Auto Outlining in Studio

I am adding this quick little lesson as a continuation of my previous blog post about converting images into SVG files for Studio. At the end of my previous post I suggested that you could do some of your own editing to the Hibiscus flower I used.

Apart from changing the Parameters such as stitch direction and type I also use the Auto Outline feature in Embird Studio.

When I first opened the design in Studio I had to select each part and change the colors etc. The basic design was like the image below.

I then added a very quick and easy outline to each part of the design.

Select each of the red parts of the Hibiscus and go to the Auto Outline icon at the top of the Design Page.

A Confirm screen will appear noting that the outlines have been created and would you like to arrange them in a compact outline.

Click Yes. You’ll then be asked if you want to create connections if there are any separate objects.

In this case you will not want running stitches connecting the separate objects so you should click NO. Then you can trim the jumps manually or maybe your machine will do so for you rather than having running stitches.

Select all the outline objects, right mouse click and choose Group1. Then change the colour of the outlines by dragging and dropping a new color onto them.

Repeat the outlining as above for any of the other objects if you wish. Of course you can do a lot more by adding shading etc as well. It is almost limitless.

Remember to save your design as you go.

Have fun.


Embird Studio, making an SVG in Inkscape and instant embroidery

I’ve been playing around a little in the latest Embird 2018 and fiddling about with some of the new features – and they are fun! I think some could do with a wee bit of improvement too – but all things take time. One of the features I have been playing with is the ability to turn an SVG file into an embroidery design in Embird Studio.

Now it is very easy to purchase your own SVG file on the Internet and especially from one of the Etsy stores but sometimes you just want to make your own SVG image to use or perhaps have a photo that you would like to create an SVG outline from. I am going to show you quickly how to make your own. Then you’ll need to let your imagination do the rest.

First you’ll need Inkscape. It’s a free program available from Inkscape.  There may be other programs available that are as good or you may already have your own graphics program  – and feel free to use them – but for this small lesson I have used Inkscape. My apologies in advance if you’re already a whizz at Inkscape – I’m not – I just used it to create my own design and I must confess that I am not at all familiar with it. My knowledge of the program leaves a lot to be desired so please don’t ask me any technical questions about Inkscape or you’ll be met with a blank stare!!  Anyway – onwards and upwards –

Open Inkscape and then go to File/Open and open a JPG file that you wish to use. For this lesson I actually took a shortcut and downloaded a free one from Open Clipart . I found it under the heading Most Loved Clipart. Its a Hibiscus flower. If you don’t want to go to the website then just use your Snipping Tool under Windows Accessories in Windows and snip this one.

Save the image in the Snipping Tool Program as  JPEG. And then open it in Inkscape. Click OK on the pop up screen that appears.Select the Image in Inkscape.

With the design selected go to Edit/Make Bitmap copy.

The Bitmap copy will be sitting on top of the original image ( you won’t see any difference until you move the top copy) and will be selected.

Move the Bitmap aside and Delete the original image.

The highlighted image is the original image which is to be deleted

Once you have deleted the original image move the new Bitmap back onto the Design Page. Resize if you wish.

With the image back on the Design Page and still selected go to View/Display Mode/Outline

Your design will now have a Red Cross mark covering it.

Your design should be still selected so go to Path/Trace Bitmap.

In the next screen that appears ( as above) click Update and then OK. Close that screen.

You do not need the red cross on the Design Page any longer. Select the red cross and Delete it.

And there is your SVG image created as shown above

Go to File/Save As/Save as an SVG file in your preferred folder.

Now Open Embird Studio.

Go to Design/Import Vector File and select the SVG file you’ve just saved. The design will now appear on the Studio Design Page.

Check on the right hand side column and you’ll see that Studio has already converted the vector image to stitches. You just have to select them all now and Generate the Stitches.

It looks pretty boring, doesn’t it. However now you need to use your Studio skills and change the design to your preferred preferences. There are a number of things you can do from here.

Select individual objects and change the Colour, Fill direction, Start and End Points, Sewing order, Pattern Fill, Density etc etc. You can even add outlines if you wish. If you do not know how to do these things I have covered them all in my Embird Studio Tutorial on the Tutorials Page at Secrets of Embroidery.

Check out my finished design after I have played with the Parameters.

In this design I now only changed all the Parameters such as angle of fill and density but I added curved fill and then used the Auto Outliner feature to add an outline around each object.

Not all images will convert quite as easily as this one and, as with any image, you need to be a wee bit choosy about what you are selecting. But remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained and again that age old saying – Practice makes perfect (well almost!)

And that, my friends, is that. A very quick and easy design in Studio.  I hope you’re enjoying these little insights and lessons into the programs.

Don’t forget to Save the design and then Compile and Place it Editor.

Now use your imagination and try the same with another image.

Bye for now. Carolyn

Stippling method in Embird Editor 2018 version

Well, I said I’d be back with a little lesson and now I have two of them up my sleeve. So I’ll write one today and another one very soon. Your patience is being rewarded. The lesson today is about creating stippling in Embird Editor 2018. You will not be able to follow this lesson unless you have the latest 2018 version of Embird, sorry.

Ready to go?

Open Embird Editor and then File/Open and select a lion design which is included with your Embird Program. Or use your own design – your choice

Once selected click OK. The file will then be showing on the Editor Design Page

With the design selected go to Insert/Fabric Flattening Stitches.

*Fabric flattening stitches are generally used to flatten fabric with a pile such as towelling, velvet or polar fleece so that the embroidery is more visible.*

In the Inflate screen that appears type in the distance from the design edge that you want the stippling to be. You might need to try a few different settings before you get it correct. Try 30mm and see what happens. You can always delete it and try a new measurement.

Click OK.

The Parameters screen will now appear. You need to change some settings –

Change the Fill from Plain Fill to Motif

Choose a motif from the Motif drop down box – I choose one of the Meandering stitches and while its not a perfect stipple like in a number of digitising programs, its all Embird users have to work with for now.

There are other settings which you can change as well such as Shift and Scale etc but you can experiment with these once you’re comfortable with the method. But for now we will just stick with the settings I have changed above.

Click OK

The Stipple will now appear on the Design Page with the Lion Design. The stipple will be behind the lion.

If you wish to remove the stitches behind the Lion then you will need to Mask the two designs.

Select both Objects and go to Edit/Stitches/Mask.

Adjust the Pull Compensation in the pop-up screen or just click OK.

The stitches will now be removed behind your design – I have moved the lion design aside in the image below so that you can see the stitches that have been removed.

You will notice that there are a number of jump stitches in the center of the design. If your machine has a jump stitch trimming function these should be cut when you are embroidering. ( Dont move your design like I have – or of you do then click Undo to return it to the correct position.)

Change the color of the stippling.

Select all objects.

Click on Join on the Tool Bar

That’s it! He doesnt look too bad, does he?

Now save him and stitch him out.

I hope that gives you a bit of an insight into what you can do with a couple of Embird commands – one new one and one old one!


Carolyn Keber









I am a bit on the slow side with my Posts

I’m so sorry that I am so slow on updating my page. As usual I do not know where the time goes. Today I was asked to help someone with an Embird problem they were having with their design.

When I went to check their design I realised that they had the 2018 version of Embird so if I was going to help I would need to finally upgrade. Which I did. I am now going to have to wait for my registration number comes through from Secrets of Embroidery. However I was able to use the unregistered version in order to help this lady. As I looked through the program I thought that I must write a few more little lessons as there are some quite interesting new features. So I’ll be back – soon – I promise!. I’ll just wait for my rego from Secrets first.


Comparing Hatch Embroidery to Embird

During a trip to Australia to an Echidna embroidery convention in Melbourne two years ago, I was introduced to the Hatch Embroidery software by John Deer. Even though I have been a dedicated user of Embird for well over 18 years, I was fascinated by the Hatch program.

Now as most of you are aware, I have written extensive tutorials for Embird and it’s add-ons for as many years as I care to remember! I have lived and breathed Embird for many years and my tutorials and lessons would number in the hundreds.  I have also dabbled in other programs, and written quite a number of tutorials for the Brother/Babylock PE Design software. I own and still use the Husqvarna and Bernina Artista software.  So you can see that I love embroidery programs and really enjoy seeing how they work!

As I was following the introduction to Hatch in Melbourne I realised that I really did like this software. The program has been created by Wilcom who are well known for their great software programs. As well as their own commercial digitizing program (Embroidery Studio) they currently create embroidery software for brands such as Bernina and Janome.  They have become the world’s favourite embroidery software for quality, ease-of-use and service.  And now their latest baby has arrived for the home embroiderer – Hatch.

Because of their introductory offer I decided to buy Hatch and try it out.  I had been a little disappointed that Embird weren’t appearing to keep up to date with the changes in the embroidery world. Too many of their updates were just tinkering around the edges instead of giving us something great and new. For a number of years, for instance, I had been asking for a decent stippling to be added to Embird Studio which would be wonderful for those wishing to do their quilt tops combined with embroidery designs. My guess is that I probably asked for this feature about eight years ago. They promised they would but, no, never delivered. And now Embird is starting to look a bit tired. So don’t get me wrong, I still use Embird because I know it so well and I have more to learn in Hatch. 

Another good thing about Hatch is that you can purchase it in four different modules according to the type of embroidery editing/designing that you wish to do. There are upgrades between each module so that you can move up to the next level when you are ready.

The four different levels are:

  • Basics. You can open your designs, convert, change colours, manage design files and save, print and write your design to your machine.
  • Customizer. The next  up which includes all the above as well as the ability create monograms, add lettering, edit or reshape letters, the ability to use True Type Fonts which also includes 60 pre-digitised fonts as well.
  • Creator. Creator is the next level up again and includes all the above as well the ability to use the Multi hooping feature, edit your designs (as in adjust stitches, shapes, add stitches etc) and change the stitching order. Creator also includes auto-digitising as well, which is a great plus for those quick designs.
  • Digitiser. Digitiser also includes all the above as well as the ability manually digitise, it includes multiple fills and shapes and also the ability to create your own appliqué. You can also create your own unique borders and patterns. 

See the handy chart at this link to compare the features of all levels.

I purchased the complete program on the spot as I wanted to be able to use everything.  There is a free 30 Day Trial available  that is the full version, which is a great place to start. It’s fully functional so you can edit an existing design – change colors, edit objects, resize, add lettering etc or digitize your own embroidery designs from scratch.

Another thing I really like about Hatch is that you don’t have to purchase anything other than Customizer (2nd level) if you want to create lettering. Customizer accesses all the True Type Fonts that are installed on your computer and as well has 60 pre-digitised fonts available as well. Think how much Font Engine is alone in Embird and in Hatch it’s all included!

The lettering is really awesome – as is the whole program.

One thing Hatch does not have is a Cross Stitch add on as Embird does, nor does it have a Photo Embroidery program (yet) like Sfumato.

I feel that the program is really great value for money and I am very comfortable using it. It has such lovely features that I did not upgrade from Version 7 Bernina Artista to Version 8 as all the new features in the Bernina upgrade were already in the Hatch program. (The engine of both being made by the same parent company – Wilcom.) I already had the new stuff – why would I pay dearly for it all over again from Bernina?

Oh, and it has automatic stippling – YES!!!!

I also really like the editing side of Hatch. The stitches are clear to see and to edit. Here is an example of what I mean:

I had purchased a design as I liked the lettering shape but when I stitched it the serifs were just too narrow as I was stitching on a fine knit. I needed to adjust the shape and make the swirls wider (wider satin stitch.) In the image below the top design is the original and the bottom is the design after I adjusted it in Hatch. Notice that the letter L is wider in places. It now stitches beautifully.

All I had to do was Select the object, select Reshape and adjust the stitch nodes. Very simple.

This is just one example of how Hatch impresses me.   There are many more examples– too many to list here.

An important thing to mention is the huge amount of support available from Wilcom.  There are free designs and projects to help you learn Hatch, and loads of great videos.  Wilcom is the industry leader, and a very solid company that provides a ton of resources

So I will be writing about Hatch on my Hooplah blog, and doing short lessons if you would like to follow my learning curve!  I will still be writing about Embird as well, for those of you who decide to stay on with Embird.   

I’m  just adding another feather to my bow – here is the link to the Free Trial if you want to come along for the ride!