Use PED Basic to digitize my own designs?

stitchemApril 11, 2005

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to machine embroidery, and am trying to learn more by reading this forum.

My question is if I buy PED Basic (box & card) can I use it to take my own designs that I create on my computer, and write them to the card that's included, then embroider them? My machine is the little Brother PE-300S. The PED Basic looks to be the least expensive one, and I'm trying to keep my costs down. Am I missing something? Is there another way to do this without spending several hundred $$ ?

Thanks very much for any suggestions!


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Hi Stitchem-
Sorry, but the PED Basic won't do digitizing. It's only used to transfer already digitized designs to the card. PE Design is the Brother digitizing package. It's very expensive and has a fairly steep learning curve. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 11:26PM
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Stitchem- Laura is right. You need digitizing software to create embroidery designs on your computer. If you already have digitizing software, you do need a reader/writer box to copy the designs onto the card that goes in your machine.

If you want to learn to digitize, check out Embird Studio - it's the least expensive digitizing program I've seen. I have basic Embird and it's very easy to use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Embird

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 11:35AM
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Thanks Laura & Msmeow for your replies. I guess it isn't easy or inexpensive to do this. But I would like to try.

So if I go ahead and get Embird, and use it to digitize my designs, then would I be able to save it on a PED Basic card, then use that in my embroidery machine? Are those two compatible? Has anyone tried this?

Thanks very much!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 7:03PM
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Thanks Karenmc for that idea - but I'm not ready to give up doing my own designs. I really do want to digitize my own designs. I read somewhere (not on this site) that Embroidery Magic software is compatible with PED Basic. Is this true? And how does Embroidery Magic software compare to Embird software? As far as price, compatiblilty with BED Basic, etc.? I hope these will work together, as I think this looks like the most economical way to get started.

Thanks for any suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 11:02PM
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Hi Stitchem,
I have EM2 and have used it for about a year. Not a bad program and somewhat of a no brainer. I recently switched to Embird and I find this is a higher learning curve to master. But with all the free tutorial downloads its so much easier. I have printed out the entire manual and put it in a 3" binder and tabed it for reference. I have just finished re-designing our company logo and what a difference. One feature I love is the insert of shapes, its hard to make a circle by punch and with this program you just select it. The other part is it has a simulator for viewing the stitching. You can actually watch the design being stitched. There are more pre pay plug in's with this program like fonts and digitizing, however if you are really serious about creating your own designs then go to Embird and review tutorials on all the plug in's as well as download a 30 trail of the program and I believe you'll be making the right choice.
Now for PED Basic I am not sure. However you can call the Embird Company and talk with them about it, I called and they were so helpful.
On the web there are a few sites that help with Embird, and they also have tutorials to download.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 4:32PM
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You may want to check eBay and do a search on PE-Design. You should be able to purchase the prior version of PE-Design (version 5.61) for around $20. That is only for the software. I got mine a couple of months ago. I received a CD containing the software and a file with installation instructions.

In order to transfer your design to your embroidery machine, you will also need to have the writer box. I purchased PED-Basic to get the writer box. The best price I found was at Wal-Mart for around $130. I found it at my local Wal-Mart and also at the Wal-Mart website.

I have not had a chance to do a lot playing with it, but I did test a couple of small designs and stitched them on my Brother embroidery machine and all worked fine. That version of PE-Design has everything I need plus more.

I am assuming you have a machine, such as a Brother or Bernina Deco, which uses .pes files for embroidery. If not, PE-Design will not work for you.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 9:19PM
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Thanks everyone, for all your suggestions and explanations. I really appreciate it!

Liz19110, I am going to try getting the PE-Design (version 5.61) for about $20., and the PED-Basic box from WalMart. Thanks for suggesting this. It sounds like the most reasonably priced combination. And yes I have a Brother PE-300S, so am hoping it will work.

I can hardly wait to get it all and get started!
Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 10:19PM
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I'd be a little concerned about the eBay thing. I looked at the $20 auction, and it is definitely a copy of the CD and not the original. I'm also surprised that it works, as I was under the impression that Pe Design will not work without having the original box connected. I know if mine is unplugged for some reason, the program will not even open. Of course, it is working for Liz, so I must be mistaken.

Just make sure you know what you're buying!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 11:14AM
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Stitchem - Embird won't write to the PED Basic card - it will write to the Ultimate Box. When I edit a design in Embird, I then have to open my Amazing Box software and use that to write the design to my Amazing Box card.

You are smart to ask a lot of questions before you buy - many times you hear "you've got to have this!" and it turns out that something else would really have worked better for you.

I also would not trust the $20 deal from EBay - sounds like they are maybe illegal copies? I have also seen a lot of upgrades to PE Design 6.0 for good prices on EBay - but it's just the program - not the box, and they came out with a new box with version 4.1 so if you have an older box the new versions won't talk to it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 4:49PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm re-thinking it all, and still trying to figure out what to get that's not too expensive.

I appreciate all the comments!! This is a great place to find information!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 7:37PM
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Do NOT buy the CD's of eBay for PE-Design that are cheap and come with a "software patch" to use with "any reader/writer box!!!" These are ILLEGAL BOOTLEGGED cd's. I teach Palette/PE-Design and have received many questions about these, including comments from people scammed by these con artists who used the CD's and now have virus infections on their computer soon after installing.

Do NOT buy these auctions!!!!! You will NOT have a legal version of the software!!!!

Yes, the legal versions are more money, because they are LEGAL.

Go with Embroidery Magic 2 for a cheap, LEGAL way to digitize and just save up for a full upgrade version.

Lesli in SWFL

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 8:25AM
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Some of my experience- I have a Ped-Basic Brother Writer Box-Which I would rate pretty low-I do use it but very seldom. I did not like Embroidery Magic and found it hard to understand-- I purchased Pe-Design 5.0 off ebay and it locked up my Computer. Any of the cheaper software's you buy to digitize will do the job but it must be very simple designs. I also have a mini amazing box which I just love- It works with the Brother,Simplicity, White Machines and cards. I use click n stitch (for digitizing) and smart sizer gold with the mini amazing box. These are all Great Notions Products and I love them. Hope this is some help to you.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 3:29PM
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Everyone thanks so much for your comments, opinions, experiences, and warnings. I value your suggestions.

Momyers1, would you mind saying why you rate the Ped Basic Box low? I was thinking about getting that one to get started, mainly because of the lower price.

Also, is there a difference between the Amazing box and the Mini Amazing box?

I've never heard of Click n Stitch or the Smart Sizer Gold until now, so will try to find out more about them also.
Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 12:02AM
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Hi Stitchem!
I, too, am new to the world of machine embroidery. I bought a used Babylock Esante that turned out to be a lemon, so I recently upgraded to the Babylock Ellageo. It too is used, but I bought it from a reputable Bernina dealer that had taken it in on trade and had serviced it regularly for the lady.

Anyway, I researched all the options for reader/writer boxes and software and decided the best choice for me was the Ultimate box and Embird software. One of the nice things about embird is that you can download a 30 day trial version and see if you like it. I'm totally clueless about this stuff, but I've managed pretty well with it. My decision on the Ultimate box was that it holds MANY more designs that any other card. Since my computer is upstairs and my sewing machine downstairs that saves me some time and energy. I bought both the box and embird from Allbrands. The box was 169.99 and they were running a special on embird for 69.99. There was NO shipping charge on either one. I've not yet purchased any of the plug-ins - such as the digitizing - but once I've mastered some of the tricks of embroidery (and now that I've got a machine that doesn't break down constantly) I plan to buy that and the plug-in Iconizer that will put up icons of every one of your designs so you can recognize them at a glance instead of remembering what you named them.

when I was researching which box to buy - I never saw any complaints about the ultimate box.

good luck!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 2:44PM
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Hi Sewingal,
Smart move to buy used from a dealer, wish I'd thought of that before shelling out $1500 on my Brother PE 300S. ouch.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I may try out the Embird SW D/L after I get back from my next trip out to the mid-West, to see how it works.

I'm still undecided on which box to get, and glad to hear you like the Ultimate box. The Iconizer sounds pretty handy too.

I wish I knew someone who actually does this so I could watch and learn more about it. I went to my local Dealer and the woman there didn't know what I was asking for (she didn't speak much English), I tried the place where I bought my sewing/emb machine and they had gone out of business.

Thanks much for your suggestions!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 2:23PM
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hi, i have a Brother PE-150 and want to buy the Ultimate box off AllBrands on ebay and want to use Embrid and just want to make sure that everything will be compatible... hope someone can help,... unlike Stitchem, my embroidery machine cost 500$ and not 1500$ so im not sure if mine is also compatible with the Ultimate Box and Embrid software...

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:10AM
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A follow up to why I rate PED-Basic made by Brother low--
I have both a PED-Basic Writer Box and a mini amazing Box-- The PED-Basic only lets you use the Brother original card that comes with the Ped-Basic Writer Box-- The mini amazing box lets you use different rewritable cards such as simplicity , white and others which will work in your Brother machine. Look into all the Great Notions software products (Amazing Designs)They are great !

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 12:21PM
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I have been using PED basic for several months with great results..until recently. The last time I loaded the card and put it in my machine (Brother pc8500D) I got an error message on the machine that said card not readable. The local dealer said I may have downloaded a corrupted file and should "clean" the card by removing everything from it. Does anyone know how to take everything off the card? I don't see a delete or remove option...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 6:36PM
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To Mitzigirl and others...

I've gotten a few questions on whether I ever got this working, and am sorry to say "no". I bought the PE Design 5.0 and the Amazing Mini Box II (have never got to use this!) I installed the PE Design and was getting an error msg while trying to get my design to the last stage. I never got it working past that! Then my computer got totally fried (not due to the PE Design program I'm pretty sure). I finally got my computer working again, and when I finally get everything restored, I hope to try again.

Thanks for your questions, and I will let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 10:10PM
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    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:27PM
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Sorry to say that I still have not gotten it working, and it's been over 2 years since I posted my original question!

I still want to do this, and still have designs in my head that I want to make. I think I need step by step instructions, but there's no one I know who can show me how to do it.

I do appreciate all your replies, I think I just need more guidance. I think there may be a few others who would like some help with this too. I hope someone who knows how to do this can please help us out.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:43PM
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I am getting ready to buy a new machine -- a Brother Innov-is 1200. Seems to be rated okay by Consumer Reports...anyway,Stitchem, I am going to get into all of this as well. If I learn anything helpful, I will let you know. Where I will purchase my machine will help me learn how to use it, so hopefully I will find out what works! I did note on the Brother website they are coming out with something new at the end of Sept:
"PE-Design® Lite  New! Available Late September 2007

Individuals who only want extensive editing capabilities  or those who want an informative step toward digitizing  will find what they seek in this compact version of BrotherÂs cutting-edge digitizing software. "

Whether this is "better" than what they have or not, I don't know. I am pretty computer savvy, but busy and would also like to know how all this works the "easy way"! So, keep me posted and I will let you know anything I learn too! Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is info on the new Brother software pkg.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:18PM
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I have a Se350 Sewing/Embroidery Machine and a PED Basic in the past I had a Singer Embroidery Machine. The Singer was very easy to embroider on you just loaded your pattern into your computer and told it what to do and sent it to your sewing was done. I have no idea how to work this PED Basic..nor have I found any instructions on the net as to how I can transfer my CD's from my singer machine to this....could someone PLEASE help me!!! It would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 12:50PM
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I bought a used brother embroidery machine just to play w when I see. It's just a toy to me so I'm not wanting to spend more money and time on ped basics and all that stuff. I have a blank card and just want some fonts...has anyone ever heard of paying someone to add some things to my card for me?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 11:18PM
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