Hatch Valentine’s Day Photo Contest Top 14 + Bonus FREE Embroidery Designs

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It was a really LOVE-ly competition

Our Valentine’s Day Facebook Photo contest was a roaring success. We asked our followers to submit their Valentine’s Day themed embroidery creations and we received many amazing entries. It was fantastic to see just how creative everyone got! It was very obvious that a lot of LOVE went into the the contestants’ work.

Some of the contestants have been embroidering for many years and some have just recently started out in the wonderful world of machine embroidery. We asked them to tell us a little about themselves in regards to embroidery and also for a handy tip they would give to fellow embroiderers.

We are showcasing the top 14 (because Valentine’s Day is on February 14) here and also giving away the embroidery designs we used in our Valentine’s Day promotions. Click here to download them.

Of course, every competition needs a winner. The two leaders of the competition were going head to head receiving many many votes each day, and it was very exciting to watch who will come first. Keep reading to find out who the free licence of Hatch Embroidery Personalizer and the free Font Pack went to. We are really happy for her for winning the competition!

14. Jeanette Wilson, hobbyist

“I’ve been doing machine embroidery since 2012. I started it on an impulse. I needed a new sewing machine as I had been making family clothes for 30 odd years, and I decided to try something different. I love the freedom of choosing patterns to add to clothes and making quilts and other household items. At the moment I’m doing it just as a hobby, but would like to sell some. I’m not really interested in starting a business though.”

Go for it, it is easier than you think, especially if you take classes! I did. And there is so much info on YouTube if you get stuck, and then there is Hatch!

13. Adele Burrows, hobbyist

“I started embroidery around three years ago. I had to give up work due to ME/CFS and needed something to do as and when I feel up to it. I began with a smaller machine first, but very quickly got the bug and upgraded to a bigger one, as I wanted to be able to use the larger hoops. Very quickly I began felting too and started making memory bears and personalizing them with embroidery.  I love everything about machine embroidery, but mostly designing my own artwork but also love using designs for others too. It’s manily a hobby, but I occasionally I sell to friends.” 

Don’t panic and just go for it! There are some lovely forums and very helpful people out there. Choose the right sites and you’ll never look back. You’ll just keep looking for that next thing to embroider on! 🙂

12. Kelly Boggs, small business owner

“I have been doing embroidery since 2003. I had to leave my job temporarily for health reasons and needed something to do. I have an extensive sewing background so machine embroidery seemed like a good choice. I jumped right into commercial embroidery! With my husbands help we focused on the sports teams in our area. The company has mostly wound down now, but I still have a few clients that I do work for each year. Now I really enjoy focusing on the creative end of projects. It was fun coming up with a design for your contest. I loved the trial of the software and am saving up now to buy! I can’t believe that your full version does more than what I was able to buy in 2003 for about $4,000 Canadian!” 

My best advice for someone starting out is to really research and learn what goes into a good design, especially if you plan to digitize your own designs. Don’t be afraid to do a test run. I keep a huge bag of different fabrics for testing.

11. Lealer Jenkins, hobbyist

“I have been doing machine embroidery since 2012 when I started working for a company that sold embroidery machines. I like the creativity and unique items and gifts that one can do with it. I always like to see my name on anything and with machine embroidery I can create so many personalized things.”

Use the correct stabilizer. Take the time to find out what stabilizer works best with the fabric you’re using.

10. Carol Peek, Hobbyist

“I’ve been sewing for over 45 years and began machine embroidery about 20 years ago. While I have sold many items I’ve made, I do it mostly for enjoyment. I’ve always just purchased designs already “made”. Then I ran across Hatch software with a 30 day free trial, and thought I’d give it a try. I’m hooked! Hatch software is so user friendly anyone can create designs immediately without any experience. Which made me soon realize what could be possible once I actually learnt how to use all the features! Thank you again for opening up this new wonderful world for me!”

Don’t be intimidated by something without at least trying it. Especially when it comes to software and computers, people  tend to shy away. But with Hatch, you soon realize it’s not as hard as you thought at all! Not only will it open up your imagination more than ever before, you soon realize so much more self creativity plus save a lot of money digitizing your own designs, too!

9. Caroline Millsted, hobbyist

“I have been doing machine embroidery for about 15 years, purely for pleasure. My Mum bought me a secondhand machine, even though I told her I would never use it and I don’t even sew! However my Mum was right, I got ‘the bug’. I have purchased designs until recently even though I have had software, but it’s only in the past couple of years I have made an effort to learn digitizing. I am still learning. 

My purchase of Hatch has helped that learning curve as it seems so logical to me and the support from Wilcom directly and on Facebook is great, always ready to answer what seem like silly questions to me. But I realize, if you don’t ask, you don’t learn!

I have always had ‘a thing’ for bags and so I decided to try and learn to make bags and use the machine embroidery to make a wonderful feature. They are unique, even more so now that I am starting to use my own designs.”

My main tip for any beginner is to learn how to stabilize well. Even the nicest design needs proper stabilizing to prevent the puckers. I am still learning! But I love it, and my Mum would be so happy, if only she knew!

8. Jodi Kidneigh, hobbyist

“I only just started machine embroidery a couple of weeks before Christmas. My Mom left me her machine when she passed away in May, but I didn’t even turn it on until December. I thought that maybe I could figure out how to make some holiday gifts with it. At first I was very intimidated, but I had a lot of beginner’s luck. I also found a lot of helpful tips online.

While it was a lot of fun just to stitch out existing designs, it’s my nature to want to do my own thing. Digitizing my own designs became the most exciting thing for me very quickly, but it was a lot more challenging than I expected. I really got going with it once I found the Hatch software trial version.

I would like to start doing it as a small business, but for now I have used it to make things for my piano students. I’m starting a program with them that I call Keyboard Karate, and I made some key-chains and belts along with my own logo designs using Hatch.”

Keep an open mind, and be willing to experiment. There is a lot of help out there if you just look for it!

7. Yasser Esmail, small business owner

“I have been doing machine embroidery for about 3 years. I love embroidery and I view it as a kind of art. I like that with machine embroidery you can work really fast and create a lot of designs. I own a small business, so these are important to me.”

You must like embroidery. Love your machine and create your designs yourself. And of course use Hatch Embroidery software. It’s wonderful for digitizing your designs.

6. Vanessa Gaye Simmons Maggard, hobbyist

“I began doing machine embroidery in October 2016. I retired as a principal this past year and I’ve always had a love for sewing, hand embroidery and quilting but time restraints didn’t allow a lot of time for these things. After retirement, my husband fixed me a sewing room so I could pursue these interests.

I am an avid advocate of learning, so I felt learning how to do use machine embroidery would be an excellent way to keep learning even after I’ve left being an educator. I really enjoy the creativity of machine embroidery the most.

It is mostly a hobby for me, but I enjoy making things for others and have donated to charities. Now I have some people asking for items to be made, so it is evolving into a home business.”

 Keep an open mind, and be willing to experiment. There is a lot of help out there if you just look for it!

5. Maggie Nemoto, hobbyist

“I’ve been doing sewing more than 20 years as a hobby. I just started machine embroidery about 9 months ago. I’m also doing free projects for teachers as charity.” 

 It’s very important to pick the right embroidery machine and threads. It is also important to have a great software. I highly recommend Hatch.

4. Michelle Winters, crafter and hobby embroiderer

“I’ve been embroidery for almost 2 years. I am a crafter, and I was constantly asking  friends for help if I needed something embroidered, so I decided to learn to do it myself. I love the fact I am almost limitless as to what I can create. I am a crafter, I love creating, I crochet, I sew, I make dolls, and now I embroider. I do its as a hobby, I love making unique gifts for friends and family.”

 My best tip I would give someone is not to get intimidated,  just get on your machine and play, make it fun and exciting learning new things, and of course watch the tutorials.

3. Sabrina de Carvalho, small business owner

“I’ve been doing machine embroidery for just over 3 months, so I am still pretty new to it and learn when I can.I’m setting up a bespoke bridalwear company and wanted to create and embroider my own lace designs to go onto wedding dresses, but I also fell in love with using it for crafty and home projects.

The thing I enjoy most about machine embroidery is that it can be used to create almost anything! It really lets my imagination go mad and that’s a lot of fun.”

Water-soluble fabric is the best thing you will ever come across for any embroidery project!

2. Janice Mosinak Vazquez, small business owner

“I’d been sewing and embroidering for years as a hobby, but after a serious illness resulted in losing my job and being unable to work, I started sewing and embroidering to help pay the bills. Embroidered items were so expensive and I thought “hey I could do that for myself much cheaper and of better quality.” I love the creativity of machine embroidery, being able to take something plain and turn it into something one of a kind is great.

I now have a small home business called Lily n Rose Canine Couture making dog apparel that’s really on the ground floor right now. I also donate items monthly to dog rescues such as Little Yorkie Rescue to auction off for funds to rescue, vet and care for yorkies and other small dogs.”

 My best tip I would give someone is not to get intimidated,  just get on your machine and play, make it fun and exciting learning new things, and of course watch the tutorials.

And the Winner is...

1. Sandra Fuller, small business owner

” I have sewed since I was 7 and I love all things crafty. I have been doing machine embroidery since the first home embroidery machine came out about 25 years ago. I use to broker embroidery for golf clubs in S. California when machines still used punch tapes and wanted to get my hands on those machines, so getting one was the next step. I love being able to have items no one else has.

I have been digitizing 9 years now. I started out giving free designs for 2 years on Sewing Forum and Embroidery Forum. I now run justsewsandy.com and a Facebook group also called Just Sew Sandy.”

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because you think they sound stupid. We all started at the beginning, and there is more help today then when I started.


Hatch Embroidery software is designed for busy hobbyists who love embroidery and want to create their own designs with the benefits of modern technology. This user-friendly software allows you to customize and print your own embroidery designs quickly and simply, enabling you to push your creative boundaries as you bring your original ideas to life.

Learn how to work with images and lettering, and experiment with color and texture for professional looking embroidery designs every time, created by you in the comfort of your own home!

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