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My Advice to Anyone Who Wants to Start Embroidering

A few years ago, my grandmother gave me a brand new sewing/embroidery machine.  This machine can do almost anything, it’s pretty neat. Not being much of a sewer when I received the machine, I felt obliged to at least give it a try.  After a few hundred hours (and dollars) later, you can finally walk past my sewing room without hearing me scream profanities at my machine because of a silly mistake that cost me another run to the fabric store. And it turns out I actually enjoy sewing, and I’m getting better all the time.  If you are first starting out in this area, here is some advice I wish I had known when I first began embroidering:

  • Understand that it will take time to feel confident.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Start with small scraps of extra fabric to get a feel for what backing works best with each type of fabric.  I know you all have a boneyard of fabric scraps in the corner of your sewing room.
  • On that same note, you should welcome the chance to embroider for your friends when they ask because you could really use the practice.
  • But keep this in mind – if you are going to do a favor for a friend, be sure you embroider only on items you can afford to replace! I have quite a few fleece blankets, towels, and handkerchiefs with other people’s misspelled, misshapen initials on them.
  • Always have extra stabilizer handy. And it is not a bad idea to invest in a few different types as well.  Different fabric often requires different backing.
  • You don’t need to spend extra money on special gadgets. Start out with just what you need – hoops, fabric, embroidery needles and thread, and of course your stabilizer. Once you start working your way up to bigger, more experienced projects, then you can start to experiment with fun new accessories.
  • Stay organized. Take notes to help you remember what techniques worked and didn’t work for your embroidery style. I like to keep a journal on my sewing table where I can quickly jot down measurements, notes, and ideas to try for next time. Also, having a clean work space helped to keep me relaxed and made it much easier to find what I was looking for in a hurry.
  • There are many blogs, guides, and tips on the internet about embroidering. Do your research before starting a project. You can find some really fun and beautiful projects out there.
  • Most importantly – Have Fun! The possibilities are endless with what you can do.

For more on embroidery backing and stabilizer, keep an eye our for our upcoming post!