Reader Writer


I have just recently purchased a brother se 270d. I am completely new at embroidery and I am not sure about all of the software available to help download designs. I looked into the ped basic(because it is cheapest) but saw several complaints due to the limited capabilities with it. I don't want to spend over $150 on something to help me to download designs from the internet. I am really interested n monogramming. Can anyone tell me what else is available for my machine that is not so expensive, yet still do a pretty good job? thanks!

You may be confusing editing software with memory card software.

Without a reader/writer unit and rewritable memory card and you cannot use designs from the Internet or a CD without one brand or the other.

PED Basic or another brand of the same type of software will provide a method of getting the design from the PC to the Embroidery machine via a memory card. Basically, that is all they do.

For monogramming you need fonts (alpha designs). You load as you would any other design and then copy to the memory card. Insert the memory card into the machine and press "start".

For editing, Embird is a popular product and you can download a free demo.

ABC embroidery has a tutorial for combining letters with Embird.

Remember, the design has to be within the limitation of the size hoop your machine is programed for.

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The machine only came with one pre-programmed applique' design, I would like to by a memory card for the machine with alphabet applique' embroidery designs and can only find one standard font that I am not interested in. The customer service at Brother told me that if I loaded applique' designs on my blank memory card from my computer and put the memory card in my machine that it may not recognize it as being an applique' and I would end up having to do it myself! Not what I wanted to hear. Furthermore, I am upset because I have an amazing Apple laptop which I love but is not compatible with my sewing machine software. I am stuck, and upset any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

I do not think you can even load designs from your MAC to a blank memory card due to everything machine embroidery being Windows based.

Preloaded memory cards can soon add up to the expense of purchasing additional software (Windows to be used via Boot Camp) or an inexpensive PC.

Once you have a method for reading Windows, you can purchase a reader/writer unit with a re-writable memory card for around $100 and forget the preloaded card.

I am guessing this would be $600 minimum for a PC and the reader/writer/card for machine embroidery. That's about 8 preloaded cards.

PC –

Reader/Writer/Card –

Once you can download and send to a memory card, there are thousands of designs (many free) that you can download from the Internet!

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You can start machine embroidery (ME) for less than $600.

An embroidery machine (EM) can be purchased for around $500. You can start with about $50 in supplies. A reader/writer/card unit can be purchased on-line for around $120.…this can be added later.

Visit sewing machine dealers or purchase from Walmart or Costco. I started with a Brother EM from Walmart, then about five years later, traded up for a Babylock with more bells and whistles.

Brother and Babylock are very user friendly and the most compatible with software and design files.

The lesser expensive EM most likely will have a maximum embroidery area of 4 x 4.

There will be built-in designs and fonts, but for more selection the machine will require a reader/writer unit with a rewritable memory card in the format of the EM for sending designs downloaded from the Internet to the machine. You do want to be able to take advantage of products on the web where you can find thousands of free designs to download.*

If you go higher in the price of the EM, you will get a larger embroidery area, and USB compatibility.

USB compatibility offers USB Direct Connect – a cable will come with the EM to directly connect to your PC and/or USB Flash Drive/stick drive. Either of these devices will indicate to the PC that a removable drive has been installed and that is where you will send the designs you want to use on the machine.*

Purchase supplies as you find them on sale – check the ShoppersRule and Allbrands websites – they usually have the best prices and variety. JoAnn Fabrics has thread on sale almost every month and if you sign up for the store flyer, you will know when the thread will be on sale. The flyer usually has at least one coupon. Also, check the Internet for JoAnn printable coupons.

Start with ME thread in basic colors. Polyester can take bleach, Rayon cannot. Bobbin thread comes in black or white – buy both….white for most items and black for darks.

Embroidery machines are designed to slightly pull the top thread to the back of the design, so the bobbin will only show on the back of the embroidered item.

Purchase medium weight stabilizer in tear-away (white is fine as the excess will be removed), cut away (white and black) and a water soluble stabilizer for placing on top of napped fabrics, such as towels. This provides a smooth surface for the stitching and helps prevent the stitching from sinking into the nap.

The machine will come with extra needles, tools and a manual – keep the manual handy. When learning to use the machine, open the manual and go step-by-step through the entire process, then refer to the manual as needed.

Excellent resources are: Jeannie Twigg’s book, Embroidery Essentials. Websites – Embroidery Library, ABC Embroidery and Ann The Gran.

*Before downloading embroidery designs/files, create a folder on the hard-drive of your PC. Name it Embroidery or EMB Downloads….something easy to find.

When downloading, select the design in the format of the EM and save to the folder you created on the hard-drive. Also, keep in mind the hoop size. A 8 x 6 design will not be accepted by an EM that is limited to a maximum 4 x 4 hoop.

The downloads will most likely be a zipped/compressed file. This has to be opened before it can be used. Highlight the zipped file and open or extract the file. Give the opened file an appropriate name and then delete the zipped file.

Should the design not come in the format you need, there is a free software program – Pulse Ambassador that you can download from the Internet, then open the design in question and save it in the format needed.

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Trying to decide which machine to purchase as my beginner embroidery machine. Don't want to spend too much under $500 would be great. Not sure that I will like doing it so looking for a lesser model. Thanks for your time and expertise!!!

Brother is the leader in home embroidery machines. They are easy to use, software friendly and most designs that are available on the Internet (best and least expensive way to obtain machine embroidery designs) are in pes format, which is the one used by Brother.

For your price range, you may be limiting your embroidery area to 4 x 4, which many of us started with. And many designs come within this hoop size.

The price may also limited you to using memory cards for designs which are not built into the machine. Most of us started with a reader/writer unit and rewirttable memory card for machine embroidery – the unit has to be compatible with the brand and format.

You can purchase a unit – PED Basic, a Brother product with a rewitable memory card for around $119. See Source.

To use designs from the Internet, you need to have a PC. On the hard drive, create a folder and name it Emb Downloads. Choose the design you want from the many sites on the Internet and save to the folder. The design most likely will be zipped. Mouse over and choose extract or open. A new file will appear and this is what you will send to the memory card. The zipped file can be deleted.

Save the folder to a USB flash drive (if your PC has a USB port) or to a CD as backup – do this everytime you add or change a design file in the Emb Download folder.

Open the manual and lay it next to the embroidery machine. Read through and apply each feature of the machine.

Some basic supplies you will need are – stabilizer (tear away, cut away and water soluable); machine embroidery bobbin thread; machine embroidery thread – polyester will withstand chlorine bleach, but rayon is more readily available. Start with a few basic colors.

Add to your supply list as you find the items on sale.

Embroidery Library has great tutorials and tips –

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I want to learn how to monogram. What kind of machine do I need? I have heard you can just get a software to hook up with your sewing machine. Is that true? I don't have a huge budget so a low cost solution would be great.

If you already have a sewing machine you can learn to do this, but it takes time to learn as most will be free motion (you guide the fabric as the needle goes up and down).

Otherwise, you will need to spend at least $600 just to get started.

There are combo (sewing & embroidery) machines that can give you more for the money or you can buy an embroidery only machine.

The embroidery machines have a limited amount of designs, letters, numbers and punctuation already built in.

To add more you can download from the Internet. Some designs are free and some you have to pay for.

You add the designs by sending them to a folder on the hard drive of the computer, a cd or flash drive.

You then select the design you want to send to the embroidery machine and send it via a direct cable hook-up that comes with the embroidery machine.

If the machine does not have this option, you have to purchase a reader/writer unit specifically for an embroidery machine and a rewritable memory card for the specific format of the embroidery machines. These start at about $100 for Brother PED brand (on line) and go up.

The Brother sold at Walmart, plus the software you would be spending around $600 and then you have to have machine embroidery thread, bobbin thread and stabilizer for another $50 or so. The machine will come with extra needles and bobbin spools…which can be resupplied where sewing notions are sold.

This one is a good price –
It includes the reader software and the shipping is free.

Check with local sewing machine dealers. They may have a good price on an embroidery machine that the owner traded in on a more expensive model.

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  • what kind of sewing machine needed for monogram

I have a Janome 6600P can someone please help as to how I download the designs.
Thank you.,
Sorry everyone I should have said that I have a Janome 350E embroidery machine as well as 6600P.
I shall just put it down as a "Senior Moment"

I cannot find any information on the 6600P being an embroidery machine.

A computer's operating system does not recognize embroidery machine formats.

You can save the download to a folder, but cannot open it without machine embroidery software.

If you want to see the design, you can download this free software

It is not what you need, but at least you can view the design.

Embroidery machines use (1) a direct cable hook-up to the computer, that comes with the machine, or (2) a flash drive, or (3) a memory card, or (4) a cd.

Which of the above methods does your machine use?

Only # 3 requires additional software – a machine embroidery reader/writer unit and card compatible with your machine.


I have never used an embroidery machine and would like one. I have a very old Bernina sewing machine which I love, but would it make more sense to buy a combo machine?

Combos are usually a little more expensive, but it is always a good option to have a second sewing machine.

Brother is the leader and first to offer home embroidery machines.

I purchased a Brother embroidery only machine from Walmart and used it for several years and then upgraded to a Babylock (same family) that is a combo, has a larger embroidery field and USB connectivity.

The standard embroidery area (based on the largest size hoop that comes with the machine) is 4 x 4, which limits the size of the design that can be stitched without using editing software for machine embroidery to split the design into smaller segments (2 or more).

USB connectivity makes it easy to send designs to the embroidery machine from the PC (or flash drive) as this is where downloads will be stored.

Most of the new models have either a cable (USB Port B) that connects to the PC (after sending the designs to the embroidery machine, it no longer has to be connected to the embroidery machine and PC).

Or, flash drive (USB Port A ) which comes up on the PC screen as a removable drive. This product is good to have as storage as well as a method of providing designs for the embroidery machine once it is plugged into the machine.

Without USB connectivity you will need to purchase a reader/writer/memory card unit for machine embroidery that is compatible with the format of the embroidery machine.

Brother and Babylock use the pes format. Example roses.pes.

Bernina makes great machines, but they are too expensive and so are the accessories. The format is not that compatible for conversion (formats can be converted if you find a design you like in a format different than what is required by the machine).

Pulse Ambassador is a free software download for conversion. I have used it with success, with exception of the art format (as in which is one used by Bernina.

With these basics in hand, shop the sewing machine dealers and see what is available.

Buy the machine you like the best from the dealer you like the best.

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I want to get an embroidery machine that I can just put in what I want to embroider onto something and then let it go. I do not want to free hand embroider. Can someone help me, because I am unsure on which one to buy?

Any brand. However, Brother is the most user and software friendly.

Putting "something in" depends on what you mean.

Embroidery machines can only read machine embroidery formats.

There are many machine embroidery designs you can download from the Internet – some you purchase and some are free.

There will be some designs already built-into the embroidery machine, including alpha/numerical fonts.

Downloads or CDs have to be loaded on the PC. Then transferred to the embroidery machine.

How you get the design to the embroidery machine will depend on the capabilities of the machine.

Some use a machine embroidery formatted memory card – this type of machine will require a reader/writer unit and rewritable memory card for the brand and format of the machine.

Some use UBS port B direct connect cable. The cable comes with the machine and has to be connected to the PC for sending the design to the machine.

The best models have USB port A. You transfer the design to a flash stick and then insert it into the embroidery machine.

If you want to embroider your own art or clip art, you will need machine embroidery digitizing software and this starts at about $700.

Expect to spend at least $800. Plus another $50 or so for thread and stabilizer.


I'm looking for an embroidery machine that will do custom logos. I need to upload images (gif/jps whatever) from my PC. All it really needs to handle is one color, but the more the merrier. Would also like it to be able to do at least a couple of fonts so I can write names. Thanks!

Any embroidery machine will do what you want, but the design has to be in the embroidery format of the machine (pes, sew, hus are examples).

The machine will not recognize gif/jpg/jpg and whatever.

You will need to purchase digitizing software and then you need a way of getting the design to the embroidery machine.

The less expensive machines use a memory card for machine embroidery, which requires the purchase of a reader/writer unit and rewritable memory card. These have to be compatible with the brand/model and format of the embroidery machine. These are usually less expensive online.

The more expensive embroidery machines either have USB Port B (direct connect) where you have to have the PC next to the embroidery machine or both, USB Port B and USB Port A (removable flash drive/stick), which is self describing.

You can download trials and demos of the software before you purchase – the easier to use the better. However, even auto-digitizing can need tweaking. Here is one that is free during the trial stages

Visit sewing machine dealers and tell them what you want to do and they will show you what they have. Expect to pay out at least $2,000 for the entire kit and caboodle.

Or, you can buy the Brother at Walmart and the reader and card at Allbrands for a total of around $700. This how I got started – it may appear confusing, but it is not rocket science.


I have a Viking Scandinavia 400 Embroidery machine with the 4D Reader/Writer Kit that was working find until I downloaded the Stitch Era Universal software for free. The stitch era works Find but it stopped the 4D organizer which make the reader/writer send the design to the card that allow me to use my embroidery Machine. I get the error message "This application has failed to start because Tool Kit Pro 1122vc90U.dll was not found. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem" But it don't. Now I can not remove the SEU, I have tried to reinstall the 4D program back on my computer BUT, it dose not work and the uninstall for the stitch Era is not on my Computer. I've tried the Restore System to return it to before I installed the SEU but this did not work. I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to All who gave me help. I had already tried regcure to clean up the error, what a waste of my $20.00 bucks. It found error but it did not repair the problem that it said it would. will try your suggestions and we will see what happens.

There are users running both programs successfully, although I don't know why it's not working in your case. If you need to remove Stitch Era, first do a regular uninstall from the Windows Control Panel, then reboot, then run the Clean utility: