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Maker Studio | Digital Embroidery

Designing a digital embroidery file using PE-Design 10

As you create your design be sure to save as you go. To save click on the icon.

The following instructions are the basic steps to creating a digital embroidery file. PE-Design 10 has many more options and features than what is mentioned in this tutorial.

Open PE-Design 10

Double-click on the PE-Design 10 icon to open the software.

Design Settings

It is important to set up your design settings before starting your design to be sure everything will be accurately scaled.

Click on the purple flower in the top left corner.  
Choose “Design Settings”.
Make sure the embroidery machine radial is selected. 

Under “Page Size”, choose the correct size for the hoop you will be using. 

As a note, though you will choose the measurements for the size of the hoop, you also have to account for the sewing field. The machine cannot sew very close to the edge of the internal hoop, the maximum area it can embroider is smaller than the hoop size itself, so your design must fit in the sewing field for your hoop. For example a hoop which is 4 x 4 inches has a sewing field of 3.93 x 3.93 inches, so your design cannot exceed 3.93 x 3.93. Here is a list of common hoop sizes with their sewing fields:


Hoop Size in inches

Sewing Field in inches


3.93 x 3.93 


5.12 x 7.09 


6.30 x 10.24 


7.9 x 11.75 


7.9 x 7.9

9 x 12

9.1 x 11.8

9.5 x 14

9.4 x 14.17

If your design is bigger than the sewing field of the hoop, you must either choose a larger hoop or scale down your design. You can see the size of your design by clicking your design and looking at the bottom left of the window.

You can choose to rotate your design page by 90 degrees if your design is landscape.

When you are finished editing your design settings click the “OK” button*.

*If you make no changes the “OK” button will be greyed out and not allow you to select it. Click “default” and then choose your hoop size.

Using the Wizard

After importing your image you will need to turn it into an embroidery file. The quickest way to do this is by using the Wizard. 

If you prefer more control over the final result, you can use your imported image as a template to aid in the design of your embroidery file. This takes more time, but can produce a better result. To learn how to do this skip ahead to Using the editing tools in Pe-Design 10.

  • Start the Wizard by clicking on the white “Wizard” icon or clicking on the purple flower icon in the top left corner and then choosing Wizard.
  • How do you want to produce embroidery?
    • Choose “Create Embroidery Patterns Using Images”,
  • Select Stitch Method for Image
    • Choose the method you would like. There are descriptions and a preview to help you make your decision. “Auto Punch” is most commonly used.
    • Click NEXT
  • Select Mask
    • A mask will create a boundary line for your image. Select the mask you would like to use.
    • To modify the mask to outline your image click on the second arrow and click and drag the white square anchors.
    • If you don’t wish to use a mask select nothing.
    • Click NEXT
  • Check Mask Shape/Modify Image
    • Here you can confirm your modifications so far.
  • Auto Punch Parameters
    • This is where you will adjust the noise reduction, segmentation sensitivity, the number of colours, the thread chart and well as omitting colour regions. These settings will depend on your image. Try different variations of the settings to see what works best for you. You must click on the “Retry” button to make the changes take effect.

The gridded areas are where there will be no stitching. You can change this by clicking on the area you would like stitching added.

If your design doesn’t look perfect don’t worry, there is usually some editing required after using the wizard. 

When you are satisfied with your image click “Finish”.

This is a good place to save your design. To save click on the icon.

Using the editing tools in Pe-Design 10

In this section we will be learning to use the editing tools. You can use these tools to modify a design you have imported, a design you have created using the Wizard*, or to start a design from scratch.

Check out the appendix to learn the names of areas in the interface.

*If you have used the Wizard you must ungroup your design. You can do this by right clicking on your design and choosing “ungroup”.


To zoom in or out you can select the magnifying glass icons located in the Ribbon.

To pan you can use the bar slider at the bottom and side of the design area.

Making Shapes

To draw a shape:
 Select Home>Shapes and choose a tool. You can then click and drag in the work area to create your design. To stop drawing you must double click. To undo a step click on “undo”.

Once a design is created the Ribbon will display editing options. You can change the thread colour and type of stitch for the outline as well as the fill. 

Editing your Design

You can edit or delete parts of your design by either clicking the part in the sewing order pane or in the work area.

Once you have selected the area you would like to edit you can edit the design directly with the selection tools. You can access the tools by clicking on the select tool arrow and a drop down will appear with the following options:

The Select tool  
This tool is used for moving or scaling the selected design.

The Select Points tool 
This tool will create anchor points (they look like small white squares) on your design which you can click and drag to modify your design. Clicking on an anchor point will create “handles” which will allow you to modify the curve of the stitch the anchor is on. You can do this by clicking a dragging a handle.

You can add anchor points by clicking on the stitch, and you can delete them by selecting an anchor and then hitting the Delete key on your keyboard.

Clicking on the The Select Points tool will also create a red arrow which will allow you to change the direction of your stitches by clicking and dragging the square or triangle of the arrow.

You will notice that once you create a shape the steps appear in the sewing order pane. 

You can change the order of the steps by clicking and dragging each step in the sewing order pane. 

Changing stitch type

Once you have a shape (whether you’ve used the wizard or drawn it yourself) you can change the type of stitches and the colour of the thread by selecting your shape, going under the shapes tab and selecting the type of stitch and colour you would like. The upper selection is for the outline of your shape and the lower is for the fill. Clicking on the thread icon will allow you to change the colour of thread.

The different types of stitches affect how your design will look. Satin stitch will be fuller than a fill stitch. You can preview your design by selecting the view tab and under the view mode choose Realistic.

Adding Text


To add text to your design select the Home tab and under tools select text.

Choose the kind of text you would like to use: text, small text or monogram.

A text tab will open up with options you can use to design your text.

Here you can choose a font, size and stitch type.

When you have made your selection, click on the Design Page and a Text Attributes window will open.

Start typing your text. As you type your text will appear in the Text Attributes window.
The text attributes window will allow you to modify your text further. You can change the alignment, the kerning, have your text follow a path and more. 


When you have text selected a Text tab will appear in the ribbon. You can use these options to change your font, edit your stitches and convert the text to either blocks, stitches or outline. Remember you can always click on the “undo”  icon if you make an error.

Using the Import window

You can import designs from the software by using the Import window. If you don’t see the Import window you can bring it up by clicking on the Home tab>import and then choose the category you would like to import.


In the Import window under the import tab you will see two drop-down menus. 

You can look through these libraries / categories to choose a design to import. To import a design, click and drag it from the Import window to the design page. 

When you import an image a Stitches tab will appear at the top of the page. You can use these options to modify the image.

To import text from the Import window choose “Text” from the “From” drop-down menu and go through the “Category” drop-down menu for options. When you click and drag a text design on to the design page the Text Attributes window will appear. This will be where you change the word “text” to the text you choose and how you can edit your text further.

Saving and Exporting

You can save your design by clicking on the purple flower and selecting “save” or To save click on the icon. This will automatically save your file in pes format. 

To send your file directly to a USB stick (you will have to use a USB stick to transfer your file to the embroidery machines) you can click on the “Send” icon and then choose “Send to USB Media”. Choose the port with the USB stick inserted.



Learning the Interface

  1. Application button 
    Click to display a menu containing commands for file operations, such as [New], [Save], [Print] and [Design Settings]. 
  2. Ribbon 
    These tabs contain various commands for performing operations with the selected tool or embroidery pattern e.g. Home>Shapes>Rectangle tool.
  3. Quick Access Toolbar (also found under the Ribbon)
    This contains the most frequently used commands. This toolbar can be edited to contain tools most frequently used.
  4. Help button 
    Click this button to display the Instruction Manual and view information about the software. 
  5. Sewing Order pane 
    This pane shows the sewing order that the embroidery machine will use to make your design. Click the buttons at the top of the pane to change the sewing order or thread color. 
  6. Import/Color/Sewing Attributes/Text Attributes panes 
    This pane combines tabs for importing embroidery patterns as well as for specifying thread colors, sewing attributes and text attributes.
  7. Stitch Simulator pane 
    The Stitch Simulator shows how the pattern will be sewn by the machine and how the stitching will appear. 
  8. Design Page 
    The work area that can be saved and sewn.
  9. Work area 
  10. Status Bar 
    This displays the size of the embroidery data, the number of stitches or a description of the selected command.
  11. View mode buttons 
    Click a button to change the View mode. 
  12. Show grid button Click to switch between displaying and hiding the grid.
  13. Design Property button 
    Click to display a dialog box containing sewing information for the embroidery data.
  14. Zoom slider 
    This displays the current magnification ratio. Click to specify a value for the magnification ratio. Drag the slider to change the magnification ratio.

How to create an applique with PE Design

Applique is a sewing technique that involves stitching small pieces of fabric onto a larger one to make a pattern or design.You can create an applique design using the PE Design software in the Maker Studio.

Applique Stitches

To add an applique to your design you must create the following stitches which will be sewn in the same location:

  1. Running Stitch - to either mark out the placement for the applique material on the fabric in the hoop or to mark out the fabric in the hoop so you can cut out the applique material.
  2. Tack Down Stitch - to attach the cut out applique material to the material in the hoop if the applique material is already cut out.
  3. Satin Stitch - to cover the edge of your applique and the previous stitches. 

Using the Applique Wizard

PE Design 10 has an Applique Wizard which will transform your stitches into the previously mentioned steps.

You must have your stitches selected to use the Applique Wizard otherwise the Applique Wizard icon will be greyed out.

When you click on the Applique Wizard icon the following window will open:

Applique Material and Applique Position - These steps will create two copies of your design as a running stitch to allow you to see where to place your applique fabric and to cut it out. If you already have your applique pieces cut out you can skip this step by selecting the No radial.

Tack Down - If you already have your applique pieces cut out you would use this step to tack down the applique material to the fabric in the hoop. If this step is not required select the No radial.

Covering Stitch - This stitch will cover the edge of your applique. You can choose the type, width and density of the stitch.

Output Pattern - You can decide with this step whether or not you would like the applique stitches to replace your design or be outside of it. To have it replace your design you must use a closed shape. If your shape isn’t closed the Add and Replace radials will be greyed out.

 Once you click Ok on the Applique Wizard you will see the applique steps appear in the Sewing Order pane.

When you select a step in the Sewing Order pane you will see in the colour window that the applique step is highlighted.

When your stitches are applique the software will change them to the colour yellow or pink. Unfortunately if you change the colour or modify your stitches they will no longer be considered applique and the applique icon in the color window will no longer be highlighted. If this happens the embroidery machine will not stop between stitches. To make the stitch an applique again you must select the stitch on the design page and click on the correct applique icon. The first icon is Applique Material, the second is Applique Position and the third is Tack Down and Covering Stitch.

Making an applique without the Applique Wizard

It is possible to create an applique design without the Applique Wizard. Each part of your design that you wish to be an applique must have the applique stitches. If you make each stitch a different colour the embroidery machine will stop between steps. Alternatively, you can select your stitch and click on the appropriate applique icon.

Step 1: Create running stitches

Create a running stitch where you would like that applique to be. This can be done using the Open curve tool (Home>Tools>Shapes>Outline>Open Curve Tool) to trace out or draw your stitch. Be sure the stitch is Running Stitch and has no fill. To stop using the Open Curve tool double click on the left mouse button.

Select the running stitches you just created on the Design page and then copy and paste.

This will create a second set of running stitches on top of the first (with the applique material between them.) to lock down the applique fabric which can then be cut out along the stitches. If the stitches are the same colour the embroidery machine will not stop from one step to the next. You must make this step a different colour. To make it a different colour click on the spool icon next to the stitch type. Then choose a different colour*.

*Remember, you don’t actually have to use this thread colour, the purpose of changing it is to make the embroidery machine pause between steps.

Alternatively: You can also choose to make the step an applique by selecting the step in the Sewing Order pane and in the colour window choose the Applique material icon. Be sure to still make it a running stitch. Selecting the applique icons will make the embroidery machine stop between stitches but will not change the stitch type.

Once you have made the step an applique it will turn yellow. The embroidery machine now knows to stop after this step. 

Step 2: Create a tack down stitch (optional)

If you have applique pieces already cut out you would use this step to attach the piece to your hoop fabric.

To create this stitch select the last running stitch and copy and paste it. Select the new copy and  change the stitch from a running stitch to E/V Stitch. Be sure to change the colour so the embroidery machine will stop between stitches. 

When you have this stitch selected you can choose between an E stitch or a V stitch. You can select which stitch you would like under the Sewing Attributes window.

Alternatively: To make the step an applique select the step in the Sewing Order pane and in the colour window choose the Tack Down / Covering Stitch icon. You will still need to change the stitch type to an E/V stitch.

Step 3: Create a Covering Stitch

This step creates a Satin or Zigzag stitch which will cover the edge and the previous stitches of your applique.

To create this stitch select the last stitch you created and copy and paste it. Select the new copy and change it to Zigzag. Be sure to change the colour so the embroidery machine will stop between stitches. 

Alternatively: To make the step an applique select the step in the Sewing Order pane and in the colour window choose the Tack Down / Covering Stitch icon. You will still need to change the stitch type to a Zigzag stitch.
This stitch can be edited in the Sewing Attributes window. You can adjust the width of the stitch as well as the density.


How to Make a Patch Using PE Design 10

In PE Design 10 you can design a DIY patch.

To do this, create the design you would like for the patch by using the steps in the Digital Embroidery Handout Tutorial.

Once you have your design completed then create a shape (e.g. circle) around your design to be the size you would like the patch to be. Be sure to choose the Not Sewn option for the fill stitch.

Move the shape by clicking and dragging so your image is centred within it. An easy way to center your image within your shape is to select the image as well as the circle and then under the Shapes tab in the Edit group click on Arrange. Then choose Layout and under Option choose Move to Center. Make sure your image is grouped before doing this step.

Adding text

If you would like to add text to your patch click on Text and then choose the Text icon.

The text tab will open up as well as the text attributes window. Click on the design page and start writing your text.

When you are finished hit the Enter key.

You can now modify your text as long as it’s selected. If you happen to deselect the text double click on it to reselect it.

To move the text click and drag it.

To change the font use the drop down font selector in the Font menu under the Text tab.

To change the shape of your text select the Transform check box in the Text Attributes window and choose the shape you would like for your selected text.

You can then size the text by clicking and dragging the green arrows as well as changing the size of the path the text follows by clicking and dragging the green triangles.

You can change the colour of your text by being sure your text is selected and then selecting the spool of thread icon beside the stitch selector under the Sew menu.

If you need to make a change to your text, select it and then make your changes in the Text Attributes window.

Grouping colours

Once you have your design the way you would like it, it’s a good idea to group the same colours to save time during embroidery.

You can do this by clicking on the Optimize Sewing Order icon which can be found at the top of the Sewing Order panel. You can also click and drag steps in the Sewing Order panel to group the same colours, making sure the steps are still layered properly. As you move them the preview will show you all the changes you have made.

Saving and exporting

You can save your design by clicking on the purple flower and selecting “save” or To save click on the icon. This will automatically save your file in pes format. To send your file directly to a USB stick (you will have to use a USB stick to transfer your file to the embroidery machines) you can click on the “Send” icon and then choose “Send to USB Media”. Choose the port with the USB stick inserted.

You are now ready to create your patch!