How to Use An Embroidery Machine (And Pretty Felt Frame Coasters Too)

Have you ever kinda sorta wondered about machine embroidery, but then also figured it was maybe too difficult and probably too expensive? Well, there’s a new machine in town. We had the pleasure of testing out the totally new (and totally affordable) Brother PE500 embroidery machine. This machine has so many options – lots of included designs including alphabets, images, and the frames you’ll see in the video, as well as the ability to use designs stored on a card or from your computer, and it’s only $297 on amazon!

Take a minute to watch as we create these pretty felt coasters using the Brother PE500. You will learn the basic steps to machine embroidery (along with our awesome assistant Colleen, as she machine embroiders for the first time). We think you will be surprised by how simple it actually is, and that your brain will start buzzing with ideas for putting thread onto fabric in magical ways…




what a great price for a machine! i’ll have to look into this one. 🙂 how does uploading new images work? can it be any image or do you buy them from somewhere?!


If it’s like any other embroidery machine you may need special digitizing software to use any image. SewWhatPro has been recommended to me but I have yet to buy it. I use mine for applique and you can buy applique patterns at places like – just make sure you know what file type your machine reads. For example, my machine is a Singer and the file type I normally use is .xxx – I think Brother is .pes????


Hey Jessica. Check out brother’s ibroidery site or sites like urban threads for designs you can buy, then you move them to your machine via USB or thumb drive. There are also tons of patterns on etsy but you never know how well they will work. Plus machines come with a bunch of designs preloaded.


Such a cute video!!! I bought my first embroidery machine for mother’s day and I LOVE it! This is a great price for a starter machine! I paid a lot more for mine but I wanted the larger hoop size. 🙂


I purchased a Janome Memory Craft sewing/embroidery machine nearly a year ago and have used it once to monogram a garment with one of the preloaded fonts. I’ve not touched the machine since, basically because I’ve not had the time. When I purchased the machine, I also purchased a digitizing software with the impression that I had to have that to applique. It seems that I really misunderstood that. My question is this: If I purchase an applique design online, do I just save it to my memory card and then insert it into my machine and then the machine does the work, or must I include the digitizing software in the process?


you do not need digitizing software to use a purchased applique or embroidery design. if you purchase a design, you can just plug in your memory card (or laptop) and use it as is, just make sure you buy the right file type for your machine. for example, a brother machine would use a filename.PES file type. hope that helps!


This machine certainly looks like just what I’ve been waiting for! So easy even I could do this. Your video must have been extremely popular — when I tried to order it for the price shown at, it said would ship within one to two MONTHS! Ack! That’s a long time to wait, even to get the free shipping.


I have a Brother embroidery machine. ( mine cost about twice as much…they didn’t have this one then). I love it. I wasn’t sure how much I would use it…but I do. Designs from Brother are EXPENSIVE. But there are lots of places on the net to get great designs. If you have a Brother make sure they are pes. You wonder if you will use it? I put designs on all sorts of things for my grandchildren. Even when I made my grand daughter a coat just having a little blue bird on the corner delighted her. Then there are towels, blankets, purses, linens.. Just type embroidery designs in your search engine and you will find several sites. I am amazed by all the designs. (even licensed designs such as Disney). Oh, almost every design comes on sale eventually…be patient. And there are lots of free designs too. If you have a Joann Fabric store close by then buy your thread when it is half off. Thread can get expensive. I kind of have an obession with thread. I have around 200 spools. (that’s just the embroidery thread. Not counting regular thread or serger thread.)


i can not get my brother pe 500 to do online pictures no matter what i do . i dont know if im doing it wrong or not . can someone help me figure this out


Well written article with the tips that will help us to use embroider machines. Keep sharing good stuffs. It will really helps us all.

Benjamin Clerk

We provide the highest quality custom embroidery digitizing service. Our beatable and cheapest price starts at only $1 (for stitch per thousand packages only). Digi provides the best quality embroidery digitizing in a quick turnaround. Normally our turnaround is from 1 to 24 hours for normal files. And 24 to 48 hours for big and difficult files. Also, we can treat it as very urgent if our client asks. Feel free to contact us by sending a message from the contact page for quotes or queries.

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