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Uncommon Tips For First Time Embroidery Machine Users

Uncommon Tips For First Time Embroidery Machine Users main article image
Posted on February 11, 2021 by Ariel Snow

Adding embroidery to your craft repertoire opens up a fun and creative element to the possibilities of your art. However, the learning curve for using an embroidery machine can be tricky. Even after reading all of the tutorials and watching all of the videos, some projects just do not turn out how you want. Well, this guide is for you! As we walk through a project using the Brother PE800 embroidery machine, these uncommon beginner tips and tricks you don’t hear as often can be the difference between a good project, and a great one!

Machine embroidery tips for beginners

Winding Bobbin

One of the main steps to having a great project relies on setting your machine up properly. Winding the bobbin might seem like an easy task, but if not done correctly, can cause problems with your project later on.

Uncommon Tip #1: Start each project with a full bobbin of thread.

Sometimes you think you have enough bobbin thread because you only completed a small project, or you recently wound plenty of thread. It is always important to check your bobbin before beginning a project. It is also important to keep a full bobbin at all times. It is not the end of the world to change the bobbin thread if it runs out in the middle of a project but it’s also not the most fun thing to do! Speaking of winding bobbin,

Uncommon Tip #2: When moving the thread through the thread guides, make sure there is no slack. Pull the thread tightly through the bobbin and hold it at the top until the bobbin is wound enough.

Making sure the thread is threaded tight through the bobbin is very important to have a flawless project. It also prevents any damage to your machine. Having loose thread while winding the bobbin can result in thread getting wrapped around the machine. Yikes!! A great project requires a great foundation and when it comes to embroidery, winding your bobbin correctly can be make or break.

Threading Your Machine

Just like with the bobbin, threading your machine with embroidery thread is an important step in having a beautiful, finished project. It is also important to note that embroidery thread and bobbin thread are different! Just like with bobbin thread, it is important to keep the embroidery thread tight when following the thread guide. While it seems like a simple task, make sure to take your time and thread properly.

Uncommon Tip #3: Keep the spool cap handy and secured tightly around the embroidery thread on the spool pin.

Say it with me, friends, loose thread causes big problems! All the components that come with your machine are important to keep handy, but the spool cap is your friend! Keeping the cap tight on the embroidery thread ensures that your thread doesn’t wind around the pin or get caught through the thread guide. When changing out multiple thread colors in one project, it is important to make sure that little things like a secure spool cap, do not go unnoticed.

Uploading A File Into The Machine

Now that your machine is securely threaded, it is time to upload the proper digital machine embroidery file.

Uncommon Tip #4: Keep your flash drive organized so you don’t stitch out the wrong file.

When you are looking through your flash drive files on your machine, you are not able to see a file by name. A picture of the file is all you see on the machine screen. If you have multiple designs of the same file with only small edits, you may end up stitching out the wrong design. Use folders with correct labeling to keep your designs organized and decluttered when searching on your machine. Once a file is uploaded, you still have the option to make edits before stitching it out.

Uncommon Tip #5: If you make edits to a design using the machine, record the adjustments in a journal.

Sometimes designs created or edited using computer software still need a few adjustments once uploaded to the machine. Even if you think that you will only stitch out a design one time, writing down any adjustments you make on the machine can ensure that the project comes out flawless each time.

Hooping A Project

With your machine threaded and your file uploaded, the final step is preparing your material for stitching. The positioning of your material determines the look of your project, but the positioning of your stabilizer determines the outcome.

Uncommon Tip #6: Measure out your stabilizer pieces to fit completely inside the hoop you choose to use for your project.

The hooping process ensures that you have a neat and crisp finish to your projects. Even if the stabilizer is secure underneath the portion of the material you plan to stitch but not secured completely in the hoop, there will not be a positive outcome. Without a secure stabilizer in the hoop, the stabilizer can move around underneath the surface causing a jamming of your needle or elements of the material to not be layered with a stabilizer. Security is key!

Uncommon Tip #7: Use painters’ tape to mark out exactly where you would like your design on your material.

Using the ruler guides included with the hoops can ensure that you measure out your material and stabilizer correctly each time. Using painters’ tape on your material, along with the guides, helps make sure your project is positioned correctly on the material and stitched out in the proper place.

Embroidering A Design

With all your setup finished, we have reached the main event! With your hoop secured to the machine and your presser foot lowered, you can safely begin to stitch your design.

Uncommon Tip #8: Avoid distractions and pay close attention to your project.

The urge to resume your favorite TV show while your design stitches out can be very strong! It is crucial to keep an eye on your project while it stitches out to avoid any mishaps that can not only ruin the outcome of your project but also potentially damage your machine. Limit distractions during this time by making sure materials are clear from the needle and extra thread is cut and removed when possible.

Uncommon Tip #9: Embroider on a sturdy surface and have a clear surrounding area.

Your machine moves fast when embroidering and it needs plenty of space to work its magic. Keep an open area around the machine so nothing gets swept up in its movement. Also, choose a sturdy table or surface to handle the pressure of your machine. A smooth and strong surface for your machine will keep it protected from becoming damaged by unwanted movement while also protecting your surface from scratches.

Finishing Up Your Project

With a project stitched out and completed, the clean-up process can help keep your machine protected and keep the transition to another project smooth.

Uncommon Tip #10: Clean up as you go and store away any extra thread, material, and stabilizer for other projects.

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Keeping a clean craft area helps eliminate wasting material. You never know when extra materials will come in handy so save them for another project or craft! Remove the embroidery thread from the spool pin and keep your thread put away and organized. When all finished, close the top cover to keep dirt and dust out of the machine. Save your designs and power down your machine.

These uncommon tips for beginners are great to keep in mind for a flawless finished project every time! Remember to always have fun and happy crafting!

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1 Comment
Clare Brown

March 26, 2021

Thanks for the fab tips! But just thought Id mention, you might want to change your photos around for the spool thread stopper as you have a cross on the correct photo and a tick on the wrong photo :) Unless Im having a funny moment too! :) x

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