Digitizing Embroidery

Janome embroidery digitizer

With the holiday season just around the corner, an embroidery craze has ensued, and we’re all over it. In today’s post, we’ll take you into the wonderful world of embroidery digitizing.

Machine embroidery makes it easy to create unique, personalised items for yourself, as gifts for people you know or for your customers. If you’re feeling inspired to create your own embroidery designs or simply can’t find what you want on the market, it’s time to pick up an embroidery digitizing software, and let those creative juices flow.

Firstly, what is digitizing?

janome embroidery digitizing image design

In a nutshell, digitizing is the process of converting illustrations into an embroidery stitch file. The file can then be uploaded onto your embroidery machine to be directly embroidered on a garment or fabric.

Embroidery designs when digitized save as .jef files. This is the default file format for all current Janome embroidery machines. It’s made up of Janome machine readable files, with instruction for every stitch in the design, and coordinates to move the hoop.

With the help of an advanced digitizing software such as the Janome Digitizer MBX from Janome, you can develop your own patterns, logos and designs, then transfer them into .jef files that your Janome embroidery machine can interpret and sew.

Ready to digitize an original design? Let’s jump into it with Janome Digitizer MBX software!

janome digitizer

The Janome Digitizer MBX V5.0 is the latest software with lots of improved features over its predecessor. It’s aimed at users who want to be able to create professional realistic looking embroidery designs, at the same time it’s user friendly and easy to use, thanks to a well-designed interface and layout. Most of the Janome hoops are already built into the program, however, you can create your own hoop size if need be. Let’s get started…

The software is broken down into toolbars that aid the use of the program. The main drop down toolbar menu is based on the left. In this list you can manage your library of designs, choose and customise designs, add lettering or add monograms, edit artwork, auto-digitize, edit objects, digitize, appliqué tools, advanced digitizing, cutwork and stumpwork, layout, multi-hooping and output or save a design. Each has other options as well, and that’s just the left menu titles!

The centre screen is where the design creation takes place as it should be. MBX has the usual option for background colour, fabric background, zoom, hoop, imperial or metric, centre design and more.

To the right is another screen section that automatically fills with options from your selection on the left. It sounds complex, but it’s not. It ensures the left menu stays the same so the functions are always there where you can find them.

For example, when you select “lettering and monogramming” from the left toolbar, there will be five drop down options – Lettering, Monogramming, Reshape, Break Apart and Knife. Selecting Lettering for instance will populate the right menu with all the lettering options.

We also love using the available drawing tools to digitize by hand, with options to blend, cut and fill holes, create outlines, free-hand shapes or lines, add angles or if that sounds too much for a beginner, take the relaxed option of auto-digitizing. You can use graphic images from scanned artwork, clipart or digital cameras to create your very own unique embroidery design or applique.

For intermediate users, there’s a halfway between automatic and hand digitizing where you can select the thread colour, the satin or weave fill, or direction options.

All your designs can be saved or converted into most embroidery formats. In addition to the new stitches, there is artwork or image preparation and outlined image preparation tools.

Digitizer MBX V5.0 gives you the option to save or export a digitized design that you have created or modified directly to the machine or to a USB memory stick in Janome embroidery formats.

If you own a Janome embroidery machine and want the ability to create your very own embroidery designs with no limiting factors, then the Janome Digitizer MBX V5.0 software is what you should be looking at. Speak to your local Janome dealer now.

Working with Dropbox & AcuDesign App for the iPad

The update to Dropbox on the 10th of October, 2017 may have changed the way that you can now access your designs that you have stored in folders within the Dropbox app. Previously you could select the import / export icon to select for Dropbox from within the AcuDesign app. After the update, you can still use Dropbox, just in a different way.

The following directions will help to work with designs that you have saved into Dropbox but wish to use in AcuDesign.

1. Open Dropbox app on the iPad.
Dropbox AcuDesign (2)
 2. Select the Files icon at the bottom left of the screen.
3. Select the folder named ‘Apps’ that is listed under the folders heading on the left.
 4. A new list will open and one will be named ‘Artistic’, select this folder and you will have your .jef files showing.
 5. Select a file by pressing on its name. It will become highlighted blue.
 6. Now select the icon in the top right of the screen. A drop down will show and select ‘Export’.
 7. Select Open In… (The menu will change)
 8. Scroll across until you see the icon for AcuDesign. Select the icon ‘Import with AcuDesign’.
 9. The iPad will then open AcuDesign app. It will prompt you to save the design to use in the app.
 10. You can create your own folder at this point by selecting the ‘Edit’ icon.
 11. Select the ‘Add New’ icon from the list.
 12. Name the folder and description to suit you.
 13. Save the file names.
 14. Save the design to the folder and you will be able to use it through the AcuDesign App.
 15. You will now be able to see the design that you saved in the ‘Imported’ folder in the AcuDesign app.
 To download the instructions as a PDF document, click here.


AcuSketch Instruction Sheet


Always wondered how you can create your own embroidery designs for quilts and patchwork? The answer is in our new AcuSketch app, now available on the Apple iTunes store.

AcuSketch is compatible with the following sewing machine models: Memory Craft 15000 version 2.11, HORIZON Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000, SKYLINE S9/atelier 9 version 1.10.

With AcuSketch, you can easily create embroidery designs on the go using your iPad by tracing or drawing on the canvas screen with your finger or a stylus. It’s simple to use and fun for all ages – we’ll show you how!

1. Set the embroidery work area first
Measure the length and height of where you want to sew with a ruler and enter the length and height on the app.
2. Take a photo with your iPad of the sketch you want to use and then trace
Insert the iPad image and trace the design by finger or stylus. The lines are shown in gray and are easy to see. The color of the lines can be selected as well.
You can also draw a design directly on the app without a sketch. By tapping the information icon, you can take a “Tour” which explains how to use each main icon.
3. Convert image to embroidery data
You can set the stitch length you want and also choose to include locking stitches or not. You can send your designs via Wi-Fi. Save the designs on your sewing machine.


Click here to download the instructions in pdf
Click here to download the app