Tools of the Trade - Part 2

One of the tools I use a lot is my Brother Innov-Is 800E embroidery machine. I bought mine about 18 months ago and I am addicted to it! The machine comes with 138 pre-loaded embroidery files and 11 built-in Fonts too. When I bought it, I also bought Brother’s PE Design 10 software to customise and make your own embroidery files. I love being able to personalise my creations with a name as well as designing my own patterns. This is my favourite part! I’m still learning the software and it takes time but designing my own embroidery patterns means that I can really have full control over my makes.

The machine might look scary and I remember being slightly wary of it at first. I had a demonstration in my local craft shop and watching it was mesmerising! To be honest, it was probably a couple of months before I could feel that I could successfully thread the machine without the thread breaking or getting stuck! Practise makes perfect though and my embroidery machine is probably the most important tool in my business.

Embroidery machine personalised bunting  personalised bunting

When you embroider your design, you need to 'hoop up' your fabric. One of the areas that I'm still learning about is stabilisers. They are a bit of a minefield because there are so many different types and it depends on the design (some patterns have tens of thousands of stitches in a small area of fabric!) and also the type of fabric as to which ones you use. That is a whole other blog post though! 

If you are thinking about buying an embroidery machine, the one top tip is to buy the biggest hoop you can afford. Brother machines are great and as these machines are so technical, Brother have got a good reputation. Janome and Singer are also good makes to consider too. They are not the cheapest thing to buy and they get more expensive the bigger the hoop that comes with them. The cheapest machine comes with a hoop of 100mm x 100mm which, in my opinion, you will grow out of very quickly. The Brother Innov-Is 800E comes with a hoop of 160 x 260mm, which is the biggest that the machine can have. Obviously, there are projects that I could have made bigger than this hoop but it hasn't stopped me making creations like my Easter Bunny treat bags, my pencil wraps and even personalised letter bunting flags too!

  Felt animal pencil wraps  

Look out for an Easter project using my embroidery machine soon!

As always, I would love to hear from you! If you have any comments or ideas for projects that you would like to see, please comment below!


  • Margarita, look on Youtube and search the name of the machine. Very helpful because I too bought a used machine with no help; however I did take some lessons at the local quilt shop.

  • I have a Janome 500e embroidered machine, I’m looking for a program of handwriting to download. Hopefully you can guide me where to look.

  • Thank you for all of your comments. I’m happy to help with embroidery machine problems if I can, Feel free to use the contact form to email me directly! Thanks, Cheryl x

  • I bought several cd’s that have embroidery patterns on them i can’t seem to get them to open when the pattern comes up.

    Loretta Hettinger
  • I bought e used embroidery machine I don’t know how to use it I wish to find some one to teach me I’m willing to pay .thank you
    Margarita Galdamez

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