What is machine embroidery?

by lazyembroidery

Machine embroidery ~ An Introduction

Machine embroidery is a sewing process whereby a machine stitches patterns and designs onto fabric. Embroidery is great for customizing clothing and household textiles. Be careful not to confuse embroidery with cross-stitch – there’s some overlap, especially in the historical context, but if you’re looking to put tightly stitched designs onto fabric via a machine then you are looking for digitized embroidery patterns for your embroidery machine.

Embroidery: The possibilities are endless!

Machines can embroider almost any design you can think of!

You can use embroidery to make patches and appliques:


Rainbow Dash embroidery design by ethepony



Add lettering to toys, garments, and accessories:


Create facial features, such as eyes and mouths, for plush toys and characters:



Put your company or organization’s logo onto caps and other swag:


Or just embellish the heck out of anything:


Embroidery used to be a fancy, expensive thing – think rich dudes smoking cigars in monogrammed bathrobes or newlyweds receiving a set of monogrammed towels (ooh, ahh!), but now you can buy a quality embroidery machine for a few hundred bucks and load it up with cool designs from the web.

Downloading Embroidery Designs

These are just a few of my favorite places to get embroidery machine designs:

  • ethepony makes awesome My Little Pony embroidery designs and gives them away for free!
  • embroideryonline sells fun, albeit pricey, designs
  • etsy is a marketplace offering tens of thousands of embroidery patterns from crafters like you. Search for “embroidery machine pattern” or similar.