Machine Embroidery Techniques and Projects

PE Design Next Youtube tutorial lessons

Asian Pillows from 

CME (Creative Machine Embroidery) magazine Fourth of July projects (free!)

CME magazine Birthday Bash projects (free!)

Embroidery Billboard (One Stop Shopping!)

Embroidery Websites:
Remarkable designs!  Sign up for the newsletter and get over sixty free designs to download - they are stunningly gorgeous!

Misplaced Design Elements:
These could be caused by a power surge during stitching or the embroidery arm was bumped.  Turn off the machine and re-start the design, or the machine will continue to stitch in the same incorrect area.

Needle Issues:
A size 80/12 embroidery needle eye is the same size as a standard 90/14 needle eye.  The larger eye prevents the thread from breaking as it's pulled through the stitching.  Choose embroidery needle size based on the weight of the fabric/stabilizer combination.  A small bur because the coating protects the tip from dulling, a tiny burr can cause significant pulling upward of bobbin thread.  A titanium-coated needle increases the longevity of a needle because the coating protects the tip from dulling and makes it strong enough to stitch heavy-weight fabric, plus the coating keeps the adhesive from gumming up the needle during stitching.  When gumballs appear, white with a damp cotton swab.  Do not allow them to fall into the bobbin case.  If stitches are very dense, switch to a SMALLER needle size.

Oiling the Machine:
The rule for machine embroidery is to oil after every two projects and clean the lint out between every project.  Have a professional clean your machine once a year.

PE Design Next Software tutorials...

PE Design Next Software tutorial CDs...

PE Design Next Software workbook...

Tension Issues:
During normal sewing, the needle and bobbin threads should be balanced.  For embroidery, the needle thread should pull to the wrong side, so the bobbin thread is invisible on the right side.  On the wrong side, both the bobbin and needle thread should be visible.  Loosen the upper needle tension.  Dealers prefer to tighten the bobbin case tension, but it can be done yourself with 1/4 turn adjustments and a small screwdriver.  A quarter turn is a very large adjustment for the bobbin tension.

Youtube videos for PE Design Next Software:



Hello all,
Just a reminder about the video tutorials I helped created this winter with Brother that have been posted on YouTube.  These are great videos to get you started with your software.  In writing the scripts for the videos, I used different subjects for the tutorials so they would be a bit different from the lessons you find in my workbooks.  Below are the direct links to the individual video tutorials.  I hope you find them helpful in learning your software program.

Cynthia's Embroidery

Overview of the software

Working with a custom hoop

Programmable Stitch Creator

Design Database

Template function

Name Drop

Removing parts of a design - split stitch tool

Transforming Text

Photo Stitch

Create Floral Lines (The spiral feature)

Basic Text

Importing a Design and Adding Text

Quilting design embroideries from Sharon Schamber and her daughter Cristy Fincher (owner of ) - absolutely beautiful designs with no jump-stitching, all continuous-line

Embroidery Machines for home-sewers

Embroidery Machines for professionals/businesses

FREE, online versions of "Through the Needle" magazine from Bernina for machine embroidery, 22 pages each:  Issue 6  Issue 7  Issue 8      Issue 9  (flip-page style)

Paper templates of hearts to print out - use the words "BE MINE", etc. and decorate your table with fabric hearts - sew cute!

Beautiful springtime bag to create using machine (or hand) embroidery:

Oilcloth bag for rainy days!

I subscribe to Creative Machine Embroidery magazine and highly recommend it...

Check out past issues of CME online:

This is a page where I place my notes about machine embroidery, piecing in the hoop, quilting in the hoop, etc. specifically for the Ellageo.

A)  Joan Friedrich Retreat
      Feb. 2011
      Bismarck, North Dakota, USA

My wish list of stabilizer and embroidery items from

No-Show Mesh Fusibles
BLC304 white 20" roll WANT
BLC305 black 20" roll WANT
BLC306 beige 20" roll HAVE

Press-Away Topping

Shape-Flex Fusible Double-sided fusible interfacing

Fusible Tear-Away FIRM
BLT105 20" roll

Fusible Tear-Away FIRM

Stick-Tear Tear Away
BLT102 20" roll HAVE

Comfort Grips for hoops - $4.29  HAVE

Embroidery Buddy (size adult or child's) for fitting embroidery into place on T-shirt/sweatshirts $21.99 WANT

Quick Snap Hoop $199 (magnets will not bother the computer if not left sitting there for long periods of time)

The Density Works Program $149 - this will pay for itself because you can save 10,000 stitches in a piece of embroidery and it'll still look perfect, plus it will save you extra wear and tear on your machine, needles, stabilizer, etc. WANT

"In the Hoop" book $29.99 and accessory kit $24.99  WANT BOTH (available on

The Master Works II Program is immensely expensive, I believe I could buy a good serger instead for around the same price, $1,800 USD

Quilt Works II is around $600 USD
(online sew-at-home classes)  tutorial and book at QW

"Piecing in the Hoop" Nancy Zieman WANT (hoop each block)

"Quilt in the Hoop"

'Interactive Quilting' is another program

A continuous border hoop is available.

Babylock "Evolution" Serger is self-threading in two seconds!
 - you can put a hem on a scarf using the wave stitch on this serger
 - you can put a zipper for a bag in with a serger


I is for Interfacing:

Shape-Flex - purses, support sides, fabric bowls, permanent

Shape-Flex Double-Sided Fusible "Don't press it to your ironing board!"  crafts, purses, purse bottom, boxes, vases, placemats

C is for Cut Away (or iron off)

Hydro Hold Water-Activated - fr stretchy fabrics like knits, double knits (baby bibs), acrylic, knit hats, stretchy fleece, irregular-shaped items "DO NOT use on towels!" - touch with damp sponge and it disappears!

Super Stable or Cut-Away Soft (Heavy)  super stable - for the hoop - heavy duty projects - fleece, knits, sweaters, caps, high density stitch count

Cut-Away Soft Medium in white or black - medium to heavy knits and woven fabrics - use two pieces for anything heavier weight - all stitch counts

No-Show Mesh (nonfusible) May be used to cover embroidery to eliminate scratching on the skin - CLOTHES in black, beige and white

No-Show Mesh Fusible (MUST HAVE!)  Can use 3-4 layers - fusing holds the stretch on T-shirts and sweatshirts - use on hard-to-hoop items like baby bibs, use more layers for higher density stitch count - save the fusible scraps!  Comes in white, black and beige - great for unstable material - can be used to cover embroidery to eliminate scratching on skin - great for chest area


T is for Tear-Away

Hydro Hold Water-Activated - cottons and non-stretch fabrics, leather, slick finished-fabrics, irregularly shaped items - temporary - great for RED WORK - use it and tear it away!

Rinse-Away, Tear-Away - TERRY CLOTH TOWELS - still need another behind it - made with polyester - GREAT FOR QUILTING - Son Bonnet Sue, etc. APPLIQUE

*********  LOVE THIS!!!!!!!************
Stick-Tear, Tear-Away  cottons, fleece, suede, velour, hoopless embroidery projects with med. to high stitch count - NOT for two layers of knit (baby bibs)  Hoop it SHINY SIDE UP, Score it with a pin in the shape of an "X", tear away the top layers, then you can use for hoopless projects like slippers that flap open, cuffs, etc.
(Once you have one prepared for your hoop, just leave that in there and replace each time the smaller piece in the center - you can use over and over and over again - saves $!!!)  Not for use on sweatshirts!

Tear-Away Soft  for denim, corduroy, fleece, light knits, caps, robes and towels - "heavy tear-away_ which provides stability to help prevent puckers and distortion - on terry, always use a topping, too, so stitches don't disappear into the loops of the fabric!


Tear-Away Firm  Use to put in a zipper in the hoop - use double-sided sticky tape to keep the zipper in place - denim, coruroy, craft projects, PAPER, coated or water-proof fabrics - temporary

Fusible Tear-Away Firm - PERFECT FOR TERRY TOWELS - all stitch counts incl. HIGH DENSITY - for all decorative stitching - excellent support for lighter knits - use on knits, wovens, cottons or blends - remember to use a topping on terry towels so the stitches don't get lost in the hoop-y fabric of the towel!

W is for Water Soluable

******MUST HAVE*******
Hydro Melt Topping - PERFECT FOR FLUFFY FABRICS (high pile terry cloth, fleece, knits)  perfect for stitching on top of fluffy baby blanket fabric Watch out!  Spill your drink on it and it disappears!!

Dissolve-Away Mesh (backing)- lace, appliques, emblems, towels, blankets, napkins, ribbon, quilting, bead work, etc., low stitch count, low density
MONEY SAVING TIP:  Save your dissolve-away mesh scraps, put in spray bottle with water, WILL NOT MOLD - very heavy starch - you can also "paint" this starch on from a dish, it's so heavy

Dissolve-Away Mesh Self-Adhesive - does the same as above, self-stick, no ironing- make sure everything is nice and dry or it'll disappear!

P is for Press Away

Press-Away Topping
I've seen it with my own eyes!  It completely disappears with the use of an iron - nothing remains on the fabric, embroidery or on the iron!  Very cool!
Use when water or tearing would cause damage to your terry cloth, fleece or knits - use a medium hot, dry iron to take it off

-Stabilizers are color-coded and marked with "I", "P", "W", etc. and marked with complete instructions.  Making the correct choice will make your final product look professional!

Save your old, holy, stained T-shirts and shirts, towels, etc. to do practice run-throughs of your embroidery BEFORE you work on your real project.  Save these in three ring binders as project reference examples, with the date, reference to embroidery location, type of threads, stabilizer/s and topping used, etc. so you can refer to it later and recreate it without fuss!

Stabilizers are also great for sewing clothes!

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