What does embroidery do for you?
Personally, I can’t even remember life before embroidery, I have been doing embroidery for so long! I started out with a very simple single needle embroidery machine and then went up from there: now we own 6 multi needle machines, and I love every moment of it.
I strive to continually grow my embroidery skills and creativity each and every day. When I am out in the world (and not just in my office) I see embroidery everywhere – and I also see mistakes and lots and lots of ideas on how I can be creative. Have you ever looked at a flower and thought “wow, that would look amazing digitized on a pair of jeans”? If so, the embroidery is probably becoming your passion!
I think everyone should ask themselves what they like about embroidery, and what embroidery does for them, and maybe through some self-discovery, you can find a renewed passion and enthusiasm to create some smiles and happiness with your creations, improve your embroidery skills or finally have the patience to conquer that one task that was too difficult.
Creativity: I am a very creative person and I try to add a bit of creativity in everything that I do! Being creative makes me happy and helps me feel accomplished in my day. Embroidery is the perfect outlet for creative people. Try some different embroidery techniques and find what you are good at and then add your own twist to the design! I can’t draw with a pencil and paper, but I can draw in embroidery! I can doodle something silly, and take that into my embroidery program and end up with a beautiful design.
Learning: Learning is a big part of my daily life: I try to learn something new every day, especially about embroidery – anything about embroidery or my machine. I always take the time to learn my newest machine before I even turn it on by reading the manual. If I want to do something on the machine, I make sure I look it up in the manual so I make sure that I learn how to do it correctly the first time. It has happened once or twice that what I want to do is not possible on the machine. That is learning too! I learned that the machine has limitations, but I will also have to figure out a way around it – so being creative and learning go hand in hand. If you learn something new each day, think about how much you will know in a year or two! That’s hundreds of things that you didn’t know before.
Learning 2: Learning the correct way the first time. I always encourage people to take digitizing classes on their software or have a demo when it comes to a new machine. Learn how the software works BEFORE you start a big project! Learn as much as you can, learn all of the tools and what they do, learn about the stitches and how to use them, and once you do all of that, you can dive in and start working. Learning as much as you can first will save you frustration and anger when you are trying to create something.
Embroidery within your means: What I mean about this one is if you are a new embroiderer or digitizer, start off slow and simple and do something really really well. Do it again and again until you get it right. If you are digitizing, watch your design stitch out and see if you need to make any changes. Go back and forth from digitizing to stitching a few times until it is perfect. Imagine how much you will learn! If you are a new embroiderer, I would NOT suggest starting off with a multiple applique quilt or a huge project like that. Stitch something out and make it look great. If you are good at embroidery, you can stitch anything on a single needle machine – you don’t have to pay thousands for a multi needle – the end result should be exactly the same!
Hooping skills: I know there are people that disagree with me, but once you master your hooping skills, your embroidery will be much better – and you will save yourself time and frustration of misaligned designs, puckering and tons of other issues. It is well worth the time and effort to learn hooping properly when you first start out and learn all about getting the best results as possible. In the end, it will make you happy and successful.
So, to answer the first question that I asked above “what does embroidery do for you?” I can say that embroidery makes me happy. Embroidery keeps my mind asking questions, searching for solutions and working through problems. Embroidery lets me be creative in every way – I do what I do best – and that is doodles or sketches or ideas and turn them into embroidery. Embroidery keeps me calm, keeps me busy and makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day. Embroidery is my business and my passion, and I work hard at learning, hooping and being creative every day. Embroidery means so much to me that it became a part of my recovery from a heart attack. I couldn’t do much at first, but I had some help hooping, and I could sit and digitize and press the buttons on my machine. I picked an easy design – and one that I knew well, and one that I really really liked and I knew would stitch well, so when the design was completed, I would be happy. I have been stitching a few things here and there over the last six weeks, and I am now working on a small wall hanging and feeling great about it.
If embroidery doesn’t make you happy, you need to make embroidery your passion so that you will be happy. Love learning, love trying and love being creative. Embroidery is very competitive, so if you don’t love what you do, and you aren’t as knowledgeable as possible and have learned all the skills you need, you will fall behind very quickly.
For me, embroidery = happy. It should be for you too!
Here is my design that I stitched out. It took me all day to pick the colors, cut the applique pieces and stitch it out. I was going for slow perfection! But I was super happy when it was done!
Until next time,