Stabilizers

1

I am willing to buy one, but I'm not sure which one i would like to buy. Any suggestions?? I dont care what price range it is either.

I can't tell you the 'best' one to use but I can offer you some guidance, of sorts.

You need to also think about what kind of designs you intend to do. Can you use the small 4×4 stitching area or can you afford a couple of hundred more to move on up to a 5×7 stitching area? Personally, I wish I'd waited and saved to get the 5×7 stitching area for my first machine.

Ok, after you 've decided what size stitching area you want You'll need to decide which machine.
Before deciding on a machine, you need to determine what you plan to do with it. Will it be a work horse that never stops, or do you think it may be something you tire of quickly? ( Honestly, machine embroidery is ADDICTING so I don't see that second option happening.)
Ok, when you've narrowed down to a couple of machines you think you'd like, look at what you'll need to use them. For example. I bought my brother embroidery machine blindly having no clue what I'd need. After it was delivered, I found out that to transfer designs from my computer to the machine, I'd have to have a ped basic and design card.
Some machines use a flash drive, some need cd's, others still use floppy disks, and some can hook directly up to your computer. You need to find out what you'll need before you buy the machine.
After you find a machine you want you'll also have to buy supplies. You'll need all of these things before even stitching your 1st project.

Thread – lots and lots of thread (i recommend anna bove collections)
an assortment of embroidery needles (depending on your fabric and stabilizer, you could need a different size needle for each project)
Stabilizers – everyone has their favorites and you will too. To start I'd recommend a good water soluble stabilizer, a light mesh stabilizer, and a heavier stabilizer.

Before getting anything – even the machine – I'd recommend joining and online forum. You can join for free at www.sewforum.com or you can join a subscription site like www.artisticthreadworks.com. I learned sooooo much from the people at artisticthreadworks that I would recommend you join before buying the machine. The people there will answer any question.
I also recommend www.nitasplace.com. The forum is less busy – more advanced stitchers i guess – but they will ALWAYS stop to answer a question.

I know I didn't directly answer your question, but I didnt want you to think it was as easy as just picking up a machine. If you have any questions, you're welcome to email me at jdlindseyembroidery@yahoo.com

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4

What I want to use it for is monogramming and small pictures. I am sure that once I get more experience I would like certain options, but all the information on the websites is a bit baffling. Can you tell me from your experience which machine(s) I should be looking at? Thanks for your time!!

I have a Viking embroidery machine and LOVE it.
I have downloaded many designs for free on the internet that have sewn out beautifully.

Buy your machine at a good sewing machine store. They will have free classes on how to use your machine. Take as many classes on embroidery as you can. There are so many tips and tricks to learn that make it easier to embroider. You need to know what type of thread to use in both upper and in the bobbin, hooping, stabilizers, needles. I took classes at the store and at sewing conventions. If you can get to a convention take as many machine embroidery classes as you can afford.

Take time to just practice.. There is a learning curve with it. It will take some time before you are comfortable with it.

5

I want an embroidery machine. I just want it to monogram towels or things like that for cute gifts. I want one with some cute fonts on it. I have never done it before so it needs to be easy to work. I also cant spend over $400-$500 on it. Help!

The problem with picking up a Brother embroidery machine from WalMart is you can't just take it out of the box and start embroidering.
It is really something you need lessons for. There is special thread, bobbin thread, and needles you need. You need to know how to hoop and what stabilizer to use and how to use it. I took one class in just stabilizers. Towels for example, need a special stabilizer on the top. It looks like a think plastic. It pushes downt the loops of the terrycloth so they don't poke through the threads of your design.
Getting a used model at a sewing machine dealer would give you free lessons on how to operate your machine. And offer other lessons on how to embroider

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7

I've heard of a few alternatives to embroidery stabilizer… dryer sheets, freezer paper, even "sewer cloth" that plumbers use. Any others?

i would recommend you join a few yahoo groups. they discuss things like this all the time. some of the alternatives work and work well, other work and can damage your machine. the people on the yahoo groups are full of so much useful knowledge and they allow us to learn from their mistakes.
here are just a few. if you want more either do a search in yahoo groups or contact me thru my profile and i'd be happy to help.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SiCKDesigns/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adesigninstitches/?yguid=102878935
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/affordableembroiderysuppliesfromdpauls/?yguid=102878935
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/News_For_Embroidery/?yguid=102878935

those should get you started. i also would like to share my favorite embroidery site with you. they give away 49 free designs a day and the memberships to their site are very reasonable and they run sales frequently.
http://www.designsbysick.com/amember/go.php?r=5647&i=l0">Designs by SiCK Embroidery Library

good luck and have fun. if you have any other questions please e-mail me thru my profile.

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