[HNW] embroidery machines

J Ritter kc8jgg at knownet.net
Mon Dec 31 01:50:08 PST 2001

Oo, something I know!

> Two different friends of mine have these 'girl-geek' machines, but neither
> one knows how to produce custom embroidery with them.  How does one get
> ones own design into such a machine?  Scanning?

Yes, you can scan your own designs or draw freehand.
The picture is used as a template, that you use to "trace" around in the
digitizing program.  Depending on the brand of machine and software
sophistication, you may only have to choose a button here and there and
voila!  Outlined, filled in, with your choice of zillions of fills, jump
stitches going from color to color, stops, (and a whole new vocabulary, did
you notice?)

> Doing the original design
> using the right drawing program?  How does one get the machine to
> it just like you designed it?

That's the trick.  It takes a lot of know-how to get the program to do it
*your* way.  Machines only run a needle up and down, so it can't compare to
hand appliqué, etc...but the available options are incredible.

> How does the machine know the difference
> between a filled-in shape and an outlined shape?

You tell it, by doing all your embroidery "set-up" using the digitizing
software to make the design.
Then, the design gets saved, gets put on the embroidery card, and then you
just push that card into the sewing machine.

> How does one get the
> machine to do several repeats of a design, next to each other in a row?

Once the design is finished, open the customizing software and find your
design.  Copy and paste it as many times as you like, to fill up the given
hoop size.  You can move it, rotate, mirror, add other designs, etc.

Different machines have different hoop sizes, and specialty super gigantic
hoops, so it depends on the machine, and what your friends have.

It's great fun but a lot of work.

Those who really understand it offer to do the digitizing for your
design...my logo was done for $60, long before I could afford the software.
(Roughly $500 for each program, and I have a Husqvarna/Viking.)  She was a
worthy investment for only one or two designs.
It can't hold a candle to hand work, but it certainly is fast.

If you only want one or two designs, I strongly recommend finding a
professional digitizer, who will send you the embroidery file for the
specific machine one of your friends would be willing to let you borrow.

(There are lots and lots of free designs on the internet, too...and software
that will allow you to change the format, so they can be used with any
machine... http://annthegran.com is a great place to start.)

Good luck to you, Kayta!

--Judy Ritter


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