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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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This section contains general embroidery questions and answers


Q: I am not sure what the largest embroidery field or number of colors my Baby Lock embroidery machine can understand for a design.
A: Click here for a useful chart that contains maximum embroidery frame, stitch count and color changes per design, for all Baby Lock embroidery machine models.

Q: What kind of bobbin thread should I use in my machine when doing machine embroidery?
A: Click Here for a useful chart that contains bobbin thread recommendations for all Baby Lock embroidery machine models. We feel using the recommended bobbin thread will give you the best results.

Q: Is there anything I can use to keep my snowmen looking bright and white when stitched on dark colors?
A: Check with your dealer for a cover-up. It comes in a variety of colors and is used like a water soluble stabilizer on the top of the item you are stitching. However, this is permanent. I prevents the fabric color from showing through.

Q: I want to embroider a monogram on polar fleece. What should I do to ensure good results?
A: Be sure to use a firm stabilizer on the bottom and water soluble stabilizer on the top. If it is a very "fluffy" fleece you may need to use to layers of the water soluble stabilizer on top. Then, pick letters that can stand up to the polar fleece. You want to steer clear of fine or script style letters.

Q: I am stitching the same design, using the same needle, fabric, and thread. I am using only different stabilizer. Why is it that I am not getting the same stitch consistency?
A: All threads and stabilizers are not the same. Some threads will resist sticky stabilizer residue on the needle better than others. Some stabilizers will leave less residue. Always keep an assortment of threads, needles, and stabilizers handy so you will be able to handle any project.

Q: Why is it my own digitized designs do not stitch as well as those from pre-programmed cards?
A: It can sometimes be as simple as having not applied under sewing to a large area that has been assigned fill stitch. Other times it may be caused by not changing the stitch direction in different areas. That causes the fabric to stretch too much in one direction which will throw the entire design off.

Q: When I monogram or embroider on towels the stitches don’t seem to cover very well.
A: Towels have a texture to the surface called nap. Fabrics that have a nap or textured surface, (such as terry cloth, velvet, velveteen, velour; polo knits) require you to add a layer of water soluble stabilizer to the surface of the fabric while stitching. This will give a smooth surface for the stitches to form on so your stitches will not separate and will appear more even. This stabilizer is used in addition to the normal stabilizer required for your project and/or design.  Click here to check out the Baby Lock stabilizers.

You may want to watch some of our Sew at Home OnDemand classes, such as "First Steps in Embroidery - A Stabilizer Conversation" or "Embroidery Recipe for Success".

Q: What is the best way to embroider with the Glow Bug thread on my machine?

This thread is rather heavy so you want to use that thread on an area of a design that is not too dense. It is best to use a top stitch or Metafil needle, too. Weaken (lower)  the tension by 1-2 numbers.

Note: The laundering instructions are as follows…Wash in cold water only, NO bleach, Line Dry, Do Not Iron.

Q: I want to use two different colors of thread in the needle when I am embroidering a design. How can I do that?

Attach the extra spool pin to your machine and with a spool of thread on each spool pin thread your machine and needle with both spools of thread. When using two threads in your needle you will want to use a # 14/90 embroidery needle and 40 wt. embroidery thread.

Note: this does make your design denser/heavier. You may need to decrease the density of your design in embroidery software such as Density Works from Designer's Gallery to help the design stitch better. To learn more about Density Works select this link:

Q: I find that when I am stitching on fabrics with a nap, such as terry cloth or velvet, I don't seem to get the same fabric coverage as I do with other fabrics. What can I do to get better coverage?
A: You should be using a water soluble stabilizer on the top of your fabric along with your regular stabilizer underneath. This will give a smooth surface for the stitches to form on. Click here to check out the Baby Lock stabilizers.

You may want to watch some of our Sew at Home OnDemand classes, such as "First Steps in Embroidery - A Stabilizer Conversation" or "Embroidery Recipe for Success".

Q: I have read where I can use metal bobbins in my Espree and Esante machines. I have plastic bobbins that came with the machines. Is it ok to use metal bobbins?
A: No, it is not good to use metal bobbins with the Espree and Esante machines. The bobbin case is magnetic. With metal bobbins the magnet will prevent the thread from flowing smoothly from the bobbin while sewing or embroidering. Please use only genuine Baby Lock Ese bobbins for the Espree and Esante. The part # is 136492101. Your Baby Lock dealer can sell you the correct bobbins for your machine.

Q: Do I have to upgrade my Esante to be able to use the Jumbo Hoop?
A: No. It is a multi position hoop that can be used on your Esante. It is very helpful in stitching longer lines of lettering.

Q: Fabric doesn't seem to stay tightly hooped in the jumbo hoop. Is there anything I can do to minimize this problem?
A: Hoop your fabric and stabilizer as you would normally. Then take a piece of sticky stabilizer and put it under the hoop and wrap it around and over the outside edge if the hoop. The will help keep your fabric taut.

Q: I have had problems with needles breaking during machine embroidery. What needles do I need?
A: Needles are one of the most important and essential sewing tools. Using the proper needle for your embroidery project will ensure better quality stitching and a more professional end result. There are 3 specialty needles that are recommended for embroidery: Embroidery, metallic and topstitch.

The embroidery and metallic needles have only been introduced to the market in the last 2-3 years, due to the growing number of embroidery machines on the market. These needles are designed for trouble free sewing on these machines. These needles have a very light "ballpoint", a larger eye to accommodate heavy decorative threads and the front groove is deep to reduce skipped stitches. They are also made to withstand the higher temperatures produced by decorative threads as you are sewing. You will find that these needles are slightly thinner than the size 90/14 universal needle you are familiar with. You may also use these needles when sewing on both woven and stretch fabrics.

Names to look for in Embroidery and metallic needles:

Schmetz Embroidery: has a red band at the base of the shank for easy identification. Available in an assorted size package of three 75/11 and two 90/14 needles or 5 pack of size 75/11. Use these needles when working with rayon threads. Look for the code H-E on the package to identify them when purchasing.

Schmetz Metallica: Designed with an elongated eye, a deep front grove and a longer scarf so you can sew with the metallic and flat-filament types of decorative threads, eliminating skipped stitches and thread breakage. These needles are available in a size 80/12. Look for the code H-MET on the package to identify them when purchasing.

Lammertz Metafil: this is also a size 80/12 needle that has been made from a specially treated alloy that withstands the higher temperatures generated by the synthetic and metallic threads. It has a long eye with a friction-reducing coating, resulting in reduced thread stripping.

It is important to note that as with all your sewing, you should change your needle often. A good rule of thumb for changing your needle is when you change your bobbin, change your needle.

Topstitch needles: this is an extra sharp needle, with the eye twice as long and the front groove is deeper than the 90/14 universal needle. Because of the larger eye and deeper front groove, this needle will accommodate the rayon and metallic threads, even allowing you to thread two strands of thread through it. Since the long eye tends to make this needle somewhat fragile you may find more needle breakage when sewing heavier threads. These needles are available in size 70/10, 80/12, and 90/14. Look for code N on the package to identify them.

Q: I would like to use 5000 yard cones of embroidery thread on my embroidery machine. How do I thread the machine correctly, as it will not fit on the spool pin holder?
A: Place the cone of thread on your right, at the back of the machine. Bring the thread up and behind the bobbin winder spindle. (where the bobbin sits) Place the largest spool cap on the empty horizontal spool pin and take the thread through the hole of the spool cap. From this point thread the machine normally.

Q: I put the blank card from the Palette in my Esante tried to choose a design and the machine is making a squealing noise.
A: If you have a blank screen and cannot see any designs from the blank card, the card is indeed "Blank". The designs did not transfer to the blank card.

Q: Why is it that when I use a DST (tajima) embroidery file the colors are not correct?
A: DST (tajima) embroidery files do not have colors assigned to the sections. You can go to your embroidery software or in your machine and change the colors the design if desired. Remember you can put any thread color in your machine.