sewing machine dealers as you can for demos and test drives.

Tell them what you want to be able to do.

Include your budget, if that is an issue.

You want:

(1) A dealer who is friendly, supportive and offers lessons.
(2) An embroidery (hoop) area of at least 5 x 7
(3) Direct connect or USB stick drive for using designs from the Internet or CD.

My first choice would be Babylock and then Brother.

Do not buy any software from a dealer until you are familiar with the machine.

There are many free and inexpensive designs you can download and may find no need to create your own designs.

When that time comes, there are several brands on the Internet that offer free trials you can download or order and sample how they work.
References :

sewcreative @ 6:24 pm #

One of the posters talked about digitizing software. You can get Embird at a reasonable price. It is an editing program with options for digitizing and cross stitch design software. It's more economical than the big name brands and has a couple of yahoo lists that offer lots of help. Just another option for you to look into.
References :
http://www.embird.com

garjengun @ 7:05 pm #

why don't you look at a BROTHER sewing/embroidery machine combo. They come in several different sizes. And if you outgrow the machine you get, you can always trade it in and upgrade! I personally own a Brother machine, and I don't think you can go wrong. they are very easy to use and there is software that you an get if you would like to digitize your own designs. Look for a Brother Dealer in your area so you can see the different machines and test one out for yourself!
References :

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