embroidery john bloodworth gentleman crafter

Things What I Have Larnt About Machine Embroidery

Well me ducks, this old mucker has been tinkering with his embroidery machine this week and I have certainly learnt a few valuable lessons.

Thought it might be fun to share my efforts …

As you may know, I got this machine a while back – in fact, I shared a bit about that about a year ago in this post – at which point I had reasonable success at creating something pretty.

By the way, I still haven’t finished decorating.

Since writing that post though, I have forgotten literally everything that I learned at the time. I was, therefore, starting last weekends experimentation from square one, if you will.

Allow me to set the scene.

Cocky middle-aged man has a notion to convert some of his existing designs into embroidery patterns and so, sets up embroidery machine, opens software on the computer and says, “I’ve seen people do this. It’s proper easy. Push some buttons and off it will trot. Right?”

Now let me share the reality with you.

The software, PE Design 2, was fairly straight forward when it came to converting one of my Mandala designs into a stitched file using the auto-punch feature.

Despite not being able to clear a mysterious area that did not seem to look like it should.

Wafting past that issue with an air of indifference and a shrug, I sent it to stitch anyway.

As before, I loaded up some lovely thread – my first mistake, by the way – and pressed the start button.

Before I share the result, let me explain about the thread mistake.

Well, whilst in the fabric shop I saw some lovely varigated threads and so picked it up thinking that it would be awesome to stitch out an embroidery design with it.

Unlike my first attempt where I used embroidery thread, I hadn’t realised that this was in fact sewing thread, which is thicker.


This, along with the fact that I had not taken into account the order of sewing those shapes led to a less than attractive end result.


In addition, my thread kept snapping. I thought that this was my fault because of the rooky mistake with the thread.

Hmmm, back to the drawing board.

After reorganising the stitch order, – which did take some time and some mental effort, I gave it another go with some actual embroidery thread.

To see the next image that I created, please use the numbered page links below.

14 thoughts on “Things What I Have Larnt About Machine Embroidery

  1. Hi congrats on getting to grips with your machine. Few tips. I find the easiest bobbins are the ones you buy in a large box. They come in black or white. Since using have not had bobbin problems. I get mine from a company that I have used for many years called HOBKIRKS. They have been my saviour many many times with tons of help at the end of the phone. I also find that once a week place a little oil through the hole where the needle goes through just a drop. You do not want to drown it. Wash away stabiliser is the best if embroidering on towels or thick materials, just sprints with water spray once you have taken off what you can by hand. I had my embroidery market stall for many years but had to stop through illness. Never a day goes by without me doing something. If I have a design that is very difficult I send it off to a company. Can get the name for you if you need they then send me a pic of what design looks like embroidered and if I am happy they send back to me in the format I use. They are so reasonable it seems a waste of my time sitting for hours trying to do. Anything I can do to help give me a message but U tube is a godsend. Happy stitching may 2020 fill you with happiness and good health. Love Jan from Liverpool


  2. Have had my Brother 800e for about 4 years and I love it. I still have glitches (usually user error! ) I don’t digitise because there are lots of designs online and I can usually find what I want, and more. I have found that (usually ) top thread breaks are caused by the bobbin not rotating properly. This can happen due to the machine needing de-fluffing or a glitch when the bobbin was being wound or it not liking the bobbin thread. Mine prefers a smooth polyester thread others like a slightly thicker thread. Looking forward to seeing more of your creations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been machine embroidering for over 30 years now (yikes, surely I’m not that old!) and I smiled at your digitising efforts. I no longer have digitising software but in the past have done many of my own designs – a lot of them motorbikes and stuff as we’ve owned GoldWings for years! It is not easy at all – as you’ve discovered. I have had to refuse to ‘do’ for people as they think it’s a five-minute job – you have found out that it involves many trial stitch-outs and then back to the … drawing board! Anyhow, I hope you keep trying, it is such a lot of fun.
    I love Embroidery Library and their sister site – Urban Threads but my latest discovery and total addiction is KreativeKiwi (https://www.kreativekiwiembroidery.co.nz/page/home.html) who have the most wonderful ‘In-the-hoop’ designs which I’ve been stitching almost constantly since I found them in November.
    Don’t blame me if you get hooked!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love it….. a kindred spirit …… I had exactly the same problems and put mine away until someone managed to work it out so I could understand it (HINT HINT) a new udemy course coming up I hope……. Please…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the embroidery John July love the embroidery weddite have to the tune of around $300 in my wish list at present 😂😂 I’m in the middle of embroidering badges on 20 ties for someone at present frustrating to say the least x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have had my embroidery machine over 20 years, and it hasn’t been out of it’s cabinet in about 3 years (well, scan n cut sort of sidetracked me!) but a friend recently decided she would like to get one, so I suggested she came and had a ‘play’ on mine to see if it really is what she wanted before paying out mega-bucks. I had to rack my brain to even remember what to do, but managed it and she was hooked as soon as she had a go. Needless to say, off she went, got herself the bargain of the century from a local dealer, and is now making fabulous things. I have now left my machine set up, and after reading your story, will undoubtedly be having another session with mine (though mine is the pre-USB version, when we had to buy the cards with designs on at a cost of £80 a throw!). I have about 10 cards, but amongst them have loads of beautiful designs I have never even sewn. Thanks for re-inspiring me!


  7. Beautiful embroidery. I love machine embroidery & have loads designs, don’t do as much at the moment but when in first had my machine everything was embroidered, well almost!!! Keep up the good work John.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, had to read to end as love your anecdotes .. What a wonderful ending and such a beautiful Rose, although Imcouldnt see anything wrong with the mandela !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Well, finally you’ve cracked it! Fantastic! I wish I had one of those amaze-ball type machines. Perhaps when I win the lottery!!!
    Final design looks fantastic and I know you must feel really good finally getting the machine figured out. I look forward to more of your stitchery adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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