One Thing I Should Have Known Before Buying My Embroidery Machine

What do you wish you had known before buying your embroidery machine

Hindsight is always 20/20. What do you wish you had known before your embroidery machine purchase?

I recently read this thread and thought the information was not only useful, but also quite interesting, especially if you are just getting interested in machine embroidery.

The question was, “What is the one thing that you wish you had known before you bought your embroidery machine?” I grouped the answers into eight basic categories. Some of the answers may surprise you.

Buy a Bigger Hoop – 18%

A majority of those who responded said they would have purchased a machine with a bigger hoop capacity. The hoop size dictates the size of embroidery designs that you can stitch. In this case, bigger is better.

Organize Embroidery Designs as You Get Them – 17.5%

A close second, is organizing your embroidery designs. Get a system going right from the start. It takes a lot of work to find designs scattered all over your computer or multiple jump drives. We have some blogs that will help, here.

Time Investment/Learning Curve – 17.2%

At nearly a tie for second place, is the amount of time that it takes to learn this craft. Unlike sewing, machine embroidery also involves learning the right combination of stabilizers, working with your computer, getting the designs to your machine, choosing the right dealer, user classes, and design positioning.

Expense of Extras – 14.7%

The machine is only the beginning. What many beginners may not realize is that the cost of thread, needles, stabilizers, and designs adds up in a hurry. Of course, if you are a member of Bonnie’s VIP Club, you can get 20% off every order, even regular sales, early access to new design sets, and special offers.

Participants also expressed concern that shortcuts should not be taken. Inferior products and those not made for embroidery (coffee filters) are not a good investment. Use the right tools for the job for best results.

Buy a Better Machine – 12.7%

This goes along with buying a bigger hoop. Basically, buy the biggest machine you can afford. Read about the important options here.

Addiction – 9.7%

If you love this hobby, and most of you do, machine embroidery will likely become addictive (and not in a bad way). Studies have shown sewing/embroidery is relaxing and can lead to medical benefits such as lower blood pressure, a steady heart rate, and lower stress levels.

Needing a Housekeeper – 7.8%

Because of the amount of time you will spend embroidering, housework will suffer. So sad.

Not Enjoying Embroidery – 2.5%

Even more sad, is that a very small amount of respondents wish that they had known that they would not enjoy machine embroidery.

A few said that they were happy that nobody told them anything. Had they known that machine embroidery would take so much time and money, they probably wouldn't have bought a machine.

What do you wish that you had known before buying your embroidery machine?


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  • Brenda Norton - June 20, 2021

    I started out long ago with a Brother single needle. I got very busy so I purchased the second single needle. Well that didn’t help a whole lot. I was introduced the Happy machines. I purchased a 12 needle Happy and fell in love all over again with embroidery. A couple years ago we purchased a second 12 needle Happy. My how things have changed!! The upgrade from my first one to the latest one is amazing. I fell in love all over again. I have all the hoop including the fast frames. A wall of thread, stabilizers of most every kind. Expensive yes they are but it’s something I love and the Happy Machines just keep on keeping on. I more that paid for my first machine with orders. I do some orders here and there now but I’m to the point that I wanna do what I wanna do for myself, family and friends. Love my Happy machines.

  • Bonnie Welsh - June 17, 2021

    Dawn—A great dealer is worth his weight in gold. I believe the first Janome was the MC 8000 as I got the second and it was the MC 9000. Great little machines that sewed beautifully.

  • Bonnie Welsh - June 17, 2021

    Mary Anne—I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right in that sewing can be very comforting and great therapy.

  • Theresa - June 16, 2021

    We live in an RV and machine travels with me. I would like it to pack up easier for travel. The brand I purchased does not have a detachable embroidery arm.

  • Helen Magnussen - June 16, 2021

    Knowing you should have some basic computer skill first and then purchase your machine

  • Dawn Jennings - June 16, 2021

    I bought my first embroidery machine probably 30 years ago – a Janome MC 5 or 7 I think. Back then the hoop was 4″ × 4″, and you could only get designs by buying cards with several designs on for about $100. There was no choice, you might only like a couple of designs on a card. The designs couldn’t be moved, or combined or altered in any way. Over the years I have upgraded a number of times and now have the Janome Horizon 15000. One upgrade was to get internet accessibility, that was a huge improvement! Other upgrades have usually been for bigger hoops. One thing I didn’t think of when I got my first ‘mega’ hoop was how much stabilizer you go through. Most of my machines I have bought from the same dealer, he has been very supportive and I have phoned him many times when I have a problem. He also services my machines. I love machine embroidery! Yep, sad about the housework :) Dawn Jennings in Adelaide, South Australia

  • Doreen Warren - June 16, 2021

    Mine is hoop envy. I have a 5×7 and wish I could afford at least a six thread machine. But can’t. If you go to a dealer they will work with you.
    So I am going to put a Brother NQ1600 on layaway after I sell my Brother PE800. I will use that for the down payment and make a payment each month till paid off. Check out your local dealers first. I wish I had known that first.

  • Wynnette Shearn - June 16, 2021

    My first was Babylock memory & floppy disc, I loved it, I now have a Viking Ruby Deluxe, I love it, made me decide I needed the software to digitize, I love all of it! I am 78 , a member of ASG wish I had more time , I would love the challenge of a newer embroidery machine, but just can’t justify spending the money. But they are amazing!!

  • Mary Anne Lane - June 16, 2021

    I love, love machine embroidery. BUT, no one told me how addicting perusing and purchasing designs is. It is almost like two hobbies. One for embroidery and one for designs and supplies needed to complete a project. I have a single needle machine, Brother DreamMaker. I have been doing this since the home embroidery machines hit the market. I have only sons, so my things will be passed on to my daughters-in -law. I hope they don`t faint when they realize what they inherited! I have told them they will spend a lot of time on You Tube to learn all there is you need to know. I recently lost my husband of 69 years. I went into my sewing room and sewed, embroidered, planned the next project and was comforted doing what I love.

  • Debbie Henry - June 16, 2021

    Fay, you are right, your dealer should be your greatest resource for learning your machine. Read to the bottom of this forum link. I hope that it helps!

  • Joy A Streed - June 16, 2021

    I love machine embroidery. Yes get the machine with the biggest hoop you can afford. I love to make things and give as gifts. I wish I had started to put things in files as to what they are when I started. Now it’s going to take a little bit of time.

  • Tricia Dougharty - June 16, 2021

    I have a Janome 350E and I have been very happy with how sturdy, dependable and easy it is to use. My only wish is that it had the capacity for a larger hoop than 5×7.

  • Ann Owens - June 16, 2021

    More space, more time, more ideas of what to embroider (granddaughter is 21 now), piles of dishtowels. Think I may do some pillow covers and quilt blocks.

  • Kris Alvarez - June 16, 2021

    Fay Holstein, join a Janome group. Other owners are a great resource. Also check out You Tube. Lastly, go to the Janome website. Often the company has lots of resources on their website. Don’t give up. There’s help out there!

  • BevM - June 16, 2021

    Purchase the newest version of whatever brand you decide upon (after any bugs have been worked out by the company.) I have had two embroidery machines and have loved them both. I am surprised in recent years at how quickly the technology changes. I bought my second machine when the software became incompatible with my
    computer system. My newer machine has already had upgrades, and more advanced machines are now available.

  • Fay Holstein - June 12, 2021

    I love My machine. I have been trying get my embroidery to transfer to the machine. My dealer doesn’t know any thing about Janome S9. They no longer keep the high priced machine in stock so I have Know one to answer my questions. So I am Left on my own. So check that out when you go to buy a machines. Where will you get assistance from?

  • Trish - June 12, 2021

    I would of bought a better designed machine to be honest with the hoop bracket being stronger instead of being flimsy on the back.

  • JoWilliams - June 12, 2021

    Bigger room and better organized

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