Embroidery Machine Buying Guide: How to pick the right one for you

For the last few years I have been super enthralled by the amazing work that an Embroidery machine can do! I love how you can personalize literally ANYTHING and I love how they really can add a special touch to any quilt or sewing project. It’s that extra level of pizzazz and it is a heck of a lot of fun!

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve wanted to be able to design and embroider your own things, but just didn’t really know where to start. I want to help you get your feet wet and learn a little more about how to pick a great embroidery machine, and later on, I will show you how to get started with those initial purchases of the essentials. I’ll tell you the best threads, interfacing and scissors to get started like a total embroidery BOSS.

My mom actually introduced me to making my quilt labels on her embroidery machine, and I used it a ton, especially when I was living at home with my parents. Now that I’m “grown up” and have my own place, I’ve been really wanting an embroidery machine of my own. You might already know that I am pretty comfortable using my HUSQVARNA VIKING® sewing machine, so naturally that brand was also my first choice for an embroidery machine.

I want to share with you my own decision making for which model I should get. I know it is overwhelming with SO MANY different models on the market at all kinds of different price points.

I narrowed my search down to just three different HUSQVARNA MODELS, and *spoiler alert* I ended up getting the DESIGNER BRILLIANCE 80.

Here are the top 3 contenders to consider if you are looking at purchasing an embroidery machine:

  1. DESIGNER JADE 35  This machine is great for both sewing and embroidery! It has 120 unique stitches for sewing and is one of the lower-priced models offered by HUSQVARNA VIKING®. The largest embroidery area in one hoop is up to 9.5″ x 6″ which is absolutely awesome. I think it’s the perfect size for making a custom embroidered quilt label, or putting a baby’s name on a custom baby blankie. It is important to note that the DESIGNER JADE 35 model also has very cool technology features such as SEWING ADVISOR and Embroidery software included.
  2. DESIGNER TOPAZ 50 The DESIGNER TOPAZ 50 is a couple steps up from the DESIGNER JADE 35. As you can probably guess, this machine does both sewing and embroidery, and has over 250 unique sewing stitches. The DESIGNER TOPAZ 50 also has a cousin, DESIGNER TOPAZ 40. I put both these machines in the same group because they really are super similar, the DESIGNER TOPZ™ 50 is just larger and has more included stitches and embroideries. The DESIGNER TOPAZ machines have an awesome color touch screen, SEWING ADVISOR feature, and large embroidery space. The 50 model has nearly 10″ of sewing space between the base of the machine and the sewing needle! Which makes this a really great machine for quilting too!
  3. DESIGNER BRILLIANCE 80 The DESIGNER BRILLIANCE 80 machine is almost the top-end model. The DESIGNER BRILLIANCE™ 80 was released just recently in 2018 and is a truly remarkable machine. It has all the awesome highlights of the DESIGNER JADE 35 and DESIGNER TOPAZ™ 50, plus an even larger color touch screen and JoyOS ADVISOR. The technology on this model is insane, and allows you to connect your machine to Wifi and track your embroidery progress via an App on your smart phone. For me, that was a major bonus! I also really loved the expanded embroidery hoop sizes so I can make huuuge projects (if I want to)!

To find a complete comparison chart, click here.

Once you decide which embroidery machine you think you’ll want, it is SUPER important to find a HUSQVARNA dealer near you who can help answer any questions and guide you as you learn to use the machine. A great dealer can make all the difference! I recently called a couple and found out that many shops offer FREE classes you can take IN PERSON and lots of support to help you learn! One shop I spoke with even offers 0% interest financing on some models, so it’s definitely time to go meet your local HUSQVARNA VIKING® dealer!

Now that you have your sights set on which machine to add to your wish list, I want to go over the other necessities to get you embroidering like a champion:

  • Thread: There are a lot of different embroidery threads out there. I personally love Sulky, but I am a total sucker for an intense multi-pack so I am never in need of a particular color. Here are some great options to check out: (click the photos)

  • Bobbins: You might think this should be in the “thread” category, but trust me when I say it deserves a line item of it’s own! I highly suggest getting some pre-wound bobbins for your embroidery machine.
  • Interfacing: Depending on the project, you might need a different kind of interfacing. There are a few major categories though: Tear-Away Interfacing, Cut-Away Interfacing, or Water Soluble Interfacing. There is a really cool Multi-Pack that I’d recommend by Sulky here.

  • Hoops: Your embroidery machine purchase will undoubtedly come with some standard-size quilting hoops, but there are lots of add-ons out there to help with unique projects. One particular hoop I hope to get someday is a Hat/Cap hoop so I can add embroidery to caps and hats. Doesn’t that sound so neat?!
  • Needles: Using the right embroidery needles in your machine can help a ton. An embroidery needle is different from a universal needle in that is has a slightly rounded tip and a larger eye, to keep it from damaging the thread or the fabric!

  • Scissors: You might think any other sharp pair of snips would work for embroidery, but you haven’t lived until you’ve used curved embroidery scissors. Havel’s Sewing scissors are my absolute favorite. I suggest getting the 5.5″ curved tip scissors as well as the 5.25″ Ultimate Machine Embroidery Scissors. (Use code HOMEMADEEMILYJANE to save $7 off $25 when you purchase directly through www.havelssewing.com)

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