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Hot tips from an expert machine embroidery digitizer

I recently joined a couple of machine embroidery related interest groups on Facebook, which has been the most fun and addictive thing…. ever! Through my participation I have gotten to chat with some people with a lot of experience digitizing.

One of these experts, Sue Lough, whose business is to train aspiring machine embroidery digitizers agreed to answer a few of my questions for me to post here on my blog! (Thank you, Sue!!!)

ME: What are the most common mistakes beginning digitizers make?

SUE: autodigitizing – thinking they will get a very good design and then wondering why they don’t.

ME: Is there a demand for a certain type of embroidery designs?

SUE: I don’t think there are any one type of design that is more popular than another, it depends on the individual and what they are making.

ME: Since you first got in this field do you think machine embroidery has become more popular?

SUE: Machine embroidery is much more popular since I started in the mid 1990s. At that time there was very little information available, one or two yahoo groups to join and not many places to purchase designs from, mostly the big digitizing houses, like Amazing designs, Brother, Husqvarna etc.not many ‘home’ embroiderers. Designs were very expensive too. There was none or very little help for digitizers apart from the manual that came with your software.

ME: What is the best way to learn how to digitize?

SUE: If you mean what type of digitizng – then the best way is to learn how to use the manual tools and not auto digitizing. Online lessons, CDs etc. where you can actually see what is being done, including mistakes and how to correct them. This way you will also have something you can refer back to.

ME: Do you recommend embroiderers learn how to digitize?

SUE: It depends on what sort of designs they are looking for, and what time they can spend learning. Digitizing software is not cheap to purchase and it does take a while to get to know your way around. It isn’t for everyone, and sometimes it is better to purchase the designs you are wanting to use, as they are ready made and available. If it is a special design just for you, then you can have it digitized by someone else. If you are planning on making embroidery your business and are going to be doing logos and other personalised items, then yes, you will need to learn how to digitize, but if it is just for hobby purposes – probably not necessary. If you do decide to learn to digitize, then take the time to learn your programme inside and out, I have seen a lot of people move from one make of software to another thinking that the next one will be easier to learn, but basically they aren’t giving themselves the time to learn one properly.

ME: Thank you so much, Sue, for your interesting insight!

Learn more about Sue. Visit her web site: Memories in Thread –