7 Misconceptions About Machine Embroidery


When you think of machine embroidery, what comes to mind? Monogrammed hand towels? Ball caps with sports logos? 

Although these things are certainly part of machine embroidery, they are only the tip (and I mean the very topmost, tippy-tip-tip) of the creative iceberg. 

Here are 7 common misconceptions about machine embroidery!


#1: Machine Embroidery Isn't for People Like Me

Do you have an idea in your head of what "type" of person enjoys machine embroidery? Let me guess . . .you think a machine embroiderer is a womana retired womanwith grandchildren and a sewing room. 

Am I right? 

Yes, of course! A lot of retired women with grandchildren and sewing rooms DO enjoy this hobby. Absolutely.  But guess what? So do men. And college students. And young moms. And children. And the list goes on! 


The truth is, anyone can use a little creative me time. Even if you only have an hour or two to relax at night after work, there's a Kimberbell project for you at the end of the day and it's incredibly satisfying to create! 


#2: Machine Embroidery Is Only for Monograms and Logos

Now, there's a place for monograms and logos, but there's so much more. Are you a quilter? Did you know you can piece and quilt blocks in the hoop of your embroidery machine? (More on quilting later!) 😊 

You can also create small, giftable projects (like zipper pouches) completely in-the-hoop of your embroidery machine, including lining your pouch and installing the zipper! 

Zipper pouches

Some of the things you can make on an embroidery machine will blow your mind. I'm not kidding. From rope bowls and bench pillows to mini quilts and mug rugs, the sky's the limit with machine embroidery!


#3: Machine Embroidery is Too Difficult to Learn

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I'm not very crafty. In fact, I'm not even good at sewing. But I CAN do machine embroidery, because the machine does most of the work! (And if I can do it, anyone can. )

It's simply a matter of learning how, and there are many, MANY resources available to teach you. A quilt shop is a great place to start, as they offer hands-on classes and clubs both virtually and in store. 


Also consider your personality. Do you like a two-hour project that you can finish in one sitting, like me? Or do you like working on something bigger that comes together over time, like a big feature quilt?

You can choose whatever projects fit your fancy. And with Kimberbell's step-by-step instructions as your guide, it's easy to find success! 


#4: Machine Embroidery is Too Expensive

Is machine embroidery an expensive hobby? It definitely can be . . .but it can also not be. As with any craft, you can determine how much you want to spend and have fun experiences within your budget. 

Different machines come with different price tags and you don't need to start with a top-of-the-line machine. A less-expensive beginner model is just great! (Click HERE to see projects you can make in a 4x4 hoop!) 

Shopping 2

Also, remember that you can build up your supply of tools and embellishments a little at a time. You don't have to buy everything at once. 😊 Go slowly and add things as you can afford them.


#5: Embroidery Machines Are Too Technical

Embroidery machines can be a little overwhelming at first. But it's been my experience that they're actually pretty intuitive! And once you learn which buttons to push, it's really not that hard. 

Again, quilt shops can be your biggest supporter. I highly recommend signing up for beginner classes to help you learn your machine. Just like anything else, what's overwhelming at first will soon become second nature.

Technical 1

Don't think of an embroidery machine as a scary contraption. Think of it as a magical tool that will help you make incredible things! 

When you do have questions, you're not alone. You can access help through your shop, your manual, and through supportive online communities. (Please join our Kimberbellas  & Fellas group HERE!)


#6: I Already Embroider by Hand

Do you think there's no reason to try machine embroidery because you already embroider by hand? Good news! There's a place for both.

Hand embroidery is wonderful and timeless and all the good things. By all means, don't stop.

Hand embroidery 1

But machine embroidery is a completely different hobby. You can do projects by machine that you simply can't do by hand. So why not do both?

With a machine, you can piece quilt blocks, make three-dimensional projects, finish bags and pouches in-the-hoop, and so much more!


#7: I Need a Longarm Machine to Finish My Quilts

Longarm machines are wonderful for quilting big quilts. No question. But sending projects to a longarmer can take quite a bit of time and money. And, if you own a longarm yourself, it takes up a lot of room!

Did you know you can quilt projects (completely finishing them) on your home embroidery machine? 


Kimberbell's Clear Blue Tiles system allows you to achieve the same allover quilting you'd get with a longarm machine. To learn more about Kimberbell Clear Blue Tiles and how they work, please click HERE

We usually recommend using this system with quilts that are 60 x 60" and less (because of the weight). However, as long as you distribute the weight appropriately, you can do projects that are bigger, too! 


Okay. We've talked about these misconceptions, so I'd love to hear your thoughts. (Drop a comment below!)  If you're an experienced machine embroiderer, what do you like best about your hobby? What advice do you have for someone who's just starting out? And what are your favorite types of projects?

If you're thinking about giving machine embroidery a try, here are some additional articles you may find helpful: 

I hope this post inspires you to Experience the Joy of Creativity® with machine embroidery and Kimberbell! Please share this with anyone you know who'd love to learn more about our remarkable craft. 





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