One of the first things everyone wants to do when they get an embroidery machine is to put letters together to create words and to stack words on designs. Whether you want to embroider your new granddaughter’s name on a bib, or put your son’s name on a tee-shirt with his favorite sport icon, you need a way to create words that the embroidery machine can stitch out.
This article explains three different easy methods of creating words and a manual method that is more difficult.
1. Built-in Fonts
Using the fonts built-in to your machine is the easiest method and doesn’t cost anything extra. All embroidery machines come with built-in fonts for creating words. It’s easy to select the letters you want one at a time on the control panel. The machine will put them together and, depending on the capabilities of your machine, will let you resize them or perform editing functions such as rotating them.
The number of letters or words you can embroider at one time is limited by the maximum embroidery frame size of the machine. Some machines can set up multiple lines, while others can only do one line at a time.
The disadvantage with the built-in fonts is that the styles tend to be rather stodgy or not to your taste when you want something special. So sooner or later, you’ll want something different.
2. Digitized Fonts
You can find many gorgeous fonts already digitized into embroidery designs for free on the Internet or at a reasonable cost on Etsy or many other sites. A good set will have all the letters, numbers, punctuation, and some special symbols – all designed to be merged together into words and stitch out perfectly.
Each letter is an individual embroidery design file. You need a way to combine them into words. Some embroidery machines (usually the more expensive, high-end machines) can combine designs directly on the machine. If your machine doesn’t have this capability, you will need to use embroidery software that runs on your computer to merge your letters and/or images, and then save them into one file for stitching.
3. Computer Fonts
Many embroidery software programs also convert the fonts from your computer into embroidery designs. This gives you a wide choice of lettering styles, but if you want something really fancy, you’ll still probably need to find a digitized design.
You can also combine the letters and designs manually. This is tedious and difficult, so I don’t like to do it. But you don’t have to buy extra software either. The tricky bit is to get the letters lined up and spaced correctly. You set up your grids and embroider one letter at a time. You may have to re-hoop or move the hoop. Repeat with all the letters and designs you want.
Lettering is a fun way to add pizazz to any project especially when combined with embroidery designs to create clever sayings.