Buying a home embroidery machine for OML

At OML, we have quite a few embroidery machines here!  They are all commercial embroidery machines that have many needles along with easy thread changes and automatic trimming.  We have a Barudan 15 needle huge machine (aka Barry), a Happy 12 needle machine (aka Larry) and two twin Brother machines named Harry and Perry.  We have quite a few needles in this place, to say the least.We have since decided that we needed a new addition to our embroidery machine library, and after much research, we have decided on a single needle home embroidery machine that is way more portable than the big guys! Here is our thought process of what we require in an embroidery machine, and how to get the right embroidery machine for our specific needs.  

We have done quite a bit of research, and we found out that some of the high end home embroidery machines are very expensive and still have the same basic functionality as other embroidery machines.  The more expensive ones have bigger hoops and more bells and whistles.  We have enough bells and whistles with the commercial machines – they have every detail that you could possibly want in a big machine.  We don’t need bigger hoops- if we need something bigger than the Barudan’s huge hoop, we probably shouldn’t be embroidering it on anything, thats for sure.   So hoop size is not an issue, and we don’t need to pay more for something we don’t need.   We did however decided that a 4 x 4 hoop is just to small for what we wanted, so the large size of the hoop needs to be 5 x 7 ish or a bit bigger for the kind of work that we want to do.  That is one of the keys to getting the right embroidery machine – get what you need, not necessarily what you think sounds good.  You have to do lots of research into the different kinds of machines, and the fat price tags that are attached to it. So pick the functions that you require, and make a list of those too.  Your new machine will have to have these functions!

Next thing to consider is connectivity of the machine to the computer and the network.  Quite a few of the machines run only on cards.  Well, that doesn’t work for us at all, we need to be able to attach a computer or at least have an easy to use USB.  So we crossed off all of the machines that were card driven.

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Stitches per minute.  For us this was a tough one – our big machines stitch 1300 stitches per minute or close to that, so we can’t expect a home embroidery machine to do a commercial level.  We started looking at the different machines that we had left on our list of possibilities.  While we are not expecting super fast, we were surprised that most of the machines did 400 stitches per minute.  That is perhaps a bit to slow for us – it may be great for other people, but we thought we needed a little bit more.  So we crossed those machines off of our list and went with a machine that stitched a healthy 650 stitches per minute.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

Portability:  for us an issue was portability.  We did not want a tiny machine, but we have plenty of big machines, so we didn’t want one too big, either.  We settled for a medium sized machine that has enough weight and power to do the job at a higher SPM, but not too heavy.  Its going to be nice to have an embroidery machine that we can actually move!!

Price – some of the different machines are very similar, but have quite a bit of a difference in the price tag.  We took this into consideration as well.  We need to be comfortable with the price of the machine as well as feeling that we are getting the right level of functionality at the right price.   So far, we felt we were getting a good price for the machine.

New or used.  For us, we definitely needed a new machine.  We need to have a warranty, thats for sure.   I am sure there is nothing wrong with used machines, they can be fixed up and be like new.  But we wanted new.

Repairs.  We learned this one the hard way – getting a machine repaired is no easy task.  In our town, there is no one near to us that will fix the machines, or even to do maintenance on them.  So this was a big deal to take into consideration.  Do we drive an hour to get a different brand of machine that is similar but less expensive?  That means that we will have to drive an hour to drop off the machine and an hour back, and then do it all over again when the machine is fixed.  So we crossed off those machines, and looked at what was in our city.  There are a few places, but only one of them did in house repairs AND has 30 years experience fixing machines.  Perfect.  That is one worry off of our checklist.

So in we went to the fabric store and began talking to the sales clerk. When we arrived, we knew around the price that we were happy to pay for the features that we needed.  Nothing more, nothing less.  We knew the features that we wanted, and the size and functionality of the machine that we wanted.  We told this all to the clerk, and they pointed us to the machine that filled every need for us:  The Babylock Ellure Plus.  We get it on Thursday, and we are very excited and confident that this was a great purchase for us, and we are excited to get our new machine.

Babylock Ellure Plus Sewing/Embroidery Machine

Babylock Ellure Plus


Live question and Answer on Digitizing

We have another great idea for helping everyone with learning to digitize with Embird.  Would anyone be interested in participating in a live question and answer session on Google Plus hangouts or chat?  We can make ourselves available and give you some hands on fast answers to any issues you have with Embird, and give out a few quick tips at the same time.

You can let us know if you are interested in getting some real time help learning to digitize with Embird.  If we get enough interest, we can go ahead with it!


New digitizing equipment

Whew!  We have had a couple of busy, busy weeks in June!  High school graduation, tons of patch orders and some awesome new digitizing equipment.

We decided that we wanted something really cool to digitize with, different from our Mac’s and our PC computers- which are awesome, but not quite what we want to work with for hours and hours in a day.

Over 10 years ago, I had a dream that I would love to be able to digitize more creatively – that is that I could almost draw out the embroidery designs, like with a pen and paper.  And that dream has come true, minus the pen and paper of course!

Wacom has a few “tablets” that you can use as a secondary monitor.  Not a big deal until you realize that the monitors are for use with pens.  What does that mean?  It means that I can draw out my embroidery designs.  Its a dream come true.  Here is what it looks like in action – working on a cool biker embroidery design meant for a full back on a leather vest.

Wacom Cintiq for embroidery digitizing


you can see what you are working on, and work directly on it!  It is absolutely amazing for embroidery digitizing.  I never thought it could be more fun.

We have a lefty in house, and every time we get something cool, it doesn’t usually work as well for a lefty – it seems to be a little awkward and uncomfortable.  Not this piece of equipment!  Wacom has made this perfect for right hands or left hands.  And the whole screen tilts to either side so even lefties can find the perfect comfortable working space.

Wacom Cintiq for embroidery digitizing

Wacom Cintiq22HD is perfect for left handed people.

We are still very excited about our new equipment!  I will be writing a more informative blog about our Cintique’s when we have more time to use them and get all those awesome buttons programmed for shortcuts.  In the meantime, if you want to check them out, go to and check them out.

Embroidery digitizing is life!  Now life is even more fun!



I had to come up with something really awesome for a gift for a friend.  Its one of those friends that basically have everything, or if they don’t have something they go out and buy it.  You know the type – the impossible to buy for type friend.  I put some thought into it and i realized that I can design the perfect gift for my friend using monogramming!

Monogramming is an awesome style of embroidery.  Its personal, its custom and it’s just simply awesome.  I  have to tell you, everyone loves a monogrammed gift!  EVERYONE!

So i did a little research on monogramming.  There are many styles, forms, traditional lettering and everything in between.  The research was a bit overwhelming so I relied on my imagination and my own brain to come up with my own design.

I did however stick to traditional monogramming style that I liked:  three letters, with the letter in the centre a little bit bigger.   One tradition is that the middle letter is the initial for the last name.  I took my friends initials and picked a really groovy font to use – the font is named “bellbottom” and i thought it looked awesome!  its nice and thick at the bottom and swirly fancy at the top.  It’s not quite the normal old english font that is traditionally used, but I liked it so much I broke the rules a little bit.

I looked at the initials and thought it was a bit simple for what I wanted to do.  I wanted to monogram nice big fluffy towels to match their bathroom.  After a quick trip to Walmart for towels, I was ready to go.  I picked the towels to match the main color of the bathroom, and the monogramming lettering is the secondary colors of the bathroom, so it will match perfectly and look amazing.  But again, i wanted something with a little more flare to suit their personality and of course the style of their house.   So i thought about it a little bit and came up with a really nice flower design with flourishes and swirly bits and of course some flowers.  I changed all of those collars and made the top of the monogram design a bit smaller and the lettering a bit bigger.  BOOM!  that’s it, its perfect.  (of course for the illustration below, i change the colors and lettering)

Monogram embroidery design on a towel

I changed the original colors  to pretty and bright colors and of course the letters to OML 🙂

See how awesome that looks, even on a plain white towel?   It really has a flare with the nice bright colors.  Imagine matching those colors and the lettering to the decor of the house., and it really looks amazing.

Here are a few different views of the design:

Monogram embroidery design on a hatMonogrammed bath robe

I really, really like this design!  its nicely balanced and looks great on just about anything that I have stitched it on.

Monogramming:  Great for gifts!  Stick with traditional monogramming or think outside the box and come up with your own style.

I liked this design so much, I decided to share it with everyone!  Grab it in the store


MOTHER OF DACHSHUND embroidery designs

For all of the Game of Thrones fans out there, we have created a couple of new designs that are absolutely awesome!  Game of Thrones fans will get it,  MOTHER OF DACHSHUNDS!  HA!  Original and awesome!

This design will fit into your 5 x 7 hoop, and uses a font that is similar to the Game of Thrones font, and looks awesome in embroidery.  Here is the basic design:

dachshund embroidery design

and here are all the awesome things you can do with it!!


Embroider this awesome design on any kind of a sweatshirt


looks great on any color shirt! Great for any gifts!

Mother of Dachshunds Embroidery Design mother of dachshunds embroidery design MOTHER OF DACHSHUNDS BLUE RUGBY MOTHER OF DACHSHUNDS embroidery design on a BLUE SHIRT MOTHER OF DACHSHUNDS TEDDY

Dachshund Embroidery Design 2

Did you know that the first dachshund design has a brother?  It might be a twin brother, because they are equally as cute!

This is a great design to use on just about anything!  You can add a few letters and make a super cute doxie embroidery design!  Here are a few examples of what you can do with this awesome embroidery design:

dachshund embroidery design

Add a little bit of lettering and you have a great gift 

dachshund embroidery design on a teddy bear

dachshund embroidery design on a teddy bear! Looks adorable!


dachshund embroidery design on a towel

add some lettering and create cute doggie towels

dachshund embroidery design on an apron

add some lettering and embroider on an apron. What a great mom gift!



Look How cute the Dachshund Embroidery Design Looks!

If you are looking for the cutest Embroidery design every – you need to get this dachshund embroidery design.  Its a perfect quick stitch and fits into any 4 x 4 hoop.  This embroidery design will look amazing on just about anything!!  Here are a few samples of what we have done with the design:

dachshund embroidery design on a blue sweatshirt

Cute dachshund embroidery design on a blue sweatshirt

dachshund embroidery design on a hat

Dachshund embroidery design stitches out perfectly on a baseball cap

dachshund embroidery design on a rugby jersey

Looks amazing on any kind of a shirt!

The possibilities are endless.  Although the OML Dachshund design is perfect on its own, you can add some lettering or a name to make the design complete.

This design is great for Christmas presents, too.  One year, we embroidered the design on fancy tea towels – a quick and simple gift for a grandmother – and she loved it!  She had never seen Doxie Designed tea towels before and it was by far her favorite gift ever!  She uses them every day and absolutely cherishes them!

You can get the design HERE  and get embroidering for your dachshund or dachshund lovers!

Digitizing: All about Lettering!

All about embroidery lettering!

If you look at any logo design, whether its embroidery or otherwise, lettering is a main part of any design. Whether its a one letter logo, or a logo with a full company name – the message gets through with the lettering.

In this video, we explore the many different ways of creating embroidery lettering. You can learn how to shape the words using an envelope  and change and manipulate words, or move and manipulate different words or even individual lettering. Easily create outlines around the lettering, change the outline design (try using a different stitch for the outline – the effect is awesome) and how to change the stitch type of the lettering itself – you can make it flat with regular stitches, or regular satin stitches or even single stitch letters for small lettering – all with one or two clicks!

Add some creativity and flare to any design, or create shaped lettering all on its own. Take your embroidery skills to the next level and learn to do embroidery lettering.

How to create beautiful appliqué

What is appliqué?  it is an embroidery technique that you can add some material to your design to add some color and style to just about any embroidery design.  Keep the appliqué simple and you won’t go wrong.  Adding appliqué adds interest to your whole design – you can add different materials as a background and take a simple smiley face embroidered in yellow to a much more interesting design by replacing the yellow with some fabric – you can match the fabric to whatever you are designing or you can create something completely new and crazy!

Here is a quick video on how to do appliqué – a step by step guide on how to create beautiful applique – learn how to do applique properly with a simple design, and you will be able to create just about anything that you want with appliqué!

This is a 25 minute video on how to do appliqué – from the basics of what appliqué is, some hints and tips, and then how to create your own appliqué.

Start with a good solid foundation this new technique, and start with a simple design that you can digitize for yourself – once you get that down, you will be able to create amazing designs and add appliqué!

Get some practice doing simple appliqué – practice cutting out the material properly and good placement, and of course be careful if you are removing the hoop from your machine –  you don’t want any of the hooped fabric to move!  Find the cutting technique that works best for you and create some awesome appliqué embroidery!



Digitizing a beautiful Tulip Design

Learning a new skill can take time, and people learn in many different ways. It has been requested that I do some videos of how I digitize – step by step and in real time. I did not talk during this video, so you can concentrate on what I am doing.

Some people learn by watching or reading, and some people learn by doing. In these videos (yes there will be more to come) you can watch the video and get the basics of the design, and then digitize the design yourself!

We are going to start off with a simple tulip design:

red tulip design

Small red tulips ready to be digitized by you

Click HERE to download the design, so you can digitize the tulips yourself!

You can change the stitch types and the colors you pick for the tulips – add some flare and be creative.  Post a jpeg of your final design!  It will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with!



Here is what Althea came up with.  Excellent work, Althea!!