Posts Tagged ‘Bernina’

Whats the best make/brand of sewing machine?

January 14th, 2013 3 comments

i do art-textiles at a-level and i do a lot of free machining/embroidery work , so will need it to have that feature plus the foot, also do normal machining, would like it to be quite straightforward, nothing tooo complicated
any suggestions would be great

I would suggest getting an older second hand machine, I do art and design A-level textiles and my all time favourite machines come from viking (also known as husqvarna). Bernina, the old ones i would say are the best for machine embroidery and last a lot longer, in one session without dying on you than the newer models :). I know quite a bit more about machines than most teenage girls doing textiles as my mum is a textiles teacher, from sweden where the teaching degrees for textiles require a lot more knowledge, also i have experience with both old and new viking machines, both great, an old bernina, especially used in our house for machine embroidery (all these three we have at home). and a Janome, a new one from school, which to be perfectly honest did not agree with me at all.

I am wanting to buy a sewing & embroidery machine. Which one to buy…see below?

December 9th, 2012 3 comments

I would say that I am an advanced sewer, however I have never done any embroidery on a sewing machine. I just got laid off this past June from my marketing job and have enjoyed just bouncing around not doing anything, however, I am now looking for a new creative job, something I could do with the skills I have an sell –perhaps on line, and the personalization of products seems really interesting. Your opinion would be gratefully received. TKS

Brother or Babylock are the most user friendly brands.

I have both and would buy none other.

Bernina for example makes a wonderful product, but they are very expensive and proprietary when it comes to software and accessories.

The other brands – I read too many problems – may be the machine and it may be the operator.

Stand alone models are less expensive than the combos.

Hoop size indicates how large a design you can stitch out without the aid of editing software. You want nothing smaller than 5 x7.

Connectivity. There will be designs and fonts already built into the embroidery machine. However, there are thousand on the Internet to download – some are free and some you will have to purchase.

To get those downloads to the embroidery machine you need an embroidery machine with USB ports for direct connect to the PC or to use a flash drive.

Supplies – medium weight cut away and medium weight tear away stabilizer.

Thread – rayon or polyester machine embroidery thread and machine embroidery bobbin thread.

Embroidery machine needles – a small supply comes with the machines.

You can get started for around $1,000. The models with the smaller hoop that uses a memory card is less money and with supplies about $700.

There is a series of books by Jeannine Twigg that are helpful when learning to use the embroidery machine. I started with this one –

Supplies, you can purchase when on sale.

Allbrands, Allstitch & ShoppersRule are a few of many, many sites that sell machine embroidery supplies.

Now that you are "loaded" with info – hit the sewing machine stores and let them show you what they have to offer.

Buy the machine you like best from the dealer you like best.

What is a good embroidery machine for personal and small business use?

November 23rd, 2012 2 comments

We ahve a small business and I want to personalize my kids’ shirts. What is a auitable model for this type of use?

You should look for a machine that has (at the very lease) a stitching (hoop) area of 5 x 7, or you will be limited to designs no larger than 4 x 4.

Also important is Internet connectivity. UBS port B is direct connection via a cable that comes with the machine and USB port A is a removable flash stick/drive. A is the most convenient, the PC needs to be near the embroidery machine to use the port B cable.

The less expensive machines use machine embroidery reader boxes and rewritable cards only – these are almost obsolete.

Bernina and Husqvarna are the most expensive and are proprietary when is comes to accessories (like additional UBS sticks).

Brother and Babylock are the same family of machines, the most user friendly and compatible with software, including the USB sticks.

Singer – has had an iffy reputation for several years.

They all are basically the same as far as functions. They get more expensive as the luxury features are added on.

You should be able to get an embroidery machine that has the larger stitching area and USB connectivity for around $1,000, or less.

You can buy new or a dealer may have a gently used one that has been traded up for one of the luxury models.

Do buy from a dealer for the support you may need.

Visit as many dealers as you can, watch the demos and then try the machines.

Buy the brand you like best from the dealer you like best.

Don’t buy any software from a dealer until you have used the machine and are comfortable with what you can do with additional software – there are companies that have free trials that you can download and test.

For more discussions, you may want to sign up at: or

Both have a lot of embroidery machine discussions – the sites are free.

i was looking for a good but cheap embroidery machine. anyone have any suggestions.?

November 21st, 2012 3 comments

"Good" but "cheap" when talking about Embroidery Machines is an oxymoron, no such critter exists if you are wanting to go with a new machine. I have a Brother 180D. Brother is the only E machine you can get that you have a choice on Disney designs, but not all Brothers just the ones that have D in the name. You may be able to pick up a used one with a sewing field of 4" x 4", for around $400 or $500, but you will soon learn that you want to be able to do larger designs and the machine cannot be converted to do larger designs. My next machine is a Bernina 330 and has a sewing field of 5" x 7" and is large enough for what I like to do. I bought it used two years old for $825. Both machines have been trouble free and the designs looks great when they are done. The biggest thing you want to do is be very familiar with the sewing/embroidery machine repair shops in your area. Call around and see what kind of machines they work on; not all shops repair all machines. Next you want to check their reputation and how well they handle repairs/maintenance and people. It is best to buy from your local shops whether you go new or used as they are usually willing to do their best for a return customer. Do not buy from a shop or store that does not do repair/maintenance, because even if you never have any trouble with your machine it does need to have a yearly check up that keeps it in good working order. When checking out a shop if you are not familiar with any, ask if they have good used machines for sale and check the prices against what you may have found on ebay or elsewhere, don’t forget to add the shipping and handling to the ones you found online. From my limited knowledge of the different embroidery machines the ones most widely recommended are Brother, Bernina, and Janome, but all have different temperaments and it is best to try them out before you decide.

Whats the best software for digitizing images for embroidery?

November 11th, 2012 2 comments

I have a Janome memorycraft 10000.

Why don’t you checkout the Janome digitizing program. I believe that it might have some nice features and you do have the Janome machine. Be careful with digitizng softwares that don’t output to your JEF format. If you get a software that doesn’t have JEF format, you will need to save the designs that you digitized in DST or PES format and then go to Janome Customizing and convert to JEF or SEW formats. Maybe you can see if your Janome dealer will let you try out their copy of Janome Digitizing to see what you think about it.

You can get other brands of digitizng software as long as you are aware that you will need to maybe output to DST or PES and then go into your Janome Customizer to convert to JEF, so that you can test the sewouts. The good brands off of the top of my head are (all over $1000-be careful of used versions, they use a security device called a dongle and without the dongle you wasted your money–the dongle might not work for the second user–so software must be new in the box with the dongle):
Janome Digitizer, Bernina Plus, Origins, Viking autodigitizing, Corel, Viking VP3, to name a few.

I have Bernina Plus 4 and I love it. I am under the impression that Janome Digitizer is just as good. On the bernina Plus, you have manual & auto digitizing functions. I prefer the manual but the auto feature is nice. The manual digitizing in bernina (& I suspect in janome) is object oriented (ie, you can cut & paste) and that is why I like it. Some other brands might have same features.

I have Viking autodigitizing and it is a better auto-digitizer than Bernina Plus’s auto digitizing engine. But Viking’s autodigitizing is much harder for the manual digitizing. I would choose the Bernina or Janome over it.
I have Viking VIP & it is very hard. Now, I don’t know if the new VP3 is better so I can’t really say.

I do beleive that Brother has a good rep but be sure that they support JEF files. Corel is new, so i can’t comment.

Note about autodigitizing softwares. You must have very clean clipart to use an autodigitizer. So, you must have a good graphics program to clean up clipart. If you buy clean clipart from Royalty free sources, then the auto is fine.

Next, are you going to go into biz? If so, you must have capabilities to do manual digitizing. There will be times that you will need to clean up your design or manually digitiize it. Customers think that manual digitizing is best. It all depends on complexity of design.

There are also home products that cost less, under $300 or so. Click N’Stitch needs clean clipart, you can’t manually digitize in it. Plus you can’t save to Native Format. The other one is Embird which has a 30 day trial. They have a plug in for manually digitizing. It is hard but a good value.

Again, I want to mention about the dongle, you need the dongle to run most of these progs. Don’t ever lose the dongle. Lost dongle==Lost Money. Comapnies will NOT replace dongles. Today the dongle is plugged in the USB port. If you BUY used software & there is NO dongle…YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MONEY..

Good luck. If I was getting a new embr machine i would look into the Janome & the janome Digitizer. Criswell, the famous designers of lace use Janome.

What is the preferred file type for embroidery designs on the Viking H Class 500E?

November 9th, 2012 2 comments

I am looking at getting a lower end embroidery machine, and this Viking seems to be winning, but I can’t find anywhere that says what is the preferred file type for the designs, I think it can read a few, I know some must be better than others, and I don’t know which it does and does not read.

I don’t think I would want an embroidery machine that has to be connected to a PC.

The format for Viking is usually.hus. But since this model looks like the Singer Futura, it may also use .sew format. See this discussion –

The dealer can give you this information.

You can convert any machine embroidery design (except Bernina’s .art format) to the format required by using conversion software,

Pulse Ambassador is a free conversion download used by many, including me.

When selecting designs, be sure the size of the design is within the stitching (embroidery) limitations of the embroidery machine.

Most have the standard 4 x 4 stitching area and some embroidery machines have larger stitching areas for embroidery designs.

Can you embroider Disney characters on any machine?

November 9th, 2012 2 comments

I’m wanting to get my wife a sewing / embroidery machine for Christmas. I know Brother sells their ‘Disney’ versions, but what if I don’t want a Brother machine. If I buy say a Singer, or Husqvarna, or Janome machine, will she still be able to embroider Disney characters? (I know legally you’d need copyright licensing to sell it, but I’m talking about just on a T-shirt or pillow case for our kids). Anyone know a good website where you can buy embroidery designs like this?

If you are determined to have Disney designs will need the Brother brand and for the best PC connectivity, a model with the USB stick for sending downloads to the embroidery machine.

Otherwise, my first choice is Baby Lock, then Brother.

This Brother program will work with several Brother models – Models are listed at the side bar. The iBroidery designs will be in the .pen format and only certain Brother models can read this format.

Before iBroidery was available only Brother D (model numbers ended with D) machines had or could stitch out Disney designs.

If you select another brand of embroidery machine, the machine’s required format may be different than the usual Brother and Baby Lock of .pes.

Most formats can be converted as required by your embroidery machine. With the exception of the .pen format used by iBroidery designs and .art used by older models of Bernina.

You can embroider copyrighted designs to your heart’s content as long as they are not represented as a liscenced product (such as an authentic MM sweatshirt).

In addition to the embroidery machine, a minimal embroidery machine software program will be needed.

Embird is the most economical and most popular with the home machine embroiderer.

Embird requires the base program and then as the embroiderer progresses more can be added, or not.

In addition to the Embird software, it would be a good ideal to have this book –

This site – will show how to do many things including downloading from the Internet and saving to the PC. There are many free designs available for downloading (avoid those from foreign countries as many are counterfeit).

Flash drives/flash sticks/thumb drives can be used for backing up the design files just in case the PC has a break down. These can be purchase for very little money almost anywhere (office supply stores, electronic stores, drug stores). They are about the size of a Pez dispenser. I have several and keep them in a storage container so they are not misplaced.

More tips and techniques –

Another tip – most machine embroidery thread will be rayon. Use polyester machine embroidery thread on items that will be washed a lot or come in contact with chlorine.

How to Do Free Motion Embroidery on any sewing machine using the Octi-Hoops Dragonfly design.

June 2nd, 2012 11 comments

Free Motion Embroidery / Thread Painting on any sewing machine. Everyone at any skill level can embroider on ALL sewing machines because we only use a straight stitch and NO sewing machine Foot is needed so visibility is far superior to any other embroidery process. This kit includes 3 8 sided frames varying in size that have holes on all 8 sides where a handle drops into to make it so you don’t have to hold onto the frames. It is ergonomic and feels like you’re holding a crayon and coloring in a coloring book. So simple even beginners succeed! It’s fun and relaxing and is a fantastic stress reducer. Invented by Clare Rowley, inventor of the Creative Feet presser feet for sewing machines and are available for purchase from

Duration : 0:8:46

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How to Make Monster Bookmarks: Free Embroidery Design

May 26th, 2012 2 comments
Stitch these monster bookmarks for the readers in your life!

Get FREE Designs and subscribe here:

Duration : 0:7:5

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Husqvarna Viking 4D Professional 1: Packages Included

November 23rd, 2011 1 comment

Embroidery software educator Soni Grint shows highlights of the packages contained in 4D Professional. She shows a jacket embellished with Shapes, a table runner created with Encore and lettering font samples including QuickFonts created from computer TrueType fonts, all in 4D Embroidery Extra. Another jacket demonstrates editing features from 4D Stitch Editor, as do morphing samples. A sampler, designs and text were created in 4D Cross Stitcher.

Duration : 0:7:28

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