The Economical Embroiderer: THE BEST BEGINNER MACHINE


We have talked about saving money here and there, and ways that you can search out some awesome deals for great embroidery accessories. This week, let’s talk about your machine, or if you have more than one, your machines. In my house and workshop, we have lots of machines: Commerical level machines, multi-needle machines, fun older machines (not used for our daily production) and hobby single needle machines that are nice and quiet in my office.


FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED. GET IT. Here is where it already gets tough – what do you need in a machine? What are you planning on doing for your business? You need to have some sort of a plan going on if you are intending to start a business – and NO you do not have to have a multi-needle machine to start a business, but you do need to have a plan. Are you going to be doing mostly baby clothes? Monogramming? Embellishing purses? Once you figure out your plan of action, then you can start narrowing down your machine by what you NEED. There is a difference between NEED and WANT when picking out a machine and being economical about it – you may only be able to get what you need and save the wants for later when your business grows. There is nothing wrong with that – after all, you do have to start somewhere, right?


BELLS AND WHISTLES ARE EXPENSIVE AND LURE YOU INTO AN EXPENSIVE MACHINE. True Story. I have all sorts of cool bells and whistles and extra things on my 10 Needle Brother (named Ragnar) and while some of them are cool and are very useful, some of them really are not. I got a great deal on Ragnar, so I am not worried about the things I don’t use – the machine has paid for itself already. I was not charmed by the extra thingies that the machine had, but I was aware of them so there was no sales pitch that was going to work on me – the sales guy was not going to wow me with anything at all or move me from my $$ goals because I came prepared – I already knew what the machine had to offer, and I knew it was exactly the same as the level up machine that would cost me $6,000 more – and I did not need to spend that. When you are machine shopping, make sure you know your stuff, so you won’t be wowed by some cool features that you won’t use. It’s hard, but try your best and stick to your price point. Go back to the first point, and figure out what you need and get that embroidery machine. Do not spend money on stuff that you don’t understand and won’t use, as tempting as it may be!


REMEMBER YOU CAN DO THE SAME THING ON A SINGLE NEEDLE MACHINE. People always forget that part of the machines. A multi-needle machine does the same up and down motion as the single needle machine – it forms the same stitches and follows the same patterns. There is no difference in the mechanics. You can do the same things on each. Now there are benefits to a multi-needle machine – the obvious one being that you can load up 6-10 threads and have them cut and trim and keep going without changing threads and re-threading. But is that inconvenience worth spending the extra money? Maybe, but it depends on what you are doing of course, and you can get single needle machines that cut and trim. Another big difference between the two types of machines is the shape of the machines and how easy it is to hoop and stitch things. For example, I think it is way easier to hoop and stitch a t-shirt on a multi-needle machine than a single needle machine – the sewing bed area makes it impossible for the t-shirt to simply hang while stitching – so you must keep the shirt out of the way. BUT, that is only a big deal if you do a lot of shirts or garments, right? If you are not planning on stitching on clothing, then that benefit will not apply to you! So do you see what I am getting at here? Another example…Hats. If you stitch out a ton of hats, hooping and set up time is so much faster on a multi-needle machine – you have an awesome hat hoop and the hats will turn out perfectly. You can do hats on a single needle machine, but you won’t have a hat hoop – you will have to flatten the hat out and secure it before you stitch it. Each hat will turn out perfectly, but it is easier to hoop and stitch one on a multi-needle machine – if you are doing 100’s of hats a day, that will be very important to you. If you only do a few, that is not one of the main features that you are looking for, so a single needle machine may have other features that you do need.


USED MACHINES VS. NEW MACHINES: Once you figure out what you need (and want) and can afford, start doing your research on finding machines that will suit your needs. There can be nothing wrong with used machines (we have purchased quite a few), but you need to be careful when purchasing used machines. Personally, I think the best place to buy used machines is from a dealer – they can offer you some kind of guarantee when you purchase. Just make sure you know your stuff when you go in to see the dealer, or you might be wowed by that brand new (expensive machine) that can do many more things than your “old used” one.
You can purchase great used machines from ads in newspapers and Facebook groups, but one word of caution: make sure you can see and test the machine before you hand over your hard-earned cash! I think you need to see the machine running, see all of the accessories, make sure everything that you need is included and then of course test the machine to make sure it works. Don’t forget to check the paperwork for regular maintenance, too. All of these things you need to do in person. We have actually rented a van and driven a few hours away to check out a machine before we purchased it – the van was so that we could immediately pay and take the machine home with us. Don knows his machines, so he is able to make a decision with confidence after testing the machine.


THE BIG QUESTION: WHAT IS THE BEST BEGINNER MACHINE? I see this all the time in various groups, and there is actually no way to answer it for the person. Most questions like this get answered with the names of the machines that people are using or have used, and sometimes each machine out there gets named, so there are not any helpful answers to that question.

ALL THE MACHINES WORK THE SAME AND YOU NEED TO DO THE SAME LEARNING ON ANY MACHINE. You have to read the manual. You have to understand all of the buttons on the machine. You have to hoop things properly and you have to learn the rules of embroidery and how to do each technique properly. ONCE YOU HAVE DONE ALL OF THIS LEARNING, YOU CAN USE ANY MACHINE. It depends on your budget, your needs and wants and how many bells and whistles that you want and how many you can afford. Basically, you want an embroidery machine – the more basic the embroidery machine, the less the price. That’s pretty much it. Seriously, I can’t offer any more advice on picking a machine (and no one else can either, btw) other than what I have written here – you have to do the work and decide what will work for you – your business, your hobby, and of course your budget. No one else can do this for you. The best beginner machine for you will be different than for someone else. Personally, I started on a 6 needle machine, and Don started on 2 6 needle machines, a commercial 15 needle machine, and a commercial 12 needle machine. So what Don thinks is a “beginner machine” (a 6 needle) is very different from what other people think is a beginner machine, right? Do your own research and homework and get the right machine for YOU.

One last point.  It is not a competition.  Really it is not.  There is always going to be a bigger, better and more expensive machine out there, or coming soon.  Just because someone has a more expensive machine, doesn’t mean they are better than you.  You may be a better embroiderer than they are, and are able to produce stunning designs regardless of what machine you are using – it’ s the skills and the learning that matter in the end.

Until next time,

The Economical Embroiderer,

Sue

New Mug Rugs that you will Love!

We are well o n our way for Valentines day! If you are looking for a fun gift, check out these new Mug Rugs, created just for you! Join in on the free sew alongs on the OML Embroidery youtube pattern, and get the pattern for free in the OML Embroidery University Facebook group. Follow OML Embroidery so you don’t miss anything!

Questions about how to complete the mug rugs? check out a video on the OML Embroidery youtube channel, or ask your question in OML Embroidery University Facebook group!

Are you a mug rug addict yet?

LEARN. STITCH. SMILE. You can be a master of mug rugs!

OML Embroidery will show you how!

We have been having so much fun creating mug rugs and sewing them out on Saturday’s! All is in support of the OML Embroidery Channel. Without your support, we can’t keep doing what we are doing! Make sure you check out our newest mug rugs! Every purchase you make helps keep the channel going!

OUR GOAL: we want everyone to enjoy machine embroidery and embroidery applique! Each mug rug that you stitch will improve your embroidery skills in so many ways!

Our second goal is to get 100,000 subscribers on the OML Embroidery youtube channel. Why? 3 reasons. The first reason is that there would be 100K people that have learned embroidery without frustration. That would be awesome – I love hearing success stories from embroidery people who jumped out of their comfort zone and tried something new. The second reason is that we will have created the biggest embroidery community on youtube. Yeah, that’s cool. There are huge quilting and sewing channels, but embroidery is lagging far behind. Third reason. This one is a bit personal, but after I had a heart attack, I decided to make my mark and get one of those youtube awards for 100K subscribers. It’s just a silly plaque and doesn’t mean much on its own, but it means lots to me! Those are 3 pretty good reasons, and I would love to make it happen.

The one big thing that we are trying to do is to get you to a stage where you understand the embroidery designs and the steps you need to take, without printed instructions. Is this possible? yes, it sure is. Once you get to know how to make the mug rugs and applique pieces, you will realize that they have the same steps! Placement, stitch down and trim and then the final stitches. No matter how many applique pieces are in the design, they always do the same steps.

The mug rugs are done 3 different ways, and each mug rug done in one style finishes the same way.

Satin stitch finish: this style is finished completely in the hoop with a satin stitch finish. stitch normally, and there will be a color change that is the shape of the whole design. Add your fabric to the back, face down and stitch the outline. Once that is done, trim front and back and stitch the outside finishing satin stitches.

Folded fabric finish: this style of mug rug is also finished in the hoop, but instead of satin stitches, you use 2 pieces of folded fabric that are overlapped and put on top of the design, with the folds towards the middle. This makes a fantastic back finish and makes it easy to turn your mug rug the right way.

Sewing Finish: for this style of mug rug, you place the fabric on top of the stitching, face down. then stitch the tack down stitches, and part of the mug stitch down leaves a gap. This is for turning and then you have to sew the gap closed once you turn the mug rug the correct way.

Don’t worry, we don’t just throw you into making mug rugs. We do a sew along every Saturday and show you how it’s done. You can do this!

Until next time,

Sue Brown

Mug Rug Queen 🙂

Looking back at 2019

As we approach the new year, (the year 2020, can you believe it?) I wanted to take a few minutes to look back at all we have accomplished in the last year – and yes, we have made some milestones!!

One of the big things for me is that we are now almost 1/4 of the way to my personal goal of 100K subscribers on the OML Embroidery Youtube channel! I hope this trend continues, I am thankful to all those that subscribed in 2019, and hopefully, another 20K will subscribe in 2020. How cool would that be?

Moving forward, let’s talk about YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Our OML Embroidery University facebook group is full of your wonderful creations – matching thread with fabric, putting your own fabric/thread style on each of your mug rug creations!

People who are new to embroidery have been inspired to stitch some applique and do their first in the hoop project! That is amazing – and kudos to everyone who moved out of their comfort zone and tried something new. Give yourself a pat on the back!!

OML Live! sew along videos has become a huge hit and we are breaking some records with attendance and views! I am having so much fun with the regular stitch along, and I think everyone else is too! It is so much fun, I can’t wait until the next one! Let’s keep it going 🙂

Last but not least, you are LEARNING. Did you notice that? Among all of the mug rugs, steps, applique, and stitching, you may not have noticed that many have made a huge step in embroidery skills! Because there are no written instructions, you have had to view the video and think about each step that you make. Yes, it’s OK to pause the video step by step, but you will find that you need to do this less and less as time goes on. That takes skill, and it’s a skill that you have learned!

You have learned the steps in applique and making a mug rug. You no longer look at the embroidery pattern and wonder what all the steps are for! The strange colors at the beginning are applique, batting and stitch down, and the straight lines are folded fabric applique. You have learned to prepare your fabric, batting, and hoop before you start sewing. You have learned to take your time, and carefully trim and make precision applique. My goodness, there are so many more skills that you have learned in the last year, I can’t list them all! You get the idea!

Hopefully, at this point you have also started to learn the difference between an OK embroidery design and a great embroidery design that you love to stitch and stitch again. Think about this one for a few moments, and you will see what I mean!

We will talk about that more in another blog.

For now, Happy New Year to every embroiderer out there. Let’s make 2020 a year of milestones and accomplishments!

Thank you to each and every one of you who watches the videos, likes, comments and of course donates what they can. Each subscriber brings the channel closer to the goal! You have all be spectacular and fun, and again I thank you for everything you have done to help and participate. We can’t do any of it without you!

Best wishes for a Happy New Embroidery Year 2020!!

Happy Stitching!

Sue Brown

The one tool all embroiders MUST HAVE!!

Are you lost when it comes to selecting the right stabilizer? You need a compass to navigate the mysteries of embroidery!

Not a compass to help you with directions, but an EMBROIDERER’S COMPASS! It is one of the best things to happen to embroidery – this is the handiest tool you will ever have.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS EMBROIDERY TOOL.

WHO NEEDS THE EMBROIDERER’S COMPASS? Everyone, including me. I am a seasoned embroiderer, but when it comes to fancy fabrics and stabilizer, I am truly lost. Do you know offhand what stabilizer to use on gauze? how about bulky knits? Yeah, me neither and that information is kind of difficult to find…unless….you have this amazing tool!

Let’s take a look at it. Keep reading, you will LOVE this:

THIS IS THE BEST EMBROIDERY TOOL YOU WILL EVER HAVE!!!https://www.shop.dzgns.com/products/embroiderers-compass?_pos=1&_sid=d65fb1234&_ss=r

zOOM RIGHT IN AND CHECK IT OUT! Here is the fantastic information you will get with just a turn on the compass! First, find the fabric that you want to use. The top window tells you the correct stabilizer to use. The next window will tell you what needles to use – the size and the type. NEED MORE? The embroiderer’s compass has more! Check out the comments section and get tips and tricks for the fabric.

SO MANY EMBROIDERY QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED WITH THIS EMBROIDERY TOOL.

Let’s look at the first example: embroidery on velvet. I really don’t know the procedure for embroidery on velvet other than you can’t hoop it because velvet crushes. That is not enough information to get the job done. I need more to be able to successfully embroider on velvet! Dial-up velvet and get all the information fast, easy and complete.

velvet requires two stabilizers!! did you know that?

Did you know that velvet requires two stabilizers? Ok, so now what needle do you use, and what are the steps to get the best embroidery results?

This is how to embroider on velvet!!

Look at all of the information that you get. Everything you need to know about how to correctly embroider on velvet. The Embroiderer’s compass shows you the way!!

Let’s try another one. How about MOISTURE WICKING FABRIC? These are expensive garments, so you better know what you are doing! Let’s navigate the compass:

Boom! the answer is right there in front of you, and you can start stitching with confidence. This tool will save you time and money and will allow you to say “yes, I can stitch on that” each and every time something new comes to your machine. I say it’s priceless.

For $24.99, this tool is worth it…for EVERYONE WHO DOES EMBROIDERY! Check it out for yourself, you won’t regret it. I am very happy that I have one and I am going to store it right beside my machine.

Happy stitching on any fabric!

Until next time,

Sue Brown

(happy to check out embroidery tools and test them for you)

No more Thread Wizardry for Metallic thread. Now Stitching is easy!

SATURDAY SEW ALONG WITH SUE

OCTOBER 26, 2019 AT 10:00 AM EST, on the OML Embroidery youtube channel (link below)

Be there or be scare(d). I don’t have that pun together yet, but I do have it together when it comes to this sew along featuring metallic thread that actually works!! Join me tomorrow for the “seeing is believing” sew along event of the year featuring metallic thread that you can stitch on anything! Seriously, you can even stitch out FSL lace with metallic thread! CAN YOUR METALLIC THREAD DO ALL OF THAT?

NOPE. metallic thread is always a big hassle. It is stiff and all twisted up. You need to be a thread wizard to set the thread in a cup, away from your embroidery machine and make sure it has enough time to unwind before getting to the needle. If you don’t do this, then your metallic thread will break or shred or split and it is horrible looking in your hoop. If you are like me, I LOVE metallic thread, and I have a bunch of different spools from all sorts of different companies that are beautiful on the spool, but used only on the most special occasions.

THIS THREAD BY KINGSTAR IS GOINGTO CHANGE EVERYTHING!

Here are some things that will make your embroidery life easier when you are using metallic thread:

Kingstar Thread does NOT require a special needle

You don’t have to slow down your machine. at all. seriously.

THIS metallic thread will work in multi-needle machines AND single needle machines.

No thread wizardry involving cups, etc. is required: Load your thread the same way as regular thread.

You can use this metallic thread on ANY FABRIC

You can even stitch out intricate lace with this metallic thread.

For single needle embroidery machines, you can top load the thread or you can sideload the thread (the thread is on it’s side at the top of the machine – both will work!!

Don’t believe me? see the Kingstar metallic thread in action – stitching at high speed, small stitches, and a regular needle. Seeing is believing.

See you tomorrow at 10:00 AM EST for this awesome sew along!

Do you want to try this thread yourself?? here is the link to Designs in Machine Embroidery’s website. It’s so worth it! https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/metallic-thread-pack

Sew Along tomorrow at 10:00 PM EST on the OML Embroidery Youtube channel

Until tomorrow,

Sue Brown

Queen of the Metallic Thread

Part 5: Anita Goodesign Sew Along Halloween Town

Welcome to Part 5 of the  @Anita Goodesign  Halloween Town Sew Along! In this video, we are going to stitch out a quilt top, step by step! Lots of bright Halloween colors, pumpkin applique and scary ghosts – and of course the scary Halloween trees!!

Do this if you want a faster embroidery computer!!

The Economical Embroiderer here, bringing you important computer information:  clean up your computer desktop and keep your embroidery designs organized!

OK, that may not seem like a big deal, but eventually, it may be.  I am making it a part of the Economical Embroiderer series because eventually having tons of embroidery designs on your computer will take up too much space and everything will slow down.  If you take the time now to organize your designs and keep up with it every time you download a new set of designs, it will take up less room, and your computer will be faster for longer.  True story!

DON’T HAVE EMBROIDERY DESIGNS ON YOUR DESKTOP.  Yep, people don’t realize this, but the more you have on your desktop, the longer it takes your computer to boot up and get ready to work.  Keep your desktop clean!  On all 4 of my computers, I have only 4 folders on my desktop – and my computer functions very well.  All of the icons for the programs that you use are simply shortcuts – get rid of them they are just clutter.  All you need to do is RIGHT-CLICK on your programs, and select “pin to taskbar” and they will appear at the very bottom of your screen, for easy access.  Then all you have to do is take the icon and drop it in the recycle bin.  Do that with all of your programs and clean up your desktop.

FILES ON YOUR DESKTOP NEED TO BE CLEANED UP TOO.   As I said above, keep your desktop nice and tidy.  If you have a ton of embroidery designs, you need to organize them on your desktop, or better yet, take them right off of your desktop!  If you must have them on the desktop, then organize them by putting them in folders.  You can create a folder easily.  All you have to do is RIGHT-CLICK anywhere on the desktop and a list will pop up (similar to the image above) and you can navigate down to NEW FOLDER and name it!  That’s it!  Then all you have to do is drag and drop (left click and hold) all of your designs into that folder.  Double click on the folder and it will open up to show you all of the embroidery designs that you have put in there!  Now your desktop should look a bit better – some folders, a file here or there, but you should be able to see the background now!  If you can’t see your background picture, keep organizing!

ORGANIZE THE REST OF YOUR EMBROIDERY FILES:  At this point, it may be a huge job to get organized BUT if you can find the exact embroidery design that you are looking for in a short amount of time, then it is worth it – time is money, and saving time before embroidery leaves you more time for embroidery, right?  Well, that is how I see it – I don’t really want to waste time finding stuff when I can use that time to create and stitch.

People ask what is the best way to organize all of your files.  By digitizer?  by design name?  by design subject?  My answer is YES.  Each of those or even a combination of those ideas will work just fine.  It really depends on what you like.   If you would like to know how I do it, hold on because it is a big job. I have been creating embroidery designs for around 15 years, and I have a big BIG list of embroidery files on my computer.  The list is so big that I have around 8TB of storage space on my computer.  No, I don’t use nearly all of that, but I can if I need to.  I think probably if I wasn’t so organized, that hard drive would be filling up faster.  Here is how I keep organized.

I keep work files separate from “fun” embroidery files.  That is the first “branch” of my folder organization.  WORK is one, and Embroidery is the second one, and everything is organized into those two big files.  If I am working, I am only using the work folder.  Yes, there are many subfolders, etc, but I don’t have to see any embroidery files that are not work-related, so that saves me time.

Let’s look into my Embroidery organization methods.  This file folder contains my non-work related digitizing files as well as files from other digitizers.  I have some files that are organized into general categories that are easy to find.  For example Dogs, Cats, Christmas, Halloween etc.  That way if I am looking for some Halloween designs, I am going to have a whole folder full of them.  I also have a few digitizers with separate folders.  I do that for a few reasons – time-saving would be the main one.  When I am downloading designs from Kreative Kiwi, it is easier and faster to put them in one folder directory.  I also want to know exactly where Kreative Kiwi’s designs are because I know they will all stitch perfectly, so I don’t have to worry about any of those designs – I have confidence and I just pick what I want and send it directly to my machine.   I do have some other digitizer’s work from big companies, and I like to put them in separate folders so I know where they came from.

If I am starting a big project or planning a big project, I like to make a folder specifically for that project so I can keep everything in one place.  All the designs that I am thinking about using, I COPY them into that folder.  If I don’t end up doing the project, I can simply delete the entire folder, and I am only deleting copies of files – the original files are still organized on my computer.  It’s a simple way to keep organized and keep the right designs exactly where you need them.

KEEPING DUPLICATES OF THE SAME FILES:   When you are downloading embroidery files, you quite often get ALL versions of that file:  PES, DST, JEF, and XXX (singer, if you didn’t know).  While it may not seem like a lot of extra files, if you are downloading files that are separated into sizes too, you may have a few extra hundred files that you really don’t need.    After a while, that can quickly pile up and take up a lot of space on your computer.  The solution is pretty easy and fast and if you do this EVERY TIME you download files, it will simply become a habit.  All you have to do is delete the files that you don’t want!  Personally, I only keep the EMB files (of course) and PES files, because I only have Brother Machines.  You may want to keep the DST files, as that is the commercial version and you can use it on most machines.  But cutting out a few hundred files on each design will end up saving you space on your computer.

Computer housekeeping is important and will help you get stitching faster – and a faster computer, too.

COMMENT on how many files/folders you have on your desktop and how many embroidery designs you have on your computer.

Here are my answers:  4 folders and no files on my desktop and….more than 400,000 embroidery files. Can you beat that???

Until next time,

Keep organized!

The Economical Embroiderer

SueB

How to work with a large quilt? I HAVE ANSWERS!!!

I do have a ton of experience stitching and creating embroidery, I have not done much sewing. If I could program the embroidery machine to sew for me, that was a good day! Then McDreamy came along (he is my Brother Dream Machine 2) and everything changed! The DM2 is an incredible embroidery machine, but also one of the best sewing machines out there. So now I have to learn to sew and quilt!

I am still working on sewing…I generally give it a try and then pick it out until I get it right. Yep, trial and error. I am getting better at it each time I try, and I do learn something new. How am I supposed to move the quilt around? What about embroidery???

My big problem was sewing and quilting LARGE QUILTS. It is hard to get the whole quilt moved around so everything lines up, sew a bit, and then do re-arranging again and a bit of sewing again. It is a lot of hard work! Since I am not an amazing quilter or sewer, just about anything will make my stitches crooked. So. What the heck can I do to make this easier? I don’t want to give up. I found the solution, and I am super happy.

What solves all of my large quilt quilting problems?

THE WEIGHTLESS QUILTER, BY DIME!!! (here is the link if ya wanna check it out https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/quilting/products/weightless-quilter )

The best part? you don’t need any additional equipment to get this to work – it is adaptable to any desk and any sized quilt. Even better, it has a small footprint, so if you only have a smaller working space like I do, the Weightless quilter fits right in! I was so happy to make quilting easier for me. Check out my set up!

Sew easy to set up and use
Sew much easier – no pulling and stress on arms and shoulders
I can do this!!

How will this work for embroidery? After all, that is what I do best! All you have to do is make your quilt sandwich (same steps as sewing) and grab your Snap Hoop Monster – the biggest one you have!!! and find a gorgeous machine embroidery quilting design. Press start. Watch the magic happen!!!

This is going to look amazing!

I am loving this solution – it is FANTASTIC and so easy to use! I will be working more with the Weightless Quilter, so stay tuned for more embroidery experiments and tests. So far, this is EXCELLENT!

I am so happy!

Until next time,

Sue Brown

(a happy weightless quilter)

Buyer Beware! Embroidery Machine Scams on Facebook

Protect yourself from online embroidery scams! If it seems to good to be true, it probably is!! The embroidery machine is the most expensive embroidery investment, so be careful out there!

Can you really find a cheap embroidery machine? what is a good price? does a $66 embroidery machine really true? I can save so much money on machine embroidery if I get a cheap embroidery machine. Let’s face it. You purchase embroidery designs, in the hoop embroidery designs, thread, stabilizer and of course fabric. What are you missing? AN EMBROIDERY MACHINE. Before you purchase one, you need to ask: is this too good to be true? Can you go onto eBay and get a $2k 10 needle embroidery machine? Probably not. To purchase an embroidery machine, you need to be able to see the embroidery machine in action. That means that you need to stitch something on that machine to make sure that it works. New machines right from the dealer are great but can be expensive. If you want to save money, purchase a used machine! But, be careful about it! we have sourced out some amazing deals on newish embroidery machines. We find the machine, ask a few questions and drive out to see the machine. We start the machine. We stitch an embroidery design that is built into the machine. We check it’s service status. Then and only then do we consider purchasing it. Although we would love to think that the world of embroidery is a safe place, there are scammers out there that will play on your desperation for an embroidery machine at a cheap price that you can afford. But $66 is not a reasonable price – that’s shipping, not that machine. It is said that people take advantage of other people like this, but it happens all the time. Be careful with your money – when you pay for something, make sure you are walking out with something. Be safe out there!