S Books


I am interested in learning the basics, and how, so wondered if any of you may have book suggestions on to learn what it entails, what materials are neccessary, ectera. Any suggys?

As well as the library, (which I was also going to suggest), you could also try doing some 'research' on Amazon. Look up a few titles there and read the customer reviews. Also have a look at your local bookstore's craft section and see what type of thing looks right to you. Take you time in choosing though, do more than a quick flick through. There's nothing worse than spending a mint on a book that really doesn't work for you!! That's why libraries can be great – you can make book-choosing mistakes for free.=)

Country Bumpkin's A-Z books are lovely (although maybe not that suitable for beginners – good eye candy though) and I also have the Anchor Beginners Guide to Freestyle Embroidery by Christina Marsh, which intros simple stitches in groups and has samplers and designs you can use for practise. Of course, there's also a lot of info on materials, techniques and so on as well. Here it is on Amazon UK:

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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.


I inherited my mom's Brother NV4000D embroidery machine and want to learn to use it. The Brother dealer wants $50/hour and I can't afford that. Mother used to go to weekly classes and I doubt she paid that much for them but she was in Colorado so I don't know.

Your mother may not have paid that much, because the lessons where at the dealer from which she purchased the machine. Over the past years, prices have gone up for service and lessons.

When I purchase my first embroidery machine, there wasn't anyone selling the machines who new very much about how to use the.

I learned at my own pace from Jeanine Twigg's books.

The manual for the machine will show you how to operated the machine – read and follow the instructions carefully.

There are many sites where you can ask questions or view "conversations" among those who do machine and embroidery and they are always very helpful when it comes to a "newbie".

Try Machine Embroidery Essentials, How to Stabilize, Hoop and Stitch as well as a few visits to http://www.sewforum.com

One important caveat – never walk away from the embroidery machine while it is operating. A jam can throw off the timing and this is around a $90 fix.

Visit Ann The Gran for free designs to download as well as Sewforum and several other sites.

Ask about lessons in San Diego at Ann The Gran. There is at least one person on the forum in CA, but I am not sure of the city.

You might also ask the same at sewforum.

Additional information –

Your machine embroidery format is pes.

According to this ad, the 4000 has been discontinued, but it does have the USB port for easy transfer of downloaded designs from the PC to the embroidery machine, but a limited embroidery area of 8" x 4". Another plus – it is a combo (sewing as well as an embroidery machine).



I have been asked to transfer and embroidery by hand an image and some lettering on to work uniform of a cousin of mine, this is the first attend at embroidery and actually getting the image of what she wants and the adding the extra words of her workplace is stressing me out, has any one any really simple put affective ways of achieving this project, I have a simple sewing machine and have also have been looking up how to free embroidery by machine, I have the wooden hoop, and nothing else, i.e. water water-soluble stabilizer or pencils etc.. I also have no idea how to place the design on her work tunics and tops. Please help a complete novice. Any tips or ideas would really be appreciated.

If this is your first embroidery project, then tell your cousin to find a professional embroidery shop and have it done. Beginners can very rarely make professional looking embroidery by hand… it takes months and years before you get to the point that you can do lettering in a professional manner, for instance. Lettering by free motion embroidery is almost as difficult.

And in the meantime, practice. But not on someone's uniform.

Best book I know of on free motion machine embroidery: Fanning and Fannig: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Machine-Embroidery-Creative/dp/0801976480 Hand embroidery is a much broader subject: I'd probably start you with one of Erica Wilson's books, and then move you to Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques by Saunders, Butcher and Barret.

In answer to your question: how would I do the transfer? I'd either use a heat transfer pencil, a perforated stencil and chalk, direct drawing with a soft lead pencil, or basting. Depends on the substrate being embroidered.