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

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!

Do you have tension issues?

Tension issues and how to solve them!

Do you have Tension issues?  The very first things you need to do are: Clean your bobbin, clean and rethread your upper thread(s) and do the I-test

The I-test sounds like it should go along with your iPhone and iMac or testing your eyes,  but don’t worry, it’s completely different and has to do with your embroidery machine!

I have noticed a growing trend on Facebook – tension issue posts.  Not everyone knows what causes tension issues or how to fix them, but tension issues can be a big problem and can ruin your embroidery.  Tension issues can “pop up” in the middle of embroidery, at the end or at the beginning of a new project – your machine can be perfectly tensioned and then the next stitch it out and you have white bobbin showing through. It can happen at any time and it can happen to you.

What are tension issues?  Tension issues have to do with either the top or bobbin thread.  If your bobbin tension is too loose, the bobbin thread will come up and show up in your work.  If your top tension is too tight, you will probably have a lot of broken or shredded threads.  What happens if your top tension is too loose?  Birds nest are a possibility, as well as loopy and messy embroidery.    The I test is to help with the top thread tension, and I would suggest that every few months, or if you change thread brands you should run an I test. Remember that tension is a balancing act – and your goal is to fix the balance so your machine stitches properly.

Most of the time when your bobbin is showing through to the top, it is bobbin tension.

It sounds complicated, and sometimes it can be a bit of work to figure out what is going on, especially if you have a multi needle machine!  All you need is a place to start to become a good “tension Detective”.  You need to figure out the tension issues and get your machine back into balance.   Here are a few suggestions, the first step we take is looking and analyzing the issue – loops, bobbin thread showing, threads breaking, etc. Once you understand what the issue is, you can then move on to the solution and get back to embroidery!

What is the I  test?  It’s actually really easy to do on your machine.  If you have a multi-needle machine, you will have answers for each needle regarding tension.  Newer machines actually have the I test in the built-in designs!   Look for a series of capital letter “I” in a row, and that is your eye test.  If you don’t have it built into your machine, you can use your software to stitch out a few I’s to make this work – the idea is one capital letter I for each needle and thread color.   Then all you have to do is stitch them out and get your detective boots on and analyze the results!

We just bought a new machine and fixed another one, so before we do any work on either of those machines, we do an I test on each.  Here are the results:

Fig 1 (10 needle)

This is the back of the embroidery, so we can see the balance between the bobbin thread and the top thread.  The perfect balance is for the white bobbin thread to be through the middle and be taking up about 1/3 of the space, and each side has the top color, taking up 1/3 each side.  You don’t have to be precise, but you can see in the first image of the 10 needle I-test, we have some issues!   Needle number 1 in red looks great – a nice balance between the two, although I would still adjust the top tension a little bit because it is not quite 1/3 at the sides.  However, I don’t think you would have any issues with stitching using this tension.  If you look at the silver thread (needle 5) you can see that the bobbin thread down the middle is really small – not close enough to the 1/3 measurement that we want.  That means that the top tension is too loose, and we need to tighten that one up a bit. You can see that the other ones are just about right, and the balance of 1/3 is good for the bobbin and top thread.

If you did an I test, and each needle has too much bobbin thread showing down the middle, I would adjust the bobbin – you can clean the bobbin case and slightly adjust the bobbin tension – if it is on every needle every time, then it is bobbin.  Once you make that bobbin adjustment, then run the test again and you can start working on the top tension.

Let’s look at Figure 2, the 6 needle machine that just got it’s motor fixed.  Yep, wow, that tension is out on just about every needle!

Figure 2, 6 needle

Needle number 1 (silver) has the start of a birds nest and some loops of the top thread that completely covers up the bobbin thread.  Yes, that one needs to be fixed before we do any more stitching.  Because that one has so much thread showing, I would completely unthread that needle, right back to the thread spool, and clean the thread path with a small soft brush or possibly some canned air if it is really bad.  I would double check the tensioners, and then re-thread – and then check the pathway again.  Turns out that there was a small mistake in threading and we missed one path of the thread – and it made that big of a difference!  Without making any tension adjustments, we stitched the I on that needle again, and it was perfect!  So before messing with the tensioners, make sure that your thread path is clean, and that you have followed the path properly – I have been threading machines for 15 years, and it is pretty easy to miss one of the tiny steps that the thread takes on the multi-needle machines!

Let’s look at needle 3, brown.  Oh, that tension is a bit off too – there is not nearly enough bobbin showing on that one – we need to adjust so that we can get back to the 1/3 measurement.  When you are making tension adjustments, I would advise some baby steps!  For my 6-needle, the tensioners are all marked off in increments – even though this needle is quite off, I would not do a full turn of the tensioner, I would do maybe a ¼ turn and see how that worked first.  If it is not quite there, then I would do another ¼ turn and then stitch it again until it is perfect.  It is easier to tell which way to go (tighter or looser) when you are only working in small steps – if the next ¼ turn is too much, then all you have to do is put it back ¼ turn and you know you have it exactly where you want it.  If you were to make a full turn, then you would still have no idea where the perfect mark is, and you will take more time to figure it out.  Baby steps!

I would also like to point out that each tensioner is probably set differently.  What I mean is that you can’t just set one up perfectly (if there were numbers, say tension number 12) and do that for each needle – set each to 12 and have them all work fine – you have to do each needle separately, one at a time.   Chances are the tension settings will be similar, but each one will be different.  There is no room for shortcuts when it comes to the tension!

Tension issues can happen at any time!  Keep an eye on your work – and if you see some loose threads or the bobbin showing, you need to make some adjustments – the tension is not going to fix itself.

Keep in mind, there are some quick fixes that will work to help your tension issues – if you have a tension problem, you don’t always have to stop what you are doing and immediately do an I test.  The I test is for maintenance, to fine tune your tension.

One of the biggest issues of tension is fluff.  Fluffy stuff building up in your bobbin case or a tiny piece of fluff in your tensioner.  It really does not take much to throw your machine off tension!  And yes, it can happen any time – you could be in the middle of an embroidery project and see bobbin thread coming up.  Yucch!  Immediately stop your machine and have a quick look at your bobbin.  If you have a multi needle machine, I would carefully take a thick piece of paper or business card corner, and slide it under the tension part of the bobbin to clean out that fluff!  Then pop it back into your machine and keep stitching.  If you have a single needle machine stop your machine, take the hoop off, take out the bobbin and grab that tiny brush and remove all of the fluff that is in there.  Yucch again – I bet you will find more than you thought you would!   Once you have removed all of that fluff, your bobbin tension should be back on track.

There are many more things that can affect thread tension – changing brands of thread, humidity and sometimes temperature can change the “elasticity” of your thread and throw your machine off tension balance.  With regular cleaning and checking your thread path, as well and keeping your machine well oiled and keeping your bobbin case clean, you can keep your machine running in tip-top tension and have beautiful, sharp and clear embroidery each time.

Until next time,

Happy Digitizing,

Sue B

Anita Goodesign ITH in the hoop drawstring bags!

Have you ever tried to stitch an in the hoop drawstring bag? If you have not tried yet, then you need to add this to your ITH creation list! These bags are finished completely in the hoop in two simple hoopings, and look amazing!

To get this gorgeous design, check out Anita Goodesign’s website: https://www.anitagoodesign.com/product/anitas-wonderland/ The drawstring bag is part of Anita’s Wonderland Premium collection so you don’t have to stop at one bag! The collection is full of matching placemats, table runners, free-motion blocks and scalloped blogs, plus so much more!! You can even stitch a matching coffee cozy!!

check out this video and follow along with me!

Do you speak embroidery?

Embroidery Lingo

Let’s talk embroidery!  Do you know the lingo?  There are quite a few embroidery terms, short forms, and verbs that we need to be using properly to speak the embroidery lingo properly.  Using the correct terms will help everyone understand your comment or question better, and it will also help you make more professional posts and statements.  Also added in this list are some things that you should be doing in everyday embroidery.  Embroidery is a skill that you must learn!   I am not the Grammar Police, but I do see the same mistakes made over and over again – and as we discussed in the blog two weeks ago, presenting yourself and your business in a professional manner AT ALL TIMES, in every post and everything you do online is paramount to increasing your business.  After all, first impressions are lasting impressions – and social media works the same – even if we are not in person anymore, people do read what you write, and if you don’t present yourself properly in a professional manner, that is what everyone will remember.

I know everyone can read their manuals and find out these definitions, but I am not going to copy and paste any manual – I am going to explain everything in terms that everyone can understand, somewhat of a guideline to speaking and doing embroidery.

Stabilizer:  This is what you use under your embroidery to provide stability for your embroidery designs on your machine.   There are many kinds of stabilizer, just as there are many different fabrics:  you must make sure that your stabilizer is the correct thickness and type BEFORE you hoop.  Hatch has an “auto fabric” feather that will tell you exactly what stabilizer you need to use. Listen to Hatch’s suggestions and your embroidery will look much better, and last much longer too!

Hooping:  I know I sound like a broken record here, but I am going to keep saying it until everyone has heard me.  HOOPING IS PART OF EMBROIDERY.  You must hoop stabilizer AND the garment/material that you want to embroider.  Floating is an option and yes, it may work, and it may look OK, but it is certainly not as good as it should be.  Seriously.  I am confident that my embroidery will look great through many wash and regular wear – because I have the proper stabilizer and I have hooped everything properly.  I go for the best, so I take the time to do my best.  Learn how to hoop.  Some projects may be difficult, but it will be worth it!

WSS:  This stands for water-soluble stabilizer and it is one of the most over-used stabilizers around.  It is not actually a stabilizer – it does not stabilize your garment/fabric in any way.    WSS was designed mainly for FSL, and that is what you should be using it for!  You can also use it to help hold the stitches up (a bit) when you are stitching items like towels or anything with a high nap, but you will get much better results with a light fill stitch, stitching first to hold down the nap (also called Hatch Smash).  You do NOT need to use WSS for stitching designs on t-shirts or sweatshirts or jeans.  You are simply wasting money and time.

FSL:  Free Standing Lace is one of my favorite things to do in embroidery, as long as the embroidery is designed well.  The FSL design is made up of only thread – that is to say that you are not embroidering on any material, just some WSS, and when you have finished the design, you soak the design in water and wash the WSS away and you are left with a beautiful design.   I have noticed over the years that FSL designs have changed quite a bit!  I have done a few designs, and my machine was not happy going through layers upon layers of thread to stitch through. I do not continue to stitch when my machine doesn’t like it – I am not going to break or wear my machine down because of dense stitching.  When you are stitching your FSL design, your machine should be happily stitching, no banging, no thread breaks, and no design separation.  I have noticed quite a few people posting designs where the FSL has come apart, or parts have separated from the design, and even been “punched out” of the WSS before it is done!  That is not how FSL is supposed to be!  Some FSL designs are merely a crosshatch design with satin stitches over top and a few layers in between too – while they may be nice-ish, they are not going to hold up well and they are not going to make my machine happy.

ITH – In the Hoop Embroidery Designs: ITH is the short form for in the hoop – which means that the embroidery design is comipleteted in the hoop. Some ITH designs need some sewing when they are finished stitching, but they are still considered ITH. You can make bags, purses, zipper purses and even cute stuffed animals. Anything goes! My favorite place for ITH designs is Kreative Kiwi! Her designs are fantastic! If you want some fantastic machine embroidered ITH mugrugs or coasters, Kreative Kiwi is the place to be. You will love doing ITH once you try it!!

IT’S GRAMMAR TIME!

Embroidery vs. Embroider.  Ok, this is a bit of a grammar police paragraph, but it is worth mentioning.  Some people write “I am going to embroidery this design”.  Embroider is a verb (verbs show action) so the correct sentence is “I am going to embroider this design”.  Embroidery is the name of the skill that we are learning “I am learning embroidery”  or “I am learning to embroider” are both correct.  Of course, there are exceptions to all grammar rules, but that is the basics.

Digitizing:  I see this word spelled incorrectly all the time.  You digitize, or you learn to digitize, and I am digitizing.  It is not digitalizing.  Grammar police, again, but there it is.

Jump stitches:  When you are learning to digitize, one of your main goals is to get rid of as many jump stitches as you can.  Jump stitches are literally “jumping” from one object to another.  A jump stitch can be long (a no-no) or shorter (between letters in a word), some are acceptable and some are not.   Jump stitches between letters are fine, as long as they are not too long!  Again, if I am doing an embroidery design and there are huge jump stitches (my old single needle machine did not trim any stitches) I will STOP stitching that design.  If you have jump stitches everywhere, your needle foot may get caught on them and you might break your machine. If I am working on one of the big machines which trims, I still hear and see all that trimming going on, so I know that the design was not optimized properly – and that means that the digitizer did NOT take the time to digitize properly.

Connections or connecting stitches:  These stitches are what you need to eliminate the jump stitches to keep your design optimized.  You must learn optimization if you are a digitizer – you must!  You need to make running stitch connections between objects so you don’t have an excessive amount of trims or jumps.  Anything less than a maximum effort on optimization is not acceptable.

Optimization and optimizing your designs:  This should be the final check of your design that you are about to stitch.  Do you need to make connections with running stitches?  Is your design set out in a logical manner?  Do you have tons of unnecessary color changes?  Do you have tons of jump stitches?  Does your machine stitch one color at the top, then trim, and then move to the bottom and back up again? If your machine is doing any of these things, your design is not optimized and therefore not finished!  Take the time and finish it!

Design Registration:  This term has to do with your hooping skills, which includes using the correct stabilizer.  If your design is “out of registration” that means things don’t line up, your fill stitch is pulled back from your outline, or things are misaligned.  These issues are not usually the digitizer’s fault, more often than not it is the embroiderer’s fault!  If you don’t hoop everything and stabilize properly things will move around and pull.  Keep things looking sharp and exactly where they should be by learning hooping skills.

Hopefully, that will helps some people that are struggling with some of these terms.  If you don’t understand WSS and what it stands for, the whole process of FSL will be confusing!  Hopefully explaining these terms will help some of the new people understand some of the terminologies that we use in embroidery.

Now you speak some of the embroidery lingo!

Until next time,

Happy Digitizing

Sue Brown

Selling Embroidery on Facebook? Don’t make these mistakes!!!

Selling Embroidery on Facebook? Don’t make these mistakes!

IN MY OPINION,

Things have changed over the years, and social media is one of them.  Social media now is one of the main ways to get your name out there and get yourself known.    I am constantly on social media, I belong to quite a few embroidery groups, and I see time and time again, daily, the same mistakes made over and over again.

If you want to start a business, or if you want to get your business moving along, here are a few helpful tips to keep things going.  I will try not to rant too much!

The first one is a biggie, and I have encountered it many times – personally as well, and it always makes me laugh.   Yes, I laugh at the way people behave because it is not professional.  That is the BIGGEST thing to remember, ACT PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU DO.  If you say something derogatory or mean or anything else, people will remember your name, but not in a good way.  Children act like this – negative attention is still attention – but that will not get you the attention that you want for your business.  Seriously – stop being rude, stop being mean, stop picking fights.  You have the right to your opinion, and you may feel like your criticism of someone’s work is helpful, but really it isn’t.  It is better to simply walk away from it.   If someone in a group is posting a picture of their “newbie” work, why would you not be positive?  why would posting a response “you need to do more work on this, it is not good enough” help them out any?  Being positive is the most help you can give them.  If they are asking “what did I do wrong?”  then you can point out some helpful hints in a positive way.   Be helpful, not negative.  That is a great place to start.

Acting professionally in EVERY post in EVERY group on EVERY forum (including facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc) is the only way to go.  Some people think they can get away from this and there is no connection.  I beg to differ, there is a big connection.  You can open up facebook and type in a name, and you can see every post that person has made!  And if someone is being mean or negative to other people, are you really going to buy their designs?  NO.  You will move on to someone that deserves the sale, right?  Well, think of that when you are posting, that thousands of people can see you, listen to you and decide in an instant if they are going to purchase anything from you.  If they don’t like you, they will not buy anything.

For clarity, posting a customer’s personalized item, or conversation in a closed group is absolutely NOT PROFESSIONAL.  I have seen in more than one group, someone posts a screenshot of the conversation that they had with a particularly difficult customer.  Really?  It is pretty darn easy for that customer to find out about that – and wow, talk about embarrassing!  Do you really want to “shame” your customer or potential customer in a group?  What do you think the people in the group think of your actions? Do you expect to get more business this way?  A closed group doesn’t mean that people can’t see your posts, all they have to do is join the group!  They will see it, and you will have lost a customer for sure, but many customers!  When they tell everyone they know, or in other groups, you have lost all of that word of mouth customers, too.

Posting your work is kind of a gray area:  if you do something for a customer, and then make a “show off” post in a group, is it right?  I don’t think so – if you really must post your customer’s design or child’s name publicly in a group, I think you should take a few moments to ask permission and keep everything at a professional level.

Remember that everything that you write is PUBLIC, even in closed groups.  Everything public can be shared or have a screenshot made in about 2 seconds, and then posted elsewhere.   Each and every time you post on Facebook, it is a PUBLIC post and can be used against you at any time.  Did you know that generally Facebook posts can be submitted in court?  Think of that next time you call someone out or post something that you should not post.  Same goes for posting other people’s pictures – I see that all of the time – they post a picture of the finished product and ask questions about how it was done.  My mind screams COPY – you want to copy someone’s work, do you?  I think you should learn how to do your own…when people start copying your work, you will have something to say about it, I am sure.  So stop trying to copy!

Picking fights, or entering into fights on facebook.  Oh my!  I see this all the time.  Yes, you are entitled to your opinion, of course, but getting into a heated discussion on copyright issues is not going to help you further your business.

PICTURES:  Selling embroidery designs takes a ton of time.  If you are lazy, you are not going to make sales.  And by lazy, I mean not taking the time to make great professional pictures of your work!  Why would you ever post the digital image of your design?  We all know that the stitched out design, on pretty material, with an interesting background with a watermark is going to take you way further than a screenshot of your work.  Take the time to do professional pictures, with a good camera (your phone is a good camera), great lighting, and beautiful embroidery.   We take quite a bit of time outside, or in the inside studio to make our pictures look professional – we use 4 lights (from around the house), a nice camera and props too!

This is a key fob I made for a friend of mine – the item is completely finished, neat and clean, cut out carefully and most importantly in focus, with the focal point on the embroidery.  The background is some roses for props that I bought at a craft store.  This is the style that you want.  Add a watermark, and now you have a professional presentation for your beautiful embroidery!

Excessive use of hashtags:  please stop using so many hashtags when you post your work, or anything, especially in groups.  While you may think that using #Hatchembroidery or #machine embroidery will work and get you business, it will not.  Someone using # HatchEmbroidery is looking for Hatch embroidery software, not the work you did in embroidery.  They may look at your work, but they will not buy it.  Using #machineembroidery will get you zero too.  Why?  BECAUSE EVERYONE USES IT and there will be thousands upon thousands of pictures with that hashtag.  Do some research, find one or two hashtags that will work – and do some research in how to use hashtags properly – it will take you further in the long run.

Spamming.  Oh yes, this one.  I see it all the time too.  If you do a pretty design, take some good pictures, and then proceed to post it in every single embroidery group that you are in, you are spamming.  Not officially spamming, but spamming still.  You must realize that most of the same people are in the same groups – Hatch people are also in machine embroidery groups, and quilting groups, machine specific groups….  And then they see your stuff posted again and again and again all over the place – they will get annoyed.  I would also suggest that posting your work daily is also spamming.   If you MUST post a design daily, then post it in one group, then your next design in another group.  Posting your designs daily in 20 groups is not going to get your name out there.  Please stop.  Show off your work a little bit, but stop with the overkill.

Trying to add your business name in your profile, or tag, or anything.  Well, that is against the rules, too.  You can’t have your profile name with the name of your business.  Facebook doesn’t like that.  If you have a facebook page for your business, that is the way to go – however, tagging your business facebook page in all of your posts is not.   And believe it or not, it makes you look bad.  And people don’t like it.  Joining a group with your facebook business page, or making posts with that page is not professional either.   If you are doing this, again you are spamming people with your business name, and frankly, you are trying to hard.  Rome was not built in a day, right?  Neither is your business.  It is going to take years of hard work to make any money, so don’t start the long journey by spamming potential customers.  Have some confidence, hold your head up high and trust that your professional level work will carry you the distance!

Back to the professional level idea, and here are some more suggestions for you every single time you post.  Spelling and grammar count.  Oh, yes it does.  If you don’t spell things correctly on your posts or use the correct grammar on any post, then customers are going to think that you will make those mistakes in your work.  Please know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and use them correctly!  I have seen people posting their work with grammar errors!!  This will not get you any business either!  Be careful and check your work, and check every single post.

I have had occasion as a blogger and business person as well as doing the classes, that people lash out because they are not getting their way on something, or they simply disagree with what I am saying.  It is OK to disagree with me publicly – but you must agree to disagree.  Let me explain.  If I say something is one way, and you think it is another – that’s great, and we can have a healthy and happy professional conversation post about it.  If you disagree and keep insisting that you are right and I am wrong,  and it starts getting nasty – you are only hurting yourself.  If you try and take your opinion to another group and bad mouth someone in another group – and keep going and going – your business is pretty much over.  Nobody is going to deal with you, because wow, you don’t want to disagree, right?  I see people making posts and calling other people names, and basically slandering their business for one reason or another.  Don’t be that person writing the post – it will ruin you in the end.

Another thing that I have a hard time dealing with sometimes is forceful opinionated people that send PM’s to “discuss the matter” privately. I really don’t have time for any of this, and neither should you! I do appreciate people offering ideas – that is fantastic and I wish people would do it more – but you can’t get mad at me if I don’t use the suggestions, right? Right. I love hearing ideas and different ways of doing things, but that does not mean I am going to drop everything and change it your way. Think about it from both sides – on your business page if someone repeatedly “helps” you with suggestions, are you really going to do them? Maybe some, but all? If you are on the other side and offering suggestions, please offer them politely and only once. If the person uses them, GREAT, if not then you still contributed your ideas and that is very helpful. Chill people!

In summary:  if you want to further your business on social networking – BE PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES, IN ALL GROUPS, ON YOUR PERSONAL TIMELINE AND EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION YOU MAKE.  STOP SPAMMING WITH POSTS AND HASHTAGS.  TREAT EVERYONE AT A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL, EVERY SINGLE TIMETake the time to do things right – like pictures, posts and anything else you do.

If all else fails, you have a “magic button” on your mouse to SCROLL ON.  Most of the time, that is the best solution.  If you don’t like it, scroll on by and leave it alone.

And now I await the comments from the people who are sure I am wrong, or have a “good reason” to fight with someone on Facebook. Ha ha ha. I bet it will happen!!! Anyone want to bet?

I will say that my blog posts are meant to be taken lightly. It’s not about YOU, and if you think it is, then you need to have a coffee and chill. I approach my life with humor, and I love to write things that people don’t want to say. Be positive. Take some advice to help you be more professional on social media. Or don’t. It’s all the same to me 🙂

Sassy time is over, back to work making awesome videos!

Until next time

Sue Brown

OML Embroidery

Anita Goodesign Quarter-Turn Quilt with a twist…a Halloween twist!

Think outside the box: OML Embroidery shows you how to make small changes to any embroidery design and create a new looking embroidery design. Anita Goodesign Quarter Turn Quilt from the All Access February 2019 edition. If you don’t have All Access, then you can get this amazing machine embroidery design here: https://www.anitagoodesign.com/produc…

Here is what you need to get started on this machine embroidery project. This is an embroidery design for beginner embroiderers and advanced embroiderers too.

Anita Goodesign Quarter Turn Quilt embroidery pattern , cutaway stabilizer (no show mesh cutaway stabilizer works best for quilting projects), fabric – you can use a layer cake for this project, depending on the size of the embroidery design you select, embroidery thread, tacky spray, quilt batting, duck-billed applique scissors.

The first step in this machine embroidery project is the foundation of the quilt block. Hoop the cutaway stabilizer and then add your quilt batting. Once it is stitched down, you can get your applique scissors out and trim the batting as close to the line as possible. Now you are ready to get stitching some applique in the hoop! Each applique piece has two parts – the first stitch is the placement stitch and then you add your applique fabric, then the second stitch is going to hold down the fabric. Once that has stitched, then you can use your applique scissors to trim the fabric.

In between some of the applique ITH in the hoop pieces, there will be satin stitches to cover up the applique raw edges. The satin stitches should be in a contrasting embroidery thread color so the satin stitches really stand out. Once you have finished all of the applique pieces and have trimmed them all with your applique scissors, then it’s time to sit back and watch the embroidery magic happen with all of the embroidery detail work: embroidered flowers, decorations and quilting detail work to complete the embroidery project.

Dream Machine 2 – scan and stitch handwriting!

Can you digitize embroidery without embroidery software? Yes you can with My Design Center and a Brother Dream Machine 2! All you have to do is scan the writing, fix it up a bit and stitch! It’s that easy! Have you tried this yet? Let me know in the comments!

Did you know you could scan handwriting right in the hoop and the Brother Dream Machine 2 can turn the handwriting into embroidery? Yes, you can, and it looks amazing!! When you purchased your Brother Dream Machine 2, you recieved a bunch of hoops. One of the hoops was thick and had some green magnets attached to it. That is the scanning hoop, and that is what we are using in today’s video. Take a plain piece of paper and draw a picture, or create a saying using a thick sharpie pen. Keep it simple and make sure there is a clear contrast between the handwriting and the paper. If you used colored paper or even lined paper, you will have a more difficult time digitizing the handwriting on the Brother Dream Machine 2 because it will scan and recognize the lines too. Once you have your handwriting in place, put the paper on the special scanning hoop and load it onto your embroidery machine. The special scanning hoop loads the exact same way as other hoops, so this part is easy. Once the scanning hoop is in place, go to your “my design center” on the screen of the Dream Machine 2 and select line drawing. Then you can start scanning! This takes a few minutes to do and a few minutes more to recognize the writing, but it is fun to watch 🙂 .

Once the handwriting is scanned, you are ready to convert it into embroidery. I think the stitches look best as satin stitches, but you can play around with different looks. you have a chance to edit the embroidery design right on the dream machine 2. You can move, resize and change the satin stitches to suit your embroidery needs. Once you get the embroidery design how you like it, remove the scanning hoop and replace it with a regular embroidery hoop. I hooped some cutaway stabilizer and some groovy fabric and use my Snap Hoop Monster 8×8 magnetic embroidery hoop to make things easier. yes, I love my snap hoop magnetic hoops – they make embroidery so much easier. Now load the snap hoop monster on to the dream Machine 2, load up your favorite embroidery thread and get stitching and watch the embroidery magic happen!