Archive of ‘Guest Blog’ category

Multi-Needle Monday: Cylinder Hoop Attachment – Brother Entrepreneur

Multi-needle embroidery machine owners are a resourceful and thrifty group. I follow a few Facebook organizations and blogs and try to get a feel for what they are looking for. Most of the questions pertain to hooping and stabilizer challenges on multi-needle machines. Many are overwhelmed once the machine and all the necessary notions are purchased. I remember when I first started my embroidery business; I had no idea about the different accessories that were available to ease hooping.

Last year I taped an episode of It’s Sew Easy TV and I featured the cylinder hoop for the Brother Entrepreneur multi-needle embroidery machine. The series was titled fashion through history. My segment #813 focused on the 1970’s and I embroidered the bottom pant leg of denim jeans. The cylinder hoop can be a useful tool for stitching: upper sleeve on jackets, bottom edge of short sleeve shirts (coaches and corporate), children’s pant legs, narrow opening of bags (wine bags) and any other problematic blanks.

One of the best attributes of the cylinder hoop is the generous embroidery area size: 3 inches tall x 3.5 inches wide. There are three different components of the cylinder hoop: the mounting jig, the cylinder driver and cylinder hoop frame (all included with purchase from your authorized dealer). The hoop is curved and the use of stabilizer is very critical because of the “open window” frame. I suggest using fusible cut away stabilizer when stitching a fabric with stretch. The clips are necessary to hold the fabric in place and inserting the frame to the machine needs a steady hand so as not to push the fabric through the frame opening.

The embroidery machine will “read” the hoop which is helpful but consider if the design needs to be rotated.

Step 1: Loosen and remove the screws from back of machine attachment and remove the “A” or “B” arms, place the screws aside. Insert the cylinder driver on to machine where the arms were removed and tighten the bottom screws (included with the cylinder hoop) as well as inserting the screws from the arms that were removed. Attach the cylinder mounting jig to a table top or metal stand frame and tighten the bottom screw vice which is included with mounting jig. cylinder2BLcylinder3BL

Step 2: Mark the embroidery area on jacket sleeve with a target sticker; turn sleeve inside out and iron the fusible stabilizer to the inside of upper sleeve (or desired location for embroidery). Turn sleeve right side out with target sticker still in place. Insert the cylinder frame onto the mounting jig and slide the sleeve onto the frame.cylinder4BLcylinder5BL Use the included clips to tighten the fabric on the frame on both sides. Remove the frame from the jig carefully and transfer to the cylinder driver.cylinder6BL

Step 3: Embroider the design on upper sleeve area of jacket and remove frame from driver. Remove all clips and re-iron the fusible stabilizer from inside jacket sleeve. Carefully trim the excess stabilizer from inside jacket and clip thread tails if necessary.cylinder8BL

Visit It’s Sew Easy TV to view the segment:

I have included a special coupon for you to use on my Craftsy class: “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” with Marie Zinno

Will the person with the initials SFN please step forward?

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogWill the person with the initials SFN please step forward?  We have a free towel to give you!

Here’s an unusual problem you have probably never encountered:   we end up with some unusual embroidered samples in our offices!  No, we didn’t randomly pick SFN.  This towel has an exciting history.  It was used on the set of Sewing with Nancy!

I was tapped to demonstrate one of my favorite sewing tips in a brief 5-minute segment on Sewing with Nancy. I selected the initials because well, frankly, they’re beautiful! After all, how many ERs and NZs can one embroider? The filming went off without a hitch and now the towel sits in my sample room begging for a more elegant resting spot. And now that it’s served its purpose, we’d love to see it go to a better home.  So if your name is:

  • Sarah Francesca Norris
  • Sally Florence Nicholas
  • Samuel Filipe Nunez
  • Steven Frank Nelson

Or any other wonderful name with the initials SFN, we want to hear from you!  We will ship anywhere in the continental US.  One random person with the correct initials will be selected as the lucky recipient of the towel.  Now you might be asking, how will we verify if you have the right initials?  This will be the honor system.  Besides, how many of us want a towel with someone else’s initials hanging from our towel rack?  Looks a bit suspicious to me! Although it’s not uncommon to collect and display vintage linens adorned with a variety of initials.

If it has been awhile since you’ve reviewed monogramming etiquette and you’re wondering about the proper order for initials—here’s a quick review.

If the embroidered initials are the same size, arrange them:  first name initial, middle name initial, last name initial.

If the middle initial is larger, then it is the last name and should be placed in the center.  first name initial, last name initial, middle name initial.

While these are the standard recommendations, you are welcome to exercise creative license!  Just always be sure to make sure the initials don’t spell something unexpected that won’t be appreciated.

Here are some additional blog posts on Monograms:

Monograms for Men

Lowercase Monograms

Monograms for Today’s Marriages


When my time in Sewing Utopia took a downward spiral…

I was in Sewing Utopia the other evening.  You are probably familiar with that magical place where everything runs smoothly.

The Loop-de-Loop designs from Embroidery Online were stitching like a dream.  The digitizing quality is superb.  And to make things even more dreamy, I was at the height of efficiency, running not one, but two embroidery machines in my EmbroideryLand, USA.  I’m so blessed to have access to plenty of resources at the office.  At this rate, I’ll finish sooner than later!

I finished the letters and took my stitch-outs to the store to audition frames.

Shopping Tips
Plan ahead!  Go ahead and use those coupons that come in week after week from the craft stores!  It’s an obvious tip but oftentimes when you’re in the middle of a project, like I was, you don’t have time to shop around for the most affordable frames available.  Your favorite craft retailer with those nifty 40% or 50% off coupons are great for stocking up on frames.  Pick a size and style that you’ll know you can use easily—white, black or even wood grain.  Go with a standard stock so you’ll be confident they will be available time and again.  Every time you get a coupon in the mail, your inbox or through an app, pick up a frame.  Before you know it you’ll have collected enough frames to complete a project.

It was at the store that my Utopian world vanished.  (Insert dramatic sound effects here!)

Do as I say, not as I do! (the ongoing series!)
Excited with my stitched letters, I got to work by adding the rick rack and buttons on a sample before heading to the store.  It was a masterpiece!  My friend Dianna will love this!  But when I went shopping for the frames, I realized to my great disappointment that I trimmed the fabric too short.  Gasp!  I flipped through each of my embroidered samples at the store.  By my estimation, two samples were cut too short.

I returned to my not-so-sewing-utopia armed with more fabric.  This time I cut the fabric to fit the frames.  I won’t make the same mistake three times.

I’m reminded of that saying:  measure twice, cut once!

I think I’d change it to:  measure twice—then cut and stitch once!

While I didn’t have anything to measure when I first began the project, it’s important to plan ahead.  Allocate enough fabric around the embroidery so you have options.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

After stitching all the white rick rack, on my yellow samples, I reached for the green rick rack to stitch on the orange samples.  It was at that point I made the unfortunate discovery that the rick rack widths were not the same.  I didn’t have enough of a single color to use for all the samples (not that I wanted to rip out my newly stitched rick rack).  Nor did I want to make a trip to the store for rick rack.  Downtrodden, I took my samples to my trusty adviser – who also happens to be the Creative Director for the magazine – Sam Solomon.  He said the difference in widths is too minuscule for it to matter.  Besides, we can call it creative license!  (I will admit that when I photographed this shot below, the difference really is minuscule!  It’s funny how monumental it felt at the time.)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Concluding Thoughts
When you start getting weary from making a project, remind yourself the gift is always about the recipient.  Think about the person and what they mean to you when you are making the project.  I certainly did when I was re-stitching the two letters.  I consoled myself thinking—Dianna has had some long nights and weekends working.  This project will be worth it!  I surprised her by placing the frames in her office while she was in a meeting.  I’m not sure who was happier—we were both smiling from the experience!

Also hiccups along the way, like my “rick rack” width disaster – can seem monumental when you’re in the middle of the project.  But step back to look at the matter from a different perspective.  If possible, get feedback from others – and exercise your right to be a whimsical, creative designer.  Improvise, problem solve and have fun!

Whether you have a friend, family member, coworker or someone else you want to thank—do so in an action-oriented manner.  Taking the time to make something specific for that person shows you appreciate them enough to sacrifice your time for them.



Click here if you missed Part 1 of this blog post.  Part 1 goes through the software steps for adding the decorative stitching.




Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidering Multiple Towels

If you follow this blog I would assume many of you own the multi-needle embroidery machine because you have an embroidery business. Although some owners of a multi-needle machine use it primarily for the convenience of thread color changes and durability and do not have a commercial embroidery business. In either case, you will encounter embroidering towels at some point. We have covered proper hooping of towels in recent blogs but not simple logo placement on multiple towels.

One of my clients is a country club tennis team and they love the quality velour team towels (hand towel size) in a variety of colors. My most recent order was for 20 towels with the logo embroidered on the bottom portion of the towel.

Monogram or logo placement on towels with a woven border is actually easier because you have a straight reference point to align the design. Embroidering towels without a woven border are rather difficult because there is not a reference point to guide you. I will share with you my simple steps to embroidering towels with perfect design placement.

Step 1: Select the embroidery design and test stitch it on a similar weight towel. Check the design for stray fibers of terry cloth poking through the stitches. If this is the case, increase the density or add “under lay” foundation stitches.

Step 2: Use the Perfect Placement Kit- Hand Towel Without Border template and position the template on the hand towel at the bottom center mark.hand towel2bl Fold the towel in half lengthwise and place a target sticker at the bottom fold.hand towel3blhand towel5blInsert the target sticker in the center hole of the template. Remove the template and follow the same directions for the remaining towels, keep all target stickers in place until the cross hair on target sticker is properly placed under the needle.hand towel6blUsing the template minimizes the guess work of the actual placement of the logo and eliminates wasting time measuring the embroidery location for each towel.

Step 3: Hoop the hand towel in either a standard hoop or Monster Snap Hoop (my favorite) along with tear away stabilizer. Position the hoop on the machine and line up target sticker’s cross hair with the needle. Remove the target sticker and add a piece of water soluble stabilizer to the top of the towel. Use the basting file to hold the WSS in place. (You can create a basting file in software if your embroidery machine does not offer it on screen.). Embroider the towels; remove stabilizer and trim thread tails when embroidery is 7blhand towel8bl

*Machine embroidery business owners always purchase one or two extra sets of hoops per embroidery machine. Having multiple hoops speeds up the hooping process and total time devoted to set up.*


Click here to use a $10 coupon to use on my Craftsy Class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.


Software Saturday: Forget your troubles with the help of embroidery software!

I looked at the time and braced myself as if an earthquake was about to happen.  It didn’t.  But my mind was miles away.  A week ago on Friday evening we had to put the family dog down.   She was 15 years old and she was falling apart.  As I stared at my computer monitor, trying to figure out what to do next—remembering exactly where I was a week ago at this time, I decided I had to occupy myself.

I opened Perfect Embroidery Pro software without a clear plan and with some reluctance.  There wasn’t any inspiration floating around in my head.  None.

I played with features and dabbled with different design layouts.  During this process, I realized there are some very fun designs in the software….

Did you know there are so many dog related designs built in to the software?

Kibbles would definitely approve.  I was able to make a paw print frame using the Symbols feature.

Select the paw print symbol and click Ok.

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Drag and drop the paw design.  You can make it large or small depending on how far you drag the mouse button across the screen.

I went crazy copying and pasting.

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To see how the design would stitch out I went to View, Slow Redraw.

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That’s when it became clear it was as if Kibbles ran around on the screen.  The paw prints were definitely not in a good stitching order.

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To make the paw prints stitch efficiently, click on Edit.  Optimize Sequence.  That’s much better!

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Since I was enjoying myself and forgetting  my sadness, I decided to try another layout.

Click on the Text tool.  Select Baushaus.  This font seemed to fit Kibbles’ personality.

I typed the name, Kibbles and clicked Apply.

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Click the Text Designs Icon.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I got very distracted with all the designs!  I chose the Bone design and clicked Ok.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click on the Text Designs Icon again.

Select the Crown Design and click ok.

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I rearranged the Crown design so it was positioned on top of the Dog Bone design.

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The bone needed something more.  I added the year, 2015.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

My creative juices continued to flow and I lost track of the time.  The design isn’t quite right.  I experimented again…

I decided I needed to enlarge the name Kibbles.  Perfect Embroidery Pro has a handy cheat sheet.  If you hover over the font, it will display recommended sizes for a particular font style.  Good information to know before I enlarge the name.

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I changed the height to 1 inch.

I copied the name Kibbles.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I selected the first Kibbles design.  Then I deleted the letters, “les”.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Next I selected the second Kibbles design.  I deleted the letters “Kibb”.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I repositioned the “Kibb” above the crown.  Then I rotated the “les” 270 degrees.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I rearranged name until I had a pleasing layout.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I clicked on the 3D View.  Now it is a design fit for a princess, named Kibbles!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

An hour of playing with embroidery software kept my mind occupied while creating something special to honor my four-legged friend.  Machine embroidery is such a wonderful creative outlet.  Use it as often as you can!

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidering Appliqué Patterns

Combine traditional appliqué with embroidery to create unique designs. This technique is ideal for creating appliqués and applying them to fabrics that cannot be embroidered on easily.  You can create design badges or your own unique appliqués. This method of applying an appliqué design creates fewer stitches on the shirt which means less puckering after you have washed the shirt many times.

Supplies: Enterprise Multi-Needle Embroidery Machine by Baby Lock® ,Built-in design

At the Embroidery Machine:

  1. Select an embroidery pattern. Note: some patterns cannot be used and a message will appear on the screen. If the pattern is reduced in size it may work. In this sample, the design was not resized. The design that is used is design number 14, found under the Exclusive Novelty category.dkron1bledit
  1. Re-assign colors if desired using the Change Thread Color Key. In the sample, the first color was changed to light pink. Touch Edit End.
  2. On page 2 of the Machine Settings screen, adjust the distance from the design to the appliqué outline. The default setting is 3mm. Press close.dkron2bledit
  1. In the Embroidery Settings screen touch the Appliqué key. An outline stitch will appear around the design. Three additional steps have been added to the sewing order:
    1. Sewing a cutting line.
    2. Sewing a positioning line on the background fabric.
    3. Satin stitch.dkron3bledit


  1. Touch the Edit key again (as shown above in the illustration) and return to the Pattern Editing Screen. Touch the Change Thread Color key. Using the Minus Thread spool move backward through the colors sequence to the three appliqué color stops. Move to the next stop to sew a position line on the background fabric. Press Close and engage the Pause key to add a machine stop just before the second to last color stop. It is recommended that the thread used for the “sewing a cutting line”, should match the color of the base fabric. It is also recommend that you use stabilized felt or denim for the appliquéd piece.dkron4bledit


  1. Hoop the stabilizer and place a piece of felt that will fit in the hoop. If the felt section is too small to hoop, hoop the stabilizer and spray with the temporary spray adhesive and place the felt section over the top of the hoop while finger pressing  to hold in place.
  2. Sew out the first four color stops on the design. When the machine stops after the fourth color, remove the hoop from the frame and carefully trim around the design on the cutting outline stitch with a sharp pair of scissors.dkron5bldkron6bl
  1. Hoop the Mesh Cut-Away stabilizer and spray with the temporary spray adhesive.
  2. Place a Positioning Sticker on the shirt front or on the desired section of the shirt.dkron7bl
  3. Place the shirt over the stabilized hoop and finger press in place.
  4. Place the hoop on the hoop bracket.
  5. To reposition the design for perfect placement, take the design back to the first color stop on the design by clicking on the “0” key as shown below and Close.dkron8bledit
  1. Click on the Return key, and when the message “OK to cancel embroidery” appears, select OK. This will take you to the screen that is shown below.dkron9bledit
  1. Select the Positioning icon as shown above. The machine will scan the hoop area looking for the positioning sticker. Once it finds the sticker it will position the design in the correct position for embroidery. It will ask you to “Remove the embroidery positioning mark”. Remove the sticker.
  2. Advance to the second to last color stop. Stitch this thread color.
  3. Position the stitched design over the stitched outline. I like to fuse a fusible appliqué stabilizer to the back side of the design.  This helps hold the design in place during embroidery.
  4. To finish embroidery proceed to the last color to stitch the satin stitch.shirt

Created by: Diane Kron, Software and Embroidery Projects Manager for Designer’s Gallery

Behind the Scenes: Volume 92 May/June 2015

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Our team of writers submitted beautiful, creative and unique projects—it definitely makes us excited to present them to you!

So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy today’s Behind the Scenes at a Photo Shoot feature!

Katherine Artines, wowed us with her quilted tote that features channel quilting with fabric confetti sprinkled in for added color and whimsy.

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Sometimes a breeze is needed to gently tousle the model’s hair.  That’s when a fan comes in handy.  The model is wearing Nancy Zieman’s “Quilting for Texture” project.  The garment features flawless allover embroidery.  Be sure to check it out in the current issue.

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Creative Director, Sam Solomon, stays focused to make sure we have the right shot for the magazine.

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Stylist, Andrea Huffman prepares the cheese and fruit platter for the next shot….the Oui, Oui! Quilt by Diane Kron.  We are all anxious to snack on these goodies after the shoot!

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Oops!  We caught Eileen playing around!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Managing Editor, Denise Holguin, looks like a tourist in Paris.  Oui, oui!

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Hmmm… one of these things does not belong…  I can also assure you the cheese and grapes disappeared fast!

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We love how the embroidery designs coordinate so well in Joanne Banko’s, “Color Play Pillow Set.”  Read her article to learn her tips.

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Although we are hundreds of miles away from a beach, the photography studio is able to bring the beach to us!

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Andrea prepares the scene.

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Denise managed to incorporate a miniature campsite.

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Andrea found the perfect backdrop for the Pocket Journals from Stitch Soup.

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The Pocket Journals are enchanting.  Denise made it her goal to show you every possible angle so you can fully appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity… and the “oh my gosh, how cool!” factor.

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A close-up look at the spines of these embroidered books.
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Denise enlisted the help of her tiny crew to showcase the details on these beautiful journals.

Looks like George found the key to the journal!

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Mildred prepares for a trip abroad.  She will be able to document her travels quite easily.

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Hans and Charles are busy closing the books for the day.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogDietrich makes an important announcement he wants all to hear:

“Ladies and gentlemen, when you make your own version of the Pocket Journals, please post them to our Facebook page.  We can’t wait to see your approach!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


All this and more can be discovered in the latest issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery! Pick up the Volume 92 May/June 2015 issue from your favorite local retailer or order online!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s your assignment this week:

Fun trivia!  The May/June issue is the first time we’ve featured a cover of the magazine on the cover!  Identify which Volume of Designs in Machine Embroidery is tucked away in Marie’s beach tote featured on the cover.  Post your answer in the comments section and one lucky person will win a Stipple Sea Life collection.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the
following question:

Inspiration can be found everywhere and in everything. For today’s blog, Denise’s inspiration came from a restaurant’s graffiti wall. What has been your most peculiar source for embroidery inspiration?Post a comment below and one very lucky winner is going to score BIG by winning a one-year subscription to Design in Machine Embroidery magazine!

And the winner is: Cathy K. – “My most peculiar design is my husband’s airplane! I am going to make it into an embroidery design and put it in on his shirt as a surprise. I am a real newbie, so I hope I can do it!”


Multi-Needle Embroidery: Using Designs with 10+ Colors

Multi Needle Monday - Diane Kron

The Baby Lock Enterprise multi-needle machine has 10 needles.  Many embroidery designs have more than 10 color changes. To utilize these designs on this machine it will require just a few additional steps.

Created by: Diane Kron, Software and Embroidery Projects Manager for Designer’s Gallery

Enterprise Multi-Needle Embroidery Machines by Baby Lock®
Built- in design

At the Embroidery Machine:

  1. In the Properties field of the machine, set the Manual Color Sequence to Off. This will be on  page 5 of the Properties.blog1bl
  1. Select the 12th design listed under Exclusive Home Décor.
  2. On the embroidery screen, each of the 10 needle bars is assigned a color based on the colors in the design. There are 13 colors in this design.blog2bl


  1. The screen also tells you how much time before the machine will stop and a spool color change is needed. The time indicator will turn red as the last color is being sewn before it stops.blog3bl


  1. To see where a spool change is necessary, touch the Forward/Backward key on the screen. A new screen appears.blog4bl

Notice the red line and its placement. At this point, the machine will stop and allow you to change thread colors for the remaining color stops in the design.  You will see a message at the bottom of the screen (Change Threads and click start button).blog5bl

  1. The LED spool stand indicator will light up in white and then flash with the new color as shown in the following illustration. If black is the next color, the light will turn off. Touch Close to remove the message.
  2. Re-thread the machine on spools 1 and 2 as indicated above in the illustration or any other remaining spool that is flashing. When the machine stops and indicates a spool change, the thread information for the spool to be changed is outlined with a red outline.blog6bl

If some of the colors needed are already being used in another part of the design, the machine will make the adjustments recognizing the previously used needle bars and thread colors so no spool changes may be necessary even though the screen may indicate more than 10 thread colors in the design. The following image shows the finished design.blog7bl

Multi-Needle Monday: Text Tools at Your Fingertips


One of my favorite features about my multi-needle machine (Enterprise or Entrepreneur) is the touch screen text tools. As an embroidery business owner I wear a lot of hats; marketing, finance, designer, and operator so if I can save a little time to stitch a name on a hat back or the sleeve of a coaches shirt I am elated. Using the programmed fonts and editing tools to accomplish this task makes professional looking lettering at your fingertips.

Convert horizontal text into vertical text.

There are a handful of occasions when a vertical name is needed such as: bat bags, locker bags and a length of a sleeve. This is how I create the vertical text on my 10 needle embroidery machine.


Step1. Select the lettering icon on the main screen and type in the word “Coach”. Generally the vertical name or word would be all caps.

Select the Array icon and diagonal choice.




Step2.Select and hold the lower bottom bold diagonal line. The letters will move from a diagonal into a perfect vertical line. Touch close and embroider the text. Size and spacing can still be adjusted as needed.




Array Text

Select the horizontal line icon and the arch icon. There are many different ways to position the text with the array keys. The arch feature is the perfect tool to use if you add a name to the back of a baseball hat. You can easily squeeze the letters to fit around the opening.




Slice Tool

This feature separates each letter in a line of text.



Type in the name or text needed and select “Spacing” icon. Touch the picture of a knife and you will notice the knife moving between each letter in the word.




Use the “select” key to highlight a letter to be re-sized or moved if needed. Touch edit end and embroider the text.




Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

You are invited to go crazy quilting!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Sam Solomon, our Creative Director at Designs in Machine Embroidery has been telling me to experiment with crazy quilting.  I’ve admired Eileen’s projects in her book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine but I didn’t think I had the skill level to understand what fabric to fold, where and when.  I remember taking a test in the 6th grade on spatial skills and paper folding and I struggled.  So clearly, crazy quilting isn’t for me.  But Sam assured me I could do it.  I intended to prove him wrong.
I decided to experiment with the 5 inch version of Quilt Block 1 from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I kept it simple by creating an unadorned quilt block using the embroidery techniques highlighted in the book.  I was shocked by how easy it was to do the flip and stitch method described in the book.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
Since the block was plain (and boring) I decided it was the ideal canvas for ribbons and other embellishments.  I never thought I’d get to use the spades and clubs embellishments on a project.  Victory!


Next I made the same block but added embroidery designs from the book.  Blissful success!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
It was important to me I set some rules during this entire crazy quilt block making process.  I only wanted to use 3 thread colors.  I embraced the concept of white and pink birds and am quite pleased with the results.  I added a decorative zig-zag stitch to attach the gray ribbon.


Two successes in one afternoon proved a confidence builder. Why stop now?  I decided to incorporate embroidery designs from Perfect Embroidery Pro. I used the mini fonts and the circle path for text. More success!

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About the block:
The bicycle is a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the word “Create” around the wheel.  What a simple, yet fun way to display text!

The hot air balloon is also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the text, “up, up and away we go!”  It wasn’t until the machine started stitching did I realize I had trapped myself.  What color do I stitch the word “go”?  I had to get creative on the fly—so I stopped the machine and stitched the “o” in white.  Not ideal but it’s a crazy quilt!

The footprints are also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can add as few or as many footprints as you want.  Just remember to mirror image them!


Next I used the bee, flower border and hearts from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I like crazy quilting as a style because it’s like doodling on a textbook book cover or an acceptable way to add graffiti. It seemed fitting to add text, “Denise was here!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to add “Bee-utiful” and arched it around the bee.


Start thinking of favorite phrases, important dates like birthdays or anniversaries— and add them to your crazy quilt blocks.  Since I was stitching these blocks in March, I figured why not add the date.  It’s a momentous month, the month I tried my hand at crazy quilting with an embroidery machine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
The eye is a built-in design from Perfect Embroidery Pro.  It was quirky and fun—the ideal addition to my crazy quilt blocks.  The large flower button covers a mistake.  No one but me… and you know!  That’s the joy of crazy quilting.  You can easily cover up mistakes.  Tiny baby buttons adorn the polka dot pink fabric.


Next, I did a Google search on crazy quilting and noticed a recurring theme:  spiders and spider webs.  It turns out they are considered a sign of good luck.  I don’t believe in luck but I do like spiders and spider webs.  Finally, I get to incorporate a creepy crawly spider into my embroidery!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to draw one strand of the spider web, then I copied, pasted and enlarged the strand as the arch got wider and wider.  Next I converted the artwork to a running stitch with a 2.5 mm stitch length.  I hand stitched my Halloween spider.  (I tried my faithful hot glue gun, but the rubber spider wouldn’t stay.)  I think this block makes a statement!

The other embroidery designs on this block are free design downloads courtesy of our friends from Embroidery Online.  You can find these designs (and more!) by visiting the Designs Plus Newsletter. All embroidery designs are archived for your convenience and creative whim!

My lessons to you:

  1. If you want to improve your embroidery skills you need to practice. A great way to practice is by stitching a crazy quilt block!  Look at each block as a canvas to decorate.  Use it as your own small and manageable art piece.  Once you experience success, who knows how many blocks you might stitch!
  2. I only used Block 1 to keep my variation to a minimum—but imagine the possibilities! They are endless.  Use the embroidery designs included in the book to embellish the blocks.  But don’t stop there.  Get creative and resourceful.  Use your embroidery software.  Use the free embroidery designs we offer on our website.  Use built-in embroidery designs on your machine.  Get scrappy.  Get creative.  Go crazy!

Now’s a great time to purchase Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  Not just because it’s wildly fun and a great skill-building experience – it’s on special!  For a limited time, enjoy free shipping on U.S. orders.  Plus, Eileen will autograph the book, which is always such a nice personal touch.  Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website to redeem the offer.


Here’s your assignment this week:

I’m fortunate to have friends and coworkers that challenge me to try new things – like crazy quilting.  Who in your life pushes you to be your best and try new things?  What activities have they encouraged you to try that you discovered you loved?  Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:When you get a new embroidery design how do you test it? Change Fabrics? Change Threads? Or both? 4 random names will be drawn and will each receive a $25 gift certificate to BFC Creations! The winners are: Kim – “Test it on the same fabric if possible.”, Carol M. – ” To test designs I use felt, scrap denim or scraps of solid fabric I keep beside my embroidery machine. Most of the time I just say a prayer and do the design on my project. I do test thread colors with my software before I do the design to see which color I like best.”, Belinda G – “I rarely test a design, I haven’t had a problem yet! Just lucky, I guess! but I usually choose other colors than what is in the design.”, and Barbara M. – “I do most of my color testing in my software. Then I can fine-tune it on a stitch-out. Sometimes I just trust the software…”BFC Creations


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