A UT Stitcher Dives Into Digitizing

The lovely thing about making your own hand embroidery designs is it’s a very friendly hobby to jump into. It’s not expensive, it doesn’t take tons of tools to start it up, and it’s very easy to transfer any image you wish and start with simple stitches if you’re just starting out. That, unfortunately, is not the case with making machine embroidery.

One of the main reasons I started Urban Threads was that it was so hard to find the kinds of designs I liked, and a big reason behind this (I think) is that making your own machine embroidery designs can be quite a daunting task to try! Software is often expensive or complicated, and instruction complicated and vague. Well I want to give a big kudos to Craftster user and UT stitcher amarok for diving into it with gusto! She tried her hand at a pretty complicated design of her own (outlines like that are notoriously difficult to do) and the results are a gorgeous interpretation of her own design in stitches.

See how her full design turned out and learn a little about her digitizing odyssey from her full post on Craftster.

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8 Responses to “A UT Stitcher Dives Into Digitizing”

  1. 1
    Susan says:

    In short, not very successful. I have Embird but don’t know how to use it much and can only do the simplest of things. Not sure if a different program would be more intuitive to me, or if I could find some sort of class to take. Having tried it made me love when you started UT even more.

  2. 2
    Mariah says:

    I have 4D pro from Viking and have digitized a few designs, usually pretty simple. Still struggling with the blending technique you use in some of your designs.

  3. 3
    Cathy Cattle says:

    Wow you did amazing for a first timer!! I checked out the link and think you are a natural at this. Your shift could be from angle direction and a lot of pull, but looks like in the final sewout you have it conquered!
    I took a very slow path on tackling digitizing myself. Studied and watched great designs sew out from the experts, then knew I had to dive in and explore. Every design teaches you more about the next one you do it is so addictive!

  4. 4
    Dolly French says:

    I always said I’d never try digitizing because I only want to sew quality designs, not the flat, thick-outlined “colouring book” style designs. But I just upgraded my sewing machine to a Janome 12000 and the offer included Janome’s MBX4 software which itself comes with training videos by Trevor Conquergood of Sunset Stitches. I’ve only done a few designs so far that I’m happy with, but I’m pleased with what I’ve done. I’ll never stop using designs from sites like Urban Threads because I’ll never be that good, and nor do I have the imagination to create such designs, but at least I’ll be able to create some of my own – I want to specialise in folk art designs from the Kalocsai region of Hungary. Don’t think that will be treading on anyone’s toes!!

  5. 5
    Amy B says:

    I have the Generations digitizing software and have only tried digitizing one design. I did the Dharma circle design from the TV show Lost for a big fan. It was his birthday and the show was coming to an end and I wanted him to have a special shirt to watch. Turned out pretty well.

  6. 6
    Peter says:

    I was encouraged by my wife and inspired by both her and you Niahm. I’ve been digitizing, using Embird, for about 6 months now, but still discover new things about that software every week! Right from the start I intended to sell my designs, and have always worked towards that goal, which has involved many hours and miles of thread proofing designs and learning what’s on the screen isn’t always what you get in thread. I’m happy to say that many of my designs are well received, and are featured along side many of UT’s at MagicalMonkBags.com

  7. 7
    Sue says:

    I have used Stitch Era Universal (available for free http://www.imprimeo.net/howget.htm )–haven’t done a lot of digitizing of designs, but when I can pry some more time out of my schedule . . . there’s an active support group on Yahoo http://groups.yahoo.com/group/StitchEraUniversal/ that’s very good for helping people through the learning curve.


  8. 8
    Elfie B. says:

    PEDesign8 for me. I figured it was pretty much like CorelDRAW – except I didn’t take into account the fact that my “ink” is tensile and skinny, and my “paper” is not stable. Still, I managed to figure out some of the basic tools on my own, took a class geared towards the new release (PEDesignNEXT), and tried not to be jealous of some of the new features. Most of my difficulties stemmed from the design “wizard” that was supposed to convert images to vectors. Since most of my digitizing efforts are Lego builds for my husband’s AFOL swag, and a few mods of others’ designs for my kids’ karate gear, I stick with the layout and editing section of the software and have grown my skills slowly. It definitely has given me respect for the work other digitizers do. I don’t think I’ll ever sell my original designs to embroiderers, but I’m getting more and more comfortable creating them and don’t mind selling what I make with them.

    Wish I’d bought something that didn’t use a proprietary format, though. My embroidery machines are Janome brand. The software is Brother brand. Exporting from PES to JEF means I have to compensate for wonkiness even before I’ve stitched my first proof. Fooey.

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