Where to buy machine embroidery designs
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Tired of stitching out the embroidery designs that came with your machine? Yes – those can get old quickly. Fortunately, for you, there are millions of machine embroidery designs instantly available online that you can purchase, download and immediately start stitching out on your embroidery machine. If you are new to machine embroidery, however, you may not know where to buy machine embroidery designs.
This article covers some of the best websites on which you can find machine embroidery designs, highlighting some of the special types of designs each site is known for.
Why are there so many sites offering machine embroidery designs?
You might wonder why machine embroidery designs are available for purchase online. The answer is simple – machine embroidery is popular! Millions of people are stitching today, and many are purchasing machine embroidery patterns to use with their machines.
In addition, there are a lot more people creating embroidery designs. Twenty years ago, machine embroidery designs were digitized only by machine embroidery studios, and sold to stores which in turn sold them to machine embroiderers.
And, they were sold primarily on CDs. In fact, you may have seen some in your local fabric store. I’ve noticed that they tend to be on clearance, because – why would you want a whole CD full of designs when you have a specific project in mind and can easily buy one at a time? Plus – whose computer still has a CD drive anyway?
On the flip side – CDs are still a great source for machine embroidery design and you may be able to get them for next to nothing. You will just need to get an external CD drive (if your computer does not have one) to be able to read the files off the CD and transfer them onto a flash drive to get them over to your embroidery machine.
Another factor is that digitizing software has gotten cheaper, and more accessible. This has made the process of digitizing machine embroidery designs available to almost anybody who is willing to take the time to learn.
Finally, distribution has gotten much much easier. If you want to start selling embroidery designs, you can simply set up an Etsy store and start selling them. You don’t even need to have your own website.
Now that there are so many digitizers offering machine embroidery designs, it can become difficult to decide which ones to explore.
What you should know before you buy machine embroidery designs
Before you spend any money buying machine embroidery designs, I would definitely suggest downloading some freebies and seeing how they stitch out and if you like the style. This is especially true when it comes to in-the-hoop designs. Some sites are better at explaining how to stitch out the design than others. So, you probably aren’t going to want to spend your money on designs where you can’t follow the instructions.
I would also make sure the site offers the ability to log back in and download your designs should you lose them down the road. This is a fairly standard feature on most of the sites listed below.
Make sure the site offers the embroidery file format that your embroidery machine reads (so that you can avoid converting it to another format) as well as a size that will fit into your embroidery hoop. You may be disappointed to see that a lot of the really cool in-the-hoop designs require a fairly large embroidery hoop.
Where to buy machine embroidery designs
Here are some machine embroidery design websites you might like and a short explanation of what they are known for so you can decide if you might be interested in checking them out.
Alphalicious Designs offers thousands of unique designs and a more modern take on traditional designs. They carry tons of animal designs and other charming images.
Anita Goodesign is known for their edge to edge quilting designs which would be used by people who like to quilt on their embroidery machine. Their embroidery designs tend to be pretty traditional looking.
Apex Embroidery tends to have quirky characters and phrases as well as some fonts.
Appliqués with Character
Appliqués with Character is pretty much what its name states. They have tons of VERY SILLY and unusual appliqué designs.
Belliboos Designs is full of really cute appliqué, embroidery and in-the-hoop designs, but not overly cutesy (if you know what I mean).
Designs by Juju
Designs by Juju has loads of cute designs for kids. They also have tons of fonts, edge-to-edge quilting designs and in-the-hoop designs.
eBay has lots of machine embroidery patterns/designs available if you are willing to dig through the listings to find them.
Embroidery Boutique has a lot of cute baby and kid machine embroidery designs, in-the-hoop designs and appliqués. They also have quite a few freebies.
Embroidery Garden is known for their in-the-hoop bags. But, they have a whole lot of other designs as well.
Embroidery Library has a huge selection of machine embroidery patterns/designs available and is known for their very reasonable pricing. They also have machine appliqué designs, machine fonts and machine quilting designs.
Embroidery Panda offers some serious bargains on their site. Some of the seasonal designs are as low as $.35/ea! has machine embroidery designs as well as machine appliqué designs. Their designs tend to be sweet and cute.
Etsy is a super convenient site on which to buy machine embroidery designs because it has a TON of embroidery designs and the nice thing is, many of the other embroidery digitizers listed here also have an ETSY store. So, it’s a convenient way to buy multiple embroidery designs at once from a variety of digitizers.
Herrington Designs is like the Neiman Marcus of embroidery designs – upscale and bit pricey but very very elegant.
Itch2Stitch has a lot of kid-focused and religious machine embroidery and appliqué designs. They also offer a nice selection of embroidery fonts.
Joy Kate specializes in “vintage style” embroidery designs. One of my embroidery friends says that this is her go to source for “boy” embroidery projects. some awesome boy designs.
Kreative Kiwi is one of the most affordable sites for machine embroidery designs. They have a huge “free” collection, including many free in-the-hoop embroidery designs.
Lynnie Pinnie has a lot of reasonably priced machine appliqué designs. But they also have some really cute fonts and bargain packs of designs.
MarmieBee Designs doesn’t have the largest selection of designs but what they do has a nice light touch and is very modern and elegant, suitable for nice kids’ clothing.
Meringue Designs is probably the site that inspired me to start digitizing. Their products are just so cool and modern and vintage at the same time.
NeedlePassion has a lot of vintage and heirloom designs, some silly messages and some budget-friendly packs that group various themed designs together.
Off with Their Threads
Off with Their Threads lets you know their vibe by their name. They have some pretty unusual and edgy designs. For example, they make several in-the-hoop poo bags.
OhMyCraftySupplies does carry embroidery supples, but they have designs as well. Their sketchy hand drawn style of designs are really unique.
Planet Appliqué is not just appliqué. With over 600 fonts and 4000 designs – they are much more than that! But they do have a lot of appliqué designs too… including some free ones!
Secrets of Embroidery
Secrets of Embroidery features traditional and heirloom embroidery designs. But they also offer a lot of unique in-the-hoop projects as well as quilting designs.
Shuler Studio has some super fancy embroidery fonts. But, they are a little pricey.
Southern Baby Classics
Southern Baby Classics is the ultimate resource for PREPPY embroidery and appliqué designs. They have a lot of different styles of wreaths and monograms, so if you are looking to personalize a toddler’s seersucker romper – this is where you should go for the design.
Stitchtopia offers loads of fonts and font bundles. But they do also have some cute phrases that combine words and images. If you sign up for their mailing list, they will send you freebies from time to time.
Swak Embroidery is a embroidery collective. As they would on Etsy, many digitizers will sell their designs on their own site as well as here.
Sweet Pea is different from a lot of the other sites in that they offer tutorials with some of their projects that incorporate their designs. They also offer a generous selection of free in-the-hoop designs.
Urban Threads is definitely one of my favorite sites to buy machine embroidery designs. Their designs are cooler and edgier than just about any other shop out there. If you are not a fan of the cutesy cutesy stuff – this is where you want to go.
So, what am I missing?
Did I leave out any of your favorites? What machine embroidery design websites do you enjoy and why?
Or, are you ready to start shopping now? With all these sites offering machine embroidery designs, you are sure to find some that will help you complete your project.
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