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Embroidery Software Reviews
Bustersmom

Bustersmom  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/28/06 12:55 PM

Has anyone come across a comparison of the embroidery software packages out there? I'm particularly interested in the newer HQ software vs. the Bernina Artista software, although I'm somewhat interested in the Brother/Babylock software as well.
thx...

-Sharon

Seamingly Simple
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Seamingly Simple
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Date: 4/8/06 8:56 PM

This would be very interesting. I haven't bought any sofware yet. I'm interested in generic packages such as Embird and Corel's DraWINGS and wondering how they compare to the software that the sewing machine companies promote for their machines.

Where should these reviews get posted? With machine reviews, perhaps, or with sewing supplies?

------
"All things are difficult before they are easy."
--Thomas Fuller

AliceM
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Date: 4/8/06 10:47 PM

I totally recommend Embird. I think it is the best value out there ($89 for the basic program). I use it exclusively and do not even have any of the software for my machine brand(Janome). I have the digitzing and font Engine plug ins. I have less than $500 invested in Embird and it does as good or better than programs that cost $$$.

Princess Jenny
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Princess Jenny
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In reply to AliceM


Date: 4/9/06 8:36 AM

Alice,
My dh just bought embird for me with the font engine and the digitizing tools last week. I have been doing some of the tutorials included with the font engine, but am kind of at a loss as to where to start with the digitizing tools. Where did you start?


Jen

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The mark of a true seamstress is not in her ability to sew,
but in her tenacity to rip.

AliceM
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In reply to Princess Jenny


Date: 4/9/06 9:23 AM

I bought a tutorial for Studio from Kathy Jones at www.flyingneedle.ca . She is a great teacher. I also signed up for her Studio club. For $35 you get a new lesson every month on digitizing. These lessons are great! You download them from the website. Each one has a .pdf file with step by step instructions, any necessary clip art and several videos showing her doing the steps. The instructions are good enough that I very rarely watch the videos. You also join a yahoo group where everybody posts pictures of their designs and shares questions and problems. This is a private group and can only be joined by club members. Kathy checks the group e mail often and answers questions. She will even answer questions about other designs that are not part of her lessons.

Carolyn Keber at secrets of.. also has tutorials. I have her basic Embird one. Both sites are registered Embird dealers and will give discounts on any Embird software you buy from them, so do not pay for anything on the official Embird site. You pay about 10% less on these dealer sites.

Check them out and go from there. I have found that trying this on my own was very frustrating and this route is much more fun. Digitizing is alot of fun, but there is a rather steep learning curve to get over first. This would have taken me months to figure out on my own. Keep me posted on what you find. I will be at Baer in Louisville. We can bring designs to show/tell.

kmouse
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kmouse
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In reply to Bustersmom


Date: 4/9/06 10:30 AM

Sorry so late in replying. I own Artista Designer Plus so I can only comment about that.

The big question I have is what type of embroidery machine do you have? If your embroidery machine is Bernina, I would suggest Artista or OESD's Explorations. Bernina does not support other software programs and if you have questions or problems you will probably not have the info resource that you would have from your Bernina dealer. It is possible for you to use Artista with other machines because you can always design or edit designs starting with .art format (which is OBJECT based) and save them in other formats. But, if you own Bernina and start with a STITCH based software design, you are more limited in rescaling ability.

The second question is what type of projects will you mostly do? If you mostly want to edit existing designs and add lettering, you may only want to purchase Editor level rather than Auto Designer or Designer Plus, which have digitizing capabilities. Editor, Auto Designer and Designer Plus also have a Quilting program to design your quilts. Editor has 50 different fonts and 200 built in embroidery designs, Designer Plus also has True Type fonts found in Windows Microsoft.

Check with a Bernina or other dealer and see if you can take a beginner software class. Even if you have to pay a nominal fee for a class, it's a hands on way to find out which program you like.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Threads magazine did a comparison review of embroidery software programs a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I lost my link to the Threads index when I got my new computer and checking the website yielded no results. I will post "need help" for this somewhere on PR.
-- Edited on 4/9/06 10:58 AM --

Seamingly Simple
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Date: 4/9/06 12:55 PM

I checked Threads' web site: embroidery software was reviewed in issues 93 and 98. I don't have either of these issues, so I can't tell you which programs were reviewed.

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"All things are difficult before they are easy."
--Thomas Fuller

cowgrlsews
cowgrlsews
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Date: 4/14/06 4:04 AM

You can check out the Stitches Magazine website for software reviews. It reviews many professional versions, but also includes the home software. HTH

Bustersmom

Bustersmom  Friend of PR
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In reply to cowgrlsews


Date: 4/14/06 11:01 PM

Thanks for your recommendations.

Regarding which machine I have, etc... I currently have a Janome 9500, but my daughter has sort of assumed ownership of that machine. I will probably buy another embroidery machine this year, but I haven't decided which one yet. The software decision could affect my decision about which machine to buy (I am leaning towards the Viking Designer SE). What I'd love to see is a side-by-side comparison of software features, much like the ones that PC Magazine used to publish when they reviewed applications.

I want to draw and digitize my own work, so the "editor lite" level of software won't work for me.

Patti B
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In reply to Bustersmom


Date: 4/15/06 0:25 AM

I don't know if it will make a difference to you but rumor has it that version 5 of the Artista software is due out this fall. There are supposed to be some 'enticing' offers on ver 4 this summer with a slightly cheaper upgrade path to ver 5 than buying it just on its own later. Me, I'm still at the Editor level and, though very computer proficient, I just don't have the time/interest to get into digitizing. I'll just continue to support those who do!

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Patti

R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

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