9 Best Machine Embroidery Books for Beginners

My Journey with Embroidery Books

Embroidery Essentials: Top 9 Books to Master Machine Stitching

Embroidery has always fascinated me, and while I often share my insights digitally, there’s a charm about physically holding a book. Over the years, I’ve amassed a considerable collection of embroidery literature, much of which I’ve sourced from my local library’s interlibrary loan system. This has allowed me to explore and review various titles before adding them to my personal collection. For fellow enthusiasts who share my fondness for tangible reads, I’ve compiled a list of noteworthy machine embroidery books, catering to both novices and seasoned embroiderers.

One thing to note: The rapid advancements in machine embroidery mean that some of these books might seem a bit dated. But trust me, even those have timeless tips and inspirations worth exploring.

Top Picks: Machine Embroidery Books

Let’s clarify first – this list focuses primarily on books about computerized embroidery machines and not free-motion embroidery with regular sewing machines.

1. Sewing Machine Embroiderer’s Bible

Though the title initially gave me pause, as it hinted more at sewing than embroidery, the content predominantly centers around machine embroidery. Ideal for those not entirely tech-savvy, it offers detailed sections on computerized elements of machine embroidery. This book stands out for its holistic approach – touching upon stabilizers, needles, thread choices, and troubleshooting tips for rookies. Furthermore, it categorically breaks down common embroidery projects, providing tutorials for each technique.

2. Embroidery Machine Essentials Series

Anchored by Jeanine Twigg’s main book, this series expands through several supplementary texts. For beginners, I’d suggest starting with “Embroidery Machine Essentials.” Although sections of the book reflect its 2001 publication date, the bulk of the content remains insightful. It covers everything from supply selection and hooping techniques to 20 project ideas. Of the companion books, “Embroidery Machine Essentials Basic Techniques” is my top recommendation for its comprehensive coverage.

3. Machine Embroidery with Confidence

A creation of the fabric craft master, Nancy Zieman, this book remains an asset even years after its release. Despite its age, I’ve discovered techniques that were previously unfamiliar. The troubleshooting tips towards the end are especially valuable.

4. Modern Machine Embroidery by PicklePie Designs

Diverging from the more textbook-style books, this one is project-centric. It introduces readers to in-the-hoop embroidery projects, making it an excellent choice for those looking for hands-on practice. I even tried my hand at a purse design from this book, and the result was a delightful crossbody purse that my daughter adores!

5. Machine Embroidery on Difficult Materials

Not for the faint-hearted or beginners, this book dives deep into the intricacies of embroidering on challenging fabrics such as nylon, sweater knits, vinyl, and leather. It’s a fantastic resource for expanding your embroidery horizons.

6. Digitizing Made Easy

For those keen on creating bespoke embroidery designs, this book by John Deer is an invaluable asset. It delves into the theory of digitizing without being software-specific, making it suitable for those already familiar with their embroidery software.

Special Mention: Niche Embroidery Books

If you’ve mastered the basics and are yearning for more, these books offer specialized techniques:

  • Piece in the Hoop: A guide on using embroidery machines for perfect quilt blocks.
  • Machine Embroidery Wild and Wacky: A quirky dive into embroidering unconventional items, like soap or metal.
  • Dimensional Machine Embroidery: This book pushes the boundaries with unique applique techniques and more.

Details At A Glance

Book Title Key Features Recommended For
Sewing Machine Embroiderer’s Bible Comprehensive guide, touches on tech aspects. Beginners to Intermediate
Embroidery Machine Essentials Series Detailed series with a central book and supplementary texts. Beginners
Machine Embroidery with Confidence Timeless techniques, troubleshooting tips. Intermediate
Modern Machine Embroidery by PicklePie Designs Project-based, hands-on approach. Intermediate to Advanced
Machine Embroidery on Difficult Materials Deep dive into complex fabrics. Advanced
Digitizing Made Easy Theory behind bespoke embroidery designs. Advanced


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