Archive of ‘Multi-Needle’ category

Multi-Needle Monday | Cleaning the Upper Thread Path

Just like lampshades and overhead fans at home, your multi-needle machine deserves to be dust-free. It will sparkle and perform at its very best if you keep the upper thread path clean. Set aside 45 minutes to an hour to give it the full spa treatment.

Even though my photographs don’t show it, it is a good idea to unthread all ten needles (I was in a rush to take my photographs!). Slip the bristles of the small brush that comes with your machine under the upper thread guide to remove any lint. Maint1

Clean the thread guide behind the tension discs. Maint3

Take a larger, natural bristle brush to clean around the tension disks. Maint2

To disassemble the tension disk, turn the black dial counter clockwise. Maint4

Set it aside. Maint5

Remove the spring (keep the top plastic part with the spring – it is a separate part). Maint6

Remove the plastic base. maint7

Remove the tension disc and blue felt washer. maint8

Remove the bottom felt washer. Maint9

Clean the base with the brush. Maint10

Place the bottom felt washer back on the base. Add the tension disc (magnet side down) with its blue washer on top. Maint11


Add the plastic base, spring and tension dial. Turn the dial clockwise to tighten. Repeat for all ten needles. After you’ve cleaned each tension disk, stitch the tension test design to critique the tension on each needle. Make any necessary adjustments. Maint13

Monogram Mishap

It’s that busy time of the year for everyone; and especially true if you own a commercial embroidery business. We stitch and sell the items that most people put under the tree, not to mention stitching, cooking and shopping for our own families. I am grateful for my flexible schedule and choice of profession, but during the holidays I do second guess myself. As long as the orders are completed by the due date and look professionally done I am ready to move ahead with the next item.

Once in a while I move ahead too quickly and misspell a name or the order of the letters on a monogram. I have to admit that my eyesight has definitely declined recently, and the “readers” are all over the studio. I know I am not alone in this situation.readersblThis photo was taken at an office while I was getting my car registration.

A customer ordered 3 appliquéd monogrammed bath towels for her daughters. The appliqué fabric was a colorful Lilly Pulitzer brand. I mistakenly read my order form and stitched SBR when it should have been SBT in a script font. Luckily, the embroidery was on the fabric and was very easy to remove.

When removing the embroidered stitches, always work from the back of the fabric when possible. Purchase the Peggy Stitch Eraser! This tool has been invaluable to my business. Do not purchase am electric shaver, it is not the same. The tool works best if the stabilizer is still intact, use it gently and at an angle. I suggest testing it on a sample before an original.lily-towel1bllily-towel2bl The tool will remove the majority of bobbin stitches and you will still need a traditional seam ripper along with sharp tweezers, good lighting and your “readers”. Gently hold the Peggy Stitch eraser and start to cut the bobbin stitches from the back of fabric. Flip the fabric over and use the seam ripper as needed. I like to use the tweezers to pull out the loose threads.lily-towel3bl

Rehoop the towel along with the tear away stabilizer in the appropriate size hoop. The bigger the hoop, the easier it is to position the new letter for the monogram.lilytowel4bl The new initial “T” is going to be stitched on the appliqué fabric next to the “S”. The scanning function will be used to precisely place the letter.lilytowel5bllilytowel6bl The “T” is shown in black because it is much easier to see on the screen when adjusting the location. The zoom feature helps you to clearly see if the letter or design is in the proper place.lily-towel8bl

To change the thread color view ,touch the edit screen and use the jog keys.lily-towel9bllilytowel10bl Now you have a realistic view of exactly how the new monogram will look.

The final fix! The corrected monogram is a success.

Use the link below to save 50% on my Craftsy class; “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”


Multi-needle Monday: Personalized Christmas Stocking

It’s that time of the year again….time to handle the tricky task of stitching a Christmas stocking. Every year I am approached by customers who need their family Christmas stockings personalized. There are endless styles, sizes, and fabrics of stockings and I have embroidered them all. I will share my quick and painless technique for stitching the cuff area of a Christmas stocking. I always use a Target Ruler and target stickers.

Products used: Tear away stabilizer, Target Ruler contained in Hoop it Up book, target sticker, Snap Monster Hoop for Quick Snap (4X4, 5X7 combo with attachment).

Step 1: Find the exact center of the cuff by using our Target Ruler, insert a target sticker into the center hole (make sure the arrow on cross hair is facing in the proper orientation for the name to be stitched). Remove the ruler and keep the target sticker in place.stocking1BLstocking2BL

Step 2: Turn the stocking inside out with the target sticker still in place. stocking3BLstocking4BLMake sure the stocking cuff will slide over the Monster Snap Hoop frame. Remove the arms of the embroidery machine and attach the metal attachment of the Monster Snap Hoop.stocking5BLstocking6BL

Step 3: Measure the opening of the metal frame to make sure the text will fit inside the hoop.stocking7BLAlways use the “trace” feature before adding the garment or stocking onto the hoop . The embroidery machine does not “read” this hoop so you have to be certain the embroidery design or text will fit inside and adjust it if needed.

Step 4: Add a piece of tear away stabilizer to the top of the metal frame and hold in place with tape under the frame; slide the cuff onto the frame.stocking8BLRotate the text to stitch in the right direction.stocking9BLRemove the target sticker when the needle is aligned with the cross hair on target sticker.stocking10BLstocking11BLstocking12BL

Step 5: Embroider the text or name and remove the stocking from the hoop. Turn right side out.

*Sometimes you only have one hoop size that will fit over the stocking cuff. Therefore, adjust the text size to make the job easier to embroider. Always use the trace feature to double check that the embroidery will fit inside the hoop selected before stitching.

Click the link below for special pricing on my Craftsy class: “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” with Marie Zinno.


Mulit-Needle Monday: Your First Little Black Dress

I want to share an adorable and simple to make baby onesie that I created this week. It is a purchased black cotton baby onesie in the 6-12months size embroidered with the text “My Little Black Dress” in white thread at the center chest with a black tulle tutu added at the waistline. This was a special request from one of my loyal customers.

The elegant text was created in my Perfect Embroidery Pro software. The font selected was Diana-VS and it measures 6.62″ x 2.41″. The onesie will have to be embroidered in a 5″ x 7″ hoop in order to fit the wide text.

Cut fusible polymesh cut-away larger than the 5″ x 7″ frame. Turn the onesie wrong side out and adhere the fusible mesh to the center front.   Turn the onsie right side out and place it on flat surface. Use the Center Chest (3-6, 6-9, 9-12 month) template from the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit. Center the template on the onesie, aligning the template’s bold curved line on  the onesie neckline. Slide a target sticker in the hole with the crosshair’s arrow pointing to the top of the garment. Remove the template and keep the target sticker in place until hooped and aligned with the correct needle.blackdress1BLblack dress2BL

Insert the magnetic bottom frame of 5×7 Multi-Needle Monster Snap Hoop into the leg opening of the onesie.  Add the top metal frame and make sure the target sticker is centered in the hoop. Slide the hoop onto the machine, threading the machine throat through the onesie neck opening. Make sure no excess fabric is caught underneath the hoop. Feel free to smooth and tug the fabric because it is stabilized with the polymesh cut-away.   The stabilizer prevents stretching of the fabric.

Notice how the fabric is taut and centered?black dress hoopBL

Double check the orientation of the text on your screen. Line up the target sticker with the needle bar and remove the target sticker. Add a piece of water soluble stabilizer to the top of the fabric and hold in place with the basting file or tape.

Embroider the design and remove the hoop from the machine when complete. Trim thread tails and re-iron the wrong side of the fabric to release the excess stabilizer, trim ½” around the embroidery design.

The black tutu was simply made from bridal tulle which is sold on 6 inch wide rolls at most fabric stores in many colors. Measure the waist of the onesie while placed on a table, double that measurement and add 12 inches to make a soft skirt , make two dress10BLYou could make a removable tutu by sewing the tulle on a narrow band of elastic. I opted for the permanent skirt and used a long basting stitch 4.0 to attach the 2 layers. Sew the basting stitch 1″ from edge.blackdress11BLPull the bobbin thread at one end gather the tulle to make soft folds. Hold in place with a pin and stitch the short ends of tulle together to form the dress12BL

Pin the tutu to the center waist of the onesie, sew the skirt by gently holding the top of the tulle. Do not over stretch the onesie. blacl dress13BL

Learn more on starting a “Machine Embroidery Business” on my Craftsy class.

Multi-Needle Monday: Automatic Appliqué on the Brother Entrepreneur and Baby Lock Enterprise

As owners of the Baby Lock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur, we are so fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology at their finger tips. We have the scanner and live camera along with automatic basting file (shown in an earlier blog for embroidering t-shirts) and another helpful, quick technique the automatic appliqué feature. The automatic appliqué can create any shape, text or embroidery design into an appliqué without using embroidery software. There is an icon on the screen to convert each design into an appliqué.

I created a simple three-letter monogram inside a diamond shape design right at the embroidery screen; no embroidery software needed. The steps below will guide you how to create your own appliqué once a design, text or shape is shown on the screen.

Step 1. Select the shapes icon under Exclusives and choose the diamond shape.

diamond mono1diamond mono2

Resize the diamond shape to approximately 4″ wide or the size you wish to embroider and select Edit End. diamond mono3

Step 2. Click the blue shield icon; this will add the automatic appliqué around the diamond shape.

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Step 3.Use the select key and highlight the black diamond shape as shown in photo (the original shape) and delete it.

diamond mono6diamond mono7

Go to “Add”. Choose the monogram icon.

diamond mono8diamond mono9

Step 4. Select the letters for the monogram; left, middle and right letters to fit properly inside the shape.

diamond mono10diamond mono11diamond mono12

Resize the letters to fit inside the satin stitches.

Step 5. Hoop the fabric and stitch the placement color (1st color). Add the fabric on top of placement color. diamond mono13diamond mono14diamond mono15Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from around diamond shape.

Step 6. Replace the hoop on the machine and stitch the satin stitch and monogram. diamond mono16

final mono diamond

Instant applique! Right at your fingertips!

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.

Hacked Fan Wear for the World Series


Yeah! It’s October which means World Series time. As you might recall I live in Ohio. If you follow baseball, you should know which two teams are in the World Series: Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. Both cities are extremely passionate and thoroughly excited to be in the World Series to say the least. As you can imagine getting to the World Series is a huge accomplishment and the process is very stressful for the fans as well.

Our Cleveland Indians had to beat the Boston Red Sox in order to win the American League Pennant, which they proceeded to do last week. Just before they clinched the title we had a family birthday celebration in Florida to attend. My brother in law is an avid, passionate Red Sox fan and life- long Bostonian. The entire family was going to be together in Florida for the party and watching one of the baseball playoff games. I had a fabulous idea of altering a purchased Red Sox hat with the following symbol over top of the famous Boston Red Sox “B”.redsox1bl

I know…brilliant! Before I left for Florida, I decided to “hack” the Boston hat to aggravate my brother in law.

I purchased two Boston Red Sox hats and used my software to create the “no symbol” design. I used my hat frame attachment on my 10 needle embroidery machine and actually stitched the symbol directly on top of the “B” in red thread.


Simple steps to follow:

  1. Measure the existing logo on the purchased hat. The hat hoop has height limitations and you will need to be sure the “no -symbol “will fit.
  2. Create the no –symbol in software. Select a circle and insert a straight line on a diagonal. Save the new design as symbol1.
  3. Hoop the hat in your hat hoop frame and center the symbol design. Use the trace feature or live camera to properly position the symbol design on top of the existing logo.

*Remember this design was used for personal use and will not be sold in anyway. Licensed merchandise is trademarked and cannot be reproduced for sale.

Join me in my Craftsy class : How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business

Multi-Needle Monday: Changing the Background Display

If you are a lucky multi-needle embroidery machine owner, you probably took your time reading the manual about how to change the needles and setting the thread color display among other instructions. As you gained confidence the manual has been pushed aside to make room for projects, hoops and stabilizers. Occasionally I like to experiment with the background grid options on my display screen. I also have started to change the background color display to help me visualize the way my final project will look. The Babylock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur machines are shipped from the factory with the default setting of a gray background color for the display screen. You can easily follow the steps in your manual for changing the background color but I will show you with my step by step photos how quick and easy it is. Check your manual if you are using a different model of embroidery machine for display screen options.

For example: My current project is a black tote bag with a tennis ball design and a handful of accent colors stitched on the pocket. I appreciate the ability to change thread colors at the machine if I change my mind (which is more often than not). Using the background color display quickly shows how the color changes will look on the finished product.

At the bottom left corner on the home screen, touch the paper icon.  display1BL

You will notice 7 pages of setting options.


Look at the bottom of page 1 and touch select “Background Color”.


Scroll through the color display area (there are 66 color display options). For my tote bag I changed my background color to black. Touch the desired color and touch “Close”.


Your background screen display will now always remain the color you selected, and can easily be altered as needed for different embroidery jobs.


Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. Click the link below and save $10 with this coupon

Multi-needle Monday: Using the Positioning Sticker


The needle camera and positioning stickers are one of the most efficient tools included in many Brother and Baby Lock embroidery machines. The higher end sewing/embroidery and multi-needle embroidery machines contain this fascinating technology. The live needle camera actually displays exactly what is placed under the needle such as: hooped fabric or even your hand (not while in operation please!)

The positioning stickers are included with the machine when purchased and are to be used in combination with the live camera. Baby Lock refers to the stickers as “positioning stickers” and Brother refers to them as “Snowman stickers”.To properly place an embroidery design, print a template on tracing paper or velum from embroidery software.sticker1BL Place the template on the garment. Locate the exact location for the embroidery design to be stitched. Slide the positioning sticker under the template cross hair mark and remove the template.sticker2BLsticker3BLsticker4BLsticker5BL

Hoop your item in the correct size hoop to fit your garment; in this case a 4×4 hoop is the correct hoop to use for a baby onsie.sticker6BL Select the embroidery design and always take notice of the actual size on the screen; the size 3.09×3.23inches. The design will fit in the hoop.sticker7BL Touch the positioning sticker or Snowman icon on the screen.sticker8BL The screen will most likely tell you the “the design extends out the pattern area”. Your first thought is to re-hoop the onsie in a larger hoop. But go back to the edit screen and decrease the size a bit.sticker9BLsticker10BLsticker11BLsticker12BL Now touch the positioning icon once more and it will fit as needed. You might have to re-adjust the size a few times at the screen, but it is easier than re-hooping a baby onsie. The reason for this message appears because the machine wants the ability to completely rotate the embroidery design within the hoop. If the positioning sticker is not completely centered in the hoop (especially if using a small hoop) it will want you to re-hoop the item.

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. Click the link to save with this coupon.

Multi-needle Monday: Mistakes Happpen to All of Us

I am sure you get frustrated when you embroider a special gift and you stitch the name incorrectly. Maybe you used the wrong color thread, stitched the design upside down or placed the name or logo crooked or not centered. Whatever the case, we all do it, some people more than others. The majority of our readers are hobbyists and do not embroider nearly as often as I do so I understand how these mishaps occur.

I will be honest, when stitching hats, I always purchase two extra, just in case. Some of my mistakes have even been published on this blog. I know commercial shops plan for errors as well. It is not always human error; machines do act up and “eat” fabric once in a while. The best way to react is to stay calm and keep the item hooped, if it is possible, remove the hoop from machine. Carefully remove the back bobbin stitches. I also like to add another piece of stabilizer (float or use sticky tear away) for extra stability.

Recently while shopping at a large discount store in my town, I came across a number of backpacks on sale for back to school. I immediately recognized the style as a popular wholesale vendor I order from. It is ironic because the bags (at least 30 or so) were already personalized with different names.mistake1BLmistake2BL

The embroidery is professionally done but somehow the wrong names were stitched and instead of ripping out the mistake, they chose to take a small loss and re-sell them. I have come across this situation before at a high end home décor outlet store which offers a popular online monogram studio. The outlet was selling monogrammed (3 letter monograms) towels, robes, bath mats and Christmas stockings which I am sure were mistakes and ended up at the outlet.

Another funny mistake was brought to my attention last year when a customer ordered Christmas stockings online for their growing family. The red velvet stockings had a white velvet cuff. When the stocking arrived all of the names were stitched in white thread! Each name should have been embroidered on the cuff with red thread. I am sorry I did not photograph this mistake. Imagine a “human” took the time and embroidered 6 stockings incorrectly, never noticed the white on white colors.

Take time and plan your embroidery; proper placement, check spelling (I wish they had spell check on the embroidery machine screen), thread color and design orientation. Try not to embroider when you are tired or distracted most mistakes happen during this time.

Take advantage of this coupon link to save on my Craftsy class “ How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. https://

Multi-needle Monday: On the Edge Baby Blanket Embroidery

I would like to share with you one of my favorite gift items to embroider; on the edge baby blanket embroidery. The purchased minky dot baby blanket is personalized on the top and bottom satin trim borders with the baby’s name and birth date. The quick, easy and practical way to embroider the edges is to hoop the blanket in a large hoop along with soft tear away stabilizer. The hoop is scanned and the text is stitched right on the satin. I do not rip out the seam to “hide” the thread. The blanket may have stretch to it, but the satin trim does not, therefore a soft tear away stabilizer is used. The stabilizer will easily tear away from the back of the embroidery without pulling on delicate text.

Using the scanning feature is a fool proof way to precisely place the text. Before I purchased the multi-needle machine with the scanner, I had the use the “trace” feature. The trace technique worked well enough but this so much faster.

Find the exact center of the top of the satin trim border by folding the blanket in half and place a target sticker on the fold. edge blankie1BLedge blankie2BLHoop the top edge as shown in the hoop with the stabilizer. Place a piece of blue painter’s tape along the stitched seam of the satin and fleece.edge blankie3BL Attach the hoop to the machine and open the text for the blanket “scan” the blanket. edge blankie4BLedge blankie5BLedge blankie6BL The blue tape gives you a straight reference line to precisely place the text. Remove the tape when pleased with the layout.

Stitch the text and remove the blanket from the hoop.edge blankie7BLedge blankie8BLedge blankie9BL Follow the same steps for the bottom of blanket and make sure the text is in the proper orientation.

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Join me in my Craftsy class, “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” to learn more machine embroidery techniques. https://

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