Tuesday, February 22

FREE Digitizing Machine Embroidery Software

Do you have an Embroidery Machine? Would you like to Create your own designs, or customize ones you own? Shrink or Enlarge? Make an Applique or Patch? Have you wanted to learn to more about Digitizing Machine Embroidery Designs?

There is an interesting selection of Embroidery Machine Software on the market.  Each one seems so different from the others.  Some are seem very complicated at first glance.  Some are very user friendly.  I find that the easier 1 is to use the more limited it is.  And, those Software packages generally have components.

We bought my 1st Embroidery Machine 1 1/2 years ago, almost on impulse.....(Software Link is in this article)
  We had just built a brand new house, complete with new furniture. In another blog i will tell you of our amazing transition of forced early retirement - combining a 20 year New England Farm & Stable and a 3000 sq ft Palm Springs to die for home to a 3.6 acre 1000 sq ft desert ranch/home.  We shed ourselves of so many things - and we starting @ ground zero.  A Blank Canvas.

While appointing the new home I found a bedroom linen ensemble that i wanted more than i have ever wanted anything.  It was so beautiful.  The Queen size spread was over $2,000.  The entire set was close to $9k.  Yes, $9k for a bedspread sheets and curtains.  My sense of value would not allow that.  And i had left both sewing machines in Massachusetts.  I began scouring the Internet for the right machine for me. 

30 year ago i was fortunate enough to have a hi-end just released Viking and i loved that machine.  I made clothes for everyone, down vests and jackets, christening gowns and on and on.  This time i had a strict budget and wanted the big bang for the buck.  

Our home is 60 mi. from a sewing store other than the neighborhood Walmart - not a super center, a neighbor hood.  1 Singer, 1 Brother, 1 Singer Surger..

After 2 weeks of research i was stymied.  I called a Sewing Center in Tucson.  I asked the lady on the phone which of the 2 machines i had narrowed it down to would she recommend and why?  She asked me why I would even consider either of them?  She did her job well for we went to the store that week.

I was totally awed by the sewing machines in the world today.  I had no idea. Not a clue.  My old Kenmore with its cogs was great!  It made everything we needed.  My brother had seen an ad on QVC television and bought for me the Euro-pro Silk & Denim, because it was very heavy duty and had the ability to sew through the leather harness and saddlery, thick nylon webbing I was always repairing in the barn, with 8-15 lesson and Show Horses.  

I had no idea what a computerized machine was.  What a Dongel, or is it Dongle, is?  What is the difference between a Quilting Machine and an Embroidery Machine?

I immediately walked over to the new Vikings and was stunned. Wandered towards the new Brother, not sold in Walmarts!!  The functions and capabilities were incredible.  The Sticker shock was just that, Shocking.  $5-12 thousand dollars for a sewing machine?  And i wanted a bedpread. LOL.  The clerk began her demos, I was like a Deer in headlights, mesmerized.  I don;t know what she said to me.  I do remember seeing the most beautiful piece of embroidery i had ever seen. Remarked as such.  MY husband said "What machine does that?"  

This Pfaff Creative Vision.  And today it is on sale for the new model is being released next week.  Its $3 thousand off regular retail but, if you buy it today we will upgrade it to the new model - its a software upgrade, and include the bags and carts and various other attachments.  If you want to make that design you love you will need this hoop, the largest on the market there is and i will give you a 15% discount with a $79 membership to our Sewing club.  It comes with 40 hrs of free classroom training for your machine and many other classes and groups activities, discounts in the store.  All this will come to a little under $9k - or the cost of my bedroom linens, that i have yet to make!  My Darling husband says - Sounds good - we will take it - Now - pack it up." 

My 40 hrs consisted of her telling me what each item was as she checked it off in the packing list. There was no manual.  But, there was book showing me all kinds of items, projects, and more embroidery designs - not built in.  The Software in the machine does not let you actually edit a design. Yes, you can change thread colors.  The machine can let you increase/decrease by 20% but if you don't know what you are doing the stitch density is also altered creating a nasty mess.

For the most part the Software that came on the disk was a Thread Organizer, A Font Designer, The collection of built in designs and a file organizer, not unlike anyone would find for photography.  In a nutshell, it was the basic software you needed to run and communicate with your machine.  Just like buying a printer or camera.  Low end, Low functions photo editor.  The Software designed for theses machines is now called 5D - it was 4D at the time.  It is a component collection.  You buy a piece per application so to speak.  The entire Suite cost as much as the machine,  starting Software piece you are looking at another $2k.  WOW.

I started to teach myself how to use this beauty - and scoured the Internet for information - a manual (there isn't one) and Digitizing software that was compatible that i could afford.  I learned so m any new terms and file extensions i.e. HUS, XXX, PCD, VIP, VIP3, SEW, ART, ART3 and on it went.  My Pfaff CV and I are now in love.  And I know what Stabilizers are and how/when to use them.  I know what a Dongle is!!

And i know what is the best software to buy under different conditions.  There are 2 big names that one can use for free - online - i found them confusing and time consuming as the digitizing process eats up data transfer. 

Most software will let you download demo or trial versions. 1 or 2 are fully functional but in general they won't let you save the design or send it to your machine.  I downloaded several packages a test drove them all.  And, like everything else i found pros and cons with each package, until i found, and bought Embird.  That is my favorite software.  I love it.  Then, 5 months after I found Embird I found SophieSew a fully functional FREE Digitizing Software Package with Tutorials and support, some free designs.

If you have ever worked with Paintbrush or Microsoft Paint you can use this software.
Carlos Mandell has done a nice job creating this software for us!

I will give you the link to his page and the Downloads - and ask that you please follow me, this blog - "I Like" Redwolf's Den Facebook - or follow me on Twitter to get more freebies -  Let me know what you think of the Software. 

Hope you enjoy it.  Walk in Beauty!

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