Owning a home embroidery machine is a luxury for any sewer or quilter. Sophisticated embroidery designs can be added to garments or fabric with very little effort.
Embroidery machines come with dozens of built-in designs, plus there are thousands of additional designs available for purchase on CDs or online. A design is purchased in the format for a particular machine and may be sent directly to the embroidery machine from the computer via a USB connection, or the design may be downloaded to a flash drive which is then inserted in the machine for stitching.
Items to be embroidered are placed in a hoop with stabilizer and the stitching is computerized. No hands needed. When one color is done stitching, the machine will signal the operator to change the thread color. There are also machines available that have multiple needles so there are fewer thread changes to make.
Embroidery machines offer endless opportunities for creativity in the making of personal and gift items. One-of-a-kind items can be made by personalizing with a name or monogram.
Common items to embroider are bath towels, kitchen towels, baby blankets, bed linens and table linens. A cute embroidery can be added to a blank T-shirt, a baby bib or a pair of jeans.
An embroidery machine can also sew perfectly around an applique shape. Small items like pin cushions, eyeglass holders, greeting cards and small purses can be made entirely in the hoop. Quilt blocks can also be perfectly pieced in the hoop.
There are many different brands of machines available with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Shops selling the machines usually provide free instruction with purchase. Many stores also offer ongoing education to their customersthrough an embroidery club, additional classes and workshops.
Information provided by Suzanne Sievers, The Stitch, 217 E. Lincolnway, Jefferson, 515-386-2014.