Discussing machine embroidery

Changing an embroidery design – a re-blog from 2015

Have you attempted to take a detailed design and give it whole new look by some simple editing and colour changes? The Victorian Promises collection is full of such suitable designs, with lots of vibrant colours. However you may not require such vibrant embroidery so I thought I would edit one of the designs to see what is possible.


This design (GFE-VPR-4-4) has 30 colour changes and 66320 stitches featuring most of the flowers in this collection. Colour sorting in my software only reduces the number of colours to 29. In some of my designs it is possible to reduce them by several colours as I tend to include more thread changes so you can make adjustments to the colours. The centre of one flower may be the same as another flowers petals but if I combined them to stitch out together this would make changing the colour of the centre of a flower more difficult. The gerberas in this collection come in 3 shades so the first thing you could do is make them all the same colour. Likewise the roses come in several sizes and are red and pink. The little lavender type sprays could also be removed relatively easily to simplify the design although the stems are included in the leaf colour way, as shown below.


2I use Husqvarna’s Stitch Editor Plus software to do my editing. You see here that  I have  selected just the stems by adjusting the sliders at the bottom. Then I select these stitches and delete them. I missed a few but it was easy to remove them by selecting them as well.


Here is the edited design ready for some thread changes. To emphasis the possibilities I am going to create a simple version of this design in yellows and greys. Now this may sound daft but I often edit a design by working backwards from its finish. To save repeating myself all the threads used are Sulky Rayon 40wt. The gerberas stitch out last so I changed the last one to 1236  Silver, 1022 Cream, 1067 Lemon yellow and 1229 Light putty for its centre. Do remember that the colours you select in your software can look amazingly different in real life. Happy with those choices I proceeded to change the other gerberas.


Now for the roses! I think that they need to be slightly different in the colours used otherwise the design will loose some of its variety. My first attempts were not pleasing because I had forgotten the fundamental rule about flowers especially roses! Although it is mid June the roses in my garden are only in bud so I had to consult my favourite rose book by David Austen called The English Rose. The shading must be gradual and as you get towards the centre of the flower the colours must darken. These are just a hotch potch of colour so I started again. I think I am happier with the second attempt. I used 1002 Soft white, 1022 Cream, 1066 Primrose, 1135 Pastel yellow and 1187 Mimosa yellow and 1260 Summer gold. For the outline of the roses I used 1063 Pale yellow green.


Lastly I altered the leaves, making them a softer green, 1211 Light khaki and introducing lighter markings – 1321 Gray khaki. I changed the scroll work to 1063 Pale yellow green which I had chosen to outline the roses.


This is how the design looks now, with only 19 colour blocks. I could have reduced the size of the design by editing out the top flowers. I did try to cut out the centres of the roses, leaving just the outlines but this does not work well as the stems show though.


Am I happy with these results? Not entirely but I am a perfectionist so I will stitch out the design and see how it looks. The yellows do not look right in the software. Perhaps the centres of the gerberas need to be 1070  gold. It is my opinion that the change of colour is a vast improvement!


I have taken a photo close up of my stitch out so you can see the results. The actual embroidery looks so much better than it did in my software. The roses have some depth too!


Do not be afraid to edit designs and see what happens. Be sure to keep the original design file so it is not lost, and make sure that the Digitiser allows you to do this in their licence. I am happy for you to play with my designs providing the results are not sold for profit. In all honesty this is how I learnt to use my software and began my journey into digitising.

The last set of Victorian Promises is being released today and contains 12 designs for 12″ by 8″ hoops. Now how will you stitch yours out? If you do some editing please share the results. I love getting emails with photographs of what you achieve with my designs.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

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