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Digitizing Embroidery Tips & Techniques


Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’ll be the first to admit my digitizing skills are quite limited but the more I try, the easier it gets. Lately, I’ve been playing with digitizing software on how to make embossed monograms for lofty fabrics. Follow along as I show you how to do it in Floriani software.

Click on the Text icon. Type the monogram in the text box. Select Arial Run under the Font drop down menu. Click Apply.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Artwork tool and draw a rectangle encasing the monogram.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the rectangle and right click on it. Scroll down the menu to Convert To Run.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the rectangle again, copy and paste a second version. Change the color to Color 3.

Select the first rectangle. Right click and convert it to Complex Fill.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the complex fill rectangle and change the density to 2.00 under Fill in the Properties menu.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Shape tool and select the black dot at the top of the rectangle. This dot represents the direction of the stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Slide it over to the left, creating an angle.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the rectangle. Copy, paste and mirror image the rectangle horizontally.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Your design should look like this.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the monogram. Right click and select Remove Overlaps.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now your monogram is visible but the R needs a little work.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Run tool

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Use the Run tool to trace the inside of the R. Select the traced line and convert it to Complex Fill, density 2.0.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Shape tool and change the direction of the stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Copy, paste and mirror image the complex fill.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now select the rectangle (color 3) and convert it to Steil.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

There you have it! Wow – how fun was that? Test it on your fabric before stitching on the final project. I match my thread to the fabric when stitching the complex fill areas but I do select a thread that contrasts a bit with the base fabric when stitching the frame and actual monogram. This gives some added lift to the design.

Here’s your assignment this week:

I’d love to know what digitizing program you use – and maybe you don’t! Tell me that too. Just leave a comment and let me know if you do or don’t digitize and if you do, what program you use. You could win one of my favorite embroidery editing programs, Perfect Alignment Software.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

It seems as embroiderers, we’re always focused on making gifts for others, so I’m wondering how many of you have treated yourself to monogrammed/embroidered napkins. Tell me what you stitched for your table this holiday season and you could win a Perfect Placement Kit which will make your next set of napkins a breeze!

This week’s winner is… Mary Heil!

“I’m working on holiday napkins and table runners for my family members.  First I added embroidery to the napkins I had on hand for next month.  Then I purchased a couple of large tablecloths (on sale) that I will cut up and embroider as needed for each person to match their taste and home decor.” – Mary Heil

Congratulations Mary!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog




  • Linda B

    Have been using the Digitizer program by Janome and able to accomplish what I want. Would love to upgrade to Florianni’s program but just can’t right now. Saw it in action and was very impressed.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    • Wanda Weese

      I’ll tell you something that is even better than Floriani (which I have, but never use anymore) and that is Masterworks II. You can also take classes on line.

    • Sherry

      Master Works has been my friend for years now. Haven’t figured it all out but enough to make it work for me! I haven’t taken the on line lessons.

  • valerie faucheux

    thanks so much for the instructions on embossing using floriani, I use floriani software and have been wanting exact instructions, as I have tried but didn’t quite acomplishment the exact look… thxs

  • Carrie B

    I have Floriani software but I am just learning to digitize. I am going to definitely try this embossing. thanks

  • Nancy

    I use 5D Professional but am always glad to learn new tricks like embossing – now to get the time to actually do it!!

  • Whitney H

    I am a collector of embroidery software. I have Embird, DraWINGS 5, and Janome DigiPro. I use DraWINGS the most. It’s much easier to make an embossed design in that than your demo (hint, hint)!

    • eileenroche

      Hi Whitney! Why don’t you show us how to do it in Drawings? I’d love to see the difference.

      • Whitney H

        I would start with the same picture, a rectangle or other shape around my monogram. Select the rectangle, and fill with the net fill, where I could adjust the angle and density of it. Bring the monogram to the front, select both, and select “back minus front”, which will cut out a hole in the rectangle the shape of the initials. That would do it!

        BTW does Floriani use truetype fonts? Because I’ve never had to fix a letter that way, although I could if I had to. I’ve used fonts from all over the place, and something about the way the letters are created in them make a difference when digitizing.

        Here’s a link to the drawings software, if you’d like to see more: (not affiliated, just very pleased with it)

        • Jackie Branscum

          Yes, Floriani will use truetype fonts.

  • Beth R

    I use 5D Pro, and have done embossed designs with it. I mostly ‘play’ at digitizing thus far, but am always trying to learn more!

    • Lisa

      I would love instruction for 5D professional on how to do embossing.

  • Charlotte Arutunian

    I use Floriani Suite. Actually I am learning to use it. From what I have learned so far, it is easy to use and great great for editing designs.

  • Shanel

    I use Masterworks 1 to digitize. Thank you for the tips!

  • karin

    I use Babylock’s Pallette (and I use the term “use” loosely!). I find it difficult and not very intuitive or user friendly AT ALL. I’d love to find something easier and still yet affordable!! Thanks for the terrific opportunitiy!!

  • Kari

    I use the Bernina Artista software and love to digitize. Learning new things all of the time.

  • Evelyn Gonzalez

    I’m afraid I haven’t reached the level of sophistication to digitize yet – but am ever hopeful!

  • Keri Tieman

    I have a Bernina Artista machine. So I have the Embroidery Software Version 6. I very new to all this. I am taking classes, It’s very fun. Thanks for the tips

  • Ann Wright

    I use Embird and Bernina Artista software and find it user friendly & so much easier to make than your demo.
    I love your blog. Thanks for the tips.

  • Gail Beam

    I have never tried to digitize, but it sounds like a lot of fun.

  • Shirley R

    I have Designer’s Gallery Master Works II. Although I have not gotten heavily into the digitizing process, the program has many features I use to combine designs, etc.

    • Wanda Weese

      OMG! I would love to converse (via email) with someone who uses this software (Masterworks II). I am trying to learn it, but none of my friends use it. I want to use it so bad that I’m raring to go and can’t go for raring, lol. Wanna talk?

  • Katie Cantin

    I do digitize and use Brother Version 8 software. Still learning and have never did Embrosing.I also have Draw 4 and love it. I draw my own design and then digitize it.

  • Barbara

    I’m a Mac user so I’m kind of limited. I’m learning Embrilliance.

  • Kathy

    I use Embird. I have been wanting to do the embossing technique. Your instructions will be helpful. Thank you.

  • Karla

    I use 5D along with my Creative Sensation. Take lessons from dealer who is just great.

  • Pat

    I use Palette ver.9 software. I started with ver. 4 then 6 and have now upgraded to ver 9 as I could not get ver 6 to work with windows 7 even though I downloaded the drivers from the Baby Lock site. I was going to buy 5D Pro, as I recently acquired a Designer Diamond by Husqvarna Viking. The more I became acquainted with the things the 5D could do and the price, I decided I would be better off upgrading my present software. I have only in all this time digitized a few very simple things but am going to try your tips on my software as I think I can use your directions and accomplish the embossing.

  • Elizabeth Barnett

    Before I even bought my embroidery machine, I researched software because I wanted to be able to digitize my own designs… I finalized on Embird, and have been extremely happy with it ever since!

  • Becky

    I use Embroidery Magic 2 and Fancyworks. They take some effort to learn but the results are well worth the effort.

  • Judie

    I have Floriani Suite and really like it. I am in a learning curve right now, but find it is very easy to use. Plus there is lots of support. I also have 4D Extra and I use that as well. Floriani gives me a wider range in designing and editing.

  • Judie

    PS: Thank you for these detailed instructions on embossing. I am going to do some towels for hostess gifts using this procedure.

  • Vicky

    I have PE Design 6. It is an older version of Brother’s software, so I have to keep my old Windows XP laptop computer to run it as it won’t run on my higher speed Windows 7 computer. I have done something like embossing on the faux fur cuff of a Christmas stocking. I embossed an oval area of the fur so it would be flat, using a very low density fill with diagonal lines crossing each other. I then did the monogram on top of that. The fur is white, so I used white embossing with gold lettering. I got the idea from a DIME article a couple of years ago.

  • Jackie

    I have 5D Professional from Husqvarna. I have done embossing once and have been reading more and more about digitizing. I’m interested in adding stitches to my applique but think digitizing a complete design is more than I’d like to do at this time.

  • Jean

    I’ve been using Floriani Software for a couple years, and recently upgrade to Floriani Total Control Pro. I digitize quite a bit of linework and modify existing patterns in the software. It is a great program!

  • Laura Szydlowski

    I digitize with PE-DESIGN7 and BuzzTools and ilove them both! I have digitized since but I’m still learning “the tricks of the trade”. Some times I use both programs and am able to get just exactly what I want,

  • Donna G.

    I don’t digitize, but I’m fascinated by the process. I love embossed designs, and the Floriani software looks like an excellent program.

  • Peggy Schroeder

    Hi Eileen,
    I have Embird, and PES 6, but really haven’t digitized much of anything, it seems to be too complicated and time consuming; I think I need a at-home teacher to help me. I am going to a Floriani embroidery seminar on the 3rd of Dec., so manybe I will learn enough about it to start doing it myself. I would really like an easy to use system, that does not take too much time, and is really inexpensive. I wish there was a way to make the “necessary” things we need for embroidery cost less. It seems to take so many different things, and hardly anything is very cheap. The more I do, the more I like it, but, boy, do I ever have a lot of money tied up in it. I would absolutely love the alignment software.

    • Carolyn Keber

      Did you know that it’s really easy to do embossing in Embird as well? It’s almost automatic and all it takes is to create the text and change a setting. Very simple. Also Embird has alignment stitches as well included in the program for aligning split designs. It’s found under Insert/Insert Alignment stitches in Editor.

  • Dale Fedor

    I have Embird but have not tried the designing part yet. I have the instructions from Carolyn Keber, but I rather sew that sit in front of the computer & learn.

  • Susan Burns

    I’m learning. I have Bernina Version 6.

  • Joan bloecher

    I use Artista Designer version 4. I do some very limited digitizing. I feel there are a lot more knowledgeable people than I who do digitizing. It is very time consuming to figure it all out so it is good to see HOW to do it but not to do it. Your articles help me to understand the whys of the designs. Keep up the good work, I’ve got to get back to embroidering. I have bought some embossed designs and used them for gifts.

  • Donna M

    I have been studing my new Floriani software and I am very excited about seeing how the digitizing process works. I have an other brand and could never understand it.Florani’s workbook and Pictures to stiches is very helpful. I would love to have the placement software,but it isn’t in my budget and I can’t justify it. Please give more step by step directions with Floriani. I learn best that way.

  • Charlotte S.

    I have PE Design-7. I haven’t yet got in to the program. It seems intimidaing, but my daughter to play with it. I like the embossing tutorial. It gives me courage to do it.

    thx charlotte

  • Virginia C.b

    I have Husqvarna 5D Pro and love to work in the software. Loads of help and lessons from my dealer and great support from SOS.

  • June Young

    I own Embird. I play with it frequently, but still consider myself a novice. I would love to learn it well, but that takes time.
    Thank you for your tutorial on how to digitize an embossed design in Floriani software. I tried it once in Embird a long time ago, but don’t remember if the steps are similar or not. I guess I should give it another try!

  • Bev

    I have the Pfaff 3D suite, but haven’t tried the digitizing. I am really interested to hear what everyone else uses. I think that I might opt for independent software on the next go around.

  • Marianne

    I am new to digitizing. Just bought Floriani Total Control this summer and have played with it. Lots to learn. Trying to keep up with everything when I work. Recently had foot surgery and off of for 2 months so maybe more time to play.

    thanks for the tutorials. this is one way that helps me learn the program. I also like going to classes where i bought my program

  • Cathy

    I use Floriani Total Control and have started teaching it. I really love the flexibility. I am even correcting designs I have purchased so I can get them to stitch out better. I love this example you did, it is hard to find really good examples like your to learn from. Thank you!!

  • Elaine Tabor

    I don’t have a digitizing program.It’s on my wishlist and I’ve been REALLY good this year!I would love to win the Perfect Alignment. No much crooked designs!

  • Lin Marsh

    I do not do any digitizing. I have been buying designs which were digitized by pros. I would love the ability to be able to do it myself however.

  • Betty

    I am new to this process. Recently purchased Floriani Total Control. Thanks for your tutorial on embossing monograms It was easy to follow and I am excited to have made it work.

  • Beverly Letterman

    I love, absolutely love, your web page and your blog. Thank you for all the tips and info you always share. I have the old Pfaff Creative software, which I have never used. My Pfaff Creative 7570 is an older model embroidery/sewing machine so I had to order a cable to fit my computer and my sewing machine. I plan to now attempt to learn to digitize (at age 72)lol. I love to embroider and I too would love to win the Perfect Alignment. That would be wonderful to have.

  • Terri Vanden Bosch

    Since I also have a longarm quiltig business–I went with a program called Art and Stitch. It is an extremely user friendly software–that is geared to computerized quilting but has embroidery capabilities also. I LOVE it—now just to computerize my longarm!! I have been taking a Bernina software sampler class and have for the most part been able to keep right up with the class–aside from the cross-stitch and photo stitch ones. Great software and amazing manual.

  • Deb

    I use Janome Digitizer (have the MBX) with the cross stitch add on, also I have Artistic Suite, which haven’t used much. I really like Digitizer & have had it since Digi 2000 many years ago. I find it does what I want it to & is easy since I’ve had it from the start. There are things that I may like on other software, but this does do everything I want.

  • Freda Falldorf

    I have been trying to learn how do do embossing for a long time so this has been helpful, but I use 5D Extra so I am not sure if these instructions will help me. I did buy two alphabet sets and have been using them on towels for gifts for my grandson’s wedding, making sets in their chosen colors of bath towels, hand towels and washcloths. They turn out very nice. I usually do the cake for the gift for my grandchildren, but this couple did not ask me to do it so I am making several sets of towels for them in place of the cake.

  • Rita Guzzard

    I digitize 90% of my work in Floriani, and love it. It is such an intuitive and friendly program. I also use 4D and Bernina Artista. Floriani is my recommendation for beginner digitizers, because it is such an easy program to learn and yet is very powerful. It is also reasonably priced. The Total Control adds a few more features, but is pricey. I’m not sure the extra expense is worth it, unless you plan to sell your designs. Bernina Artista is the most powerful, but much more complex to learn. Digitizing is not for everyone, it is time consuming and requires almost compulsive concentration. I have many friends who would rather let someone else do the digitizing. But, for those of us who love it, it is sooo much fun!!

  • Sandra

    Well, I am happy to see this embossing using the Floriani software. I am definitely going to try this!!!!! I never thought I would even try to digitize until I saw their demo at their event. For many years I depended on others as soon as all my holiday craft shows are over I am going to dedicate my time to learning this software. But in the meantime between doll making, quilting & embroidery I will try your technique. Thanks

  • jan bohn

    I use Bernina’s Designer Plus V6. Digitizing is fairly easy, lots is automatic but even manually digitizing is not hard. Never thought about embossing, but am going to try it as soon as I post this!

  • Doreen Linehan


    I don’t really digitize but I have Master Work’s from Designer’s Gallery. I reduce and enlarge on it but not much else yet.

  • Jackie Branscum

    I have used Floriani Embroidery Suite Pro for several years and now I have upgraded to the Floriani Total Control Pro software. I am always learning because I just haven’t had time to really learn all of the things the software can do. I have had a job for 31 years that required a lot of overtime and I work out in the weather every day, no matter how hot, dry, cold, or wet it is. I am now looking forward to retirement so I can get my embroidery business going. I am constantly amazed at what the software can do. Could you do a blog on digitizing hats using foam underlay with the fonts?

  • Mitzi

    I use Bernina Designer V6. Have done the embossing technique, just playing around with the idea of embroidering the background rather than the motif – now I have a name for it!

  • Marlene Reilly

    Would love to learn to digitize a design to use in my Janome 11000 machine. The only software I have is Edit N Stitch, which I use to resize and group purchased designs together. I would buy a digitizing software package if I knew that I could get step-by-step instructions like yours.

  • Peggy

    I have 5D upgraded from 4D, but I am still taking baby steps….

  • Royce Zook

    I use Wilcom Embroidery Studio E1.5. Just received E2.0 lvl 3. Have used, and still have MasterWorks I and II. I doubt if I’ll ever become totally knowledgeable and proficient on any as you only learn what you need to use. I digitize Logos, cartoons and other drawing images. I still purchase other digitized designs as some are just too great to pass up!

    Thanks for your tips and well done instructions – always!

    • Trish

      I am using wilcom 2013. In spite of the expertise that I am gaining, there is still a lot more to learn. Thank you for your blog. It is power packed.

      There were some issues with the edges, that I had been trying to figure out. Due to the deadline, I had used my digitizer and they came through, as always. Have you had expertise with Wilcom 2013. Would you be able to provide any suggestions or pointers to embossing in Wilcom?

  • Doris Alvarez

    Since no one has mentioned this program, I thought I would jump in. I use Generations Software and just love it. I also have Masterworks and PE Design(haven’t learned it yet). I like Masterworks but keep going back to Generations. Their embossing instructions are on their website. Thanks for your instructions, though. Always helps to refresh.

  • Wendy

    I am new to embroidery and want to create custom designs. I am discouraged at how costly the software is. I am skilled in graphics design (I use GIMP). Does anyone have any suggestions on freeware or inexpensive software to use for digitizing?

    • Hannah

      I have been using stitch Era universal which is free and I have done lots of my own digitising in it, I’m wanting to try this embossing though looks lovely xx

    • Virginia Roby

      I was astounded when I found this software. It’s Sew What-Pro and Sew What, by S&S Computing, Inc. They have several programs and because they are still working out quirks the software is only $65.00 and upgrades are free. They also provide a trial version for free. When I started embroidery on a machine I researched many programs but they all seemed very pricy and very difficult to learn. So I jumped on Sew What Pro. It’s great and
      pretty easy. They even have a forum which is very helpful.

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  • Embroidery Digitizing

    thanks so much for the instructions on embossing using floriani, I use floriani software and have been wanting exact instructions, as I have tried but didn’t quite acomplishment the exact look…

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