April 29, 2009

The best embroidery digitizing software I have used

I do a lot of machine embroidery. I really like the idea of designing my own embroidery designs. over the course of the past 6 months I have searched and downloaded many 30 day trials of embroidery digitizing software. Most of them were great but really much too expensive for me. In fact I think for a software program to be priced in the $1K+ range is overkill for mark-up on the part of the seller.

One of the most expensive programs out there that is pushed on to home embroidery sewers is MasterWorks by Design Gallery. They are in the $1500 and up range. That is the price of one CD program disk. If they priced it more in the $50 range they would probably make more money, but no they want it all and they want it from home users. Don't get me wrong, the program is good but it was still not perfect. I used it to design my Steelers headband (you can see it here and how I made it too) and the program saw the "t" as an "l" and did the stars all wrong. I had to remove the wording by hand and redo the font. For a $1500 program it failed to do a simple job.

So on went my search for a better program. Then I found Digitize n' Stitch by Amazing Designs and it has performed much better. It doesn't have the bells and whistles that MasterWorks has but it recognizes pictures better. I used it to create the Habitat logo seen here. It only took 15 minutes and that included setting up and sewing out the pattern. I didn't have to change a thing. Digitize n' Stitch can be found priced anywhere from $249 down to $149. If you see it priced cheaper than $149 let me know by commenting because I still have 20 days left to go on my free 30 day trial and I am shopping around for the best price. Amazing Designs offers 30 day free trials on most of their software.


Csax said...

Thank you for your information I am researching and searching for a digitizing software for my baby lock. I want something that is not so expensive but works well.

Jan S said...

Since I wrote the blog post I have had some issues with the Digitize N' Stitch software. I am now looking at Embroidery Magic II by Pantogram. I found it and 2 other software programs with it in a bundle for $125.00 so I might go with that one. I will write a follow up post with the results of my search and what I end up getting.

Anonymous said...

I am new to machine embroidery. My dilemma is that I purchased Design Gallery's CardWorks with the machine several years ago and never used it. In the meantime, we bought new computers with Windows Vista and now the CardWorks is incompatible with Vista!
I am curious about the 30-day free trials. A little scared to try them.
What with buying new hoops and a supply of beautiful threads - not to mention more fabric - I see this as an expensive hobby!

Jan S said...

To Anonymous, I had something similar. The Babylock Esante was programed to work with Windows XP and when I got a new laptop with Vista they would not talk to each other. I had to go to the Babylock website and download the Vista upgrade (free of course) for the embroidery machine.

In your case just go to Design Gallery and see if they have updated downloads you can install in Cardworks. In reality Vista and XP are still compatible so there should not be that much of a problem. Now Windows 7 is another issue altogether.

Keep in mind that you can always download either free or purchased designs for your machine without having to design your own.

For all of you that are curious, I ended up with Embroidery Magic II by Pantogram. I found it for $99 and it came with 2 more disks with over 20,000 embroidery designs. Not a bad deal.

Caroline said...

Hi, I was wondering if you still rate this product. I have been looking around the internet to find a reasonable priced product that works. I don't seem to be able to find anywhere that I can download a free trial of this product despite trawling the internet for over 4 hours last night.

Many thanks, Caroline :-)

Jan S said...

Caroline, here is a link to the free digitizing software downloads. I am sure you will find something there. Free digitizing software downloads

Jan S said...

I forgot to add, the link for the Masterworks trial CD is at

Auntie Bellum said...

I wouldn't go with Amazing Designs. I got a promo copy design disk in a thread chest that was defective. I called them. Left a message on a Thursday morning received a call back Friday at 6 pm. They said I would have to take the disk back to the shop. I even asked if I could return the damaged disk and she still refused s replacement. I thanked her for her time and sent an email to the company letting them know my displeasure. I got a phone call from someone further up the chain letting me know they were replacing my risk and sending another, but that their rep had handled the call properly and if I had issues I could always ask for a supervisor and just keep going up the chain until I get satisfaction. She is supposed to call Monday to let me know it shipped, but my decision is already made, this is supposed to be a hobby not an aggregation. I don't want to deal with having to argue to get results and if you can't replace a damaged promo disk when I agreed to send the disk I can only imagine how they handle the more complicated issues.

DCDepaz said...

Jan S, could you please let me know where you bought the Embroidery Magic II by Pantogram.

Thank YOu

Jan said...

DC, I got the program at

Elizabeth Whitchurch said...

Yes! Please let us know what you think about embroidery magic 2 I bought one from amazon and have to return it because it came defective, but I think that was the distributors issue- love to gear more... Kind of in love with the idea of florianti but way out of my price range- just looking to be able to design resize and digitize... Does it have to be this hard???

Anonymous said...

My name is Julia.
I recently started to embroider and I love it! But it is s hard to find a digitizing program which I can afford!
You said you paid 149.00 Dollars for you Digitze N Stitch programm, where did you get it from? I only found it for 179.00 and more.
I would really appreciate an answer, because with our new baby money is gold!
Best Julia

Jan said...

Embroidery Magic is pretty much a bare bones program. The main problem I found was that it saves the files for the Toyota machines. I have to use another program (a free one by Wilcom) to convert the files for my Babylock.

I did find a real nice FREE program you can download and use. The only drawback is that you have to be online when you use it. You see the program displays ads in the sidebar to off set the cost of the program. If that does not bother you then visit

Anonymous said...

I looked at MasterWorks at my local sewing shop - they want $2600 for it. They also have a wall full of add-ons. Way out of my price range.
After using it for a while, what do you think of the Embroidery Magic II software?

Aafreen Shah said...

It is a tremendous article. It's content is superb and it's really well written. Superb job....
Embroidery Digitizing

J J Beck said...

Have you ever tried buzz tools software? Have there been any updates with software you are using now? And also that would work with windows 7? I also have a babylock.

Thanks, Jill

Debi said...

Aafreen Shah -- Embroidery Digitizing that you promote must be your own site. However it is NOT written well. Who ever translated it to English was obviously not a native English speaker. The grammar, spelling, sentence structure and more are way off.

Jo Ann Barto said...


Jan S said...

Jo Ann, you might want to have a dual boot drive on your new computer. What that is - to have 2 OS systems on your computer so you can choose to either run your computer with the windows 8 (which was made for touch screen computers) or an older version of windows or even a Linux system. You can always use your old hard drive and use it as a slave drive on your new computer. That way you will still have all your programs and they should still be able to talk to your sewing machine. Those are just a few ideas. There is always a work around when it comes to computers and software.

Jo Ann Barto said...

iiS embroidery design lll good? I need a new click stitch is about 7-8 years old and good only on real simple pictures.

shenton jordan said...

I have Janome and I love it / easy to use /
you can edit/ change colors/ readjust your stitches/ down size and save it in any format you
want to / unlimited stitches / unlitited # of colors
it just has so many great features and is user frieldly.

another one I have is artista/ it is easy but not as
good as Janome .
each program has good points / some I like some I don't. no one program is going to have
everything you want/ but as far as I am concerned Janome is the best in my book/
I have several programs I like / Artista, vikings (I think this one is hard to work with ) Singers this is a great program too but not as friendly to use , for my money it Janome

Embroidery Designs