Machine Embroidery

There are people in this world who love to sew. Chances are, you are one of these people. And there are other people in this world who, like me, feel completely inept at sewing because previous attempts have resulted in:

  1. Lots and lots and lots of unpicking
  2. Throwing the project across the room (with or without screaming)
  3. Possible colorful language (I’m not admitting to that one)

So, if I don’t sew, why am I writing a post about machine embroidery? Because, my friends, machine embroidery is NOT the same thing as sewing. Many of you do both (and do it very well) and that’s absolutely wonderful. But you do not have to be good at sewing to experience the joy of creativity™ through machine embroidery! Why? I’ll let you in on a little secret: the embroidery machine does most of the work for you. 

Many people are intimidated by the thought of using an embroidery machine. It can all sound so complicated with computerized parts, digitized files, and all the rest. But, honestly, it’s all so much easier than you might think and what a shame it would be to miss out on what could be your very favorite hobby! So why not give machine embroidery a try? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • Visit Your Local Quilt Shop: I’ve met a lot of quilt shop owners in my day, and it’s been my experience that they are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. So pay them a visit and start asking questions (shop owners love questions)!
  • Take in a Demo: There are many free demonstrations available, both online and at a shop. Watch a few and see what machine embroidery is all about!
  • Hands-on Classes: Ask your local quilt shop if they have any classes or clubs you can join that will give you hands-on experience. Some shops will let you use their machines in-house; others rent out embroidery machines so you can test the waters. (After all, if you’re thinking of trying machine embroidery, there’s really nothing better than actually trying machine embroidery!)
  • Make-and-Takes: Many shops also do Make-and Takes, meaning you can come into the shop, make a project on their embroidery machine, and then take that project home with you. (Don’t worry! They’ll teach you exactly what to do.)
  • Attend a Kimberbell Spark Event:  Find a Kimberbell Certified Shop near you and attend a Spark Event! Using the shop’s machine, you can make two Kimberbell projects in four hours or less. Spark Events are a great way to give machine embroidery (and those wonderful Kimberbell instructions!) a try.
  • Start with an Entry-Level Machine: If you’re worried about expense, remember that you don’t have to jump right into a top-of-the-line machine. Go ahead and start small! You can have a whole lot of fun with a 5×7 hoop. 

Machine Embroidered Tea Towel

There are plenty of reasons why you’ll want to try machine embroidery. Have you ever noticed that saying, “I made this for you” is just like saying, “I love you?” How wonderful it is to show up at a baby shower or a birthday party with something you’ve made with your heart, your hands, and your embroidery machine. Even though I don’t do a lot of traditional sewing, I can certainly make an in-the-hoop embroidery project or embellish a Kimberbell Blank for a gift! And aren’t those personalized gifts the best?

I have a dear friend who knows how much I love collecting Nativity sets. For years, she’s given me a new Nativity set for Christmas–each piece thoughtfully created with me in mind. These sets are made out of a variety of materials: wood, flower pots, counted cross-stitch, clay, and more, and each is a treasure to me. Every December, when I put these Nativity sets on display, I think of my friend with so much love.

Machine Embroidered Nativity OrnamentsSo when Kimberbell released Happy Hoop Decor: Christmas Nativity Ornaments, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. How excited I was last Christmas to give my friend the Baby Jesus from this set: something I lovingly created for her! My plan is to make the other ornaments to complete her collection, and I hope that when she hangs them up she’ll feel the same joy in our friendship that I’ve felt through her gifts. (Um…Tiffany, if you’re reading this, maybe forget this paragraph so you’re surprised?)

There’s also something to be said for beautifying your home with items you’ve created yourself, from table runners and Bench Pillows to quilts and more. It’s especially fun to change things up every season and add little homemade touches to the nooks and crannies of the place you love best. With machine embroidery, there’s a delightful world of decor-making at your fingertips!

And that’s why I’m an advocate for machine embroidery. I really don’t sew, and I’m not even much of a crafter, but I can load a digitized file, hoop some fabric, and create something meaningful for myself and the people who matter most to me. It’s my hope you’ll give machine embroidery a try and experience the joy of creativity™ with Kimberbell!


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