I just love machine embroidery, which is not surprising, I started to learn to sew when I was five and by the time I was a teenager I was creating and embellishing most of my own clothes. I have done hand embroidery cross stitch long stitch and more. When I discovered machine embroidery I thought it was magic. I love the personal touch that I can give to my garments and gifts and it is so much faster than Hand embellishing,
It was a natural progression for me to move from embroidering stock designs that I had purchased to digitizing my own embroidery designs. Learning how to digitize embroidery designs has really helped me to understand embroidery better and has helped me to become a better embroiderer.
Of course, embroidery digitizing is not for everyone and a lot of people prefer to purchase their designs. There are many websites where you can download designs from and most of them have a selection of free designs. I would really recommend that you try the freebies first that way you will be able to tell if the digitizer has done a good job. chances are if they have done a good job on the free designs the ones you purchase will also be good quality.
You should always test stitch a new design before you stitch it onto your garment.
If you are just getting started there are a few things you need to know:
Start off by embroidering onto stable fabrics, stretchy knit fabrics are hard to hoop and you will need a bit of practice before you can move onto them. Your fabric should be firm in your hoop but not stretched or distorted. Hoop the stabilizer with the fabric. I did not know this when I first started out and I would just put a bit of stabilizer under where my embroidery design was going on the fabric. The result when I think back now wasn’t surprising, it did not stabilize the fabric and my results were not good.
Make sure your design is suitable for the fabric you are stitching on. Don’t use really dense heavy designs on lightweight fabric, and don’t try to stitch a delicate design onto a towel, it will completely disappear into the pile.
Chose the correct stabilizer; Cutaway is recommended for unstable fabrics like knits it is also better if the garment is being washed often and is softer to touch than tear away. Tearaway is good if you don’t want the stabilizer showing on the back because it can be nearly complete, it is more brittle to touch and therefore can be scratchy against the skin. Wash away is perfect for freestanding lace or 3D designs. A water-soluble topper is essential on top of towels and fabric with a pile.
Remember to be patient, and have fun.