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Every newbie wants to know…

By Sherry McCary,
Product Development, Designs in Machine Embroidery

How do I get designs from the design CD to my embroidery machine?

When the CD is inserted, an Explorer window like the one in the image below will open. Explorer shows detailed information about your files, folders, and drives. It allows you to organize, copy, move, rename and delete files, and will allow you to copy files from the CD to a USB stick/card.

To get the files from the CD to your embroidery machine, copy them to a USB stick or a card that works with your machine. Since your embroidery machine specializes in embroidery, not speedy computing, you’ll want to use the smallest USB stick you can find – 4GB or less. Most sewing machine dealers sell USB sticks that work well with embroidery machines.

To copy the files, open a second Explorer window. In Windows 8, just click anywhere on the main screen and type Explorer. In other versions of Windows, click on Computer from the Start Menu.

The image below shows both Explorer windows open.

In the new Explorer window, click on the USB drive to display its contents.

In the original Explorer window that is displaying the CD contents, navigate to the files you want to copy onto the USB/card. Left click on your chosen file/files. Keeping the left click depressed, drag the files into the Explorer window for the USB drive.

The image below shows how both Explorer windows look after navigating to the design files on the CD and copying them to the USB drive.

In this example, I only wanted to stitch the first 6 designs, so those are the only ones copied to the USB.

Voila! Remove the USB from your computer, insert it in your embroidery machine and let the fun begin!

All embroidery machine brands and models operate differently, so if needed, your machine manual or your dealer can help with any questions you may have about retrieving designs from the USB at your embroidery machine.

How do I see the designs that are on my design CD?

Software that allows you to see an image of embroidery designs is not included with Windows. You need embroidery software to view embroidery designs on your computer. You do not need embroidery software to use designs from a CD.

What software should I buy to see designs on my computer?

There are a multitude of options for embroidery software! The first thing you need to do is to decide whether you want to simply view designs, resize and/or recolor designs, combine designs, or do digitizing.

If you are not planning to learn digitizing but would like a software that lets you see designs on your computer, resize designs, rotate and flip designs, change thread colors, merge multiple designs, and print design templates, our Perfect Placement software is quite affordable at just $39.99. (On top of all those features, the main star of Perfect Placement software is the built-in Placement Guide designs that make it quick and easy to precisely position designs on most wearables – no templates required! This easy-to-use software also includes 72 gorgeous Bonus Designs!)

Here’s your assignment this week:

What type of projects do you like to embroider?  Quilts, adult clothing, children’s clothing, in-the-hoop, home decor, crafts… something else?  Let us know and you’ll have a chance to win an embroiderable stocking!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Walking the show and admiring all the fabric was so inspiring and with the holdays around the corner now is the perfect time to start stitching.  What holiday projects do you have lined up for this year?  Post your comments for a chance to win a Stipple Holiday 2 Collection.
Lori W
“My only child graduated from high school last year so I am making him a t shirt quilt with shirts that I have been saving since he was a small child through high school.  Happy memories for him and me!”




  • Donna F

    I love to embroider it all! Especially gifts for other people. Items for new babies seem to be what I do the most.

  • annette Rady

    I really love embroidering baby and children clothing… shirts with sayings… onsies, christening throws… special items for special memories.

    • eileenroche

      I can’t wait for you to see a quilt project we have lined up for the Jan/Feb issue. Given your fondness for children’s items and ‘special items for special memories’ you’re going to like this quilt. That’s all I can tell you for now without giving it away! Look for the quilt in Volume 84 Jan/Feb 2014. 😉

      Denise Holguin
      Managing Editor, Designs in Machine Embroidery

  • Theresa Kresge

    I like to embroider volunteer fire men’s shirts and sweatshirts with their company designs.
    I do this for my 5 sons an their dad also for others.

    • Linda Wagner

      Your message got my attention. Our oldest is son is a fireman & EMT…he lives in a small town in Wyoming.
      Where do you get the firemen embroidery patterns? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
      Linda in Loveland

  • Heidi

    I would like to try free standing lace ornaments that fit over glass ornaments. Have the pattern, just need to find the mojo to get it done.

    • Pat

      Where did you find the patterns for the ornaments? I haven’t seen those anywhere.

  • Beth

    I like to do all kinds of embroidery but I am really drawn to the in the hoop things. I have made all kinds of purses and stuff in the hoop.

  • Charlee Turner

    I’m a complete newbie, having just bought my machine in September. I’m slowly learning, teaching myself through websites and manuals because there are no classes available until January, and so far have found that I really like doing the “In the Hoop” designs! Lace is pretty cool too!

    • Denise Holguin

      Welcome to the happy and creative world of machine embroidery! I’m happy to hear you are diving in by learning through websites and manuals. There’s so much to learn yet it’s such an exciting and rewarding experience!

      Happy Stitching!
      Denise Holguin, Managing Editor

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    You name it and I’ll do my best to embroider on it. I do a lot of kitchen towels for craft shows, also bath towel sets and Christmas ornaments. I have 18 grandchildren and #9 great grandchild just arrived so you must know I do a lot of children’s things including things that I do for my daughter who is homeschooling 3 of her own and her sister’s 3. Next year her sister’s youngest will be joining the rest of the pupils. A lot of numbers and letters.

  • Kristin Rohde

    I primarily embroider children’s apparel.

  • kathy

    I like to embroider on everything I can. I always see a blank canvas and think about what could go in the empty space.

    • Denise Holguin

      Spoken like a true artist and machine embroiderer! I love it!


  • Jean Lowenberger

    I enjoy embroidering on most anything, in the hoop are lots of fun as long as the directions include when to stop the machine for the next step.

  • Sherrie Lilly

    I love to do in the hoop quilt blocks. They make fantastic quilts. I also love to embroidery on anything that is not nailed down.

  • Sarah

    There is a great little program that will show your patterns on your computer…you set it for whatever kind you use, ie. pes. It’s called Sewiconz and when I got mine was only $20, I’ve used it on Vista, Windows 7 & earlier ones. When you get a new computer you just ask them to send you the compatible file. Works great for me.

  • Frances Powell

    I love to embroidery children’s clothes and in the hoop projects. Just recently I have branched out to scarves, towels, and free-standing lace. The more I do the more I love it.

  • Patti Cole

    I will be embroidering towels, pot holders, baby blankets and accessories.

  • Pam Jackson

    I like to embroider on sweatshirts, jean jackets and towels, oh and t-shirts, and baby bibs too!

  • Beth R

    I like to embroider free-standing lace – ornaments, doilies, earrings … it is always fun to see how the final product ends up.

  • JudiC

    Anything and everything, if I can hoop it I will embroider it :o)
    Also love all ITH & lace. Thank you to all designers that supply these amazing ideas.

  • Donna G.

    I bought my first embroidery machine in 1997 so I’ve embroidered on just about everything! My favorites are home decor and simple designs for clothing.

  • Carolyn Rollberg

    I love to embroider baby items, items for the home, in the hoop items, and it seems everything that comes out new in the magazine!

  • Greta Kanegae

    Anything for babies or children are my favorite. My next project is a realistic train engine on the front of a sweatshirt for my nephew, and a realistic caboose on the back. He is obsessed with trains.

    • JoanJ

      Please post a pic to me when you’re done. I have a great nephew who is also obsessed with trains, and I’d love to get your details!


  • Casie Williams

    In the hoop projects are my favorite, with knit shirts a close second! Nearly everything I wear has something embroidered on it. 😀

  • Joanie

    I love to embroider everything. I just love to embroider and I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren to embroider for. They love all the embroidered gifts I make for them.

  • Diane Cockman

    I’m now working on an in the hoop quilt. Really like it. Love to embroider anything and everything.

  • Pam

    I love embroidering baby names on stuffed animals. These become great companions for the kids. It is a great way to “watch the baby grow” by taking a picture of the baby and animal each month in the same place. Many then have a book made of the pictures to document the growth and changes.

    • eileenroche

      That’s a great idea Pam. I have a friend that photographed her baby next to a stuffed lamb. It would have been even better if the lamb was embroidered!

  • Darlene Gerber

    Since I have only been doing this for 6 months I have made mostly items for adults. But I did recently complete an appliqued Noah’s Ark baby quilt that was appreciated by the future parents!!

  • Nancy Godwin

    I’m wondering if anyone is using the magnetic hoops and how do you like them. They seem great in the ads but sometimes when you get something home its not quite as advertised.

    • eileenroche

      Hi Nancy – I’m definitely biased on the magnetic hoops but we do have a satisfaction-guaranteed policy at Designs. If you don’t like it, you can return the hoop for your money back.

      • Nancy Godwin

        Sounds good. They sound wonderful.

    • Mary Alice

      As a purchaser of magnetic hoops, I cannot praise them enough. If I could, I would replace ALL my hoops with magnetic. I am slowly replacing and they are on my Christmas list. They are the easiest, fastest way to go. I have hooped Carhartt jackets to lace. I now cringe if I have to use a regular hoop. I’ve gone so far as to change a design so it will fit in the magnetic hoop! Hope this helps (and, seriously, I’m not a salesperson!)

      • Denise Holguin

        Mary Alice,
        Thank you for your endorsement!

        Denise Holguin
        Managing Editor, Designs in Machine Embroidery

  • Diane

    I love to make one of a kind gifts for people. Canvas bags, aprons, baby bibs, wall hangings that express something about that person.

  • Vici Fallin

    Great help. I am so glad that you can do this transfer of information from disc to machine. I think just by habit I thought you had to use the machine “dongle”. You have given me more inspiration. Thanks

  • Patty Sack

    My favorite projects are clothing, in the hoop and fleece blankets for everyone!

  • Missy k

    I love to embroider everything, but children’s clothing is so much fun. So many options.

  • Mary Alice

    I love doing it all, but my favorite is brides and babies. Seeing little ones getting excited about seeing their names, brides with their new ‘Mrs.’ With the holidays coming, everyone gets jammies with their names – no surprise, it’s tradition!

  • Bobbieann G.

    I have an embroidery machine & I haven’t done too much with it. Have to take the time to really learn everything about it. My next blouse I make will have embroidery on it, I promise.

    • Denise Holguin

      Excellent! Can’t wait to hear about your accomplishment!

  • Shirley Clark

    I really like to do a little of it all. I mostly embroider outfits and shirts for my little granddaughter. For Christmas, I like to embroider dish towels, and do in the hoop projects for gifts. My husband likes me to do little gifts for him to give so that helps me to rationalize why I need to buy more stuff. 🙂

  • j Wecker Frisch

    Hi – Although my designs have been manufactured for machine embroidery for some time, I am still a “newbie (to how the software works) that wants to know” more. Thanks for posting.

  • Mary Jo Schueller

    I just got a new computer with windows 8, and I can not see my embroidery designs. Is there a program I can down load so I can get my designs?

    • eileenroche

      There is a simple program that you can purchase and download at

      The program, Embrilliance Thumbnailer, let’s you view your designs. Hope this helps!

  • Deb

    I like to embroider crafts, children’s items, home dec & quilts. I like variety so trying new techniques & ideas is what I enjoy most.

  • Karen W

    I like to embroider a variety of gifts for friends & family — from kitchen towels, baby blankets, FSL ornaments/bookmarks to monogrammed sheer fabric for elegant scarves. I move from one type of project to another, so I don’t repeat a gift to the same person (unless they ask). This gives me lots of opportunities to experiment w/ different ME techniques. I’m such a “machine” person that now I find I’m struggling to find some “hand” projects to work for an upcoming trip. I’ll need something to do while my husband recovers from major cancer surgery scheduled for early December. We have to travel to another city, so I won’t be able to rely on my stash as he recovers for 2 weeks. I di like to hand quilter, so I may just resort to quilting a series of Christmas tablerunners. I have a couple of weeks left to do any prep work & gather my supplies. After all, one can only read just so many books!

  • Sharon Grogan

    I love to embroider baby items and t-shirts for my grandsons.

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  • Megann-N-TNC

    I am in search of a Free Standing Lace Caboose….Last year I made FSL engines and gave to everyone at our annual Train Museum Christmas dinner…..this year we have added a caboose to our museum and would like to make FSL Cabooses ….

    Thank you

  • Megann-N-TNC

    Thanks anyway….I found one and put together one…

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  • Robyn

    I am just starting out on my Brother LB6800 machine. I was given a 4″x4″ hoop. I am trying to figure out a way that i can embroider a long name (doesn’t fit in 4″x4″ hoop) I was looking into it a little and some sites said I could re-hoop. How do I know exactly where to put the hoop after I moved it, so the name I’m embroidering looks perfect? (No big spaces between letters and no letters higher than others?? HELP PLEASE

  • Norma

    I’m trying to open designs on the Cactus Punch CD, Precious Moments, “A Warm Country Christmas”. I used it yesterday, but now it wont open the designs. I have EQ software, Layout and Editing, which I use for all my embroidery designs. When I click on Cactus Punch in the drop down menue, it gives me options to choose from. I have clicked on each one, but they say incorrect format. When I downloaded the CD, I specified PES, which is what my Brother machine uses. Does anyone have this software, or know where I can go to get help? I’m not new to machine embroidery, but before yesterday, it had been a long time since I used it. I hope SOMEONE can PLEASE help me!!!!!!!!