From Monogram Newbie to Embroidery Enthusiast: My Machine & Must-Have Tools

Confession time: I embarked on my embroidery adventure with zero knowledge, fueled purely by my love for monograms! Through trial, error, and countless stitches (sometimes re-stitches!), I've finally developed a knack for creating beautiful (almost perfect – there's always room to grow, right?) monograms.

The Machine That Leveled Up My Embroidery Game

My journey began with a trusty Janome single-needle machine. It did the trick for a while, but I quickly hit a bottleneck. The number of orders I could handle in an 8-hour day just wouldn't cut it. Turnaround times ballooned from a manageable 3 weeks to a whopping 6!

Enter the Brother 10-needle machine, my current embroidery workhorse. This game-changer slashed turnaround times back to 3 weeks, and the increased efficiency even brought in a surge of new orders. Thinking about upgrading to a multi-needle machine? It's a big investment, so do your research! Call around to local Brother dealers – prices can vary significantly.

Must-Have Embroidery Tools for Monogramming

Now, let's dive into the tools that keep my monogram obsession going strong!

  • Embroidery Hoops:
    • Brother Magnetic Flash Frames: These are my daily drivers, perfect for bibs, burp cloths, baby clothes, and cotton blankets. I use the 4x4 and 5x7 sizes.
    • Mighty Hoops: I lve to use the mighty hoops for clothes and backpacks! 
    • Durkee EZ Frames: These are lifesavers for thicker items like backpacks, totes, and blankets. They require a sticky tearaway stabilizer. Pro tip: don't skip the clamps! I recommend both smaller spring clamps and heavy-duty ones for larger projects.
    • Durkee Hat Hoop: A must-have for all those baseball caps and youth/toddler hats!
  • Stabilizers: These are crucial for keeping your fabric taut and preventing puckering.
    • Cutaway stabilizer: My go-to for garments like baby clothes and shirts.
    • Tearaway stabilizer: Works best with magnetic frames and pairs well with the aforementioned sticky stabilizer for Durkee EZ frames.
    • Water soluble stabilizer: Comes in two thicknesses: a thinner one for stitching on towels and a thicker one for applique work.
  • Spray Adhesive: Keeps your stabilizer and fabric securely bonded. My favorites are Odif 505 and SprayNbond. Remember, a little goes a long way!

You can shop all of my embroidery must haves here