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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Embroidery & digitizing your own designs-any opinions ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Embroidery & digitizing your own designs-any opinions
What's a good machine/software to digitize?
Lizajane1973
Lizajane1973  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
FL USA
Member since 1/19/07
Posts: 17
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Date: 2/20/12 9:14 PM

Ok, ladies & gents... I'm sure I'm asking a question that's been asked many, MANY times before, but I'm going to be a pest and ask it again. (besides, there may be new opinions of machines & software by now, too)
I really want to get an embroidery machine, BUT, it's useless to me if I can only use the pre-programmed designs. I want to be able to digitize designs that I've drawn or had someone make for me. I want my own custom-design store someday (gowns, costumes & such) so it could be a business investment as well. I've only looked at HV machines and spoke to their sales rep in our local Joann, and peeked at some Berninas (didn't get to speak to anyone, though).
I looked at the HV Designer Ruby, Diamond and Topaz. The Diamond (On Sale! A mere $9,990! Financing available! ) seems like it will do everything except change the oil in your car, but I find it very disturbing that a machine that costs more than a Kia DOESN'T come with the $2000 + software. However, I'm a big girl, and I'm not adverse to turning a few buttons & dials, so I was considering the Topaz 30 as well. But it seems odd, again, to buy a machine that costs $2700 and pay almost that much again for the software.
I'm not tied down to Husqavarna; I've mainly looked at them because they are in my area. I know that no matter what, to digitize my own stuff on a machine is going to be a big investment, but any opinions you might have on digitizing software & a good machine for it, I'd appreciate your opinions.
Thanks!
-- Edited on 2/20/12 9:17 PM --

rebe
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rebe  Friend of PR
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FL USA
Member since 2/28/05
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Date: 2/20/12 10:38 PM

You can buy embird software to digitize the designs and then transmit it via usb to the machine. Alot of embroiderers use embird and there are several tutorials out there. There is also Buzz Tools and SewWhatPro and there are several yahoo groups that talk about these software packages. You don't necessarily have to buy the software package sold for that machine because most of the packages can use all formats.

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Rebecca Pitts
Bernina 430
Singer xl-6000
Singer 9960
Babylock Imagine
Elna 740 Excellence
Ellisimo

rebe
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rebe  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 2/28/05
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Date: 2/20/12 10:41 PM

Have you thought about buying a used embroidery machine? That way if you don't like it, you have at least saved some money. These embroidery machines are like new cars. The dealers charge alot of money. They "give" you lessons.. I have found out that I can figure out stuff myself. What size embroidery design are you looking to design? If it is over 6 inches then you will probably have to go with a top of the line embroidery machine

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Rebecca Pitts
Bernina 430
Singer xl-6000
Singer 9960
Babylock Imagine
Elna 740 Excellence
Ellisimo

senbabli
senbabli
Intermediate
Member since 6/29/06
Posts: 5
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Date: 2/21/12 12:42 PM

I have Singer XL 6000 and I love it. I still use the PSW2.0 software to create my original designs, but my next step is to buy Embird.
As far as hoop is concerned designs can be easily split and the multiple hoop technique can be put together seamlessly. You might also consider looking at Brother Quattro 2. I just test drove it at my dealers shop.
I have some of my digitiizing work in my nascent blog:
http://allthingspretty-happygirl.blogspot.com/

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
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Date: 2/21/12 1:09 PM

Stick with Brother or baby lock. Both are easy to learn and are compatible with just about anything machine embroidery.

They do have TOL models with a tablet or you may be able to use the stylus on the LCD screen (my older model bl has this) and draw simple designs that are auto digitized by the machine. I don't think this is your ticket. The machines are great, this feature, not so hot IMO.

Some times the distributor will have a special that includes editing and catalog software, but I have never seen one that includes full blown digitizing software.

Digitizing software can be affordable to super expensive.

Basically, you to start with an art program that can save the design as jpg or bmp. There are more, but these are the most common.

The jpg or bmp file is then scanned or opened in the digitizing software where you can tweak if necessary and then save in the format used by your embroidery machine.

You can use PE (Brother) Designer's Gallery (baby lock) or Embird. They all will save to the embroidery machine format of your choice.

Finding a dealer with staff that knows how to digitize is like trying to find a hen with teeth.

Good luck in your journey.


-- Edited on 5/4/12 11:01 AM --

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

biochemistress

biochemistress  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/21/12 2:14 PM

You may be getting a little ahead of yourself wanting to start both embroidering and digitizing at the same time. You mention gowns and costumes; are these going to have a logo on them or just a design? I think you'd be amazed at the variety of designs out there. Give them a chance, particularly if you're just learning to embroider. It's not always foolproof or easy to stitch any design onto any fabric and make it look professional. Also, it's expensive for stabilizer (you'll likely need several kinds), embroidery thread (maybe a variety of types and many colors of each type), needles, etc. I don't know that anyone embroiders because of how cheap it is. And it takes years to become proficient at digitizing. Auto-digitizing software helps you get started, but it doesn't carry you far if everything you do is custom and has to be 'just so'. If you have working knowledge of graphics software it's a huge help when creating the artwork. Digitizing also isn't fast. Since you'd like this for a business, your time will be worth money. It can take a very long time to make custom designs. How will you balance this with the time it takes to sew and embroider things?

I think it's great that embroidery machines don't come with software, because not all sm companies' software is easy to use. I would start on youtube looking at all the videos you can find about how to digitize using various brands of software. Regardless of the machine you buy, most software will write to most machine formats, so pick the one you think you'd like to use the most. I've used three different third-party programs, and one 'brand name' program. Just MHO on Embird, I don't think it's that easy to learn and it costs more than other home programs if you end up needing most of the modules.

As for machines, I think Babylock/Brothers and Janomes are the easiest to learn to use. Look at the previous 1 or 2 TOLs from either company to save some money, or buy used. A used machine may save you money while you decide whether you want to pursue this in whole. Beyond that, I'd look straight to an industrial machine for their speed, stitch quality, and ability to sew out more than one color without you having to physically change the thread at every stop. Depending on the size of designs you have in mind, you'd need the industrial to avoid endless re-hooping too. A small industrial would cost approximately what a TOL home machine would cost, but could cost far more to have serviced/repaired.

sheilakr
sheilakr
Member since 2/27/12
Posts: 1
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In reply to Lizajane1973


Date: 2/27/12 8:55 PM

The janome program, Digitizer Pro is a pretty good program to learn digitizing with. Also MasterworksII. I am a Babylock girl and have just purchased the Masterworks program. Trying to understand the manual is sometimes difficult for me. I learn more by clicking the tools and seeing what they do. I have had the Digitizer Pro for several years and there are still things I haven't learned. But either of those programs are good.

jenmaton
jenmaton
Member since 3/23/12
Posts: 1
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In reply to Lizajane1973 <<


Date: 3/23/12 8:20 AM

Hi,

I am looking for something like you described as well-- not for business purposes, just for gifts and personal projects. Did you end up making a purchase? If so, what did you go with? Thanks!!

Tizmehr
Tizmehr
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ON CANADA
Member since 2/21/11
Posts: 168
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Date: 3/23/12 9:25 AM

I highly recommend Embird for software. I've used it for years and just love it. It can do anything the very expensive software packages can do. You can't beat the price, which is much lower than any other I've seen. In all the years I've used the program there have been lots of updates but only one upgrade that I've had to pay for - and that was only something like $40. Incredible support from the company too.

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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MD
Member since 12/15/02
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Date: 3/23/12 1:34 PM

Everything Biochem said. Also you might consider if doing your own artwork farming you designs out to be digitized. I know it's alot cheaper then it used to be as more people are doing it now. Even that being said it's a pretty steep investment for machine, thread and other tools/supplies needed. If you are capable of doing ball gowns, costuming etc. (think comicon) that may be your nitch and would make you a lot more money then embroidery.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

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