Going further

Start with using designs on the machine, without changing them, to learn the basic operations of this machine. (See the post on a one-colour stitch out.)

Then use downloaded designs, without changing them, to learn how to download and transfer designs.
Here’s a post on using downloaded designs.

Many many designs available to purchase. Whatever you love, whatever your favourite style, you can probably find someone who loves it enough to have made embroidery designs featuring it (pets, cars, hobbies, sports, lifestyles, fantasies . . . ).
Just some of the huge design sites :
OESD (a Bernina company).
Embroidery Library.
Anita Goodesign.

There are so many design riches already available.
Using ready-made designs, in which your involvement in the stitching process is just to change colours, may fill your embroidering dreams.

But there are several avenues for adding to what you can do with your embroidery machine, if you feel that’s what you would enjoy.
Some techniques need more actions from you during the embroidery process.
Or there are all the possibilities for changing a design.
Explore to find what’s best for you.

Use different machine embroidery techniques.

Here’s note from OESD on different types of embroidery design.

Embroidery Library and Anita Goodesign above have extensive photo tutorials and videos on different techniques.

There are also formal on-line video classes (not free), from such as :
Martha Pullen/The Sewing Collection
Sewing Mastery/Heirloom Creations (class on the Anita Goodesign fundamentals sampler)

When you know what you love, searching can be rewarding. You may find small design companies which share your design style and specialise in what you love, perhaps crazy quilting, bags, quilts, in-the-hoop designs. . . Though designs and support information can vary greatly in quality.

There’s also learning about the stabilisers needed to stitch on different types of fabric. There are Bernina videos and e-books on stabilisers.
Bernina video about OESD stabilisers (many other stabiliser companies too).
Bernina e-book on stabilisers.

Or find out how to stitch on ready-made items such as tees and caps. . .
It may be easier to stitch on garments and bags with the 500E as it has free arm.
Some links on this about 2/3 down the first Hoops post.

There’s a hoop aid for stitching on caps, a “cap buddy”. Also used for stitching on other complex 3D shapes. The Bernina Hoop-n-Buddyz is not a hoop itself but is used with the Large Oval hoop.
Some links on using it about 2/3 down the second Hoops post.

Change designs

When you see a design, do you immediately want to change it a little. . .

Explore all the editing possibilities on the 500E, see the Editing tab in the black pull-down menu above.
You can change designs, and combine designs together, and/or combine with text.
Perhaps the easiest and most used alteration is to change the design size, see about half way down the main Editing post.

You can do much more editing on the 500E than you can in free Bernina ARTlink 8 software (Windows only).
But this basic software is useful if you want to see designs at full size, or print out placement templates and colour lists.

For a wider range of editing options, if you find you enjoy adapting other people’s designs to match your own ideas, get mid-level embroidery software.
Here’s a post about Bernina software.

Make your own designs

If you find you want to make your own designs from scratch, you need digitising software.
Bernina’s digitising software is among the most expensive on the market.
See this post for a range of other software options. You can use any software which produces formats which can be read by the 500E.

Change up to another machine ?

With the 500E there’s a lifetime’s huge wealth of embroidery machine possibilities to explore 😀 but you may be thinking you could do yet more with a different machine.

In terms of the types of machine embroidery you can do, there isn’t much advantage to changing to a bigger machine.
Nearly all the different types of embroidery technique can be done in a 4″x4″ hoop.

The main advantage with more expensive machines is you can stitch bigger embroideries. Bernina 7 and 8 series machines can embroider a wider area (8″ on the 7 series, 10″ on the 880, compared to 6″ on the 5 series), and have a much bigger screen (7″ wide compared to 4.3″ on the 500E). But they’re also bigger and much heavier machines, difficult to move from one position to another or take to a class.
Mostly they can do the same design editing as the 500E. There are some increased firmware abilities :
– the 880 Plus, 790 Plus and 590 can include decorative stitches in embroidery designs.
– the 880 Plus includes ’embroidery shaping and distortion’ to change existing designs, and ’stitch designer’ to make your own decorative stitches.

The 500E can do most of the currently possible on-machine editing in the Bernina range.
Bernina sewing machines also have optional tools for cutting out fabric shapes for appliqué, painting, and adding crystals. Plus there’s software for using those tools to make designs. (Bernina with optional tools) According to the manual, these can all be done on the 500E.

There are much more expensive TOL machines from other companies, which do include other technologies. These machines have tablet sized screens.
– scan and auto-digitise on the machine (BabyLock, Brother)
– develop a design and transfer to the machine using apps on a tablet or phone and wi-fi (Husqvarna Viking, Janome , Pfaff). TOL Husqvarna and Pfaff machines also have 13″x14″ hoops.

But those design editing tasks can easily be done by people who do not have one of those machines.

You can do auto-digitising using software on a computer, just not direct on the embroidery machine, see software options post.

There are machine independent apps for editing designs on a tablet or phone. From the on-site descriptions it looks as if in both Stitch Buddy and DRAWingsSnap you may be able to edit parts of a design, which you can’t do direct on the 500E.
Though you can’t use wi-fi to transfer designs direct to your embroidery machine, you have to do the transfer using a computer and usb stick.
I don’t know how the editing features of the TOL tablet-wifi apps compare to these.

As a quilt lover I do occasionally dream of being able to stitch out larger designs, but I’m a long way from having worked through all the options open to me on my 500E 😀

= = = = =

Change stitch out order

You can change the stitch out order of :
– motifs in a combination,
– colours.

– – –

Change the stitch out order of motifs
M75, W35

Why would you want to change the order motifs are stitched out ?
In a combined design, motifs are stitched out in the order they are in the Layer Panel, starting from the bottom (see the Combinations post for information about the Layer Panel).

In the Workbook example p.35 a monogram was entered first then a motif. So the monogram would be stitched out under the motif. . .

In my example of 7 fonts from the Text post, I shifted the position of the fonts around until I found a placement I preferred, but then the stitching out of the motifs would have jumped around all over the place. I wanted them stitched out around the circle.

Make sure the design is ungrouped :
Touch circled ‘i’ to access Edit screen : ”i-circle”
If necessary touch the group-ungroup icon : ”group-ungp”
So all the motifs can be edited individually.
Each motif in the layer panel is numbered at bottom left.

In the Layer Panel :
select the motif you want stitched first.
On the Edit screen scroll down to the re-arrange icon : ”stitch
In the workbook this icon is called ‘Rearrange Stitch Order’.
In the manual it’s called ‘New Allocation’.

Touch this button.
A panel of up-down arrows appears.
Use them to move the selected motif.
Click down until the motif is in position 1.

Repeat with the motif you want stitched second :
– select the motif : to select a motif touch it in the layer panel, or click up/down the layers panel until the motif you want is highlighted.

– the rearrange arrows are still in place on the right : use them to move the motif down to the second level.

The number of the highlighted motif is not always easy to read,
so if the motifs are not obviously different, notice the number of the motif above. In this case, to get the motif in position 2, it needs to be below motif 3.

And so on.

You can do this shifting around in any sequence you like, and move motifs up as well as down.

If you’ve lost track of where you are :
use the up-down arrows in the Layer Panel to check the stitch out order.

When you’ve finished, click through the motifs in the Layer Panel to check they’re in the sequence you want – touch a motif in the panel and it’s highlighted in the hoop.

Then exit the Rearrange tool, using the navigation bar :
– to do more editing : touch the ’i’, which takes you back to the Edit screen.
– to save the design, change colours or move on to a stitch out : touch the X, which takes you back to the Design Overview screen with the inner right menu of main selection tabs.

– – –

Change the stitch out order of colours

Various options can be used during a stitch out to change the stitch out order of colours, see the Embroidery screen post. There’s also a specific post on Reducing colour changes.

= = = = =

Combining motifs

Combining several motifs into one design – perhaps once you’ve done a combination with the help of your dealer it’s all very obvious. But having to learn about it by myself, this is another topic I puzzled over for some time.
M79-80, W20

The main information about, and control of, combinations is done in the area to right of the hoop on both Design Overview and Edit screens.

In the Workbook, this area is called the ‘Layer Panel’.

– – –

Features of the layer panel

Example from the Text basics post, a design built from 7 text motifs.

Ungrouped design – all motifs are shown separately (see Editing options post)

Bottom of Layer Panel

Bottom layer shows complete design, and when this selected, Edit tools apply to whole design.
Also the black ’embroidery properties’ bars at bottom of screen are the stitching time and size information for the complete design.

Individual motifs in the design each have their own layer,
Select a motif by touching it in the layer panel, or clicking up or down to it in the layer panel.

Click the arrow at the top of the panel to see layers above those shown.

Top of Layer Panel

At the top : touch ‘+’ in circle icon to add a motif (see later).

This screen shows an individual motif selected.
Selected motif is highlighted both in the hoop and in the layer panel.
When a motif is selected, Edit tools apply to this motif only.
And the black ’embroidery properties’ bars at bottom of screen are the stitching time and size information for the specific motif selected.

At the bottom of the layer panel : use the down arrow to see layers below.

‘Grouped’ design, motifs treated together as one design (see Editing options post).
There is only one layer in the Layer Panel.

When a design is grouped, editing actions such as size/ orientation/ colour changes apply to the complete design.
The black ’embroidery properties’ bars at bottom of screen show the total stitching time and total size of the design.

– – –

Adding motifs to a design

Start the design with one motif in the hoop.

I used a built-in motif, folder 3 design 36.
This motif opens centred in the Medium hoop.
– Change to the Large Oval hoop,
– rotate the motif,
– move it to the left side of the hoop (to X -245,Y 0), so that side of the hoop is the top of the design.

Add more of the SAME motif

The same motif repeated with regular spacing,
as in a border, use Endless embroidery : M73-5, M86-7, W38
This tool can be accessed from both Edit and Embroidery Screens ”endless”

The same motif but used differently
Select motif then use the Duplicate button : M75, M79-80, W19 ”duplicate”

For examples using duplicates in a design, see the Move motif and Text basics posts.
(Duplicates haven’t got to be placed symmetrically, but I always seem to think this way !)

Add a DIFFERENT motif

Touch ‘+’ at top of layer panel : ”add-motif”

That gets you to a design access screen with navigation bar, usually the design access screen you were last looking at.

Or it goes straight to the ‘3 folders’ screen, from which you can find a design (see Access designs post).

Touch a motif to add it to the design.

Added motifs are placed in an open area of the hoop if possible. If not, they’re centred.
You can then move the new motif around in the hoop, by drag and drop, or accurately using the move tool – see the Move motif post,
and edit it, using the Editing tools.

Add a swirl to the heart : folder 3 design 27.
– Vertical flip the motif,
– reduce size (to 85% – I would have preferred it smaller but wanted to keep stitch quality),
– move (to X 290,Y 615),
– rotate (20º clockwise – to align better with the heart).

– Duplicate the swirl (the edited motif is duplicated, not the original),
– flip,
– place it symmetrically below the heart (see Move post).

Combining text and image

You can combine text and images starting with either one or the other :

If you have already entered some text, it has become a motif with a Design Overview screen. So you can touch the ‘+’ to add an image (or another text motif).

If you are starting with an image,
to add text : touch the ‘+’, go to the ‘3 folders’ screen and touch the ABC folder, see Text basics post.
When you access entering text from the Layers Panel, then when you ‘confirm’ your text entry, the text appears as a motif and layer in the combination.

– Enter the word LOVE in Guinevere font,
– enlarge (to 115%),
– rotate,
– move it (to X 205,Y 10).

Default text colour is black. When stitching out, you can just change that to any thread.
I wanted to see what it looked like in red on the screen.
For this example see instructions in the Colour section near the end of the Text post.

– – –

Delete motif from combination : select motif and touch delete button : M75, M79 ”delete”
You can also swipe out a motif, but I find the delete button easier to use.

– – –

Assessing and revising your design

When designing, you have to keep moving between general and specific views, between a general view of the design, and specific tools to alter it.

During design development
you have to keep touching or clicking up and down the Layer Panel :
– down to bottom of Layer Panel to see the complete design and assess how the motifs work together (and when this layer is selected, the Edit tools apply to the whole design)
– up in Layer Panel to revise the design : select specific motifs in the design, move them by drag and drop or more accurately, and to do any other editing of them.

When re-colouring what is shown in the hoop
you have to switch to and fro between the design and colour tabs in the inner right menu (see images at top of post) : look at the design and select a motif, then go to the colour tab to change its colour(s), back to the design and assess the effect then back to the colour tab, and so on until you have the effect you’re looking for.

Saving your design

Bernina say it’s best practice to group and centre the final design, for the version to stitch out.
This is very easy – just Save the design and this is done automatically.
See Save/ Delete post.

Beware – the 500E may be a computer of sorts, but it does not warn you when you’re about to do something which will overwrite or delete your design ! nor does it automatically save your work every few minutes. . .
So it’s good to get into the habit of saving your design work at intermediate points.
Also I like to save the intermediate steps of a design, so I can go back to a previous stage if I change my mind.
The only trouble with this is that designs are grouped and centred when they’re saved, so you may not get back quite what you are expecting. . . see example in the Save/ Delete post.

Stitch out sequence

Layers are numbered up from the bottom in the layer panel, and are stitched out in this sequence.
When you’re designing, motifs are layered in the sequence you entered them into the design, which may not be the order you want them to be stitched out in.
There are ways of altering the sequence of motifs and the sequence of colours.

See more detail in the post on Changing stitch out order.

You can change the sequence of stitching motifs within a combination, using the Rearrange Stitch Order/ New Allocation tool on the Edit screen : M75, W35 ”stitch

There are several ways of altering the sequence that colours are stitched out in. These tools are on the Embroidery screen and applied during the stitch out.

– – –

Are you full of ideas for using this marvellous tool to combine motifs, or motifs and text, into your own design 😀

= = = = =

Text basics

This is another of those topics which Bernina thinks is so obvious they barely bother to say anything about it (M81-2, W28).
I didn’t find it obvious at all.

But once I realised two main things, I did move forward quickly :

– The key to getting to the text tools is to get to the ‘3 folders’ screen.

On the ‘3 folders’ screen, touch the ABC folder.

– Using text is a 2-stage process :
First enter the text letters.
Then, once you’ve entered some text and touched ‘confirm’, it becomes a ‘motif’ – an embroidery file, and appears on a Design Overview screen. You can no longer change the letters, but you can use all the options on the Edit screen : move, re-size, flip, combine, etc.

– – –

Access text entering tools

Text entering is accessed by touching the Alphabet folder on the ‘3 Folders’ screen, so how to get to the ‘3 folders’ screen. . .

If you finished the previous design, the ‘3 folders’ come up as the first screen when you switch on.
(If you were in the middle of a stitch-out when you switched off, when you switch on the machine takes you back to that motif/design.)

Or – find a design access screen with full navigation bar across the top.
If necessary, use the Design Administration tab at top of inner right menu.
On the navigation bar, touch the breadcrumb second from left.

Entering text

Touch alphabets folder as above, the font choice screen appears.

Touch font of choice and ‘keyboard’ appears.

manual p.81

The entry ‘keyboard’ has letters in alphabetic order, not the Qwerty layout of a conventional keyboard (I have so much touch typing experience, I find it easier to use a qwerty keyboard, even when pecking, but I suppose that isn’t true for everyone.)
Conventional punctuation is on the page with the numbers (button 3 above).

Enter text by touching the keyboard, text appears top left.
Touch delete key as necessary : ”text

Touch green tick button to confirm text entry. The text now becomes a ‘motif’ and cannot be changed.

If you want to change the letters in the text after you’ve touched the green tick ‘Confirm’ button, such as when you notice a spelling mistake later, you have to delete this whole ‘motif’ and enter another one.

Touching red X or top right X gets back to the fonts folders, and you lose any text you put in.

– – –

Hoop for motif

After you confirm text, the screen goes to a Design Overview screen for the text, which has now become a ‘motif’, an embroidery file.
With a suggested hoop the text may fit in, rotate the design if need be.
Note the Design Overview may show the best hoop for the design, not the hoop which happens to be on the machine.

So there are a couple of options :
Either alter hoop on the machine to match what the machine has chosen.

Or change hoop displayed on screen, and edit motif size and orientation to work in another hoop : Access the hoop screen, by touching image in left menu : ”hoop” and touch the icon for the relevant hoop.

– – –

Stitch out of the 7 fonts

To have a look at the fonts, I wrote the same word in each western font. And moved the motifs around by drag and drop. I then moved them more accurately using the Move tool, see examples and placement aids in the Move post.

This design consists of 7 separate ‘motifs’, the 7 words.
See the Colour Information tab (inner right menu) : the machine thinks of these as 7 separate items to stitch, it will stop after each motif. So I could have used a different thread colour for each word.
(If you want to stitch each letter in a different colour, you have to enter the letters individually, as separate motifs.)

I chose to have all the same colour, so I could have made the stitch-out continuous by using the :
– ‘reduce colour changes’ button,
– or the monochrome button,
on the Embroidery screen, see post.
I was thinking the bobbin might run out, so chose to have the machine stop stitching after each motif/ word.

Here is my first sample stitch out (fills the Large Oval hoop).

I had some user-error problems at the beginning of the motif bottom right, which are chronicled in the Upper thread break post.

The fonts are much more attractive and different than they look from the manual as if they are going to be 😀
It’s fun looking at these, I can imagine assigning them as the favourites of different personalities !
(I’m definitely Guinevere. With Curly a close second. Much though I love my Berninas, if I had to live in a world of Swiss Block I would keep making mistakes. . .)

Jump stitches
Some of the fonts do not space the letters so all the jump stitches between letters are cut automatically (default jump stitch cutting on the 500E is anything longer than 1/4″- 6mm). But all letters start and end with securing stitches, so the remaining jump stitches could be cut out manually.
I have left them on the sample, I think it looks obvious they’re not difficult to remove manually.

It is possible to change the length for automatic cutting of jump stitches, M56. It can be changed down to 1mm.

Size of fonts

All the fonts in the 7-fonts design are at 100% size, unchanged from the original.
They clearly differ in width, not surprising – that’s a basic feature of font design.

But I was expecting them all to be the same height and they stitch out slightly different, though all about 1″/ 2.5 cm.
approx. main height of E in cm (measured on sample above) :
(number is number on font screen)

top left – Curly (7) – 3.0
top right – Guinevere (3) – 2.5
centre left – Child’s Play (5) – 2.7
centre right – Rounded Sans (8) – 2.5
bottom left – Drifter (4) – 2.5
bottom right – Swiss Block (1) – 2.6
middle – Anniversary (2) – 2.3

Changing the size ? From the next example, it looks as if it’s best not to use the fonts supplied on the machine at more than 20% smaller. I haven’t yet tried the special text editing tools, which may mean it’s possible to make these letters larger successfully.

– – –

Editing/ designing text

Note that entering the text just sets up the letters chosen.
After touching the green confirm, the letters are fixed and the text is treated as a single ’motif’.

Once the text has become a ‘motif’ it appears on its own Design Overview screen, and you can use all the Edit screen tools to change it as a whole : move, re-size, rotate, flip, combine, re-colour on-screen, etc.
There are also some special Edit tools for text, which I’m planning to talk about later.

In the 7 fonts sample above, the only thing different between the 7 motifs is the font and the position. Here’s another example with more changes.

To make this design :
– choose the Curly font, and input ‘MIRROR’ using the text entry tool.
Touch confirm to make that a motif, then :
– on the Edit screen (touch ‘i’ on Design Overview screen) : duplicate, flip, move to symmetry.
– via the Colour Information tab : colour change – see next section.
– again on the Edit screen: ‘group’ the 2 motifs and reduce the whole design in size to fit the Medium hoop (about a 25% size change).

See the Edit and Move posts for more information about these actions.

25% size reduction – Bernina recommends using size changes less than 20%, and I think the stitch quality of this is not as high as the original – the stitches are rather crushed together.
The largest Workbook example of changing letter size is 20%.
This suggests it’s best to use the fonts on the 500E at close to the original height.

More lessons learned from this sample :
– Curly isn’t an ideal font for showing a reflection effect.
– the colour choice hasn’t worked out as well as I expected.
None of these discoveries were deliberate !

Change colour on screen

Default text colour is black.
Here’s an example from my post on combining motifs.

When stitching out, you can just change that to any thread.

But if you want to see what a different colour looks like in the design on screen ?
Touch the Colour Information tab in the inner right menu : ”color-tab”
The colours used in the design are listed on the right side of the screen that appears. You can only see 4 at a time, swipe to see the others.

Swipe up to the black, in this design it’s the 7th colour used.
Named as Default – a specific black thread has not been chosen !

Touch rotating icon at right of black colour bar.
That gets to a complete listing of colours in the same thread brand as the other colours of the design.
(You can change to another brand if you want to, using the menu above the colour options. There’s a huge data base of thread colours hidden away on this machine !)
Swipe up to see all colours.
Touch the colour wanted.

Some brands have 100s of subtle colours, e.g. Isacord, so it may be easier to enter colour numbers chosen from a thread card or spool.
After touching rotating icon, if need be – select thread brand in menu at top.
To get an ‘enter number’ screen : touch Q icon in navigation bar on the screen with the brand bar at top.

More on these colouring options planned for a later post.

To go back to the design : touch design tab (2nd down, pencil icon) in inner right menu.
The motif now has this colour.

– – –

More fonts, more text editing

If you love lettering, you’re not limited to using these 7 fonts in your embroidery designs.

There are many embroidery design alphabets available to purchase, some very ornate and beautiful.
”JacobeanZ” . . . . . ”ABC-Z”
Embroidery Library Jacobean . . . . . . ABC Embroidery Victorian Whitework

But when using those in a design, each letter has to be entered as a separate motif. So it is a lengthy process to enter more than just an initial or monogram.
Writing whole names, words and sentences is much easier with a text tool, such as on the 500E, as you can input complete lines of text.
(Embrilliance Alpha Tricks is an example of software which can convert separate letter alphabets to usable from a keyboard.)

Most general embroidery software also allows you to input words and sentences, not just letters one at a time, so may be a good buy if you’d like more fonts with easy ways of using them.
For example, Bernina Toolbox has 100 fonts. (There’s a link on that page which says ‘Overview of Designs, Lettering and Monograms’ but it only shows designs and is very very slow.)

The software I have (Embrilliance Essentials) has 12 fonts. They’re different in style to the ones on the 500E, so make a good supplement.

The 500E can do many marvellous things, including the ways it can edit text, but many more changes can be done in text-specialised software.
Some software, such as Bernina Toolbox, has options specifically for processing lettering.
Some software can change their built-in fonts in a wider range of ways than are possible on the 500E. For example, you can’t slant the letters on the 500E – you can in some embroidery software.

Stitch out a quotation or poem ? Quite small letters needed to fit it all in a hoop.
On the 500E the built-in letters stitch out best at around 1″/2.5cm height. Some software can make bigger text size changes with their built-in fonts. Several solutions. As an example, the fonts from Embrilliance are ‘fully scaleable’ – some fonts can go down to about 1/4″/ 8mm, some up to 8″/20cm. While Bernina Toolbox uses a different method – it has special letters for small sizes.

My Mac computer word processors include a large number of fonts. And there are many other fonts available free and to purchase. Some embroidery software can convert those to embroidery files.

– – –

This is just the basics of using text on the 500E.
To combine text with images, see the Combine motifs post.
And there are some more text editing tools I plan to come back to.

= = = = =

Move motif in hoop, symmetry

Move roughly : touch motif, drag and drop, W19

Move accurately
on Edit screen, touch Move icon : ”move”

Touching icon gets to screen for Move tool :
manual p.69, my annotations

Use rotary knobs for accurate positioning.
You can do this ‘by eye’.
Or you can use the actual X, Y numbers for more accuracy – see below.

Centre motif in hoop – touch icon : M69, W21 ”centre-hp”

– – –

Visual tools which aid with accurate placement

If you prefer visual references for positioning, you can get a centre cross, or a grid over the whole hoop area (it isn’t part of the design). These aids appear on every design, unless you turn them off again from the hoop screen.

To get a reference cross marking the hoop centre :
Go to the hoop screen – touch hoop icon in left menu : ”hoop”
Touch the hoop in use.
Touch the grid icon : ”grid”
To get back to your design : touch X top right.
Examples below.

To get a grid over the whole area of the hoop
As above but touch the grid button twice. A grid is added to the cross.
Grid lines are 1cm/ c3/8″ apart – same as hoop template.

manual p.82

To turn off both cross and grid : touch the grid button a third time.

To place motif right at the edge of the hoop :
If part of a motif is outside the hoop, the hoop turns red. So move a motif until the hoop turns red, then use the rotary knobs to move it back into the hoop as little as needed.
Motif currently being edited is high-lighted in the design area.

To see relative placement clearly :
Motifs are on a small scale when you can see the entire hoop. Use the zoom tool so you can see part of the hoop more clearly, and so place one motif relative to another with more accuracy.

– – –

Using the X, Y numbers

If you’re comfortable with using numbers, then you can use the X, Y numbers for very accurate placement.

‘Centre’ of motif is marked by a black cross-in-circle – this may not be in the centre but it is the main reference point for the motif.

When motif is centred in hoop, X = Y = 0

X numbers are distance of motif centre to left or right of centre vertical line in hoop.
Change this position using the upper knob.

Y numbers are distance of motif centre above or below centre horizontal line in hoop.
Change this position using the lower knob.

Match position of symmetrical motifs

Use the X,Y numbers to place motifs with accurate symmetry.
Example uses small motif, folder 3 number 37.
I did these examples ‘by eye’ on my computer in graphics software, as it’s easy to make images. So they’re not very accurate.
But I could have made all these options on the 500E, as they just involve flipping and rotating. And get accurate placement on the 500E with the Move tools ! (see example later)

above and below centre horizontal
Both motifs have the same X (L/R) number, change the Y number.

Select one motif (touch in hoop or in layers panel)
Go to move tool
Note X and Y numbers,
e.g. upper motif : X = 0, Y = 300

Select other motif
Go to move tool
Use rotary knobs to change X and Y numbers to match,
e.g. lower motif : X = 0, Y = -300

Similar for accurate positioning either side of centre vertical :
Keep Y number (vertical position) the same.
Left motif has – X number, right motif has + the same X number.
In the example :
left : X = -185, Y = 0,
right : X = 185, Y = 0.

Example : symmetrical positioning of 4 motifs

Here are the symmetrical options for 4 of these motifs.

I like all of these, but chose the one bottom left. The one top left could be good for adding an initial letter in the centre space.

I set that up easily on my 500E, using buttons on the Edit screen (see Editing options – overview).
I duplicated the basic motif, using the duplicate button : ”duplicate”
Then used flip, and rotate 90º, before using the Move tools on each motif to get accurate symmetry (X185, Y300).

Stitch out in warmer colours :

I used the ‘reduce colour changes’ button on the Embroidery screen so I didn’t need to make 27 thread changes ! see Reduce colour changes post.

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Reducing colour changes

When you repeat a motif, you repeat colours.

That’s the Design Overview screen for an example (from the Move post) with 4 duplicated motifs, each motif with 7 colours.
The Colour Information tab shows this design uses 28 colours.
If the 4 motifs were stitched one after the other, that would need 27 thread changes.
So I applied thread simplifying, so each colour was used only once.

Go to the Embroidery screen.
Image in design area highlights what will be stitched with the specific colour selected in the colour bar.

Touch the ‘reduce colour changes’ button : ”reduce
The button has a yellow outline when active.

All the parts of the design in the same colour are now stitched out together.

The Colour Information tab shows the design now uses 7 colours, so 6 thread changes.

Of course this colour reduction can also be applied to a mixed collection of motifs, I just used a duplicated motif for an example.

Another special tool on the 500E, this time a big hassle reducer 😀

Though this simplification only works if the motifs do not overlap.
And it’s a good idea to make a sample to check the reduced colour changes version stitches out correctly.

Note the estimated total stitch out time (upper black bar) has gone down, so presumably this time on the Embroidery screen includes an allowance for thread changing.
And the specific colour stitch out time (lower black bar) has gone up, as each colour is now stitched 4 times in the same step.

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Upper thread breaks/ bobbin runs out

Use the sequence control button on the Embroidery screen : ”threadbreak”
(manual 85-6, workbook 25)
A good idea to try this before it’s needed for real 😀

But when this does happen for real :
Upper thread break : an error screen appears – touch the accept button and it goes straight to the sequence control screen.
Bobbin thread problems or bobbin runs out : also error screen leading to sequence control screen.

Here’s the problem I was dealing with in this example

See lower right. Example from Text basics post.

Start again with a small overlap in stitching

The usual idea after a thread break is simple – you want to move the needle position back in the embroidery instructions, so the start of the new stitching overlaps a little with the end of the old.


The sequence control screen shows an enlarged view of the stitches on the right.
Look at the real embroidery to see how they match up.
If the enlarged view is not the area you are interested in, touch the area in the left screen that you want showing on the right.

The cross-in-circle shows the needle position.
Turn the upper rotary knob counter-clockwise to move it backwards.
Turn the upper rotary knob clockwise to move the needle forward.
(Actually, as the workbook says, it’s more accurate to think of the hoop moving under the needle.)

The upper knob moves the needle one stitch at a time.

If you prefer to use specific stitch numbers (such as to move back 10 stitches), the number at bottom right is the current stitch number.
Touch the ‘search/ magnifier’ icon next to it, to get a screen where you can enter the stitch number you want the needle to move to.
Touch the green tick box to make the move.

Start again elsewhere

The lower rotary knob moves the needle 100 stitches at a time.
Use this to start stitching again elsewhere in the embroidery.

As an example, the above thread break happened during making a sample. The needle broke as well as the thread. I wanted to start stitching the sample again, but not at the break point as there was big mess on the back.
So I decided to move on to the next letter. Using this tool it is possible to start stitching somewhere in the middle of a motif.

I touched the next letter on the left screen.
That got to the middle of the letter.
I used the lower rotary knob counterclockwise to move the circle-in-cross representing the needle position to the general area of the jump stitch from one letter to another.
A bit tricky as 100 stitches is a big move – move the knob slowly to make one change at a time.

These letters have underlay stitches. Finding the exact beginning of the next letter needed care, to make sure the securing stitches are sewn.
I turned the upper rotary knob counterclockwise a small amount at a time, to move backwards in the stitching until it jumped back to the previous letter.
Then I turned it slightly clockwise to move to the start of the new letter.

Another amazing option on the 500E, found by exploring, and thinking about possible solutions to problems 😀

The numbers at bottom left show stitch out progress in terms of number of stitches :
Upper bar, complete design : numbers of stitches done so far / total number of stitches in design.
Lower bar, this motif : number of stitches made so far in this motif / total number of stitches in this motif.

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Get back to the Embroidery screen to start stitching from the new position, by touching the embroidery icon (needle and stitches) – either the icon top left in the navigation bar, or the bottom tab in the inner right menu (see above screen).

Be aware the changed needle position is forgotten by the machine if you switch off the machine or go into ‘eco mode’, so do this adjustment when you want to re-start stitching.

You can explore this option without even simulating a thread break. . . though it uses the Embroidery screen so you do need to have a hoop on.

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Change bobbin in the middle of stitching

– wind bobbin, using vertical spool pin – see Threading post, about 2/3 way through.

– move hoop to back so you have easy access to the bobbin case :
To go to hoop screen, touch hoop icon in left menu : ”hoop
then touch move-hoop-to-park-position button : ”hoop
Touch real start-stop button above needle to move hoop.

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If you have had an upper or lower thread break –
as well as changing the needle position in the embroidery instructions :
Re-thread as needed.
Before starting stitching again, tidy up loose thread ends on embroidery back and front.
Do a ‘thread up’ to start, as usual (see One-colour stitch out post).

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