10 Things to Do AFTER Buying an Embroidery Machine

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Congratulations! You finally said “YES” to your first embroidery machine.

Now What?

If embroidery is something you have never done, it will feel like you are starting from scratch. Yes, it might thread slightly different than your sewing machine and the pictures on the screen make no sense at all, but little by little you will learn what each area is for, how to hoop your fabric and how wonderful it feels like to complete your first official embroidery project.

We have assembled 10 MUST DO items to complete within the first three months of owning your new embroidery machine. These suggestions will get you started quickly and on a life-long path of embroidery enjoyment. This is not a set order of items, so please do them in the order that works best for you.

1. Schedule and attend your embroidery machine classes.

Most sewing machine stores offer a handful of basic embroidery classes to get you familiar with the embroidery machine. Take advantage of all education that was included with the purchase of your machine.

If you didn’t get classes with your purchase, seek out a store that has embroidery classes you can attend. Even taking embroidery project-based classes will greatly enhance your base knowledge of your machine. Even I learn new tips and techniques in every class I take. Education is never-ending.

2. Open the embroidery machine and embroider a few built-in embroidery designs prior to your first class.

Your teacher will thank you! Even if everything goes wrong, at least you are learning what not to do! We highly recommend attempting to embroider something prior to your first hands-on class. By trying something (anything), you will not be totally green when you get to class. And, you will have some great questions lined up to ask your instructor.

3. Enroll in Sara’s “Embroidery Essentials Online Course”.

If you want to FAST-TRACK your embroidery journey, enroll in Sara’s “Embroidery Essentials” Online Course. This course is designed to help you master your embroidery machine through a series of EASY, repetitive motions while learning how to embroidery 15 DIFFERENT embroidery techniques. With LIFETIME access to 3 1/2 hours of embroidery content and 90 minutes of bonus lessons, you can repeat lessons often and for years to come.

3. Read your embroidery machine’s manual AFTER your first hands-on class or the Embroidery Essentials online course.

Whether you are more of a visual learner or you just like to jump in feet first, plan to read through the manual after your first class. The information, pictures, and tips will make much more sense after the class.

4. Sign up for any and all embroidery events your local stores are hosting.

When stores play host to embroidery experts, embroidery trunk shows, or offer embroidery project classes, get signed up early! Embroidery events are fun, entertaining, and educational, so they always fill up fast. Take as many classes as possible. You are going to learn something new from every teacher.

Embroidery events are also a great place to meet other embroiders, see what other people are making, be inspired to try new things, and go home totally pumped! Kimberbell and OESD (OESD Super Spree events) offer nationwide events at many stores that carry their products and embroidery designs.

Don’t forget to check out stores that sell other brands of embroidery machines. Most of the time they are happy to have one more person in class even if you own a different brand of machine.

5. Buy a Basic Stabilizer Set

There are three basic stabilizers to always keep in your embroidery arsenal:

  • Cut Away – for stretchy fabrics like knit, sweatshirts, and denim
  • Tear Away – for woven fabric like cotton, linen, dish towels, and terry cloth towels
  • Wash Away – a topping for napped fabrics like terry cloth towels and fleece

There are numerous variations of each of these stabilizers. As new projects are started, buy the stabilizers that are recommended for the best results.

6. Start your thread collection.

Start off on the right foot by selecting quality embroidery thread. (Read our post “Which One is Better? Rayon or Polyester Embroidery Thread“). Buying a starter pack of thread colors is a simple way to start. You will find that you will continue to add colors as different embroidery designs call for different shades. Unless you are going to buy one of every color to start with, build your thread color collection as you need the colors. Pick up a thread chart and begin checking off the colors you own to avoid buying duplicates.

7. Watch some online tutorial videos.

Once you have started to get your embroidery feet wet, take some time to explore additional online education videos. Here at we have built a video tutorial library of over thousands of sewing, embroidery, and serger videos to help you master your embroidery machine.

8. Enroll in an online Craftsy embroidery machine class

Check out Craftsy’s many online machine embroidery classes for an amazing and thorough embroidery experience. Join other embroiders as you work through additional embroidery information. Don’t like your class? Craftsy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

9. Practice downloading, transferring, and embroidering a design from a website

There are many websites that offer free and pay-for embroidery designs. Take time to practice the process of downloading embroidery designs from one of these many embroidery websites. Even your embroidery brand’s website will have monthly free embroidery designs for you to retrieve. Once you understand the downloading and transferring process, embroidery life becomes easy. If you are not computer savvy, have your sewing machine dealer walk you through the basic downloading and saving steps.

10. Schedule Your Annual Service

Mark your calendar for one year from the date you bought the embroidery machine to take it in for its first service. Many stores offer the first cleaning free with your purchase so don’t miss out on getting it serviced for FREE!

In Conclusion…

If you take time to do these 10 MUST DO items, you are guaranteed immediate embroidery success. Make the most of your embroidery investment and have fun! If you get discouraged, know that there are many people and places you can reach out to for help.

Suggested Reading:

10 Tips for Buying Your First Embroidery Machine

Our Favorite Embroidery Stabilizer

Want to learn more? Visit our friends at Craftsy and take a class on Embroidery, Sewing or Quilting online today.

Other Machines We Have Filmed

  1. Anne says:

    So delighted to hear about this new course, can’t wait
    Anne Brennan

  2. Jana Sybrandy says:

    Thanks Sara! Both the Viking store I bought my machine at and the one closest to my house mentioned your site for valuable information and they weren’t wrong. I think I’ve learned so much just from watching your videos! I look forward to more tutorials from you. Thank you for taking so much time to do all you’ve done.

  3. Esther says:

    I can’t wait to start the courses. I’m new to embroidery and welcome any lessons to help me.

  4. Jonelle Mickelson says:

    I bought a Bernina 770 QE and got the embroidery unit with it as a promotion. I need to see some tutorials on embroidery. Also not too computer literate, which doesn’t help.

    1. Hi Jonelle, We have done a few videos on embroidery with the 770QEE if you look at videos 81 – 123 in the series.

      The above link will take you to all the videos.

  5. Alyce Kunze says:

    Hi. My local Viking dealer suggested I look at your site to answer my questions. So here goes: I have an older Viking Designer I with the embroidery attachment. I have had it cleaned & adjusted several times and it runs well. Yes, I am limited by using floppy discs. I laid in a store of blank ones before they became obsolete, and purchased quite a few CDs that my dealer transferred designs to my floppys.. I still have some questions and wonder if my machine will do some of the functions I want to do. Such as, when I am printing a name I want on two lines, how do I jump to the second line when I program my design? I researched my manual & cannot find the answer. Are there any tutorials on older machines that STILL run well? Thank you.

    1. Hi Alyce, I am sorry we do not have any videos on the Husqvarna Viking Designer 1, it was out of the line before we started and we never had access to that model.

  6. Carolyn Iloff Gomez says:

    I love your tutorials and am wondering when you’re going to do one on the Viking Epic machine. I just bought one and I would love to see tutorials on it! Thanks😀

  7. Lorraine Grace says:

    Wii you have videos o the epic?

    1. Hi Lorraine, Yes they are on our list.

      1. Yvonne McDonald says:

        Please help me with the various needle sizes for Embroidery . I have always used 80, but I recently bought a second hand Ruby and in it were packages of inspira 75 and 90. I upgraded from a Topaz 30 and there is definitely a learning curve. Thank you so much for your informative sight.

        1. Sara says:

          We use Embroidery size 90 needles when embroidering through multiple layers of fabric such as in-the-hoop projects and appliqués. Select a smaller embroidery size 75 needle when embroidering on finer, single layers of fabric like cotton and tea towels. Here is a video on embroidery needles that can help:

  8. MICHIELS says:

    I am very interested in courses in embroidery video. I recently bought a Bernina B790.
    I await your explanations with great impatience.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi, We have not yet filmed videos on the Bernina 790 but we have filmed over 140 videos on the Bernina 770E.

      We also just launched a new online course “Embroidery Essentials” to help people master their embroidery machine. You can find all the information on this course here:

      Thanks! ~Sara~

  9. Gloria Simms says:

    Do you have any videos on topaz 30 ?

  10. Kris Johnson says:

    Thank you for these excellent tips and videos

  11. Frances Anderson says:

    New to Designer Topaz 40 (my first embroidery machine). I have been able to program decorative stitches together with fonts in my 20-year-old Husqvarna 540. I want to do these fonts with the satin stitch. Do I have to be in embroidery mode for satin-stitch fonts and, if so, do I have to use the hoop? Making toddler pillow case and want to run a line across the cuff. Grandson’s birthday happening before my scheduled classes.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Frances, You will need to use the embroidery machine for satin stitch lettering. We have an entire series of free video tutorials on the Topaz 40.

      We also have an online course to help you master your embroidery machine. Check it out here:

  12. Daphne says:

    Would the endless hoop work on the Husqvarna Viking Jade 35?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Daphne,

      I had to double check…there is one endless hoop on your Viking Jade 35 hoop list. It is the 240 x 100E hoop.

  13. Deena says:

    where can I find the link to the free online Alphabet? I have just purchased the Topaz 50

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Deena,

      You can find the free downloadable Quick Font software here:

      Happy Embroidering!

      Sara Snuggerud

  14. dayyan says:

    I was searching to buy a new machine for home base hobby of embroidery. I find very good material here that must be kept in mind before buying a machine. I want to buy a machine at low budget like round 300$.. Can you suggest any one ?

    1. Sara says:


      There are embroidery machines in the $300 range but none that I can recommend. This is at the low end of quality. You can try them but you may find they may not last very long.

  15. Jamie Derfler says:

    I don’t see a software video for a Mac. Do you. Have one?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Sorry, we don’t do any videos on embroidery software.


  16. BEVERLY MORGAN says:

    i just bought a designer topaz 40 when i took out of the box set it up on the screen message machine set for free motion , want sew or move at all can anyone help me

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Beverly,

      Here is a video we made on the Viking designer topaz 40 on free motion quilting:

      You will need to uncheck the free motion function box to return it to sewing. Also, make sure the feed dogs are also raised.

      Watch all our free video tutorials on the Viking designer topaz 40 here:

      I also invite you to check out our Embroidery Essentials online course to help you master the embroidery side of your beautiful embroidery machine:

      Hope this helps.

      Sara Snuggerud

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