Adventures with the Embroidery Machine

I spent some time last week playing around with the VHS embroidery machine.

There’s a stack of boxes at the back of the sewing table full of embroidery machine related stuff - the big brown one has stabilizer and bobbins in it.

The stabilizer does not require ironing - just put it under the fabric and place both layers over the big part of the embroidery hoop. Then snap the small hoop in and tighten the screw, pulling everything as flat as possible.

The machine has a built in library with lots of different designs. You can move, rotate, and scale them, although the interface is a little clunky.

I picked a lizard out of the library and embroidered it. Then Martin picked a ship and ran that. Then Martin noticed that the hoop wasn’t completely clipped in… but both designs came out really nicely anyway.

To clip the hoop in correctly, you have to push at the right angle. It should not lift up easily once it’s in.

Another note: I changed the thread color. Winding the bobbin was very easy, and threading was straightforward, but I couldn’t get the automated needle threader to work. In the end I stopped after step 6 and just manually threaded the needle from front to back.

Next I tried embroidering a couple of designs I made in Inkscape. You’ll need to install the Ink/Stitch extension, but then it’s as simple as saving in *.pes format, putting the file on a USB drive (there’s one tucked in the top of the embroidery machine) and plugging the drive into the machine.

Design 1: a pair of robot eyes. These came out much bigger than I wanted, and the embroidery machine wouldn’t let me scale them down, so I guess I have to get the size right in inkscape.

Design 2: a robot looking out of a spaceship porthole. I’m not very good with Inkscape, so I ended up layering a bunch of circles and rectangles to get something that looked right on the computer. On the embroidery machine, though, each shape was embroidered separately meaning that some areas were embroidered over multiple times. The result is pretty messy (and the robot is supposed to have a neck) so I think I need to work on cleaning that up.


Those look great. For your robot, in Inkscape I think what you are looking for is to select the shapes you drew then on the menu click Path > Combine. If I’m picturing it right, that should eliminate the overlapping lines of the selected objects. I think. Maybe.


I’m willing to get the proper design program for the embroidery machine - it would make this a lot easier, and while it may be done in a yo ho way if you get what I mean, it’ll be safe and we can continue learning with the right program, as I know inkscape may not be the best way to learn it from


Nice post! Great to see the embroidery machine being put to use.

I watched a series of beginner Ink\Stitch tutorials and one YouTube video on Designing + Embroidering a Patch using Inkscape & Ink/Stitch

The Sewing Ctte does have a budget to spend on whatever they want so they can decide to purchase an embroidery design program if they choose.


For me personally I want to get better at Inkscape because it’s a general purpose program that I can use for laser etc. as well as embroidery.

But yes, we can spend sewing budget on software if people want it. :slight_smile:


I had no idea I wanted to learn how to use the embroidery machine… Or that we had an embroidery machine. I’m so excited now! So many fun design possibilities :slight_smile:


Came across this video on how to “Flatten” images which is good for breaking apart embroidery designs.


I just updated the version of Inkscape on the computer next to the Cricut to the latest version (and it has Ink/Stitch installed).

I’ve also purchased some new embroidery hoops!

And here’s a photo of my continuing experiments with Ink/Stitch. Filled shapes seem to work the best, but I still had some empty places in the rectangles I used (right-most kitty) so I’m not sure what’s going on there.