Tips if you want a computerized sewing, quilting or embroidery machine

Computerized sewing, quilting or embroidery machines are fascinating tools that intimidate some and fill others with crazy glee.  This article is for the intimidated ones:)

If you enjoy sewing and have been out of your crafting cave for any length of time then these machines have probably peaked your interest.  If you have no desire to operate computers, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Androids, PC’s, Surface’s, Alexa’s, VCR’s, toasters, the list goes on and on and on and on and on – then my guess is your curiosity with the machines ended with an eyebrow raise when you saw one on display somewhere.

If you need an extra nudge or if you want to purchase one of these machines for someone in your circle of peeps, then I strongly suggest ignoring all hype, all advertising, all skywriters and all web sites that drone on about how fabulous one is over the other.  I suggest just writing down a list of machines in your price range and then carefully review the user manual for each one and research the reputation of the manufacturer.

If the user manual is easy to understand, has clear diagrams and pictures and has detailed instructions then you will understand how to successfully use the machine, it doesn’t matter if you are tech savvy or not.

I work with so many users who are intimidated by technology, the intimidation crosses over to when they read manuals.  They just refuse to read the manual because they automatically think it will be too hard to understand or too lengthy and boring to dedicate any time to.  The manual is your pathway to understanding a seriously fantastic tool, jump in and do it!

The manual for any device is also important for this main reason:

If you follow the manual to the letter when attempting to use equipment you are not familiar with, and you get a result not covered in the manual, then this is an indicator that something is wrong with the equipment.  Faulty equipment is a rare event but if you understand the manual before using the equipment then you are armed with knowledge that will help you quickly determine if the equipment is functioning well or if the equipment is faulty.  You will also be able to effectively communicate with user support should you encounter problems if you understand the user manual.

There are two computerized embroidery machines I have experience with and I like them both.  I have included direct links to the user manuals for each machine so you can see how well-written they are.  Be sure to read the user manual for any machine you are researching and you will be ready to hit the ground running when you purchase one:

Bernina 500:

Husqvarna Designer Diamond Royale:

Fitness trackers and their wicked lies:)

It is tempting to believe the cute little mobile app when it tells me me I’ve burned 570 calories in the last hour when I know the only thing I’ve done for the last 60 minutes is laugh on the phone with my sister while eating a snow cone.

Fitness trackers are fabulous though some are not entirely accurate.  Keep this in mind if you use one.  Several studies (this article goes into detail about one: have demonstrated just how inaccurate data from fitness trackers can be (like calories burned). Until these mainstream devices are consistently providing valid data, avoid making decisions regarding your health and/or diet based solely on the data received from these devices.   Privacy may also be a concern in regards to the data collected on users of fitness trackers. Data regarding vitals, location and level of activity is valuable and could be used in a variety of ways that you may or may not approve of (e.g. investigations, estimating lifespan, and determining eligibility for programs).

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