Welcome to All About Machine Embroidery.
Today’s topic: Embroidery Designs: What and Where
If you already own an embroidery machine, then you know that there are designs and lettering built into your machine. Below are some examples from the Babylock.
If you zoom in a bit you will see next to the design a numbered box which corresponds with your machine. This makes it easier to find the design in the machine.
It will show the time it takes to stitch out, what color threads it recommends and the size of the design (in cm).
Every machine has built-in designs and lettering. You can see what is available by looking online at the manual for a particular machine.
Personally, I don’t think built-in designs are a deal-maker or a deal-breaker because there are enough designs out there to keep you embroidering for a lifetime.
Here are some great places to look for designs:
When I need a single design for a project such as a lettering set, dinosaur, or a cupcake, I check Etsy.
In this snip, I typed ‘machine embroidery designs’ in the Etsy search box and came up with 250 pages of designs. Most of the individual designs are $3-$5.
If you are doing something seasonal or specific (like a college team), this is a great place to check.
You will need to specify your machine’s format, and the seller will send it to your email in a zip file.
Remember, you will need a way to save and open the design on your computer (software) and then transfer it to your embroidery machine.
Another great place to get lettering alphabets and a variety of designs is Swak Embroidery. Most of the designs you see here are cute or whimsical. Below is a Font snip.
When my oldest grandson only had eyes for garbage trucks, this was where I found a design that I put on a t-shirt.
It is also where I found this great owl applique for an owl-themed baby gift. I used a lettering font from my software.
I also took the design and created my own applique. Lots of options.
If you want to crank it up a few notches, then purchased design sets are the way to go. These design sets come on a CD and are usually purchased through a dealer for $40-$100.
Before you choke on that price, I want to say that I own a few of these design sets and the digitizing is perfect.
If you want to create something that is exquisite or heirloom quality, then spending the money on these designs could be worth it.
If there is ever a design set that you love, watch the website for ‘retired collections’ and you can get them at 50-70% off.
I can’t say enough about these S. African digitizers. They continually put out exquisite work. Their prices are reasonable. You can buy their designs through a dealer or their online store.
And, look at the variety in this picture. I snipped this from the ‘Birds’ column. There is an adorable ducky applique, whimsical owls, and a couple of delicate romantic birds. That is just the top of the page!
Notice the prices. This is OESD quality digitizing with SWAK pricing. And, if you sign up for their newsletter, you will be notified about their regular 30% off sales and US trunk shows.
Last year I attended a two-day Anita Goodesign event. I learned a lot, but I only went home with the free designs that were being given away.
Here’s why: I think their digitizing is top-notch. I even have a purchased set. But I would have a hard time spending $70 on this design set.
The quality is there. The designs are great. It’s got variety within the theme. But, I would never get my money’s worth unless I made a business of selling Fall Embroidered Thingy’s.
If I could purchase individual designs from the set, then I’d probably own a few more.
Baby Collections which are really cute. If you were creating a nursery in one of their themes, then these $40 sets might be worth the splurge.
Jenny Haskins design’s are veerrry Victorian/Romantic in style. If that is your thing, then you will love the quality of her work.
She’s also well-known for her stand-alone embroidered flowers. I’ve seen a few of these and they are unbelievable. Like this from Lottie’s Poppies. Notice the free-standing flowers ~ all done with machine embroidery.
There is no denying the quality and outstanding digitizing of these designs. But, shoot me if that pillow ever finds its way into my house. not.my.thang.
It used to be that the only place you could buy embroidery designs was through a dealer. And, that meant high-priced sets. Not anymore.
Now, you can get designs from independent digitizers and a smorgasbord of places. That makes machine embroidery affordable for more people.
Tomorrow, through the end of the month, I will be talking about all of the different types of things to embroider. Get ready. It’s gonna be interesting.