What is the First Thing You Should Do When You Get a Machine?


Did you get a new machine for Christmas? Make sure you do this before using it!

On Bonnie’s Facebook page, she recently asked how many followers actually read their owners’ manual. The answer might surprise you. Turns out that of those who responded, 35.7% read the manual cover to cover. That is the same amount (35.7%) as those who only read the manual when they were stuck or had a problem.  Which surprisingly means 28.1% don't read the manual at all and just dive in.

Before you even turn on the machine, you should read your manual. Even if you are an embroidery veteran. Technologies change.

It is a good practice after you have taken an embroidery hiatus, too, and even as a periodic review. Every time I look at my manual, I learn something new.

A printed manual may come with your machine. Many are available for download from your manufacturer’s website as a PDF. That allows for updates and corrections to easily be added as they occur. Check to be sure that you are using the most recent edition.

You can read and use the PDF manual on your computer, if you like. All you need is free Adobe Acrobat Reader. One benefit is that you can search a PDF for whatever you are seeking. I prefer a printed copy. It is usually less expensive to use a printing service rather than eating up your own printer ink.


Most printing services offer binding as well. A spiral binding, like that on Bonnie’s GlitterFlex Color Guide, makes manuals super easy to navigate.

The best way to learn how to use your embroidery machine is to take new owner classes. Many dealers offer them at no cost. But still, it's a good practice to read the manual first!

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Bonnie Welsh - December 27, 2021

    Margaret—Thank you “sew” much. Very sweet of you to say.

  • Bonnie Welsh - December 27, 2021

    Nita—I love the spiral binding because the book will lay flat and stay open to what you want to see. =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - December 27, 2021

    Pam—Yes, you can use regular fabric with the applique designs. The GlitterFlex definitely adds a punch of sparkle and glitz though. =)

  • Margaret - December 27, 2021

    I love all your designs and the colour combination. Really amazing.

  • Nita Welch - December 27, 2021

    I’ve actually been doing this since 2012, when I got my Brother Quattro2, and when I went to a class he gave on maintenance on that machine, I had my manual (that I had taken to Staples and had them spiral bind it) with me and the other attendees were raving over what a great idea that was. It really isn’t that expensive to have it done either and makes searching through the manual so much easier.

  • Pam - December 27, 2021

    If I don’t buy your flex material can I use regular fabric?

  • Bonnie Welsh - December 27, 2021

    Sheila—Thank you!!!

  • Sheila D Russell - December 27, 2021

    Love your designs

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