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Anyone can digitize (with Sew Art) in a few clicks of a mouse… yeah, right!

Tonight I was looking around for digitizing tutorials to see if I could learning something new and improve my digitizing techniques.  What I found was something unexpected:  I learned about a new digitizing software from a digitizer who claimed “anyone” could digitize a logo in a few clicks of a mouse.  REALLY???

If you spend any time at all on machine embroidery and digitizing forums, one thing you will learn very quickly is that you never want to use the auto digitizing feature in your digitizing software.  There are simply too many variables you need to consider and understand when digitizing. You will never get great results if you let the computer do the digitizing for you.  Computers are smart – but not that smart!

So I was pretty aghast when I found this video called “How to Digitize Yourself and Never Pay for Embroidery Files Again.” In this three minute video, the author shows you how to auto-digitize a (very, very simple) logo. While he makes it look super easy – what he neglects to discuss is setting stitch angle, density, pull compensation, adding an outline… anything above and beyond what the computer is doing by default.  So, in my opinion, I think the video is a bit misleading.

What I did find intriguing, however, is the digitizing software he was using: Sew Art.  I had never heard of this software but it is available as a free 30 day trial and (after looking at the on-line manual) seems to have features beyond auto-digitizing.  This might be a great option for people wanting to get in to digitizing but not wanting to cough up $1000 for fancy schmancy digitizing software.

I would love to hear your thoughts… is anyone out there using this software?  Let me know what you think.

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An app that locates fabric stores?

My sister is not the most computer literate person that I know. It’s not that she’s not smart, she’s just not very good at the computer. To give you an idea, a couple of years ago she called me to help her figure out how to get an attachment out of her email. She had absolutely no idea how to download it.

The other night she was over for dinner and her 13-year-old son was playing on her phone. He told her she needed to get some apps on her phone because she had none. He suggested the app Around me, because it would help her find gas stations quickly and easily. (She is known for running out of gas.)

She asked her son what is Around me? I explained: “do you remember when I was able to locate a restaurant when we were driving to the outlet mall in Florida last year? All I did was open Around me, the app detected our location, and offered suggestions for restaurants.”

“Oh,” she said, “that sounds great.” Then she asked. “can it do the same for fabric stores?”

Him. I don’t think so. But I think you might have come up with a brilliant idea for an app: a fabric store finder. I gotta get on that.

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The coolest machine embroidery app ever from

2013-01-05 18.17.07I think I just discovered the coolest machine embroidery iPhone app ever! I have been lamenting over the fact that my Bernina 630 only has 5 built-in typefaces for embroidery. This has led me to experiment with setting my type in my embroidery software and then generating stitch files in almost any unique typeface I have on my sewing machine. See previous post on tote embroidered with “japan” font.

After attending a conference on mobile app development, I became curious about what types of apps exist for machine embroidery, and I discovered the app, “Web Lettering for Embroidery” from This an app that allows you to create any text, then choose your typeface and size, the your machine format and then it renders out your desired file which you can then email to yourself.

I have stitched out a couple of files that I have generated from this app to mixed results. I can not confidently say that any weakness of the design is due to me or the app. I will try a few more and report back.