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Try Embroidery Digitizing 100% Free

Free Software Trial & Video Lessons Included

Want to create or edit embroidery designs? We’ve taught thousands of embroiderers how to do it! This Free Embroidery Digitizing Made Easy Challenge by John Deer is the perfect starting point for you.

Digitize & Create 6 Embroidery Designs Yourself

This Challenge is a free way to challenge yourself to try embroidery digitizing if you never have before. Many embroiderers are intimidated by the word “digitizing.” They think it’s overly complicated or you have to be a “computer person” to do it. The truth is, it’s not that complicated if you have the right instructor, good software, and an open mind to challenge yourself and give it a try.

Whether you currently own embroidery software or have never used it, this 30-day Challenge will take you by the hand and show you how easy it can be to create and edit your own designs using a 30-day free trial of Hatch embroidery software. In this free Challenge, you’ll follow along 7 bite-sized video lessons with John Deer, the world’s most awarded embroidery digitizer, and create 6 designs yourself from start to finish! Skip the frustration and stop trying to learn how to digitize from sources that may have never done it at a professional or commercial level. The name of our site says it all: Digitizing Made Easy. Are you up for the Challenge?

Get Started

There are 4 parts to this challenge, you should aim to complete 1 part per week. This Challenge is taught using Hatch embroidery software. Download your 30-day free Hatch trial though us to begin the Challenge & receive some other fun freebies. The artwork files required for the Challenge will be emailed to you after downloading your free Hatch trial through us or filling out the form below.

30 days

2 – 3 hours per week

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Part 1: Introduction

Introduction Video: Welcome to Embroidery Legacy’s 30-day Embroidery Digitizing Made Easy Challenge! In this intro lesson, we’ll explain the interactive video lessons used in this challenge and get you familiar with some of the basic tools you’ll be using. To begin, we’ll introduce you to Hatch embroidery’s working environment, explain how to load native files, and save your designs so you can embroider your samples on your machine.

Part 2: Basic Digitizing Made Easy

Lesson 1: Ready to start digitizing? In the first lesson, you’ll learn how to use outline tools correctly to create a simple but beautiful design. Once completing the outlines, we will show you how to use two different automated methods to path the design perfectly for “Redwork”, with exactly two passes of thread, and other stitch type choices to produce logical pathing. This lesson will also reveal the power of an object-based .EMB format with regards to resizing an embroidery file. Have a different brand of software other than Hatch? Click here to learn more about our fan-favorite Digitizer’s Dream Course taught in 10 of the industry’s most popular software brands.

Lesson 2: This next lesson will also focus on creating outlines but take things a step further. You’ll learn how to create closed objects to create fill stitches and add color within a design. Some basic logic for creating and resequencing objects and colors will also be covered. Thinking of purchasing Hatch? Click here to view our list of exclusive Hatch bonuses you’ll receive when placing your order through us.

Part 3: Artistic Digitizing Made Easy

Lesson 3: Great job on making it this far! Now that you’ve got some of the basics down, we’ll explore our artistic side by using both size and stitch types to create unique finished effects. In this lesson, we’ll create multiple filled objects alongside creating beautiful curved Florentine fill effects to add dimension and reflect light.

Lesson 4: To further expand our creativity, we’ll use multiple stitch types within the outlines of this design. You’ll see how using simplicity can create detail within designs. This sounds counterintuitive, I know. But just wait, you’ll see what I mean. We’ll also expand on fill stitches with basic blending and feathering effects.

Part 4:  ESA Technology and Quilting Made Easy

Lesson 5: Thought you knew everything embroidery software could do? Think again! This lesson will expand and open a whole new embroidery world for you using object-based technology found in Hatch’s .ESA files. Although initially developed with fonts in mind, we have significantly expanded the embroidered possibilities to the limits of your imagination. Get ready to be amazed!

Lesson 6: Just when you thought you’d seen it all… This lesson will show you how to use Hatch’s .ESA files, software features, and the most basic digitizing tools to create an in-the-hoop quilting design that rivals the work of professional quilters.

Download Challenge Artwork Files

If you download the free 30-day trial of Hatch through us, you don’t need to fill out this form. We’ll send you the files once Wilcom verifies you’ve downloaded the trial through us. If you do already own Hatch, fill out the form below, and we’ll send you an email to download the artwork files used throughout this Challenge. Please note Wilcom only allows 1 free Hatch trial per customer.

By submitting this form you agree to our conditions of use & our privacy policy. You also agree that you'll be added to our email list so we can provide you with your free designs, updates, promotions, & education. You may unsubscribe at anytime.

Our Education has Proven Results

Here’s What Other Embroiderers Have to Say…

Barbara Richter embroidery digitizing testimonial image

“Thank you John Deer for challenging me to do something I never thought I could, and for opening up a world of possibilities for me!

Recently I decided to take the Embroidery Challenge and I am so happy I did!  I learned so much in the lessons, and became so much more confident in my digitizing abilities… John Deer’s ability to teach it by digitizing actual designs, step by step is the reason I am successful!  I never thought I would be this “good” and now I just want to keep learning!

– Barbara Richter

“John is very thorough with his lessons and explains so anyone can understand

I have never, ever digitized. I have been purchasing embroidery designs online and just using as is. I could never adjust or make my own. I wanted to design my own so I did my research and discovered Hatch. I downloaded the trial and fell in love immediately. With the trial, I accepted the 30 day challenge and already created 3 designs. I know this is just the start but… it was so easy and with John Deer’s help, I can learn at my own pace. Thank you John Deer for helping me learn how to digitize.

– Mary Lesh

Sandy Harvey Embroidery Digitizing Testimonial Image

“I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning how to digitize the right way and create beautiful designs that stitch out well every time

Ever since I found the book Digitizing Made Easy, I’ve followed Embroidery Legacy.  I have been digitizing for a while, but am no expert for sure.  I have learned most of what I know about digitizing from John at Embroidery Legacy and I always learn something new.  In this class it was Branching, wow, what a time saver!  John is an incredible teacher and mentor.  His classroom style is both educational and entertaining.

– Sandy Harvey

Pat Yliniemi Embroidery Digitizing Testimonial Image

“To all who embroider, please do not miss this opportunity to learn digitizing from John Deer

I was truly afraid that I would not understand digitizing, I even owned the Wilcom Hatch software for over a year and I loved the program, but I was limited with doing the basics. John opened a door into a whole new world of understanding embroidery and there are no limits to what can be done. Even if you do not become a digitizer, you will still learn how to recognize good digitizing in designs that you purchase. He makes it so easy to understand. I am so blessed to be able to say I learned from the best!

– Pat Yliniemi

Elisabeth Tringham Embroidery Digitizing Testimonial Image

“I wish this course had been available years ago

I recently completed the free Digitizing Made Easy Challenge and I really enjoyed it.  John is a great educator because he not only explains HOW to digitize better but also WHY.  I was learning the theory! I learnt how not to make my designs bullet proof and also how to have my machine run smoothly without unnecessary jumps and stops.  After watching my machine sew out purchased designs for over 20 years, (and also some of my old software trials), I now know how and why some could be improved.  From one very happy pupil.

– Elisabeth Tringham

Angel Corbett Embroidery Digitizing Testimonial Image

“I feel like the karate kid learning from the master. Black belt here I come!

Wow where do I begin!! Let’s start with the amazing staff at Embroidering made easy. They are phenomenal. Their customer service cannot be beat. Then there’s John… what a guy. He doesn’t go too fast. His lessons are amazing. He also has a great sense of humour if you watch his tutorials. There’s a reason he is number one and he is very likely to stay and hold that title for a very long time. From a total newbie, thank you John and your wonderful crew.

– Angel Corbett

About Your New Digitizing Coach

John Deer Embroidery Portrait

John Deer, CEO of The Deer’s Embroidery Legacy

Winning 30 commercial digitizing awards, John Deer has been the most awarded embroidery digitizer in the world for over two decades now. As a 4th generation embroiderer, John has an incredibly unique history in the embroidery digitizing industry as he is the last remaining Schiffli Master Digitizer still alive and teaching in North America. John learned and apprenticed under Swiss Schiffli Master Digitizers (then known as “punchers”) over 30 years ago in his grandparents’ factory, before computers even entered the digitizing world.

John has run 2 commercial embroidery factories, owned one of the world’s largest production digitizing houses, wrote the book “Digitizing Made Easy” (which has sold over 44,300 copies), and coached 100,000+ home and commercial embroiderers globally.

Frequently Asked Questions

We teach the Challenge in Hatch for two reasons:

  1. Hatch is a powerful program that features many tools that other digitizing software programs do not. These tools are used throughout the Challenge to make digitizing easier. We sincerely believe that Hatch is the best digitizing software program available to home embroiderers and small business owners.
  2. Given we are official Hatch resellers, using the 30-day free trial of Hatch allows embroiderers from around the world to take this Challenge for free.

Click here to view a breakdown of our different digitizing education.

This Challenge is the perfect starting point for embroiderers curious about digitizing. It’s a great way to challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and try embroidery digitizing for free.

Now keep in mind, this Challenge only covers the basics. If you’d like to continue learning the beautiful art of embroidery digitizing after this Challenge, click here to learn more about our fan-favorite Digitizer’s Dream Course.

As an official Hatch reseller, if you choose to purchase Hatch during or after your 30-day free trial, we recommend placing your order through us to receive a ton of exclusive bonuses:

  • Embroidery designs
  • Extra ESA fonts, monograms & glyphs
  • Access to level 1 our fan-favorite Digitizer’s Dream Course
  • And sew much more

Click here to learn more about our exclusive bonuses and how to purchase Hatch through Embroidery Legacy now.

Have a different question or need help with the Challenge? Join our Hatch Facebook group to ask questions, share your work, and see what other embroiderers are up to!

What Do You Have to Lose? It’s 100% Free!

No Credit Card Required

Ready to try embroidery digitizing? Download your 30-day free Hatch trial though us to begin the Challenge & receive some other fun freebies. The artwork files required for the Challenge will be emailed to you after downloading your free Hatch trial through us or filling out the form above if you own or have downloaded Hatch before.