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OT - Embroidery Machine

jtrranchesjtrranches Member Posts: 2,631
edited April 2010 in Off Topic
I am looking to get one and want a beginning affordable machine to start with. I know many here have them so I thought I would ask.

Terina Reynolds Always remember, "It's a good life if you don't weaken!" imageSeptember 11th, 2001 Anniversary Countdown Banner


  • aries1950aries1950 Member Posts: 108
    wally world.....
  • jtrranchesjtrranches Member Posts: 2,631
    Terina Reynolds Always remember, "It's a good life if you don't weaken!" imageSeptember 11th, 2001 Anniversary Countdown Banner
  • nanajoynanajoy Member Posts: 828
    I have had several embroidery machines. I too started out lower end, and now have a top of the line Pfaff. It depends what you want to do with it. There are some that just do embroidery, and some that also are a sewing machine. I have been looking for a smaller one to have for travel, and maybe get rid of my big one. Brothers has some for around, and under $1000. Some have built in designs, and some hook up to your computer with a usb cable and you download your own designs, which you can design with some rather expensive software. If you have any dealers close, you might want to go and see them put the machines through their paces. It can get expensive. But start low and add to your collection, just like scrapping.
    Joy S. Columbia, MO
  • jtrranchesjtrranches Member Posts: 2,631
    That is just my idea nanajoy. I want to buy lower end to make sure I like doing my own embroidery items. I want to make shirts for my daughters cheer and dance team.

    One question I have is this....when it says hoop size and they say 7" is that the biggest the machine will do or is it just that that is the size hoop they give you with the machine?

    Terina Reynolds Always remember, "It's a good life if you don't weaken!" imageSeptember 11th, 2001 Anniversary Countdown Banner
  • AibonitoAibonito Member Posts: 94
    I have three Pfaffs and have great affection for all of them-just don't trade in good machines. Two are embroidery machines. The cost of software is awful. And they come out with new software from time to time and that is a very high price. The dealer is just as important as the machine as they do need adjustment and service at times. Since people upgrade machines you could probably get a great used and serviced machine from the right dealer at a really good price. I don't feel that any of the home type machines work well for business type embroidery--too slow, wasted time in thread changes and so on. There are other machines made for such use.

  • paupau04paupau04 Member Posts: 4,902
    Check out HSN. They have a couple of Brother models and Singers, with flex pay. This way you can at least tryout a model for 30 days to see if you like it.
    Who's sorry now?...Hell hath no fury as a crafter scorned!!! http://sitstayscrap.blogspot.com/
  • nanajoynanajoy Member Posts: 828
    "One question I have is this....when it says hoop size and they say 7" is that the biggest the machine will do or is it just that that is the size hoop they give you with the machine?"

    jtrranches, probably, some of the machines come with different size of hoops, or you can buy more later. Just make sure that you can expand and get larger hoops if that is what you want. I have found, that even though I have some pretty giant hoops, I usually only use my smaller and middle size ones. Also make sure the you get it from a dealer, that gives lessons, because there is a lot to know when doing machine embroidery.

    As Aibonto said the cost of software to do your own designs, can cost up to a couple of thousands of dollars. There might be ones that are less, but do be able to edit and make some changes to the design, you need a better software. There also a lot of free designs on the web, so you need to make sure you can hook up with a usb cable.
    Joy S. Columbia, MO
  • JensMomJensMom Member Posts: 1,151
    I have a Esante and I love it! If you buy one, make sure you check out a program called Ped Basic. It enables you to download designs FOR FREE from the Internet. No need for cards which are soooo expensive. I subscribed to a site that had over 10K designs on it and it cost $5.00 per month. what a bargain.
  • TamTam Member Posts: 1,523
    Have you checked Craigslist for a used one?
  • agcsmomagcsmom Member Posts: 207
    I have a Innovis 4000 and an Innovis 1000 - it depends on what you are really looking for. If you don't want anything more then a 4x4 hoop there is a fairly inexpensive Brother (that Walmart used to I don't know if they still do ...) But if you decide you love it (and who wouldn't LOL!) you will quickly outgrow the 4x4 hoop. If you are really serious about it - I would suggest contacting your local dealer and see if they have any used ones and see what kind of deals they might have. The nice thing about buying from a dealer is you will get support and help when things get wrong. It is seriously addicting.

    Janome has a 5x7 mid range machine that just embroiders. I know several people who have one and love them. I believe you might be able to get it at Hancocks...

    A stated, the digitizing software can be VERY expensive - Embird is a lower priced version. The machine is unfortunately just part of the cost - stabilizer, designs (there are lots of freebies but TONS of wonderful for purchase designs), thread, bobbins/bobbin thread... etc. etc.

    Good Luck with whatever you decide!
  • KATHYANNKATHYANN Member Posts: 1,428
    edited April 2010
    I got a used one in great condtion at my local sew n vac and they gave me free classes and I get a discount when I take it in for cleaning or a tune up...... I have a low end baby lock largest hoop I can use is 5x7 I will keep looking for one that does larger designs but the price has to be right. ( that means it will be a long while)..... oh and most of the babylocks sew and embroider....
    Kathy - Katiedoodlesgran
  • Angel135612Angel135612 Member Posts: 4,246
    In my opinion, IF you know NOTHING about doing machine embroidery, I would ONLY buy from a dealer that offers classes on not only the machine, but the basics of HOW to embroider. When I first got mine, the hardest thing I found was finding the "right" tension on the fabric when hooping it. I was told to hoop it drum tight, and even though I thought that is what I was doing, I was always getting puckers around my designs. It wasn't until I actually saw how to hoop fabric that I got better at it. So buying from HSN, or Wally World, while it may be cheaper for the machine, could end up costing you more in the long run because of ruined clothing by not getting lessons.

    I would NOT buy any of the software that the "BIG" name companies put out to digitize or even edit your designs with. Embird is very inexpensive, and does as much if not more, and is easier to use than any of the name brand software. Think of Embird as the MTC of embrodiery software.

    As for the size of the hoop sizes. Most of the intro level machines will probably not go more than 5 x 7. That will be the largest hoop you can use in the machine. However, that is not the largest size design you can sew out... IF you learn how to split designs, and then line them up to sew out in mulitple hoopings you will not be limited to design size because of your hoop size. I use Embird to split designs all the time, and the only problem I have, is getting things lined up again, but that is operator error, not the software or machine. It just takes practice like everything else.

    I have had various Pfaff embrodiery machines, and now have one Pfaff and the Brother TOL machine. I love them both, and they both do regular sewing. I would check out dealers that are in your area, and see what they have in the way of used machines, or even consignment, if they have that. Usually even on used machines, they will offer classes for them. Find a dealer you are comfortable with, and that is willing to answer all your questions, no matter how silly they may be, if you aren't happy with your dealer, then you won't want to go back for lessons, and believe me, you will get frustrated if you can't get some hands on help through the dealer.

    Also, there are a number of Yahoo Groups for Embird that have tons of people willing to help new people with the software, so you can always find help there. I have Embird, and I wish I had known about it before I bought the software from my dealer way back when... I wouldn't have spent the money on the "big name" softwares.

    If you have any other quesitons, don't hesitate to ask...
    Diane in Colorado Springs Proud Owner of a Silver Bullet Professional Series 24 inch cutter rated #1 by Top Ten Reivews http://die-cutting-machines-review.toptenreviews.com/ http://www.mycraftythoughts.blogspot.com/
  • bossie1bossie1 Member Posts: 678
    May I put in a good word for Baby Lock? Well here I go, I have a 6 year old Ellago,I love it!!!! It is my second embroidery machine. One reason I bought a second one was because I wanted a larger hoop availability. I can now go up to about 10 inches. Although the machine came with software I never used it. I use Masterworks11, which was very expensive, BUT I was very lucky because my employer bought it for me. I do a great deal of sewing for them. I do all the work on my computer, send it to a floppy disc, and then put the floppy into my machine, and it embroiders. I still find it pretty amazing! One thing I know to be careful about now...many of the older software programs will not load onto Windows 7. I have friends who have had this problem and have had to buy either new programs or expensive upgrades. Classes are a so great. I take them at seveal different places...even a little, local quilt shop has them.
    Now I have a question....all you machine embroiders out there....... have you found a way to take your own, created by you, digitized files and turn them into svgs...I have not fooled around with this process yet, but when I think about it it seems to be a perfect combination...such as placemats and napkins with matching etched glasses, or place cards or how about a tissue boxed cover to match and embroidered design on pillow cases. I actually do not have MTC yet, but I am thinking it would be a great Mothers Day present! Valerie
  • agcsmomagcsmom Member Posts: 207
    Valerie - my digitizing software lets me save my files as jpgs. I can trace those jpgs in MTC or SCAL. I have done coordinating designs and been very happy with them. For this MTC has the leg up - you can create something save it as an SVG and then I can change it to a gif with Illustrator and pull it into my digitizing software....
  • JodiJodi Member Posts: 29
    I purchased my embroidery machine from Wally World and then found out that I would need additional software to be able to do anything other than what was pre-loaded. If I had done some deeper investigating I would have saved a little longer and purchased a machine from a dealer that offers classes and instruction. Don't get me wrong I like my machine but I am limited in what I can do since my machine will only do 4" X 4" designs, but I am trying to save up to purchase a better machine. I am lucky though that I can go to the local quilt store and use their machines when I need to do something bigger. They have become my most favorite friends!!
  • paupau04paupau04 Member Posts: 4,902
    The biggest lesson to learn is it cost alot. The machine is one thing and the supplies are another, just be prepared to lay out an additional $200 give or take to get started. Not including software. SEW What is another low cost/starter software.
    Who's sorry now?...Hell hath no fury as a crafter scorned!!! http://sitstayscrap.blogspot.com/
  • CherylCCherylC Member Posts: 1,097
    I have a PE700-II (I bought it on HSN for $799, but the exact same machine is at Wal-Mart now for $399), it has a usb port that you can hook to your computer and use files from the internet. There is a great embroidery design software and it is FREE, it is called Stitch Era Universal, this is what I use. The only catch is you have to have internet access to use it and the maximum stitches in a design is 40,000. The reason it's free is so they can show ads on the right hand side. It is fully functional and has the same interface as Microsoft Word. Check out the link below.


    I used the software to make these:

    image If you purchase Graphics Factory Membership please consider using my Affiliate Link. Thanks♪♥CherylC♥♪ - Gallery ID: 2836 Taylor Made Originals Shop | Crafting Blog | TMO FB Page | Baking Blog | Follow Me on Pinterest
  • bossie1bossie1 Member Posts: 678
    WOW!!! I am learning more here about embroidery that I could have ever hoped, and I have been doing it for many years! Thank you all for the great info, and thank you to MTC for allowing this OT discussion to take place! Valerie
  • iggyloveriggylover Moderator Posts: 11,513
    We love off topic discussions, on topic discussions, discussions in general.. lol
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke Jeanette in Orange County, CA Love my Italian Greyhound --> I.G.--> iggy Own a Create: Krikee, getting used to a Black Cat Cougar: Bagheera
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