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Digitizing Embroidery Tips & Techniques Software

Do You Need Embroidery Software?

Recently, somewhere searched my blog for an answer to this question, “Why do I need embroidery software?”

I been giving that some serious thought and it took me back to my early days in machine embroidery. Back then (geesh, that’s sounds ancient!), embroidery software was not available to the consumer. Digitizing was a mysterious process to all consumers and frankly, we didn’t give it much thought. The embroidery design companies offered dozens of embroidery cards that seemed to suit most of our needs. As we became more passionate and brave with our stitching, reality set in. We experimented with different projects and realized we needed to tweak the designs that we had purchased. And not just mirror image and copy, oh no, we wanted to change the size (drastically), add or delete underlay, morph the shapes, remove colors, merge elements from one design into another. We needed editing abilities that our machines didn’t offer. We needed software. Maybe we didn’t need to digitize but we most certainly needed to manipulate designs.

Today, those needs remain the same. Ninety percent of embroiderers who own digitizing software do not digitize. They are not artists, they are embroiderers. They don’t want to create or find the perfect artwork and figure out how to transform it into beautiful embroidery. They want to buy designs and make them work on the project they are stitching today. They want to open the design in software and inspect it. They want to review the color sequence, watch the design in slow redraw so they know what to expect before they stitch. They want to look at the underlay and see if there’s enough coverage for a terrycloth towel or too much for a sheer scarf. Then they make adjustments to make the design their own – perfect for the project they are stitching next.

If you’re wondering if you need embroidery software, give some thought to your level of frustration when trying to plan an embroidery project.

If you find yourself saying, “I wish I could…”, know that you can with embroidery software!




  • Joan Nichols

    Great article. After about 3 months of having my machine, that was exactly what I wanted to do, but had to do some research on my own about it. Now there are so many facebook sites to help us all to answer our questions. I’m still needing questions answered as I’ve only had my machine about 2 years and learning things from the embroidery sites all the time. Thanks for a great post Eileen.

  • Kristi D.

    I agree. Our wonderful machines give us the ability to do a miles worth of embroidery but with software we can take that mile and increase it to millions and billions of miles. Love all of my embroidery software.

  • Nancy Grove

    Embroidery software on my computer allows much quicker tweaks or design combinations than doing so from my machine.

  • Lynda Ward

    Excellent points. But sometimes it’s nice to do a bit of actual designing. When I made a dinosaur quilt for my grandson, I used a lovely package of purchased designs, but I was surprised that none of them were of a T-rex, and I couldn’t imagine a little boy’s quilt without one. So I found a coloring book that had a nice drawing of a tyrannosaur, and with my autodigitizing software I was able to create a design that blended in surprisingly well with the purchased ones.

  • Mary S

    I purchased new software (that can be used on any machine, B L) it gives me much frustration as it seems to have taken over all my downloads. I don’t even know how to use it as yet. Sometimes I wish I had my XP back and should have purchased the 6D for my machine. So right now, software and me are not on good terms. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Kris Brown

    Couldn’t live without embroidery software. I like to look at the designs, watch how they stitch out, and manipulate if I need to.
    Your article was spot on. If you have an embroidery machine, you need the software.

  • Gail Beam

    I really like my VIP 3D software, but it will not work on my new computer and when my old computer goes, I will have to get another software program that will work with the D1 and floppy disk.

    • Lori

      I own 3D professional and have it installed on my computer with windows 7. It took some tweaking to get it to work but I have no problems with it. I have the Viking Designer SE and it fits my needs. i built my computer and added a 3.5 disk drive because I used to own the Designer 1 and still have disks. I don’t know if it will work on windows 8 but I had windows 8 on computer but didn’t like it so went back to windows 7.

    • Scout

      Yeah that’s what I’m talking about bacby-ni-e work!

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    • Hahahaha. I’m not too bright today. Great post!

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    • henry t. ford

      I do love the way you have presented this specific concern plus it does supply us a lot of fodder for thought. On the other hand, because of what precisely I have personally seen, I simply hope as other commentary stack on that folks stay on issue and in no way get started upon a soap box of the news of the day. Yet, thank you for this exceptional point and whilst I do not necessarily agree with it in totality, I respect your point of view.

  • Jan

    Awww, technology. Buy 1 thing and need 2 more. I have an HP computer geek (said most lovingly) who helps me over rough spots with my computer. He built my NEW XP because that’s what I know. It meets all my needs using 5D software along with lots of memory sticks for my Diamond Royale. Memory sticks allow me to travel. The machine, embroidery arm and miscellaneous sewing supplies are packed before clothing. LOL

  • Royce Zook

    I have six or seven different digitizing/design applications I use for digitizing, designing, manipulating and simply checking out new designs I purchase before I apply them to a project. I have always been impressed with digital drawing/drafting and really like the way a drawing can be converted to various texture and shadow through the use of stitches. When I embroider I spend most of my time checking out the stitching process as well as watching the machine (10 needle or single) stitch the design. I’m retired, s-l-o-w and enjoy it. Each of my applications have a purpose. Get a simple application and enjoy!

  • Carolyn Ford

    I have 5D software and really love it. I tried digitizing, but I am not artistic enough. I am better at tinkering with designs and making it my own. That is my kind of creativity!

  • Lynnet Hardwick

    I’m so glad you wrote this!!! I have been looking at purchasing embroidery software, but am really unsure at what to get. I would love to save myself considerable time and “design” what is in my brain on the computer instead of having to spend all my time doing in on my machine. Merging/combining designs, editing out what I don’t want to use, save and print the new design for use and reference, and just tweeking! It sure would be nice to not have to do all the letter placement on the machine!!! Can anyone help point me in the right direction? While it sounds cool to be able to design my own and digitize it, I’m just not there yet and life is still busy with work and kids. HELP!!!

  • Saundra Romanus

    Thanks for a great article. I have had my machine for 10 months and have Letterworks software, but sadly haven’t had the time to work with it. Its on my “to do” list for sure!

    • Dottie C

      Yeah…I’ve got “Letter It” among others and even tho’ it’s supposed to be easy, it sure isn’t for me. I keep buying software that is supposed to be easy but Heaven help me maybe I’m too old to figure it out. Embrilliance gets my head in a whirl. Sure wish there was something out there that acted the way I think.

  • Connie Walsh

    I have come to rely on my embroidery software since the day I bought my first embroidery machine, almost 10 yrs ago. At first it was all foreign to me and very frustrating. There was not really any help and I had to spend many hours teaching it to myself, with the “trial and error” method. I found some free webinars online and they were a great help. I admit it takes a lot of patience but it was totally worth it. Today I am able to make just about anything I need for my projects and use, almost exclusively, the designs I create. Being able to digitize allows me to customize and make every gift special. I am so happy I didn’t give up!

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