How to create embroidery designs
Finished Embroidery Design Results

If you’re frustrated with digitizing… Something is missing

Over the years as an educator, I’ve heard the same digitizing comments over and over again, like a broken record.

These comments being the most popular by far:

  • “I bought the software and didn’t have anyone to teach me how to use it”
  • The next being, “the learning curve was too much, I don’t have time for that”.
  • Then the follow-up comment is, “there are so many designs available, why would I spend the time learning how to create my own”?

If I translate what I’ve heard it goes something like this…

  • I purchased software without verifying that education was available to show me how to use it.
  • I had no real foundation on the theory of how to create quality embroidery designs.
  • Even though I’ve invested hundreds to thousands of dollars on software that’ll create custom designs, I got so frustrated with the results I was getting that I simply gave up!

The missing piece of the puzzle…

This might sound familiar. I always argue the point that if someone knowingly purchased digitizing software with the intent of creating their own embroidery designs and fell short… It’s not that the individual didn’t have the ability to accomplish their goals. It’s that they kept getting bad results when they tried so naturally, they got frustrated and gave up. It’s kind of like riding a bike. If you bought a brand new bike & just kept falling and scraping yourself without seeing any results, you’d naturally end up frustrated and give up on that too.

So how do you fix this and make it fun? You need a dedicated teacher that’ll help guide you towards seeing positive results! Going back to the bike example, most children have their parents help ease them into riding by holding their seat and keeping them balanced until finally… They’re riding on their own & having… You guessed it: fun!

When I first started digitizing 35 years ago it was the same process. Back then a digitizer’s career was built on the theory of the machine interacting with different materials alongside the top and bobbin thread. Now also keep in mind that this was all happening on twenty yards of fabric with hundreds of needles all running at the same time. It was a lot of pressure, but thankfully I was mentored by a Swiss Schiffli Master.

Schiffli Pantograph

The first machine I learned how to digitize on: a 1905 Schiffli pantograph

The first time I tried digitizing, I screwed up an order of over 1000 embroidery patches in my grandparent’s factory. If anyone had a reason to give up at that point, it was me. Although I was frustrated & embarrassed, my mentor took me under his wing and taught me the theory behind creating beautiful embroidery designs. Now at first, it was challenging. But as my skills grew and I began seeing more & more positive results, it became fun!

Sound familiar? We ALL need teachers. Are some teachers better than others? Of course, growing up we learn that very quickly. A good teacher can make a student a better version of their current self, or coast along the mainstream and make someone want to give up.

It’s a fact of life that finding the right mentors and teachers is key to having success in any endeavor. Then comes the reality: you have to be willing to learn and practice to refine your skills which takes time. I’ve never met a concert pianist who only practices eight hours a week… It’s more like eight hours a day. Now keep in mind, learning the beautiful art of embroidery digitizing isn’t going to take you 8 hours of practice a day… But you get the point? Practice makes perfect.

Make learning digitizing fun again! Endless creative possibilities…
Embroidery Digitizing is fun

Now you might be sitting here reading this and saying, this guy said, “Digitizing is fun”! All I’ve heard so far is having to learn something and then have to practice it… where is the FUN in that?

The FUN is what you birth as a result of your hard work, the passion that went into it, the creativity that grows over time. The fun is built in small steps and in the end, has no limitations as to what you can accomplish. Think about it, once you’ve learnt to digitize the possiblilites of what you can create with embroidery are literally endless.

I was taught from the very beginning that embroidery is an art form and as a young man becoming a “Puncher” (now known as digitizing) was the equivalent of an artist sitting before a canvas. I really try to avoid debates with people who argue if “digitizing is a real artform”. You’re listening to a man whose entire life, and 5 generations of his family’s lives, have been dedicated towards embroidery and refining these skills.

  • All that said, are some digitizing software programs better than others?… Most definitely!
  • Will the key after purchasing the software be in finding a good teacher?… From personal experience, yes!
  • Will you need to be dedicated to the learning process and put in some time to become good?… What worthwhile endeavor doesn’t require that?

Put all these together and I guarantee the positive results you get will give you a heart-felt passion for the art of creating your own designs.

Now that’s where I come in. As one of the last 2 Schiffli Masters still alive & teaching in North America, it’s become my passion to pass down what I was taught by my mentor and assist you in creating an Embroidery Legacy of your own… one stitch at a time!

If you’d like to stop being frustrated and make digitizing fun, I’d highly suggest that you check out some of our online interactive digitizing education such as our software-specific Digitizer’s Dream Course, or our fan-favorite live Digitizer’s Dream Workshop beginning on November 7th, 2020. Within this 3 week workshop, I’ll personally hold your hand and mentor you in learning the process of digitizing with a mixture of prerecorded video lessons & live webinars. To avoid frustration, the workshop is broken into bite-sized sections that get you creating designs and seeing positive results right away! That’s why it works and we have proven results… I take you under my wing and have you continually build on small successes.

Of course, don’t just take my word for it though… Here’s what some of my past students have to say about our education:

Marry Mowery testimonial photo

“I have a major project goal & I will meet my goal!

I worked thru all the video lessons, I am able to go back & take each step again at my speed. As I’m easily intimidated, I can absolutely work out each step with John’s clear & concise instruction. Unlike some programs, the theory was most beneficial for my mechanical brain to make beautiful designs. Thanks so much!

– Mary Mowery

Grace Lovegrove testimonial photo

“I’ve sat on the side line for years, glad I finally did it

I am a complete beginner to digitizing… I am working through things at my own pace and the best thing is I am not feeling pressured or feeling like I holding any one else up. I am enjoying every minute of it.  I can go back over things, in my time, till I feel I have the hang if it. A huge THANK YOU to John Deer and the Deer family. You really have a way of teaching second to none.

– Grace Lovegrove

Linda Hale testimonial image

“I believe this will give me the edge I need in order to make my business a phenomenal success

To all of you who are even considering taking these courses from the John Deer Legacy family, I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much of a success it was for me and my new business.  I learned the fundamentals that I needed plus more! …  These instructional and live videos provide not only the best way to approach each technique but how to correct it if you make a mistake… When you become a part of these sessions you are not just learning, you are becoming part of a family, and part of something bigger than you.  It was more than worth the money and time to attend these classes and I learned so much from them.  I look forward to getting an opportunity to attend future classes.

– Linda Hale

Sheila Smoley testimonial image

“The best investment I could have made for my embroidery work

It doesn’t take long to realize how passionate John is about sharing his expertise of 35 years in the embroidery industry. He knows it inside and out and is VERY GOOD at teaching every aspect of what he knows… I understand more about the theory behind great embroidery I can now create and output better designs…. You will find making the small investment of time and money will payoff a thousand fold for your business or hobby.

– Sheila Smoley

Whether you’re a total beginner or an experienced digitizer like some of my students above, learning a solid foundation of embroidery theory from an experienced mentor is invaluable towards getting better-embroidered results. Once again, this is where our Digitizer’s Dream Workshop comes into play (click here to learn more now). This 3-week workshop will require you to invest a bit of time, but I know you’ll have fun doing it and sewing your results! Plus, it’s great to be involved in a community of embroidered who’re taking the same workshop and pursuing the same goals you are. It helps hold you accountable for learning and growing. Once you’ve learned this beautiful art, the creative possibilities are endless. Imagine creating the beautiful custom creations you could make for your friends, family, customers, or even just yourself… now that’s where the real fun begins!