Archive of ‘Embroidery Tips’ category

See Your Designs on Your Hard Drive

If you’re like me (or how I used to be), you open your design folder on your computer and begin a desperate search, wasting precious minutes sifting through designs.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could see a thumbnail image of your designs? Without opening each design in embroidery software?

Don’t waste anymore time searching for designs. Install Perfect Stitch Viewer on your computer and let the program work its magic in the background.  It’s not a software program you have to learn, you just install it and forget it.

You can take advantage of our special offer this week and download Perfect Stitch Viewer.  Once purchased, you’ll receive an email thanking you for your purchase.  It will look like this:

You’ll receive a second email with your activation number and a link to download the program.  It will look like the image below.  I added the red box and arrow to call out the serial number.

Click on the link and this window appears:

Click on Perfect Stitch Viewer (1) and the program will download and appear at the bottom of the screen. Double click on the download (2).

The Install Wizard will appear.

Follow the prompts to install and click Finish.

Double click the PSV icon on your desktop.

Fill out the Registration form with the serial number (case sensitive, include dashes) you received in your purchase confirmation email.  Click Register Now.

Open a design folder.  You have two options for changing your view in explorer. Click on the View tab (1) and select Large icons or click on the thumbnail icon at the lower right corner of the screen (2).

Now you see all of your designs!  It’s like magic!

Before Perfect Stitch Viewer, my neckline designs looked like this:

Now, I don’t waste any time for searching for my designs.

You can learn more here.

Top 5 Tips For Continuous Borders Video!

Hello Embroidery Friends!

On Wednesday, Eileen filmed a LIVE video giving her Top 5 Tips on Continuous Borders. She also gave an awesome demonstration on how helpful the perfect alignment laser (PAL) is!

Watch below.

Note: Please excuse the graininess in the beginning, still working out the kinks and the video clears up after a few minutes.

Designs in Machine Embroidery

image via



Take advantage of our Special Offer and get $10 off both PAL 1 and 2 (plus FREE shipping) when you use code FBPAL.

Happy Stitching!

Top 5 Tips for Continuous Borders

Join me on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live.  You’ll learn my five top tips for continuous borders.  It doesn’t matter how big your hoop is, the technique is the same for 4″ x 4″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 12″ and larger!

Just log onto facebook and go to the Designs in Machine Embroidery page at 1:00 PM CST.  It’s more fun with a crowd so mark your calendar!  Here’s the link to our page:

Hope to see you there!

What’s New: May/June Issue, Lakehouse Panel, Events, and More!

WOW stands for Whirlwind Of a Wednesday!

Designs in Machine Embroidery

Today, Eileen had a fabulous time as a special guest on Angela Wolf’s Behind the Scenes Facebook LIVE. She spoke all about embroidery giving us the rundown on her highly anticipated My Lace Maker Software, as well as Angela’s new Touch of Lace collection.

After that interactive fun, Eileen showed us what’s new in DIME’s May/June volume 116 issue. She also went over exciting upcoming events and revealed the newest addition to the Farmhouse collection: Lakehouse!  Watch below:

If you’re currently on social media, SHARE this video! You may be chosen to win Eileen’s newest Lakehouse panel ! If you only watch us on the blog, be sure to SHARE this blog post and you will have a chance to win as well !

My Lace Maker Software LIVE Demo

Last week, Eileen talked all about LACE, delving into the secrets to success in thread, needle, stabilizer and design selection on Facebook! She hosted a LIVE tutorial on how to use the FREE demo download of our My Lace Maker Software.

Click the link “FREE” above for the download and Watch below!

Be on the lookout on May 1st when Eileen and Angela Wolf will announce the second lace contest winner on Facebook LIVE at 1:00PM CST. Even though the winner will be announced on Facebook, it’s not necessary to be on Facebook to enter.  Just click this link to enter:

We’ll also post the winner here on the blog.


5 Biggest Mistakes Quilters Make

Finishing a quilt is quite rewarding.  After all, you decided on the pattern, hand-picked the fabrics, cut all the pieces, sewed every seam and then, if you’re like me, hesitated on the next step: how to quilt it.  What designs? What thread? Where do I start? How long will it take?

At 1:00 CST PM on April 3 on Facebook Live, I’ll point out the 5 biggest mistakes quilters make and how to avoid them.  If you have a quilt you want to finish (and who doesn’t have quilt tops begging to be finished?), then join me for 5 Biggest Mistakes Quilters Make.  Of course, by quilter, I mean embroiderers who quilt with their embroidery machines!

How do I know what the mistakes are?  Well, I’ve written four books on quilting with your embroidery machine and I can tell you I have made all 5 of those mistakes – and many more!  I’ve learned so much along the way that it would be selfish of me to keep that knowledge to myself.  So join me and learn how to avoid the most common mistakes quilters make when quilting with their embroidery machine. And then you can finish your quilts with confidence.

Why Facebook Live?  Well, you can ask questions and get answers.  It’s fun and spontaneous and I hope you’ll be a part of it.  Just go to and watch at 1:00 PM CST.  Hope to see you there!


Selecting Thread Colors

Select Color with Confidence

The easiest way to select thread color is to start with a print that you love, select a coordinating solid and then select the thread. For instance, I spotted this floral blouse in a retail store.

I fell in love with the flowers and immediately thought of pairing it with a denim jacket.  Here’s how to select the thread to go with it.  Audition spools right on the blouse and grab your phone to document the process as you switch out some spools. 

Thread Option 1
Thread Option 2
Thread Option 3

Next, review the photos to see what composition is the most pleasing. Once you’re satisfied with the combination, move the spools to the denim jacket.

Auditioning on the actual fabric

Denim is one of the trickiest fabrics to select thread for because it’s a mixture of light, medium and dark threads. Often what you think will contrast with denim, blends too well and leaves the embroidery looking lackluster.  The colors may be beautiful, but the value (the lightness and darkness of the color) may be too close to the denim’s value making the embroidery almost invisible from a 6 ft. distance.  

To avoid that result, use a value finder.  A value finder is a piece of translucent red plastic or glass. When you peer through the colored plastic, all color is removed from the object. What remains is the value of the fabric and threads.  Look through the red panel to view threads right on the fabric. Your phone camera may have filter available. Check your camera settings.

Use a value finder

If they are the same value as the fabric, you’ll know you must find a lighter or darker thread if you want the embroidery to pop off (or separate from) the fabric. 

I trust the value finder more than I trust my own eye.  Because I tend to fall in love with a color, I try to force it on the fabric. Every time I override the value finder, I’m disappointed with the result.

The final winner of the Farmhouse Sentiments Kit is Linda Alford! Congratulations, Linda. We will email you privately for your mailing address. Enjoy!

How to Use Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Scatter Tool

On January 13th, blog reader Sue L requested information on about Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Scatter tool.  The Scatter tool is fun to explore and very easy to master. Let’s dive in and take a look.

An 8” quilt block is the ideal canvas to experiment with the Scatter tool. Some brief text, Bee Happy, and a swarm of bumble bees will bring it to life.  Draw an 8” square with the Artwork tool.  Select the text tool and select the Tango font in the Properties Box.  Type Bee Happy, adding an extra return to space out the two lines of text.  Click Apply.

Tango Font

Enlarge and center the design in the square. 

In the sequence view, click on the padlock to lock the text. 

The Scatter tool becomes active when you have a design on the screen.  It’s best to start with a small design such as a symbol because the scatter tool will repeat the design to fill a specific sewing field.

Click on Select to access the Symbol library.

Go to Symbol, scroll down to the Bee and click OK.

Click OK.

Click once on the screen and one bee will appear.

Select the bee and click on the dropdown arrow on the Carousel tool to access the Scatter tool.

In the preview window, you can change the size of the sewing field.  The default size is 7.87”. If you’re pleased with the arrangement on the screen, click OK.  If you’d like to see more possibilities, click Apply.  Every time you click Apply, a new layout will be presented.  Since the layout is random, you can not go back to a previously-viewed layout. If you like it, click OK!

To remove the bees that overlap the text, Ungroup the bees. Once ungrouped, all the elements of each bee are also ungrouped. When you select a bee, group it first as you work on arranging the bees.  Select each bee that you want to remove.  The text will still be locked so don’t worry about inadvertently grabbing the text.  You can resize, rotate and reposition each of the bees.  Play with the arrangement until you feel the bees are evenly spaced on the quilt block.

Once you’re satisfied, select all, go to Edit, Resequence by Color and Optimize Sequence.  View the Redraw and save the design. So fun!

Facebook LIVE Tutorial on Conquering Your Fear of the Snap Hoop Monster: Magnetic Hooping

We hope you enjoyed our second Facebook live this week but due to technical difficulties we decided to re-shoot a video just for the blog! Take a look below to learn more about magnetic hoops and why you shouldn’t be afraid of the Snap Hoop Monster.

2019 Stitch Along Tour – Participants List

Join dime, Baby Lock, and the following talented individuals as we celebrate National Embroidery Month in February with a Stitch Along Blog Tour!  There will be prizes given away on each participant’s blog as well as beautiful inspiration on how to use my newest collection, The Farmhouse Collection – Sentiments.

Take a look at the schedule and be sure to mark your calendars!

Friday, February 1, 2019
Eileen Roche


You’re reading my blog so you probably are already familiar with me. Just in case you’re new here, I’ll fill you in on why I’m here. I’ve been immersed in machine embroidery for over 20 years. I love overcoming challenges by inventing new techniques and products to make machine embroidery more enjoyable for everyone. Most of all, I want you to be proud of what you create on your machine and if I can help you do that, well, that makes my day!

Monday, February 4, 2019
Team Nancy Zieman Productions


In 2007, Nancy Zieman and Deanna Springer started Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC. (NZP). Deanna worked along side Nancy as marketing coordinator, business manager, co-director of video production, and in product development and project design. Over 10 exciting years, NZP launched a new BLOG, social media channels, 40+ sewing and quilting products including tools, patterns and books. The NZP Team continued to produce 10 more seasons of Sewing With Nancy, with Wisconsin Public Television, until Nancy’s passing in November 2017.

Today, Deanna and the NZP Team are honored to carry on Nancy’s legacy and love of sewing through sharing Nancy’s time-saving sewing techniques via the BLOG, by creating patterns and developing new products, gathering the stitching community at Quilt Expo, and continuing reruns of Sewing With Nancy on Public Television for many years to come. 

Deanna is VP of Marketing at Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC, where she continues to enjoy her role as business manager, blog editor, manager of product development and project design, and co-events manager of Quilt Expo. On any given day, you’ll find Deanna developing sewing notions for Clover Needlecraft, Inc., fashion garment patterns for The McCall Pattern Company, fabric collections for Penny Rose Fabrics—a division of Riley Blake Designs, creating quilt patterns for QuiltWoman, managing Quilt Expo quilt contests, challenges, exhibits, lectures, workshops and stage presentations, and sewing projects for the BLOG on Baby Lock sewing machines.

Deanna has a certificate in Applied Marketing from the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Deanna enjoys all things nature—and all four seasons—with her husband, Dennis, in their beautiful home state of Wisconsin.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Carla Reale
Baby Lock Palette Community


After a traumatic wrap skirt experience at the hands of a vindictive Home Economics teacher in junior high school, Carla hung up her sewing shears, choosing to pursue a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling which she used to pursue a career working with children with disabilities and their families. She left that job to become a stay-at-home mom, but soon realized she needed a hobby. Her fascination with embroidery machines coupled with her inability to leave anything left unexplained, lead to her teaching digitizing software both by writing digital workbooks and by teaching classes at the local Baby Lock retailer’s store. Her innate selling skills, and overt bossiness combined with the counseling skills she acquired in college (no it did NOT go to waste, Dad) enabled her to manage a very successful store for the next thirteen years. During that time, she became a certified machine technician and developed a series of videos to teach her customers how to use their machines. As a National Training Specialist for Baby Lock, Carla enjoys training retailers how to both sell and use Baby Lock machines and software, and is involved with the SewlutionExpert Certification programs.

Friday, February 8, 2019
Karen Parker
Thread Head and Company


Threadhead & Co. was born when 2 fiber loving friends, Karen and Beth, joined forces to provide education in various areas of fiber arts. Threadhead & Co offers an array of patterns in quilting, embroidery, accessories, and home decor to name just a few. Now they would like to share them with you!

Monday, February 11, 2019
Cathy Sundermann
Stitchfork Designs


I am a rule follower.

Don’t run with scissors; never eat more than you can lift;

if your sleeve rips, put on a sweater; and so on.

At Stitchfork, I am a rule follower who loves to break the rules when designing monograms. It’s just embroidery, have fun with it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Michelle Umlauf
Sewing Machine Artistry


Michelle Umlauf has made a career for herself in the sewing industry working as an independent educator.  Eleven years ago she knew she wanted to share her passion with others by teaching.  She began taking teacher certification courses with the Martha Pullen Company and Sulky of America.  Today she is a Certified Ambassador of Education for Baby Lock, a National Educator representing Sulky of America, a Certified Educator for the Decorating Diva and a Demonstrator for Clover Needlecraft, Inc.  She helped found and hosted the Sewing Online with Sulky webinar.  Michelle enjoys traveling across the country working and teaching at expos, sewing shops, Baby Lock retailers and at local quilt guilds.  When she is home, she enjoys spending time with her family at their home in the mountains of Maryland.  Her German Shepherds and rescue kitty enjoy taking mom on nice long walks in the woods!

Friday, February 15, 2019
Milinda Stephenson
Milinda Sews


Hi, I’m Milinda Stephenson, and I’m an Education Ambassador for Baby Lock. I am a third generation sewing fanatic, and I owe this to my wonderful mother and grandmother. Sewing has been a passion of mine for years. Through this hobby, I have learned many tips and tricks for an abundance of designs, and now I would like to share all of those tips with YOU!

My blog offers sewing patterns every week (most of my projects include embroidery and serging), sewing advice/tips, and information on new Baby Lock sewing/embroidery/serging machines. I created this blog to share my knowledge of sewing with anyone who is eager to learn a new trait. My goal is to inspire others, just like sewing inspired me!

Let’s get sewing.

Monday, February 18, 2019
Marie Zinno
Marie Zinno Blog


She has published 40 Multi-needle machine blogs, which reached over 40,000 readers each week on the DIME website. Her column “Multi-needle Know How” is a popular article in each issue in Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. Marie has appeared on numerous PBS sewing TV shows, such as Sewing with Nancy and It’s Sew Easy. She has authored and co-authored 4 books on machine embroidery. Marie has a class on Craftsy/BluePrint titled, How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business.

During Marie’s 6 years as a Stitching Sister with Eileen Roche, she has taught thousands of embroiderers across the nation. And oh yes, Eileen and Marie really are sisters – the middle sisters of 6 daughters.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Colleen Bell
The Embroiderist


Embroidery has been around since the beginning of civilization. While Colleen Bell cannot claim to have been around that long, she has had a long history of embroidering – first as a young teen in the 60’s with hip bell bottoms embellished with hand embroidery to the innovation of the embroidery machine which has become her passion. Join her adventures at  

Friday, February 22, 2019
Sara Gallegos
Baby Lock / Sew Positively Sara


Hi, I’m Sara Gallegos of and Decorative Stitch, in Shelby Twp, MI! Decorative Stitch is an oasis for sewers and quilters of all ages, styles, and proficiencies! Located in Shelby Township, MI, our store features a bright, colorful interior bursting with creative inspiration and over 4000 bolts of designer fabrics. In addition to our super friendly certified staff members, you will also find a wide variety of sewing notions and accessories, along with Baby Lock sewing machines and Koala sewing furniture. Feeling creative? It is time to sew…with Decorative Stitch!

Monday, February 25, 2019
Debbie Henry
Secrets of Embroidery


Debbie Henry is a regular contributor to Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine as well as blogger for (now, and She resides in western Pennsylvania with her husband who is very understanding of her fabric addiction.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Debbie Cleek
Designer’s Gallery Get Together by Baby Lock


Thursday, February 28, 2019
Eileen Roche


It’s going to be fun month – you’ll learn lots of machine embroidery tips and techniques from our talented contributors. And you’ll have a chance to win a Farmhouse Sentiment kit on each day of the tour. I’ll kick it off on Feb. 1 in a Facebook Live event at 1:00 PM CST. This will be my first Facebook Live event and I would love to have you join me. Although I’ve done tons of television, LIVE is well, LIVE – who knows what will happen. I think I’ll need all the support I can get. Hope to you see there!

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