Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Machine embroidery newcomer

nancymax | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

Hello all,
I am a “newby” too. I used to do a lot of fashion sewing but don’t any more. I am now really into quilting and just love it. I do hand applique also, but really need to improve on that. I have a Bernina that has served me well for many years, and just bought a Brother embroidery machine with the thought I could do some cute things for the grandkids.
I’m having trouble getting going on the embroidery, and find the owners manual is pretty useless other than just giving you the very basics of threading or changing needles! Here’s my problem: I am trying to embroider on a somewhat flimsy fabric (diaper burp cloths) for my grandson and I keep getting thread bunched up in the bobbin and fabric trying to get in there, too! I am using a hoop and a tear-away stabilizer, and silk thread (because I had some on hand.) What am I doing wrong? I’d like to embroider on t-shirt knits also but haven’t had any luck there either. Is it my stabilizer???


  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    Stabilizer is probably not the problem.  

    Check the bobbin case for any loose thread and make sure it is clean.

    Check your manual and make sure the bobbin is feeding in the right direction and is correctly threaded through the right channels.

    I have done inexpensive tea-towels that are equally thin, using a wash a-way stabilizer.

    There is also a soft mesh stabilizer that is recommended for knits and children's clothing.

    I have found Embroidery Machine Essentials to be great books for learning and refreshing your talents.  I got mine at Joann's with a 40% off coupon. 

    1. nancymax | | #3

      I am having better luck now by using a wash away stabilizer and making sure that the fabric and stabilizer are really taut. I also realized that the thread cutter was set to automatic. So, when I cut the threads for a second time it might have been causing problems. I still have trouble when the design is very dense, with several areas merging... it just seems to bog down. I'll get the hang of it though... but will probably use miles of thread in the process!
      Thanks for your help!

  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    I agree with Spice Girl!  Also, I generally use Sulky40 wt rayon embroidery thread in the needle and bobbin thread in the bobbin.  It's possible that your threads are not compatible or are the wrong weight for the embroidery design.  (Some people like the polyester embroidery threads for thier durability.  There are several good brands out there, I just happen to prefer Sulky and YLI for my machine.)

    There is alot of information at http://www.emblibrary.com , a young man named Kenny is extremely knowledgeable and has lots of wonderful instructions, contests, projects, etc.  I get thier free newsletter which tells of all the great sales on embroidery designs.  They have all sewn out well. 

    Welcome to the wonderful world of machine embroidery!  It gets easier as you practice and gain confidence!  Mary

    1. nancymax | | #4

      I'm using rayon embroidery thread that just arrived today, and it seems to be better than the silk I was using. It's fun, but somewhat frustrating to get something ALMOST done and have something go wrong! Fortunately I have not ruined anything significant, but sure have used up a lot of scraps!
      Thanks for the help!

      1. MaryinColorado | | #5

        Glad it is working out for you!  Mary

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More