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Top Tips for Writing An Embroidery Blog

Top Tips for Writing An Embroidery Blog

I’m so glad you’re exploring the idea of sharing a blog!  We are so fortunate to live in a time where it’s easier than ever to connect with others and each of us with our own unique life experiences has so much embroidery and craft knowledge to share with others!

It doesn’t matter what your skill level is, if you’ve created something we would love to see it and hear about what you’ve learnt in your creative journey.

Here are my top tips for writing an embroidery blog to get you started.

1.  Write your blog in Microsoft Word or Google Docs or other word processing software

It may seem logical to want to write a blog in an email to someone but using a proper word processing programme is often more reliable and easier for you to read and edit your work.  

Microsoft Word is a paid programme to download onto your computer but you can use it online for free by using a free Microsoft Live account – Microsoft Word Online.  

If you have a Gmail email account you can use Google Docs for free by logging into your Gmail account – Google Docs Online

 

2.  Brainstorm some ideas on your page

It’s often hard to start with a blank page.  If you start by jotting down a few ideas, even in bullet point form it can make that page feel a little less daunting.

If you’re stuck on a topic, here are a few ideas:

  • Share something you’ve created and tell us about what inspired you to do it, how you did it (could be a step by step or just an overview) and share your thoughts on parts of the project that were easy or more challenging and what you might do differently the next time you make it (or if you’ll never make it again!)
  • Share photos of some of your projects and write a sentence or two about what the project is, who it was for and what inspired you to create it
  • Share your top tips of things you’ve learnt about machine embroidery so far in your creative journey
  • Have you encountered a problem at some stage and found a solution to it?  Share how you solved the problem with us so that if someone else has a similar problem they can resolve it with your help!
  • If you’re a business owner, tell us about your products and what makes your business unique.  Tell us what inspired you to start your business and who your ideal customers are?

Need more topic ideas?  Get in touch with me 🙂 

3.  Add links to your text

Links to other pages can be a great way to help flush out your story!  If you’ve purchased a design from somewhere and your blog is showing your process of stitching it out, then tell us where you got the design from and add a link to it.  

Doing this benefits the business you purchased from as it will help more customers find their awesome products and it also helps the reader find the design you’ve used if they feel inspired by your blog and want to give it a go too!

Adding a link to your text is easy and if you do it in one of the programmes I mentioned above, the link will stay there when I copy the text across to the website page!

How to add a link to your blog text:

  1. Open a new tab in your browser window
  2. Go to the page that you want to link to 
  3. Click in the box where you can see the website link
  4. Right click on it and choose “copy”
  5. Go to where you’re writing your blog and highlight the text you would like to add the link to 
  6. Right click on it and choose “link”
  7. It will open a little box for you to add the link to
  8. Right click in the box and choose “paste” then hit “Apply”
  9. You will see your text now has a “link” attached to it.

If you can’t figure out how to add the link to the text – copy and paste it into the blog copy and I can add it in when I copy the blog over to the website.

 

4.  Write like you talk 

You don’t need to use fancy words when writing a blog – talk like you would if you were having a conversation with someone in person.

5.  If you’re not a word kind of person – just add photos!

Photos are actually a really important part of a blog, sometimes more than the words – especially when it comes to talking about machine embroidery designs, embroidery thread colours and your finished items.

Here are a few tips for taking photos:

  • Embroidery thread is shiny which can sometimes be a bit of a pain when taking photos – if you have a table by a window where you can get some natural light but not direct sunlight, that’s perfect for a photo of embroidery!
  • If your room is a bit dark, use the flash option on your camera but try not to get too close to your work otherwise you’ll end up with a big bright spot in the middle of your item
  • Fill your screen with the item you’re photographing 
  • Don’t stress about using a specific camera – most phones these days have great cameras and are perfect for this kind of thing.  Just try hold it in a way that you can keep it steady to take the photos.  
  • Take a bunch of photos and pick the best one afterwards 

 

 

Finished the Blog – Now What?

Send it to me to for uploading: 

Still Stuck?

If you’re super keen to share some embroidery knowledge and inspiration with others and still find a blog daunting or feel like you need some help getting started, get in touch with me and I’ll help you out – the first one is always the hardest 🙂

Get Your Embroidery Machine Out of the Box!

Get Your Embroidery Machine Out of the Box!

If you’re here it’s probably because you’re procrastinating taking your new embroidery machine out of the box – if you’ve chatted to me at any point you’ll know that I’m on a mission to get machines out of boxes so you’ve come to the right place!!

It would be almost impossible to give step by step instructions for every kind of embroidery machine or craft cutting machine but here is some moral support to get you started – sometimes that’s the hardest part!

Here’s some help to get you started!

Unbox Your Embroidery Machine

Get that box out of the way – having it stare at you from the corner of the room can be daunting!  Embroidery machine boxes tend to be pretty huge because of all the padding to protect our precious goods which can make it seem a bit scarier.

If you want to have a giggle, check out my one-handed unboxing of the Brother VE2300 and the Brother Stellaire XJ1 – I very much recommend doing this with two hands!!

Look for a “Getting Started Guide”

Most embroidery machines come with some kind of QuickStart or getting started guide which can be helpful just to get you going and find all the right buttons etc.  Have a look through it but don’t worry if everything doesn’t make sense yet, it will be useful when you’re at the machine and working through it step by step!

Basic Tips to Get You Started

If you’re a seasoned machine embroiderer just getting the hang of a new machine, then feel free to skip this bit.

If this is your first EVER embroidery machine – YAY!  You’re about to embark on a really fun, creative adventure.  There is a learning curve with embroidery and I’m not sure we ever really stop learning but here are some practical tips to get you started with your first project:

  • Embroidery thread is different to sewing thread and the designs are created with this in mind so you can’t use any old thread you have on hand for embroidery.  You do need to use Embroidery Thread

  • Likewise with bobbin thread, it tends to be a different weight to regular thread which is important for maintaining good tension.  Unlike with sewing where you change your bobbin to match your top thread often, machine embroiderers tend to just use black and/or white bobbin thread for most projects unless you’re working on a project where the back of the embroidery will be visible (for example Free Standing Lace (FSL)). 

    You might have received some bobbin thread with your machine – I know most Brother embroidery machines usually come with a spool and some loose bobbins and Echidna will often include some prewound bobbins with embroidery machine value add packages.  Check those out before you head out to the shops to buy some!

  • Stabilizer!  You’re about to stab your fabric thousands of times with a needle (that sounded more violent than I intended! haha) and the thread is going to put a decent amount of strain on it so it needs HELP!  There are a few instances where you don’t use stabilizer or various kinds for different purposes but to keep things simple here – cut away and tear away stabilizers are your new best friends!  In really simple terms, the more stitches your design has, the more help your fabric will need.  This is a bit like baking a cake at times, it’s all about finding the right mix of ingredients but for most common fabrics with a pocket size design (around 10x10cm), cut away or tear away will be perfect!

  • Embroidery needles are a must!  Again you’ve probably received some with your new machine to get you started.  The most common size I personally use is a 75/11.  The sizes are written on the needles in teeny tiny writing so grab out your Echidna Sewing magnifying ruler to help you if you have one (or my mum’s hack of using her phone to take a photo then zooming in).

  • Use the right bobbin case.  If you’ve purchased an embroidery only machine then this won’t apply to you but if you’ve purchased a Brother sewing and embroidery combination machine, you’ll more than likely have a spare bobbin case in your kit.  You may think it’s just there as a spare but as a bunch of us learnt from Gary Walker at the NZMEA End of Year function in November 2018, one bobbin case is for sewing and one is for embroidery! Mind blown!
    Why do you need two?  For sewing you don’t generally need to adjust your bobbin tension but for embroidery you do.  So you can have both set at the settings you need to swap them out easily when you need to switch functions on your machine.  The one with the little green blob (this is a technical term haha) is the one for sewing.

Make an easy first project 

We all have big dreams of the things we want to create with our machines and yes that is why we bought them BUT there is a learning curve to learning machine embroidery and learning a new embroidery machine so start slow to get into the swing of things.

Jumping into a big project on the first go and having something go wrong can be really disappointing so opt for a small, quick win with the first project – it will give you confidence and set you up for success with the next one!

I remember when I first purchased my Brother PR1000e 10 Needle machine, my daughter was very young so I had very limited time to play.  I threaded it very quickly and put my first project on the machine.  Well it sucked! I hadn’t threaded it properly but the worst thing that happened was that my first test project didn’t work out.  I pulled out the manual and rethreaded the whole machine step by step and voila – the next project was perfect!

We’ve all been there so don’t be too hard on yourself!

Just Push the Go Button!

✔️Thread your machine

✔️Wind your bobbin and put it in 

✔️Select a design from the machine 

✔️Hoop up your fabric and stabilizer

✔️Put your hoop on the machine

✔️And press 🟢GO 🟢!

Use that as a checklist if you need to.

If you still can’t bring yourself to press the go button…

 Let’s play “what’s the worst that can happen”:

  • It doesn’t go – if your button light is still red make sure your presser foot is down (some machines you need to do this manually)
  • The design doesn’t come out right – that’s totally fine, this is just a test design.  If it doesn’t work you can problem solve the issue and try again. This happens to all of us from time to time.
  • Your tension is off and your bobbin thread is peeking through to the top of the embroidery.  Again this is a test design so that’s totally ok! Adjusting the tension is not that daunting and it’s a completely fixable issue that we all deal with from time to time.
  • You have some puckering on your fabric – this is a fixable issue 
  • You break a needle, we all break needles from time to time.  It’s not the end of the world.

 

You Got This!

 

All of the best solutions in the world have come from those who have encountered a problem.  Encountering issues help us problem solve and learn to refine what we do to get great results.  If everything was super easy, we would get no satisfaction from doing it and it would be boring!

 

And if you encounter an issue you can’t solve and I haven’t covered here, pop over to the NZ Machine Embroidery Addicts Facebook group and ask for help!  That’s what this community is all about!

 

Go for it, you’re not alone, you’ve got this!