(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
This week we’re serving up the second and final part of our roundup of embroidery/stitching software for the Mac.
JacqCAD is an application that’s available at a “reasonable cost” to universities with an active program in jacquard weaving, according to Patricia Williams, professor, Textiles Area, Eastern Michigan University
“We’ve been using it at my university for several years,” she told MacCentral. “It is very useful not only for jacquard design, but also for its very sophisticated repeats functions, which can be used to develop designs for stitching, fabric printing and knitting, as well as weaving.”
QuiltPro is a $99.95 application that promises to let you create a quilt and see it come to life without ever cutting a scrap of material. You can purportedly experiment with designs, play with fabrics, move blocks, and overlay stitching.
Quilt-Pro lets you design your own blocks or work with the block library. You can scan in your own fabrics, and create custom quilt layouts and pieced borders. Quilt-Pro requires Mac OS 7.1 or higher, but isn’t Carbonized for Mac OS X. A demo is available.
Textile Technologies offers a program called PowerStitch, which is described as “Pay As You Go” embroidery design software. You pay for designs as you create them.
According to the folks at Textile Technologies, here’s how it works: you install the PowerStitch software from the CD. You can then punch your design using all the sophisticated tools available in PowerStitch and save it. In order to output the design, you call their office to pay for the design and receive an access code that enables you to export the design to your embroidery machine. The cost per design is based on the number of stitches in your design.
Designs under 1,000 stitches are free. It’s then $4 per 1,000 stitches using the PowerStitch Limited Edition software and $7 per 1,000 stitches using the full featured PowerStitch version. PowerStitch features complex fill, fancy fill, the ability to import illustration files, the ability to create alphabets; a 3D preview, and more.
Once you’ve paid for a design you can modify and scale the design. If the design is changed more than 10 percent it is considered a new design and you will be charged “appropriately.” If you re-use a segment of a design you have already paid for, you won’t be charged for the stitch count of the reused segment.
Shareware developer Humberto Lizarraga has a shareware 3D visualizing application for embroidery files called
3dVirtual Embroidery. It’s a lifelike embroidery viewer. A demo (a 349k file) can be downloaded.
Wabbit Wanch Design makes two Macintosh products for embroidery. Both products are for PFAFF 7570/7560 owners. PFAFF is the only company that did support the Macintosh, but with the introduction of a new embroidery/sewing machine have moved on to the Windows systems only.
StitchBunnyPro is designed to enhance the embroidery experience by allowing the user to view designs with more than the PFAFF default 16 colors, view in single or catalog style, use 3D viewing to see the thread sheen of the final design without stitching it out and watch your design sew in slow motion so you can pick up errors before sewing it out.
Additionally, you can see what your designs look like on custom fabrics, use the Smart-Split to create multiple files on high thread count designs, change the stitching order, combine different stitching regions, flip, and rotate a design.
For building multiple frame designs, where the only limit is your monitor and imagination, you can use the Scene Builder in StitchBunnyPro. You start with a grid of cells and into each cell you can place multiple designs. For the designs in the cells you can use the alignment or spacing tools, duplicate, rotate, mirror and print templates for real world alignment. When the scene of designs looks the way you want it, you use the Assemble tool to create multiple frame designs that retain the position and colors of the designs in each cell.
WabbitWanch’s FlutterWhumperPro is an auto-trace assistant for PFAFF’s PC Designer software. With this simple to use software, you can trace any font letter(s) installed on the Mac or any monochrome graphic, Mel Patrick, Wabbit Wanch CEO, told MacCentral. Once an outline is created by tracing, you can apply many of the special attribute features like Bean, Satin, Variable Satin or 9mm patterns to create satin or pattern edges, special effects and fills.
“FlutterWhumperPro sports special features that make digitizing easier like smoothing of pixelated graphics, simple graphic editing tools, exporting your graphic for proper sizing in PC Designer and using the clipboard to copy segments from FlutterWhumperPro to PC Designer,” he said.
Both StitchBunnyPro and FlutterWhumperPro work on Macintosh systems from System 7.5 through to OS 9.2. There are no Mac OS X versions due to the fact that PC Designer doesn’t support OS X. It requires a direct serial connection that isn’t available via Mac OS X, Patrick said.
Pfaff, their PC Designer software lets you create your own stitch designs on your computer screen in full color, then download them to your sewing machine and sew them out.
The app’s tools let you create just about any stitch design you can imagine. You can base it entirely on your own idea or take the built-in stitch designs from Pfaff and alter them any way you like for a totally new effect.
We were told of a Mac only program called Beadscape that imports PICT files and converts them into bead patterns. However, we were unable to find any manufacturer or URL info.
Mitch Chase told us that his wife’s embroidery/stitching business used a Husqvarna-Viking Designer 1 machine (which has a built in floppy disk drive) and the Husqvarna-Viking Customizing Plus software which runs “just fine” on Virtual PC version 5.0 (Windows 98 version). It has a hardware USB dongle for copyright protection, that works fine on an iMac. Mike Flournor said his wife is very active in machine embroidery using Brother embroidery machines and their PE Design software. This stuff is Wintel only, but it doesn’t work with Virtual PC because: They use a flash card to transfer custom designs from the computer to the sewing machine and their flash card reader/writer only has PC style com and parallel connections. “We tried a USB to com port adapter, but it would not flash the card.” The flash card reader/writer also must be installed and detected for the software to open because they use it as a dongle for copy protection.
“Between Virtual PC and serial to USB adapters we invested over $250 in our attempt, with no success,” Flournor said. “I am very interested in finding out if a newer version of VPC or newer adapters are more successful. There is some speculation that the next version of PE Design will use a USB connection, but they are also now using a PC style parallel port dongle, which may complicate things. This is a market Apple really should be in. It is graphic design with very creative people.”
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