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!




A very brief blog with some exciting news!

This is the news that you all have been waiting for, for such a long time. And no, its not that I have been in hospital again….haha! It’s not that at all…

A new beta version of Embird has been released to the beta testers of which I am one.

One of the new features that have been included is under the Insert Menu – Insert/Effect. This new feature allows you to have a design on the Design page in Embird Editor and you can create a shape around the design and fill that shape with Motif stitches. I am going to have a play with it and see what I can come up with. Previously we only had the choice of using Motif stitches in Embird Studio, I think. I do not think they were under Parameters in Editor but I’ll check all that out as well. I do have a little issue with Embird’s motif stitches though. Personally I think they are a little linear. They are patterns that follow a straight line. Years ago I asked them to allow us to fill a shape with stitches like stipple etc as I thought that would be great when you are quilting in the hoop and you add your design and you can add stippling all around it. A lot of programs have that feature these days but for some reason Embird have never added it. I think I might rattle their cages again. What do you reckon? Is that something you’d like to see? Is that a Yes Please???

The other new feature that we are to test is also under the Insert Menu. Insert Basting stitches. Now, I know that you already can add basting stitches, but now you can add basting stitches in a number of shapes such as circle, star etc. This I’ll need to explore more as it looks interesting. More to come as I “discover” it…..

The beta version was only released yesterday and I haven’t had time to play yet as my mother-in-law died on Friday last and we had her funeral yesterday. So sad to lose such a great lady however the blessing was that my hubby (her son), myself and Julie were with her and holding her hands when she died.

Ruby Keber



Long time, no chat!

Crikey, I cannot believe that its been two years since I’ve written on the Hooplah blog! You must be wondering if I’m still around or even alive and kicking! Well, yes, I am. I am mostly quite well however my lasting legacy from my brain aneurysm is that I cannot concentrate for very long and this makes it difficult to type for any length of time on the computer.
But after a few enquiries from some of you I thought that I might do free little snippets on here from time to time to do with Embird, embroidery, craft and whatever! I’ll try and add stuff that I think might be of some interest. But if its not of interest then you can bypass it but if you do like what I am writing about then feel free to tell your friends – let them know that they can come here for a “looksee”.

I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by…..

Dearie me,

The older I get the faster the time goes by! Anyone else notice that?? I cannot believe that’s its been a whole year since I last wrote a post. So much has happened!

My grand-daughter who turned three in my last post is now four years old and will be starting school at the beginning of the year 2016. Here is what my grand-children look like now. How they have grown! Ben has the green shirt on. he is nine years old now! Jack – 3 years – (blue shirt)and Daisy- 1 year -(red dress – which I made) are brother and sister and are the children of my son. And Ben-9-, Henry -7-(grey shirt) and Casey -almost 4 – (blue and white dress- which I also made) are my oldest daughter’s children. And lastly is Ruben -14- at the back in the white shirt – is my youngest daughters stepson – my lovely oldest grandson. I’m so proud of them all. Christmas

But if you’re reading this to just find out about Embird then I will disappoint you once again because, even though there have been updates to Embird and small additions and alterations, none of the eagerly anticipated BIG changes have yet taken place. We are still waiting for Mac integration. But all good things take time and I’m sure that the Embird “boys” are working very hard on making the Mac thing happen. Just like those eagerly anticipated presents at Christmas, we’ll just have to wait. But knowing my past predictions, I’ll only have to say this and lo and behold in a few days the new versions will most likely be released. Just when we weren’t expecting it. That’ll be my luck! But rest assure we haven’t even had a beta version to test yet so I don’t think my theory will hold much water. 🙂 I think it will be a while longer before we get out hands on a Mac version!

However if you are an Embird Cross Stitch user I can tell you that there is currently a glitch in the Program which will be fixed in the next update. Cross Stitch is currently not allowing you to open your saved Cross Stitch designs – ECF – in the program to make any changes. Ladislav is aware of this and will fix the issue.

Here’s a little sewing/embroidery project that I completed before Christmas for my last grandchild – Daisy. I have made Santa bags for all my grandchildren and as Daisy wasn’t yet born the previous Christmas I had to make her Santa Sack for this Christmas. I used Embird to create the DAISY applique. Using Embird to create the applique makes it so much easier. there are two options – if you have a Silhouette Cameo you can create the lettering in Embird and then send the design to the Cameo to cut the fabric – or you can use the manual method and create the applique in Embird Studio and then use the stitch, trim and stitch method that we’ve used for years. For those new to the Silhouette Cameo and Embird Studio I do have a step by step lesson which is available at Secrets of Embroidery FullSizeRender

The rest of the design was a Christmas panel that I used Vlisofix on the back of, trimmed and ironed onto the red fabric. ThenI used my Bernina to do a manual applique stitch around the tree, Santa, reindeer and presents. The bag is lined in white satin with a white fur around the top. Its very cute and fits loads of presents. It would probably even fit a small sewing machine! Now isn’t that an idea?

On the sewing/embroidery front I have taken up teaching ladies how to sew. I have wanted to teach sewing for years and even thought about going back to Teachers training college just so that I could get a degree to teach. But I figured that I was too old for that lark – attending lectures when all I want to do is teach sewing – and having to learn amongst school leavers. And most people seemed to be of the opinion that I wouldn’t enjoy the teaching of school students much anyway as most don’t really want to learn.  I wanted to teach people who WANT to learn to sew. Anyway, I did come across some younger women with children who wanted to learn to sew – so that they could make garments and accessories for their children. Fun stuff!

I told these ladies that I was happy to help them-  and so my little group was born. The ladies now come to me twice a week for their sewing sessions. It’s so much fun. They are so adventurous. They just turn up with a picture of what they want to sew and we go from there. They learn how to draft their patterns or adjust existing ones and “off they go”. Nothing is daunting to them. They’ll have a go at anything. I am amazed.  Here’s a Ballet and Ballet shoe bag that one of the ladies completed in an evening

Jodis daughter 2

And here is a little jumpsuit that one of the ladies completed in another session. Pin tucking in an inset yoke. Beautifully sewn.

Jodis daughter

It’s so much fun hanging around with people in the 20’s and 30’s who actually want to sew. If you know me, then you’ll know that I LOVE to sew and I really enjoy passing on some of what I have learnt over the many years that I have been sewing..

Now – on a slightly different note – Casey, my grand-daughter decided at Christmas time that she would like to sew on Gran’s machines. I thought “why not” and set up my Pfaff machine for her.


I had to lower the chair right down so that she could reach the foot pedal.  She had a ball of a time. Hopefully she will continue to want to sew. if she does then I’ll be there!


Well, I think that’s enough from me at the moment. I have yabbered on enough! Next time I should tell you about my trip to Europe last year and about our cycle ride down the Danube – with some photos!

Take care