Embroidery Fonts Tips & Tricks

Learning how to use an embroidery machine is not easy. It takes a lot of experimentation especially to go beyond the basics the machine comes with. Last week I shared my top tips for digital embroidery files so it is only right that this week we focus on fonts. If you are thinking the rules of files and fonts are the same you would be kinda right but would find yourself in some sticky situations like I did. 

Yes, the rules of finding the right size, format, and testing files are all important for font files too but they are a bit deeper. First is making sure the font will be a good fit for your machine. If the machine is a 4 X 4 like the PE550d it can read up to a 3.5” font but that would be only one letter per hoop. I’ve done a 2” font that still required an entire hoop per letter so depending on how many words you want to embroider it is going to be a long and frustrating process to line them up and a lot of re hooping. When choosing a font for a base machine that is a 4 X 4, search for fonts that are 0.5”, 0.75” or 1”.  The sweet spot for me is 0.5” to 0.75” as it allows me to maximize the amount of letters while still being relatively large. 

Another thing to take into consideration is how wide the characters in the font are, the puffier the better as thin embroidery fonts tend to look a bit sloppy.  While analyzing the font, also check to make sure all the characters and punctuations are included. Choosing the perfect font only to find out it does not do a period or quotations is annoying yet not all font sellers include them so don’t forget to check. 

Similar to the file tips the format is also crucial for the machine to be able to read. The format PES in this instance is legible to the machine but it will not allow you to string letters together since it is reading it like an image file. To avoid this issue use a BX format instead and download an embroidery software that will allow you to upload the font and create/edit the words you need for the project. Embrilliance is the software I personally use as the free version allows you to create font projects, kern letters and makes split hoop projects easier by providing the dimensions of the full project to map out prior to beginning to embroider. With all the prep in the world there will still be fonts that do not meet your expectations or simply do not work correctly so don’t forget to share a photo review and communicate with the seller too. 

Watch the tips in action below.

XOXO Faith

Digital Embroidery Files | Tips & Tricks

Although I would not say I am anywhere close to being an expert at embroidery, looking back I have learned A LOT. If you recently purchased a machine or are curiously researching machines, this next mini series is full of helpful information to get you started. Today’s focus is on digital embroidery files, which seems like an easy concept, however, there are things that can may catch you off guard if you are not careful. First realize that each machine has a set size limitation so depending on how large your embroidery field is depends on which files the machine is able to read successfully. 

Browsing on Etsy for instance can be full of roller coaster emotions if the field size is a basic 4 X 4 like the Brother PE550d as creators customize sizes to the design and it is never a one size fits all. Files sold in a multisite bundle also does not guarantee that it will include a size that works for every machine either. For 4 X 4 there will be files that may say 3.85” X 3.80”, 4” or they may even just say 4 X 4. After the test shown in the video below, my rule of thumb is to make sure it is no larger that 3.90” X 3.90”. If it says 4 X 4 or 4” for the size I will message the seller and ask for the distinct measurements or move onto another file. It is a bit weird that a 4 X 4 machine really cannot do 4” by 4” but it is just how it works. To simplify, it take the embroidery hoop and before the curves is primarily the active feild.

Once the file has the correct size listed in the description, the second step which is just as important as the size, is making sure the file format comes in your machines language. File formats are found in the manual and on the manufacture’s website. Typically formats vary by brand for instance most Brother machines read PES files. The easiest way to explain it is each format is a different language and if you try to use one that is different that what the machine knows it will not understand it. 

Finding out if it is a quality file often times comes with experimentation and eventually building up a trust level for the seller. I will look for review photos over shop files since they tend to show you the design on a finished product rather than a digital photo. If the specific design you are wanting does not have a review photo look at other review photos for other files in the same shop. 

Some shops will have a 100% satisfaction guarentee which is great, however, I have tried both shops with and without this and it does not mean anything in terms of if the files are quality or not. In fact some of my most trusted digital embroidery file shops do not have any type of guarantee. The reason for not having a guarantee is simply to limit the amount of fraud rather than not trusting their products. Even if the shop does not guarantee a refund if the file has a flaw, communicate with them.  Often they are willing to help you but if you don’t reach out they will assume you are a satisfied customer. 

No matter what always test new files first on a scrap piece of fabric. Instead of viewing it as a waste of time use this test to really analyze the file. Test colors, take notes on if there is a trace layer or not (used in appliqué files) and if the borders match up etc. There are many factors to consider and each file is unique so even if you’ve bought multiple files from the same digitizer it is wise to do a quick sample. 

I hope these digital embroidery file tips help save you some grief and if you have any more tips please leave them in the comments. Also let me know where you are in your embroidery journey.

XOXO Faith

How to: Create a Larger than Hoop Embroidery Project

How to: Create a Larger than Hoop Embroidery Project

When I first started exploring machine embroidery it wasn’t until my first couple projects that I realized that the hoop size really mattered. With a 4X4 hoop machine it can seem like a creative jail so today I am going to show you how to escape. In the video below I will be demonstrating the tips I am discussing here which is the method I used for today. For those that are not aware I currently have the Brother PE550d embroidery machine which is a 4 X 4 hoop machine. 

Brother PE550D Embroidery Machine Tutorial

Interested or recently purchased the Brother PE550D embroidery machine? After purchasing the machine I did as most people do, went to Youtube to teach myself the basics. While yes, there were a few videos available they lacked the teaching aspect; it was more of watch me embroider this item kind of “tutorials”. I crave the basics whenever I try anything new which includes how to thread the machine and most importantly what the heck all the buttons do. Although anyone can read the instruction Manuel to gain this information some people like myself prefer to see it in action as well for a quick reference or simply for a visual. Also let’s be honest, not everyone reads the instruction booklets. 

Finding Relaxation During Lockdown

 

While the world seemed to be on the edge of coming around to somewhat of a new “normal” the brakes have screeched yet again. Could it be time to accept that this is the norm now, wearing masks and getting dirty looks whenever choking in public?Please tell me I’m not the only one who has noticed this happening or had it happen to yourself. Needless to say the stressful times are far from over.