Posts Tagged ‘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.

Multi-Needle Monday: Changing the Background Display on Brother/Babylock Multi-Needle Machines

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: 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

Multi-Needle Monday: Month by Month Baby Onsies (Part 3 of 3)

The final step in our Month by Month onesie gift set is to attach the circle appliqué embroidery to each onesie. Although my instructions are for the multi-needle embroidery machine, it can be executed with a single needle embroidery machine as well. The multi-needle embroidery machine’s tubular ability makes hooping so much easier.

Step 1: Position the template (labeled Center Chest and correct month size) which is included in the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit, on each onesie and insert a target sticker in the hole.onsie11BL

Use the templates to mark the remaining eleven onesies with target stickers.

Step 2: Cut the fusible cut-away polymesh stabilizer into twelve 7″ squares.  Iron the stabilizer to the wrong side of each onesie. For proper stability, use a 4″ x 4″ standard hoop.  Turn the onesie right side out.onsiestabilizerBL

Step 3: Slide the outer hoop into the onsie and place the inner hoop on top of the onesie. Align the target sticker’s cross hair with the hoop’s center marks. Do not over stretch the fabric. Push the inner ring into the outer ring. Attach the hoop to the machine with the neckline facing the inside of the machine.onsie12BL Run your hand inside the hooped fabric to make sure excess fabric is not caught between the bobbin plate and hooped fabric. I do this step for every t-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket and blanket that I embroider. Then remove the target sticker when perfectly centered.

Step 4: Select the circle appliqué design and choose the thread colors; add stops to the second and third colors for appliqué positioning and trimming.onsie13BL  To keep the appliques and garments in proper order (the higher numbers sizes go with the larger onesies); work in numerical order.

Stitch the first color and add the circle appliqué, I like to use clear tape to hold each circle in place until the tack down color attaches the fabric.The clear tape is easily removed after the embroidery is complete.onsie15BL

Remove the hoop from the machine and trim any excess fabric if it is needed. Reattach the hoop to the machine stitch the final satin outline. Remove the onesie from the embroidery hoop and press the fusible stabilizer to release the adhesive. Trim around the design leaving ½” of stabilizer around the perimeter.onsie16BL

Follow the same steps for stitching the rest of the onesies. Enjoy giving the new parents a gift they will treasure and will always remember who the special gift giver was! monthbymonthpinksBL

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” and enjoy coupon for $20. Click the link the below.


Multi-Needle Monday: Month by Month Onsie Gift Set (Part 2 of 3)


Last Monday I shared the first portion of planning the process for the “Month by Month Onsie” gift set and now we continue with the embroidery steps.

  1. Position the labeled squares of fabric on your work surface near the embroidery machine. Place crisp tear away in your largest hoop, make sure it is taut like a drum.onsie4BL Crisp tear away will tear clean when removed from an appliqué design.
  1. This design was created in my embroidery software in the appliqué drop down menu. The size measures 3 inch in diameter. Insert the text “Months” into the circle design. The font used was “freehand” from my Perfect Embroidery Pro software. Adjust the text to fit inside the circle in the bottom area. Each month number will be added into the circle at the machine using the lettering at my embroidery screen. designscreenshotBL Send or save the embroidery appliqué design to your machine.
  2. Do not stitch the satin stitches while creating the appliqué circle designs. Stitch color 1-placement, color 2- tack down and last color -text. The satin stitch will be embroidered when all appliqué designs are attached to the onsies.
  3. Adjust the circle appliqué design to fit as many designs in one hoop as possible (you will need twelve total). For the first month onsie the text should read “1 Month” not “Months”. This project does take some time and I suggest working on the appliqués first, remove from hoop and trim excess fabric and then attaching the circle appliqué designs to each onsie.onsie5BLonsie6BL
  4. Notice how I only trimmed the fabric from the circle design that will built up to for the remaining designs? If you have a digital cutting machine (Brother Scan and Cut or Silhouette) you could easily cut the circle designs ahead of time.onsie8BLonsie10BL


Next week I will share the remaining steps!


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

Multi-Needle Monday: On the Edge Monogrammed Pillowcase

The simple monogrammed pillowcase sounds like an easy task but when you think about the placement of the monogram you might re-consider. The monogram size should be generous; at least 2 ½ inches tall and is traditionally stitched directly on the band. Multi-needle machine owners have the advantage over single needle domestic machines because the bulk of the fabric can hang down and over the front of the hoop. There is no need to rip out a seam on the pillowcase and embroider the edge.

I choose to use the flat magnetic hoop (Monster Snap Hoop 5×7) to easily hoop the pillowcase and embroider as close to the edge as possible with all of the fabric contained inside the hoop. The embroidery machine “reads” this type of hoop and therefore you can adjust the design or monogram as needed to be perfectly placed within the hoop. Both components of the flat hoop have to be aligned and then easily attached to the machine arms.

You can use the standard 5×7 hoop but all of the fabric might not be contained inside the hoop when stitching on the edge for proper stability.

Use a soft tear away stabilizer in the hoop along with a target sticker to precisely mark where the monogram should be placed. The arrow on the target designates the proper orientation of the text. The pillowcase monogram should be easily read when the pillow is placed on the bed with the open end of the pillowcase displayed towards the outside of the bed.

Follow along with my step by step instructions.


Cut the stabilizer larger than the bottom frame of Monster Snap Hoop.

Locate the center on the band of the pillowcase by folding the pillowcase in half and marking it with a target sticker.


Position the top metal frame of the Monster Snap Hoop to contain the fabric underneath frame with the target sticker centered within the hoop. Rotate to enable the bulk of the fabric to hang towards the outside of the hoop.

pillowcase6BLpillowcase7BLThe finished pillowcases were part of a large back to college order for a customer. The lucky young woman apparently loves pink!.

Multi-Needle Monday: Kindergarten Rocks!

Through my embroidery business I have stitched hundreds of corporate logos, team items and unique baby accessories. I am always open to new ideas; once in a while a customer will bring me a special request. This time the request was for a kindergarten t-shirt. The mother’s youngest of 4 children was starting kindergarten in a few weeks and she wanted a special send off outfit for her 5 year old.

Check in with me for next week on Software Saturday to learn how I created the text for the Kindergarten Rocks t-shirt. Below I list the steps for embroidering a child’s t-shirt with the requested text. The Children’s Perfect Placement Kit was used to align the design centered on the t-shirt.

1. Pre-wash a purchased child’s t-shirt (youth size medium was used) and press before stitching. Position the t-shirt on flat surface and place the template labeled: center front youth small/ medium on the t-shirt. Line up the black bold lines on template with the bottom of the t-shirt ribbing.school1BLschool2BL


Place a target sticker in the center hole of the template. The target sticker will designate the center of the embroidery design.

  1. I sized my embroidery design to fit in a 5×7 Monster Snap Hoop (check DIME for hoop sizes and models to fit your multi-needle machine) to make hooping easy and quick. Embroidering a child’s size t-shirt is so simple with a multi-needle embroidery machine. The bulk of the fabric hangs in front of the machine and out of the way of the embroidery attachment.
  2. Use fusible cut away poly mesh stabilizer on the wrong side of upper portion of t-shirt. Lay the magnetic frame of the Monster Snap Hoop on a flat surface and cut the stabilizer larger than the frame. school3BLMake sure to iron the stabilizer centered in the area to be stitched. school4BLschool5BL Turn the t-shirt right side out and slide the magnetic, teal frame inside the t-shirt (magnets facing the top). Attach the metal frame on top with target centered within the metal frame.school6BLschool7BL
  3. Slide the frame onto the multi-needle machine with the neck area placed over the bobbin throat. Use your hands to feel underneath the t-shirt for any excess fabric. Line up the target sticker with the correct needle bar (this is a great time to use the live camera if available on your machine).school8BL
  4. Remove the target sticker and add water soluble stabilizer (light weight type) to the top of the fabric. Use the automatic basting feature to tack down the stabilizer.school9BL
  5. Embroider the t-shirt and remove after stitching is complete. Turn t-shirt wrong side out and clip the basting files carefully.school10BL
  6. Re-iron the cut away stabilizer from the wrong side of t-shirt. The adhesive is deactivated and can be trimmed.scholl11BLschool12BL
  7. Turn t-shirt right side out and spritz with water to remove excess water soluble stabilizer from the text design. school13BL

Use the coupon link to save $10 on my Craftsy class: How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business.

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