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New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:09 pm
by rbrotsky
I am a brand new owner of a Viking Topaz 25 which is my first machine with embroidery capabilities. I am trying to figure it all out. It came with a memory stick with some designs already provided but I know there are additional designs I would like to download. While this is probably a "duh" question to most of you, do I need software such as Essentials to download and store purchased designs? If so, will Embrilliance Essentials be enough to give me basic capabilities without purchasing additional items? Thank you for your help!

Re: New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:37 pm
by MacStitch
Welcome to the wonderful world of machine embroidery. No, you do not need software to download and store designs on your computer. However, your embroidery life will be much easier and more fun with software. One, it helps to have an icon viewer so that you can see your designs as icons on your computer. I like to have the editing software for merging designs and changing design elements. I also print a paper template from my software so that I can position the design exactly where I want it. Combining text for lettering really requires software. And, I use the software to zoom into designs and make sure that there aren't any trouble spots before stitching. The list goes on and on. You can do everything with Essentials without any of the add ons, but like me, you may eventually decide that you need them all. When you do a merge in Embrilliance, you can see what your designs look like, but it is better to have an icon viewer in addition. Are you Windows or Mac? There are several icon viewers for each. For a wealth of information, I advise that you join sew forum -
Feel free to ask more questions.

Re: New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:09 pm
by EastWitch2
Hi rbrotsky!

Do you have a Windows computer or a Mac computer?

Did you receive any computer software with your machine that enables you to save designs to your USB Stick?
Does your machine also connect directly to your computer using a USB cord?
Your machine manual should give you instructions on how to save designs to your USB Stick or send the designs to your machine.

When you download designs from websites you usually save the downloaded design files on your computer.
The design files usually come in a Zipped file.
You would extract the design files from the zipped file in order to save the design file to your USB Stick or machine or to work with the design file in a design software program.

So if you download a design in your machine stitch format you should be able to save it to your USB stick for your machine or send it to your machine via the USB cord connection with out having any software.

The advantage of having a software program such as Embrilliance Essentials is that you can open the design in the software and see it, see the size of the design, see the colors of the design and the order that the colors stitch out when the design stitches out, and you can print a copy of the design and design color order chart of the design so you can follow it when you stitch the design out.

Essentials is a design editing software program that allows you to work with your designs in other ways too for example:
You can add 2 or more designs and save the combination of designs as one design.
You can add lettering from the built in alphabet fonts to the design and save as one design.
You can make names, monograms or text from the built in alphabets and save them as designs.
If you download a design in another machine stitch format and you would like to stitch it out on your machine you can open the design in Essentials and then save the design in your machine stitch format to stitch on your machine.
You can resize designs and when you do Essential automatically adjusts the stitch count of the design for a better stitch out.

Let us know what you received with your machine so we can help you figure this all out.

Re: New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:42 pm
by rbrotsky
I am a Mac user. My machine came with a USB stick and can connect directly to the computer with a USB cord. Viking has a free downloadable program but from what I can tell, it is only for a PC.
Thank you all for your help. Anything you can tell me is much appreciated!

Re: New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:59 pm
by EastWitch2

I had a look at your Machine Manual Online.
I have H/V Designer1 machine so I am familiar with the features of these machines.
I have a Windows Computer so am not familiar with Macs but hopefully Betty will jump in here if my information is incorrect.

Your embroidery machine requires the VIP3 Stitch format in order to stitch the design out.

Your Mac computer has a Main Drive that all your folders and files are storesd on.
When you plug a USB Stick into your computer it will show up as another Drive letter.
It may show it as a Removeable Device Drive.

When you purchase and download designs to your computer you usually store them in a folder on the Main Drive.
The downloaded designs are usally in a Zipped File which should contain your VIP3 Stitch File format and may aslo contain other stich file format for other machines and also a color chart for the design that comes as a text, or word or pdf file.

You will have to unzip the zip file or extract the files from within the zip file and place the stitch files in a new folder on your Main Drive.
Name the folder so you remember where the design stitch files are such as Extracted Designs.

Do not delete the Zip file after extracting the stitch files from it as this still hold the original files.

On a Windows Computer In order to get the VIP3 Stitch file to a USB Stick you would copy the VIP3 file from the folder that you stored the stitch file in and paste it to the USB Drive which is your USB Stick when it is plugged into your computer.
Or you could drag the VIP3 Stitch file from the Folder and drop it on to or into the USB Drive which is the USB Stick when plugged into a Windows computer.

BUT A Mac Computers handles the stitch files differently so you can't do the copy and paste or drag and drop!

Please Read Betty's post below which explains the need to have software in order to get the stitch file from your Mac Computer to your USB Stick so your machine will read the file correctly

The Essentials software makes it easy for you save the stitch file from your Mac computer to your USB stick for your machine.
You simply open or import the design into Essentials and if you want add to or edit the design and then you save the stitch file to your USB stitck using the Save Stitch File As Option.

Have a look at this Video that shows how to save design stitch file in Essentials to a USB Stick. ...

Before placing any new designs on your USB Stick read your Manual on how to save the pre loaded designs that are on the USB Stick to a folder on your computer. This ensures that you don't loose those designs.

You may also want to check with your machine dealer about using other Brands of USB Stitcks in your embroidery machine.
Usually you can use other brands of USB Sticks in Viking machines but it is best you check this.

It is a really good idea to have more than one USB stitck for your embroidery machine.
And you can usually buy them at a computer store at a much better price than buying another one from your machine dealer.

You should take your time and stitch out a few of the pre loaded designs that came on your USB stick so you get familiar with the embroidery features on your machine.
Your machine has several embroidery design editing functions that can be done right on the screen of your machine so take the time to learn what they can do for you.

Essentials has many design editing functions and would be a great complimentry program to the editing your machine has.
I find that it is so much easier to work on a computer screen than on an embroidery machine screen when editing and working with designs.

Please feel free to ask questions and on't be shy as we are here to help you.
We were all new to embroidery at one time or another and we are all still learning new things too.

See Betty's post below



Re: New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:04 pm
by MacStitch
A Mac file has extra resources in it that a Windows computer or an embroidery machine sees as two files. This confuses the embroidery machine. For this reason, we don't drag or paste files on the USB headed for the embroidery machine. You need a program or utility that exports the file without the resource fork. Embrilliance does that in its 'Save stitch file as." Convert It Mac, plus several others do that also. For this reason, you do need software and I highly recommend Essentials. Thanks Eastwitch for your thorough explanation. Before long you'll be a Mac expert as well, even without using one.

Re: New to machine embroidery - need help

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:33 pm
by rbrotsky
Thank you all so much for your prompt answers; it is a lot clearer to me now. I think I will go ahead and purchase Essentials as it definitely sounds like it will make my life easier. I'm sure I'll have other questions in the future but you have cleared things up for now.

Happy stitching.