You invested in an embroidery machine and all of the supplies that go with it. Being nervous is understandable, but what is the worst thing that can happen? Really. You may have to throw a project out and start over. Have you ever counted how many pies you baked before one turned out perfect? Even mistakes provide opportunities for learning.
When Thomas Edison was developing the light bulb, he had plenty of outcomes that could be considered unsuccessful. "I have not failed,” he said. “I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Learning is a cumulative process. The more you do something, the easier it gets (and the better you become).
- Make time
In order to learn, you must research and practice. Allow yourself time to spend on embroidery. Block out time that you can dedicate to machine embroidery, whether that time is spent sewing, reading or taking classes. It may seem like a luxury, but you are worth it!
- Start small
One of the biggest ways to sabotage yourself is to start off with a project that is not rated for novices or beginners. Start small and easy then progress to more challenging techniques as your skills (and confidence) grow.
- Take notes
Make your own “recipes” for machine embroidery. Get a journal, binder or notebook and keep notes on your embroidery projects. Document the stabilizer used, thread types and colors, fabric type/blend, any machine adjustments made and anything else that may help you either replicate or improve the design next time. Better yet, include a photo.
- Don’t buy every gimmick and gadget out there
It is easy to get carried away by the excitement and spend a lot of money on things that really are not necessary. All you need to get started is a machine/hoop, scissors, thread, fabric, stabilizer and a design. Get some stitching time under your belt and do some research before investing in extras.
- Be organized
Everyone is busy, but a well-organized, dedicated sewing area makes the time you do spend on embroidery more pleasant and productive. That does not mean you should build an additional room on your home. Even if you use a closet, it helps to have an area where you can sew and walk away without having to put everything away. It is not entirely impossible to sew at the dining room table, but the fun leaves when you have to drag everything out and put everything away each time you want to embroider.
- Test stitch
There are so many variables that the same design will stitch out differently depending on the digitizer, stabilizer, fabric, needle and thread used. Design files can become corrupted during download and even during conversion. Avoid problems by taking the time to test stitch designs on a similar fabric before embroidering the actual piece.
- Be fearless
After some practice, try something new. There are plenty of free designs out there. Think appliqué, cut work, or freestanding lace. At least, try it!
You can try this simple pattern here: