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:
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.
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?
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,
(happy to check out embroidery tools and test them for you)
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!!
The Economical Embroiderer here, bringing you important computer information: clean up your computer desktop and keep your embroidery designs organized!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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???
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 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!
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!!!
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!
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? 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
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
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
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.
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!!
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.
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!
I am probably an “extra” type of person – I like to do things a bit differently, and usually outside the box. When I do something, I like to do it all the way – including extras that make a big difference and is the final touch for your presentation. Why give an embroidered gift when you can give an embroidered gift with a matching card – and get a lot of WOWs!!
I call this idea, “OML Crafty Extras” – a few extra things you can do to really spiff up your gift presentation. I use my cutter to make these crafty extras. I know not everyone is interested in using the cutters, but more and more people have them for pre-cutting fabric for their applique designs – so why not take it a bit further and create something for your embroidery?
For this crafty extra, I used a piece of plain cardstock, a glitter gel pen and my Cricut Maker! That’s it! It really took 5 minutes to put together and a few more to draw and cut it out. The key to this embroidery gift project is that the design in the card matches the embroidery design. Talk about classy!
The first thing you need to do is open up your embroidery design in your embroidery software. For this project, I used Wilcom E4, my top software. I brought in the embroidery design – a monogram from Shuler Studio that’s gorgeous – and I made a few changes. I didn’t worry about the size, but I did change the motif stitches on one of the letters for a better drawing result. I made the motif stitches simple and clear so that they would draw better.
The next thing you need to do – and you can do it in most embroidery software is to save the embroidery design as an image. In Wilcom E4 you can export the embroidery design in quite a few ways – but exporting the bitmap into a PNG seemed to pick up the detail.
PRO TIP: if you don’t have embroidery software that will allow you to export images of the embroidery, you can always take a screenshot on your computer with free software that comes with Windows 10.
Open up your cutter software and import the image to trace. Depending on your cutter software, there are many ways to do this. In Cricut design space, you import the image, tell Cricut what type of image it is (this one is simple and clean) and then you can make adjustments and save it as a drawing file. bring that into your software mat, and you are good to go! Change the cut to draw, making it the size that you want. You can hop on to the Cricut site to grab a simple card to put around the design – you can change colors and add more designs or a special lettering message if you wish – just to make it even more unique, and then load and send it to your Cricut maker. Draw, score and cut your card out!
That’s pretty much all that you do! Once you do it a few times, it will get faster and easier to set up. Plus, you can be more and more creative with this extra project. Pick paper that matches your design or gift, pick different pen colors and different card shapes. No one says that a card has to be square, right?
Make yourself stand out from the crowd and do a little extra for your machine embroidery – you will love the reactions to being just a little extra crafty!!