Instruction hints and tips for the Singer Futura by Jenny’s Sewing Studio is here! I have gathered my best observations and sage wisdom on the Singer Futura embroidery machine and placed it here for you to refer to. I will update the page from time to time as I learn a new technique…yes I am always learning! I hope it helps you have a successful sewing and embroidery experience with the machine. I have enjoyed hours of fun and achieved many embroidery projects and my best advise when having a problem is to stop, look and listen to the machine. It will tell you what is wrong if you are there to listen.
Problems with embroidery usually involve threading the machine. You will hear this over and over again. You may think you already threaded your machine correctly but there is a test you can try to see if you have. Lower your presser foot and pull on the top thread. Raise the presser foot and pull on the top thread. If there is not a definite difference, rethread!!! Until you become familiar with your Futura threading procedure, the thread issue will pop up. It is not the machine’s fault. Learn to use the Futura by carefully reading the manual and watching the provided videos. Singer has made it easy for you to learn.
Slow your embroidery to half speed for best results. Change your needle often. I use a Chromium 2000 or an Inspira size 14/90 for most work. Check your needle for residue and clean it often with rubbing alcohol.
See the Help menu on the Singer Futura program for set-up help.
Things like using the right spool cap ( One the covers the spool and pushes the spools securely into the base of the spool pin) are important. Incorrect use can lead to broken needles caused by a thread wrap at the base of the spool. Incorrect thread caps can also cause the thread to catch on the rough edges of the spool. You can actually pull on the bobbin case and pull it out of position and pick it with your needle if your thread get caught in the wrong spot. Make sure you use the caps that are the right size. Lately I have been using a separate thread lead which really helps the top thread feed better. Make sure you pull on the thread after you have threaded the top to feel it come of the spool smoothly.
It is important to thread using both hands to pull the thread into the top tension. Not seating the thread into the top thread tension can cause jamming and thread loops on the bottom side of the work. If you do not stop the machine in time after a thread jam you can cause bobbin case and needle plate damage. This will cause endless frustration. The only way to fix this problem is to pull the bobbin case out and examine it for needle picks. File the picks to smooth them and replace the bobbin case at the first chance you get.
Do not walk off and leave your machine running by itself. It is a problem waiting to happen.
In the Help menu of your software you have a machine setup guide that walks you thru the steps of the threading and setup. Make sure you screw the embroidery foot on straight and tight. A misaligned foot can break needles and cause a mess.
It is very very important to use class 15J bobbins and Chromium needles or Inspira Needles in the Futura. For best results use spun poly bobbin fill instead of the poly filament. Poly filament is that thin shiny fill some times called lingerie thread. This thread stretches when you wind the bobbin. Sulky bobbin thread is an excellent fill to purchase. The heart embroidery is a good sample of how the bobbin thread should appear on the botttom side.
Make sure you thread the bobbin so it turns counter clockwise when you pull on the bobbin thread. Make sure the thread is pulled through the tension spring. Watch the machine set up tutorial in your Futura help menu to see it all in action.
Make sure you have a free open space behind and in front of your embroidery machine. If you bump the machine embroidery arm with your chest or arm it can throw the embroidery off position. Watch how you lean into the embroidery machine as you are using it. Same can happen if the arm hits something behind your machine when you embroider. For this reason always “save as” any embroidery design you are ready to use in a “centered position”. Go to “design” in your software and center design before you use it.
Keep thread ends from spools away from your machine while you are using it. Thread can be picked up and wound inside the hand wheel. Be careful. This will freeze up a machine fast. Ask me how I know!
The Futura is a home sewing and embroidery machine. It is not made for industrial use. You can embroider a few designs but running the machine for hours and hours and hours on end will probably end up in a frozen machine in need of service.
Sometimes the embroidery design is to blame! Long jumps cause the threads to break! Slow the work down! Turn off cutters! Sometimes the embroidery is poorly digitized and is too dense or is inappropriate for the fabric you are using.
More stabilizer does not improve the embroidery. You should be comparing your build up of stabilizer to a light to medium weight denim. Any more than that will break thread and not look right when you finish. Stabilizer choice is essential. Here is a video from Singer on stabilizers. Also read our stabilizer tutorial.
Computer needs: The Futura cannot be used with a tablet. Windows O/S is necessary for the Futura. The software may install on the Surface Pro which is not a traditional tablet.
If the program included with the Futura is on a CD then it must be installed via the CD. You will have to purchase a CD reader if you do not have the drive. Compucon says you cannot move the program to a USB stick. You also must use the Futura that was intended for the software. If you install a more recent software on you computer and plug in an older futura you will loose a lot of the software and option features not intended for the machine you are using. ( some newer Futura now come with the program on a USB.. XL580, XL420)
All Futura models at this time must be connected via USB cable to the PC to transfer designs into the temporary memory of the machine so you can embroider. See system requirements below:
The new FQ-4 is compatible with Windows XP and higher.
System Requirements are as follows:
1 GHz Intel or AMD processor
Windows OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 – Windows 8 requires free driver update from Futura-Support.
CD Rom drive
1 GB of RAM (or more recommended)
500 MB (or more recommended) of available hard-disk space for installation
Color standard (1024 x 768 pixel; 65,000 colors recommended) VGA adapter connected with a color VGA monitor
Microsoft compatible mouse
Here is the Singer video on hooping your fabrics. Also watch set-up of your Futura for embroidery.
This tip is from Futura-Support.com – If you need to stop your embroidery in the middle and resume later….You can easily resume where you were stitching if you follow these steps. Before shutting down the machine, be sure to save the design that you were working on. This is important if you can change the size or the position of the design. Take note of which color block that you were working on. Now, you are ready to exit the navigator and shut down the program and the machine. You can remove the hoop from the embroidery unit if you need to, but DO NOT remove the fabric from the hoop. To resume embroidering, turn on the machine, open the program and reattach the hoop if you removed it. Send the design to the machine. Use the double arrow box to the right of the send block box to advance to the color that you were sewing out when you turned off the machine. If you had already started embroidering that color, use the needle up/down touch to move the needle to a few stitches ahead of the place where it last stitched. Thread the machine and start embroidering.
If you want to switch from the small hoop to the large hoop….SINGER® FUTURA™ machines report the hoop attached to the computer only one time, when the SINGER® Futura™ program is started. If there is no hoop attached the program will assume that the large hoop is mounted. So, if a user decides to use a different hoop than the one the machine has detected, it is necessary to change the program’s setting before embroidering. However, there is a correct procedure/sequence to set up the SINGER® Futura™ machines for embroidery. Preparing to embroider out of sequence will cause the computer to display an Error Message if the small hoop is used: The proper way to set up for embroidery on the SINGER® Futura™ machines is as follows:
1. Turn the SINGER® Futura™ machine on, without the hoop attached.
2. Attach the hoop that you intend to use.
3. Now open the SINGER® Futura™ program. The system detects which hoop is on the machine.
4. If the Large Hoop is on the SINGER® Futura™ machine, but it is desired to change to the Small Hoop, remove the Large Hoop and replace with Small Hoop. However, before selecting a design, it is necessary to go to the Main Menu and select Tools>Select Hoop, then choose Small Hoop. (The same is true for moving from Small Hoop to Large Hoop, once the program has been opened).
However, changing back and forth between hoop sizes can cause the machine to get ‘confused’. It is recommended to use the procedure described in Steps 1 through 3.
Note: If the machine is turned on with the small hoop already attached, the “Start Button” on the sewing machine will flash red. It will not be possible to proceed unless the machine is turned off, the hoop removed, and then the above steps followed in correct sequence.
* Options for the CE150, 250, 350, SES 2000 will not work in the XL400, SEQS600 or other newer Futura models. 4. The new Quintet has it’s own software package to work with the endless hoop. The endless hoop is not available on any other model at this time.
Enjoy your Futura, keep it clean of lint and placing a drop of oil on moving parts once in a while will help keep it purring. I hope you will support our effort with your sales, we look forward to serving you on-line. Email me at
jenny@ jennys-sewing-studio.com with questions.
Singer has introduced www.futura-support.com Pick your model and check out new software updates, video of instruction and FAQ’s