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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Getting the most of out my 4x4 ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Getting the most of out my 4x4
Small expectations but difficulty executing
kim37043
kim37043
Member since 4/4/13
Posts: 2
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Date: 4/4/13 9:39 PM

Around 2 months ago I purchased a Brother PE500. I am new to all things regarding embroidery but have thoroughly enjoyed making different appliques and in the hoop projects. I know I would be able to do a lot more with a larger hoop but it is just not in the cards for me at this point.
I would like to get as much out of my 4x4 as possible, but I'm a bit intimidated with experimenting with it.
Here are my questions
1. What are some good software options for someone with my type of machine? Both for monogramming and combining images with lettering.
2. I mainly want to be able to embroider greek letters on ribbon and fabrics. But I cannot figure out how to correctly space the letters since the font I am using has each letter as an individual font. Does anyone know of a video tutorial that can show me how to do this or some tricks to doing it?
3. I heard there is a software that will allow you to "split" a larger design and use it with a 4x4. Anyone know which allow this and any video tutorials on how to do it?


Any and all suggestions and info would be greatly appreciated!

Mrs.Moos
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Mrs.Moos  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/5/13 0:15 AM

I believe on My Embroidery Haven.com there is a tutorial on how to split using embird. But can you get a bigger hoop for that machine? I don't remember hearing if there is a bigger hoop available. You should save up and get the PE770. I saw it on sale on Overstock.com yesterday for $555! It has since gone up but I am sure they will have a sale again. Amazon has had it for as low as $539 and I kick myself for not buying one to have as a backup/travel machine! You could do a lot with a 5x7!

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Janome 6500P, Babylock Eclipse SX, Janome Coverpro 1000, Babylock BLCS, Juki 654, Juki 735, Janome 1600PDB, Brother ULT 2002D, Babylock Spirit, Brother 770

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 8/28/08
Posts: 3125
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In reply to kim37043 <<


Date: 4/5/13 3:31 AM

My Brother is a more basic machine but it does have a 4 x 4 field. Check your manual which should tell you how to use the memories (assuming you have them) and the letters will be spaced correctly when you stitch them out. Beyond that I don't have any information for you.

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That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Florida USA
Member since 2/8/09
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Date: 4/5/13 6:22 AM

Essentials just came out with a font program. If you don't currently have a good software program you might want to invest in
EE or AlphaTricks.

I feel your pain for lettering- it is one of the most difficult things to do. It was hard for me cough up good money for another software program but EE was well worth it for the monograms. It also resizes and recalculates so you can shrink a design by 10-15% to get it into your hoop. They added videos now to explain how to use it, the Manual isnt the greatest.

I haven't bought the AlphaTricks yet as I am on a trip now and wont be home for 2 weeks. But that is the first thing on my TO DO list.

As for splitting- I started with a machine up to 5x7 and feel your pain. I struggled with how to learn that. After I added the costs for the software and learning pain and costs of materials and time I figured I would just save up. So I never got around to learning that. I did make larger sections by rehooping and embroidering designs together. I have a machine with a huge hoop but I found I use 5x7 the most. It saves money on stabilizer too. But I use the bigger hoop if I am combining smaller ones together. I like the stitch cutting and auto threader that never misses. It was worth it.

There is always a market for entry level small hoop machines. Perhaps you can save up and sell yours and get a larger hoop machine?
-- Edited on 4/5/13 6:42 AM --

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Helen DeGree
Helen DeGree
Intermediate
Minnesota USA
Member since 9/9/05
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Date: 4/5/13 8:58 AM

In the beginning days of machine embroidery (1990's) all we had were 4x4 machines. It was amazing what projects people would turn out using only the small field. There is a multi position hoop available for your machine but it will take software and practice to use it to its full advantage. My recommendation would be Embird. You buy the basic editing program and add on other modules as you become more experienced. I believe they even have a Greek alphabet. But software will enable you to print templates of designs. The templates have a center mark. In the old days we would print templates, line them up on a piece of paper, lay the paper on our fabric or garment and mark the center of each template (design) onto the fabric and sew each design separately. This works well with lettering. I'm not sure if there are any tutorials out there anymore, but there used to be. Try googling Brother embroidery multiposition hoop.

mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Mississippi USA
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Date: 4/5/13 9:07 PM

Learn to position accurately. I did this in the beginning by printing out design templates and establishing true verticals and horizontals on what I was embroidering. If you don't have software you can cut the design measurements from a square of paper to help with combining designs. If I were starting now with software I'd probably just get embird and a couple of alphabets. to start with. I am very partial to the iconizer feature of embird which lets me "see" my designs. I have dabbled with several softwares but I find that most have to be upgraded and rebtought as time passes. I have found the embird updates to be reasonable in price and they will let you upgrade. If you run a mac you will need a different software to use than emird I think. Someone else can tell you about the ones that are out for macs now.

kim37043
kim37043
Member since 4/4/13
Posts: 2
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Date: 4/5/13 9:24 PM

Thanks everyone for all the info.
I particularly liked the history lesson about 4x4 being the standard and only when the machines first came out. Gives me hope that with more research and resources, I will be able to get more use out of my 4x4 while I save up for another machine.

I do have another software question:
Anyone familiar with BuzzWord embroidery software?
There are a few with free trails that I plan to try- embrid, monogram works based on feedback I have read in different forums. But I haven't heard anything about Buzzword.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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Date: 4/5/13 9:29 PM

If you want to figure out your printing of a template method, and putting cross hairs on both your paper template and your fabric to do that, and think you can hoop up good enough to do that, (might take quite a bit of practice), the only program I know about that is really free shareware to do that with, and not more a made as only a trail version of a you pay for it program that is going to time out pretty quick is this old Atomizer one. At least it costs no money and never times out. And was really neat, way back in it's time. Still works though, if you do a lot of work on your own too.

http://www.achatina.de/sewing/INDEX.HTM

I did try popping into even into a computer running windows 7 and even 64 bits and for me, it still runs and works in there. That was kind of amazing actually, as it is so old, I think came out someplace between windows 95 and 98 actually. Nothing fancy about it at all, and no tutorials there at all, but it's pretty simple too. Maybe you can figure it out, even without any tutorial at all. It only works with a .exp formatted embroidery design though, so that means you would have to know how to and have something able to get a design into melco .exp format, and then even turn the split up pieces of it, back into your machines format afterwards, plus be able to make templates and hoop pretty accurate. but as previously stated, years ago, that is what a lot of people were actually willing to do sometimes.

I think if you only want to occasional sew out something larger than 4X4, it might be O.K. for somethings, just depending on how that embroidery design was even made each time and where and how you picked to split it up using that program. If you wanted to do it a lot though, or all the time, and trying to sew out at least 5 X 7 designs then probably a whole lot of work. Also, if only a 4 X 4 machine, and would cost several hundreds of dollars for a splitting program, and wanting to sew out 5 X 7 a lot or all the time instead, then I think even putting that same amount of money into a machine that could just even sew 5 X 7 with no other expenses would probably be better. But maybe try it and see what you think.

CdnSkier
CdnSkier  Friend of PR
Illinois USA
Member since 3/18/09
Posts: 261
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Date: 4/7/13 4:00 PM

I would recommend Designer's Gallery Embroidery Works Everyday software. It's around $500 (depends on the dealer/promo in effect/etc.) and I've seen it as low as $375. I will allow you to re-size, split designs (to embroider larger designs with a smaller hoop), edit most designs and add lettering. It's pretty easy to learn and has good support from both the selling dealer (if they are a good dealer) and Baby Lock/Designer's Gallery.

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Baby Lock Ellure Plus (BLR3), Pfaff Creative 4874 serger/coverstitch, Singer Rocketeer 500J, Singer 301A short-bed

"A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt

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