Posts Tagged ‘Marie Zinno’

Multi-Needle Monday: Quick and Easy Set Up for Multiples

Get back to basics with stitching on multiple items. Take time to plan your order or project before you start to stitch. Test the embroidery design on a fabric similar to the final garment. Always keep a stash of various fabrics on hand to test your embroidery designs before stitching on an expensive shirt or other item. I recently received an order for 12 ladies t-shirts for a doctor office. The women are attending a trade show and are representing their office. The logo will be stitched on the upper center portion of the t-shirt.

Step One: To achieve the best results print a template of the design from your embroidery software on tracing paper or vellum of the exact size of the design desired. Trim the excess paper around the design.multiple2BL

If you do not have embroidery software, stitch out the design on felt and embroider in a contrasting color. Place tracing paper on top of the stitched design and draw with a marker the outline of the design. It is a primitive way to make a template but it does work.

Step Two: Iron fusible poly mesh or no show mesh cut away stabilizer to the inside of each t-shirt in the upper front chest area. Cut the stabilizer larger than the hoop you will be using.multiple1BL

For this design a 5×7 Multi-needle Monster Snap Hoop will be used. Turn the t-shirt right side out after ironing the stabilizer in place.

Step Three: Place the printed template on the upper center area of the t-shirt and slide a target sticker underneath the template where the cross hair is printed on template. Line up the target sticker’s cross-hair with the template’s cross-hair.multiple3BL

Remove the printed template and repeat steps for the remaining t-shirts.multiple4BL

Step Four: Hoop the t-shirt in appropriate size hoop (5×7 Multi-needle Monster Snap Hoop shown in image below). Slide the bottom teal color magnetic frame inside the t-shirt. Attach the top metal frame and line up the bottom and frames.multiple5BL

Make sure the target sticker is centered as best as possible in the frame. Adjust the fabric if you see puckers. The t-shirt fabric should be taut.

Step Five: Position the hoop on the embroidery machine through the neckline. Feel underneath the hoop to check for excess fabric under the hoop. Double check that you have the correct embroidery design on the screen and it is set up in the proper orientation. Line up the needle bar with the target sticker’s cross-hair. Use the tracing feature to assure that the design is within the hoop’s perimeter.multiple6BL

Step Six: Remove the target sticker when aligned. Add water soluble to the top of knit fabric and tack down with basting file.

Step Seven: After embroidery is complete, re-iron the stabilizer from the wrong side of fabric to release the adhesive. Trim away the excess stabilizer around the embroidery design.

Use the link below to join me in my Craftsty class: “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidered Sheer Ribbon

Happy Multi-needle Monday! I have to be honest but some weeks I struggle to find a new interesting technique to share with you for my blog. I really want the blog to be helpful and educational, so this week I will teach how to embroider on sheer wired ribbon.

Embroidered ribbon can be a beautiful accent to a monogrammed towel set, a bow on a wreath, tied around a present or even around the neck of a teddy bear. Through the many years of owning my embroidery business, embroidered ribbon is always popular and yet unexpected. Most customers have never seen a sheer ribbon stitched and used as an embellishment. Here is my technique and it works every time. I hope you have a chance to try it.


Step One: Measure the overall length of the bow desired. Before you cut the ribbon audition it on the package or stuffed animal or gift and note the length needed to tie a generous bow. Mark the length with masking tape and cut the ribbon. My go-to measurement for a bow around a large teddy bear is 36 inches.

Step Two: Place the water soluble stabilizer in your hoop along with the ribbon; position the ends of the ribbon parallel to each other. It is very important that the ribbon is taut in the hoop. Place a few pieces of masking tape on the ribbon edges for extra stability.sheer ribbon1BLsheer ribbon2BL

Step Three: Use the text at your embroidery machine to easily set up the size and spacing of letters as you progress. I only set up one line (or end) of ribbon at a time.sheer ribbon3BL Use the “trace” feature to assure the text will fit inside the width of the ribbon. If you have the scanning feature or live camera you can use these tools instead of “trace” function.sheer ribbon4BLsheer ribbon5BL

Step Four: Use the jog keys on the screen to position the text at one end of the ribbon. Embroider the one end with a name or message. Delete design after embroidery is complete and set up text for opposite ribbon end. Use trace feature to make sure the text will fit inside the ribbon and stitch.

Step Five: Remove the stabilizer and ribbon from hoop. Carefully peel away the stabilizer from the back of ribbon. Use tweezers in small loops. I do not like to wet the stabilizer because it leaves a residue in the text.sheer ribbon7BLsheer ribbon8BLsheer ribbon9BL

Step Six: If the gift is for a baby, remove the wire from the ribbon; take a pair of tweezers and pull on the wire from one end and pull. The wire will easily slip out of the ribbon. Repeat for opposite side of ribbon. After the stabilizer is removed tie the ribbon around the neck of a bear, manipulate the ribbon as needed for the text to be read properly.bear1BL

The same technique was used for towel basket ribbon.basket3BL

Materials Used

Wired sheer organza ribbon in a wide width (2 or 2.5 inches)

Light weight water soluble stabilizer (usually called topper), 10 inch wide roll


Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” and learn more helpful techniques!

Click the above link to save $20.

Multi-Needle Monday: On the Set of Sewing with Nancy

What an honor it was for me to tape two episodes of Sewing with Nancy last month in Madison Wisconsin. Sometimes I have to take a moment and think of all the places, experiences and amazing people have met through this hobby turned business of machine embroidery. One of the top moments was to be invited by Nancy Zieman to tape on her PBS show “Sewing with Nancy”.

The brainstorming and planning of what will be featured and taught on an episode can be stressful. As an educator I want to keep things simple and concise as much as possible. As a business owner, I want to showcase beautiful embroidery. I think in these two episodes we covered both of these points.

Once the design selection and products are finalized the real work begins. It starts with stitching out the embroidery designs to see how they will look on camera and how long each design takes to stitch out. I usually test my new embroidery designs on craft felt and keep a reference of each sample. Then I need to source my “blanks”. The blanks used are items I sell through my embroidery business but you need to provide multiple sets of each blank item for the various T.V. shots. So basically 3-4 samples are used for each product show on camera.

The real focus of the program was to teach the new book Hoop it Up and demonstrate the simplified hooping techniques for baby items, tote bags, slippers and a cosmetic case. We decided on a two part series: Baby items and Spa theme.

I arrived at the Madison WI airport in early December and proceeded to drive to the small quaint town of Beaver Dam, WI, home of Nancy’s Notions and Nancy Zieman Productions.madison1BL  Cheese Head Hats! You know you have arrived in Wisconsin when the Cheese Head hats are sold at the first airport convenience store.

Nancy has the most efficient and energetic staff who really help to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Although the guest does the actual sewing and step outs, the producers make sure the step outs make sense to the viewers.madison2BL Can you make sense out of this mess?

After spending a day planning and stitching on two Babylock Destiny machines simultaneously I had all the step outs needed and ready for taping.madison3BL madison5BL

Nancy’s offices looks a lot like the set of her show (and her home too by the way). I love her cool greens and blue paint colors because they are my favorite colors too. As you can see by the way we dressed at our first taping.madison12BL

The set is located at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. The PBS station also tapes a number of different shows and apparently they are prepared if extra lighting is needed.madison8BL

All joking aside, all of the hard work and planning really paid off. I think the samples turned out nicely and my techniques came across seamlessly (no pun intended). I hope you have a chance to watch the episodes. You can view them online here  or check your local PBS listings for Sewing with Nancy-Hoop It Up series with Marie Zinno.madison6BL madison17BL


I hope you can join me in my Craftsy class “ How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” Clink the link below for a special coupon.


Multi-Needle Monday: My Favorite Feature on My Multi-needle Embroidery Machine

Everyone makes a mishap at one time or another in machine embroidery. Fortunately for me, I am an owner of a super sophisticated embroidery machine. Have you ever had the pleasure of showing your embroidery machine to a friend who has no idea what you do in your sewing room? If you are confident to take friends into your sewing room (quickly straighten up and hide the stabilizer mess) I’m certain they are amazed when they see your high tech multi-needle embroidery machine. Am I right? I always show off the live camera and scanning feature that my multi-needle machine has. To me, these features have paid for themselves many times over. It really is a must if you own a machine embroidery business.

One of my customers ordered two navy blue bath sheets with his last name embroidered. He has ordered from me many times but for some reason I did not have him sign off on the order form. To my memory his last name was “Kaiser” but at delivery time he notified me it was actually “Keiser”. Removing one letter is not a huge deal, but lining up the single letter definitely can be.

Let me share my latest mistake and how it was fixed by using the scanner on my embroidery machine.

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Step One: Remove the stitching (letter A) from the back of towel carefully. blue towel2BLSend the correct letter “E” to the embroidery machine from your embroidery software or save it on a USB towel3BL

Step Two: Hoop the towel in Monster Snap Hoop for multi-needle machines (5×7), make sure the towel is taut and centered in the hoop. Assign the correct colors to the design and touch the “scan” icon on the touch towel5BLblue towel6BLblue towel7BL

Step Three: Adjust the “E” as needed to line up perfectly in the text using the jog keys as towel8BL

Another embroidery miracle!blue towel9BL

Join me in my Craftsy class: How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business with Marie Zinno.

Multi-Needle Monday: Fresh Start in the Embroidery Studio

Happy New Year! I’m sorry it has been a few weeks since my last post. You know how it is with the holidays; shopping, baking, embroidery (endless embroidery if you own a multi-needle machine), entertaining company and now cleaning up and organizing. I would like to help my multi-needle readers plan ahead for a more organized embroidery studio in 2016.

Machine embroidery requires many tools, notions, stabilizers, hoops and fabric to say the least. All of these items are absolutely needed; however some of us might have a bit more than most LOL.  I know most of you have a substantial fabric collection because you probably started sewing first and then it evolved into machine embroidery which is great.

You can easily start to tackle organizing your sewing/embroidery room by spending 15 minutes a day just focusing on one problem area. If it is fabric, start by sorting it into three separate boxes. Label the boxes as “Donate”, “Trash” and “Keep”. Try working with a friend or family member who will really make you stick to your plan and search online for local charities that need fabric.

I know what you are thinking… where should I start? How about the thread rack? I know my thread wall rack is in need of serious organizing. I love my wall rack display for thread and it does help to see exactly what color is running low or is completely out. My suggestion to you is to utilize as much vertical wall space as possible and keep the sewing thread separate from the embroidery thread. Throw out old thread that has not been used in the last year or two.thredwallrackBL

Our multi-needle embroidery machines are amazing work horses but with a little effort and planning you can keep them in tip top shape by following the manufacturers suggestions for cleaning and care. Start out the New Year with the mentality of efficiency. Change needles as often as possible and especially when starting an important project, oil the rotary hook, dust the top thread area, remove the bobbin case and clean inside (I like to use a flash light so I can see better and a pipe cleaner to really get behind and between), remove the bobbin plate to clear thread and lint, and organize the counter or table top to give you more needed space.cleaning6BLcleaning1BLcleaning2BLcleaning3BLcleaning4BLcleaning5BL

Take an inventory of your stabilizer; label clear containers with contents (tear away, cut away, fusible and water soluble etc) decide what needs to be reordered and do it now. You know you will need it for the next project and you might be out of it.stabilizerremnant1BL

Take a photo of your newly organized sewing room and print it out, look at it often and try to control the clutter in 2016!

All of these helpful tips are available in a book Eileen and I wrote together called: Embroidery Studio Organization in 6 Easy Steps.

Join me in my Craftsy class: How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business with Marie Zinno.

Multi-Needle Monday: Popular Christmas Gift

If you have a machine embroidery business, I am surprised you even have time to read my current blog this week. The Christmas season is the busiest time of the year for custom gifts, and for the people who make it happen. I would like to share one of my popular, super quick to stitch embroidered gifts: the personalized Christmas ornament design. It is perfect for t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby onsies, aprons and even terry cloth towels. Last year my go-to embroidery design was the snowman face from and this current embroidery design; Christmas ornament, is just as versatile and can be found at . Of course, you do not have to own an embroidery business you can still stitch a simple design like I suggested on a t-shirt, towel or other item. The trick is to test the design, use proper placement and add interesting fabric for the appliqué.

ornament towel1BLornaments t2BL

Many of my customers request a simple embroidery design to be stitched on long sleeve t-shirts or sweatshirts for the children in their family. The t-shirts look great in photographs and are so festive at a family gathering. Use the last name initial if possible, in the center of the ornament, to make sizing a bit easier for all of the siblings or family members.

santa face tshirtBLSanta TowelBL

We would love to hear about one of your go-to embroidery projects that you sell or make for gifts during the Christmas season.

Happy stitching!

Enjoy a $20 coupon to use for my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” by Marie Zinno


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.stocking7BL Always 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.stocking8BL Rotate the text to stitch in the right direction.stocking9BL Remove 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 to save $20 on my Craftsy class: “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” with Marie Zinno

Creativity is Something to be Thankful For

This blog is usually a place where I share some helpful tips or techniques about multi-needle embroidery but this week I wanted to share my thoughts about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

This special holiday for Americans truly is a mixed message. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are constantly reminded to be thankful for all of our blessings but at the same time encouraged to buy more, shop as early as possible to save money. I have honestly only given in to this “Black Friday” mayhem on two occasions. There is absolutely nothing I need or for that matter want to give as a gift that involves standing in long lines and wrestling other shoppers to save a few dollars (thank you to my mother for instilling this into her six daughters, as none of us shop on Black Friday). However, I do like to support local retailers and small businesses as much as possible.

I would think that our blog followers would enjoy their Black Friday even more if it was spent designing, creating and stitching something special for the people on their list. I know I will. My daughter, Lindsey, who is a new college freshman, will be home along with her older brother, John, for Thanksgiving. The last few months have been an adjustment for my husband and I as we encounter the “empty nest” phase. I envision Lindsey and I in my studio creating and stitching something special for family and friends. She loves to tinker in the sewing studio and misses the convenience of having a sewing machine at her disposal while away at college.

Two summers ago, my oldest sister, Mary Pat, taught her how to make fabric coil baskets out of clothes line and strips of fabric. She has proceeded to make them for many friends, family members and even started an Etsy shop all by herself at the age of 17! I love the idea because it uses lots of fabric scraps (which I seem to have an endless amount of).

silk basket1BLmulti-fabric basketBLlindsey basket1BL

This coming holiday be thankful you have a hobby and don’t make excuses when spending money on this healthy outlet-it’s good for you! If you have the time share your passion with someone else-you never know where it might take them. Think about visiting your local sewing machine dealer and bring a newbie along, they will be amazed at the high tech sewing and embroidery machines available.

I really do wish more people experimented with different hobbies and crafts. You never know what you can excel at unless you try. Having a hobby is a wonderful diversion from our daily obligations. The world would be a much more peaceful place if more people had hobbies-don’t you agree?

Have a Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving.


Enjoy a special coupon for my Crafty class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” with Marie Zinno.

Multi-Needle Monday: Multiple Napkin Embroidery

The holidays are right around the corner but there is plenty of time to stitch a set of monogrammed napkins for the Thanksgiving table. Embroidered napkins are an extremely thoughtful host gift and if you plan accordingly, this set of simple monogrammed napkins can be used throughout the year. I chose an elegant script font and used a classic gold thread; not metallic thread but polyester embroidery thread which will hold up when laundered without fading.

Step 1: Use a water based adhesive tear away stabilizer. The stabilizer is a tear away but becomes sticky when the shiny surface is moistened with a sponge or a spritz bottle of water.

Step 2: Mark the location for the initial on the napkins ahead of time by using our Target Ruler and Target Stickers.This set of napkins will be embroidered 2 ½ inches above the hem in the bottom center of the napkin. The initial measures 2 inches tall. Place the napkins aside when all are marked with target stickers.napkin1BLnapkin2BLnapkin3BL

Step 3: Use the largest hoop available if embroidering 6 or more napkins. Place the tear away stabilizer in the hoop. The stabilizer will have a shiny surface on one side which should be placed right side up.

Step 4: Position the automatic basting file around the initial at the embroidery machine. If your machine does not have this amazing feature, create your own basting file in software. I like to match the basting file thread color to the base fabric.napkin5BLStep 5: Moisten one small area of the stabilizer; I suggest starting at the top right corner and work down and to the left of the hoop. All of the napkins will be placed on the hoop eventually but only place one at a time and complete stitching. This might seem cumbersome and awkward but it works really well and saves the time of un-hooping and re-hooping each napkin.Napkin7BL

Step 6: Use the live camera feature if available on your machine to accurately line up the needle with the crosshair on the target sticker. Keep all target stickers until positioned precisely. See how easy the camera makes it? You can manually position the needle over the crosshair by using the “jog” keys.napkin6BL

Step 7: Follow the same procedure for the remaining napkins. Carefully fold over the stitched napkin when complete and hold in place with painters tape if needed.napkin8BLnapkin9BLnapkin10BL

Step 8: Remove the stabilizer from the hoop when all napkins are stitched. Carefully trim the basting file stitches from the back side of the stabilizer; this eliminates the chance of snipping the right side of the fabric.napkin11BLnapkin12BL

Step 9: Enjoy giving a beautiful set of monogrammed napkins this season, or keep them for yourself!napkin13BL

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

Multi-Needle Monday: Extension Table for Babylock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur

I’ll admit I have owned my 10 needle embroidery machine for 4 years and have recently started to use the extension table and I am wondering WHY I waited so long. My other embroidery machine is a 6 needle and the extension table was not an option so I always improvised when embroidering heavy bulky items.

One of the most convenient attributes of the extension table is the capability to slide it out of the way when necessary. The brackets are easy to install and the table clicks into place and can quickly be taken off or repositioned down to access the bobbin.

Why would you use the extension table? One of the most obvious reasons would be to give a large hoop extra support when stitching. I embroider heavy jackets, thick plush towels and luxurious blankets and using the table helps keep the large hoops balanced and decreases the chance of my project bouncing out of the hoop. The extension table also keeps excess fabric out of the way of the bobbin area and back of embroidery machine. If you have purchased the optional 14 x 14 jumbo hoop, the extension table should always be used. The “B” arms would have to be attached to replace the “A” arms.

Do not use the table as a hooping station. You should always keep a clear surface for hooping only. Use a table or counter top that is the appropriate height for you. Position a rubber mat or rubber shelf liner on your work surface to help ease the task of hooping.

Remove the extension table when embroidering bags, t-shirts and other tubular items because you will need to have the ability to fit the item around the bobbin throat.

Installing the extension table is simple to do; the hardware consists of two rails, 4 tall extension screws and 4 extra small screws. One Philips head screw driver is needed to remove small screws and insert back into tall extension screws.

The photos below will give you a clear image of how to proceed when inserting the extension table.table1BLtable2BLRemove the 4 screws shown in the red boxes and place aside. Insert the 4 tall extension screws (included with extension table accessories) into the same hole where the small screws were removed.table3BL

Attach the 2 rails to the inside area of  embroidery machine, notice the two side rails will have to be installed correctly on the left and right side.table4BLtable5BL

Insert the 4 small screws into the top metal frame of side rails.

Slide the extension table top into the rails.table6BLtable7BL

The table is flush with the bobbin throat. The hoop will rest on the table and should not bump into it at all. Use the trace feature when the hoop is attached to be certain the hoop can move cleanly.table8BLtable9BL

My bulky plush blanket can now rest on the extension table and not pull the hoop down when being stitched. It gives me great satisfaction to know I can walk away from my machine and not worry if the hoop will be on the floor when I return.

*Add a water soluble topper to the top of the plush fabrics to keep the nap from poking through the satin stitches of embroidery design.

Use the attached coupon link for my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”- with Marie Zinno.

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