10 Commandments of Machine Embroidery – Thou Shalt Read the Manual

Hello, and welcome to my 10 week series on the 10 commandments of machine embroidery.

I really wanted to go over some of the basics of machine embroidery, and look at the rules that we should all be looking at to make the most of our stitching time.

The first one that I want to look at is probably really basic.

Thou shalt read the manual.


I know that this seems a little silly, and I am not talking about sitting down and reading it like your favourite book, but it is important – particularly when you have a new machine, to keep your manual near you, and to look over it regularly.

The first thing I do with my manual is to keep it open when I am unpacking my machine, and mark off to ensure that each item included with the machine is included.  This is also a great way to learn what each of the different feet/tools/items are for on the machine.

A great example of this is what I thought was a weird item that came with my machine.  I hooks on like a hoop, but is not a hoop, and is in clear plastic.  Stuffed if I could work it out by myself.  Turns out it is a cloth guide, which can be set to give you a precise seam with to align your fabric to.

The manual will also guide you through how to put your machine together, how to set the embroidery arm, and thread the machine and bobbins (this is important, as some machine needs different threading than others).

The other feature which many machine manufacturers offer these days is quick reference guides.  My new Janome machine came with two different quick reference charts, and I like to keep these under my machine, where I can find them quickly.


As well as the instruction manual for your machine, there are a couple of other places you can go to find information regarding your machine

YouTube videos – these are fantastic for allowing you to see how others are threading/winding their bobbins (for example), or any other feature you are attempting to conquer.

Google – ask a question, and see what answers google gives you.

Facebook – there are many facebook groups dedicated to many different machine brands and models.  I love that I can go to a group for my machine, and find people who use the machine on a regular basis, and I can ask questions and see how they solve problems.

Thank you for allowing me to share the first of my commandments with you.  I look forward to sharing more with you in the weeks to come.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

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