Autopunch and bean stitch tutorial

As promised here's a mini tutorial on how to use PE-Design Lite in combination with our Pre-Design Studio program. It's getting the best of two worlds: create filled areas using the AutoPunch function in PE Lite on the basis of an image made with Pre-Design Studio and create bean stitch lines with Pre-Design Studio. Those bean stitch lines can then be imported into PE-Design Lite, creating surprising and beautiful designs.

Made with Pre-Design Studio and PE-Lite

The description below will also work with the AutoPunch function in the full PE-Design digitizing program, using the Image To Stitch wizard.

Okay, let's get started:

If you don't have Pre-Design Studio, then download a trial version here.

1. Start Pre-Design Studio and choose menu Background > Load from Picture file. Open the file "EasyDrawing.png" which can be found inside the Pattern Samples folder, in the Pre-Design Studio program folder. Keep the default background settings and just click on OK.

2. Take the Curve tool and start tracing the line of one petal by clicking from point to point. Close the petal and end the line by double-clicking.

trace any background in Pre-Design Studio

3. Take the Select Tool, select and move points to perfect the lines. Then select the petal, click on the Magic Circle button, move the slider bar to 5 objects and play with the spacing slider bar. Click on OK.

Let the Magic Circle do its Magic

4. Color the flower: click in a color on the palette on the right and click in a petal. Use different colors for each petal, or one for all. That's up to you.

Color the petals

5. Hide the background image by clicking on the button in the right of the toolbar until the image is hidden. Then choose menu File > Export Color Bitmap.
Name the file "Flower_Lite.bmp" and save in My Documents. Keep the default pixel settings.

6. Start PE-Design Lite and click on the button AutoPunch. Open the "Flower_Lite.bmp" image you just exported from Pre-Design Studio. Cross out the white background color in the list "Omit Colors". You don't have to do anything else here, just click on OK.

Use the AutoPunch function in PE-Lite

Hide the background image via menu Image > Display Image > Off.

7. Resize the flower: the stitch count will automatically be adapted. The design is grouped and it is better to keep it grouped: you can reach all parts by holding down the Alt-key and clicking in a part: then change stitch direction if you like.

Hold down Alt and change settings of the parts

Save as PES file and keep PE-Design (Lite) open.

8. Go back to Pre-Design Studio and start a new file. Take the Spiral button and make a few spirals and swirls. Take the Curve tool and draw some embellishments. You could use the first image in this blog as a background: right-click the image and choose Save Image as. Save in My Documents and open that as a background in Pre-Design Studio.

Create a line drawing, as a continuous line. Be sure that you draw a full visible path, to prevent jumps. You can take the Select Tool and move points to perfect the lines.

Create a continuous line drawing in Pre-Design Studio

9. Select All, right-click and choose Size. Make sure the design size will fit inside a 5x7 inch hoop (or 4x4 if you don't have a 5x7 inch hoop). Click on OK.

Choose menu File > Convert to Stitches. Set a stitch size of 2.5 or 3 mm, bean stitch, a check mark for tie in/off stitches and Optimize Sequence. Click on Convert. Save in My Documents as "Flower_Lite_bean.dst".

10. In PE-Design (Lite) choose menu File > Import. Import "Flower_Lite_bean.dst"  from the previous step. You may have to change menu Option > Design Page property and set it to 5x7 / landscape or portrait, depending on the drawing you made.

Select the filled flower from the first steps in this tutorial and move it to a nice place: you can resize it (stitch count will be adapted), you can change colors, stitch direction etc.

Change color, color order, save and embroider

Save and embroider :)

The above tutorial is also available as a demo movie on our website It's movie # 17. The combination of Pre-Design Studio and PE-Design Lite gives endless possibilities and is great for those who want to start digitizing their own designs.
Images made with Pre-Design Studio will allways work like a charm with the AutoPunch function in PE-Design Lite.
That makes PE-Design Lite a wonderful stepping stone digitizing program. Suppose you get totally hooked on embroidery digitizing, then it is good to know that PE-Lite can be upgraded to PE-Design version 7.

I will show this (and more) at the upcoming AnnTheGran Community Circle event in Orlando - hope to see you there!


Comments (1) -

WOW!  That is so easy.  I always like to have a photo and instructions that are detailed like this.

Perhaps it is time for me to get this Design Lite.

I cannot wait to see you in Orlando.


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Keeping It Simple - Child's Hot Water Bottle Cover

Keeping It Simple - Child's Hot Water Bottle Cover

Last year, my age-old hot water bottle gave out with a fatal leak. All my life I have used a hot water bottle.  They are great for warming the bed, thawing icy toes and comforting those aches that just won't go away.   They are especially nice for kids since they have no cords or temperature controls

So, off I went to the store to replace what I thought was a very common household item.  But not one of the drug stores, pharmacies or grocery stores in my area had such a thing.  Many young associates met my request with confused looks - they didn't even know what a hot water bottle was.  Others directed me to the heating pads saying these were much better.  That, of course, is a matter of opinion.  Upon overhearing me one kind customer said she saw one in Wal-Mart a couple of weeks before.  Well, there it was, tucked back in a corner of the aspirin shelf.  These were not as large as my old one but afraid I might never find another I bought two.

It makes my granddaughters feel special when we warm the bed and they love to have a warm bottle when they are feeling a little under the weather.  So when I saw the faces in the special email earlier this week I had to use this one.

The cover is simple to make.  Here is what you do.

What you need

- hot water bottle

- paper for pattern and a pen

- hand towel that you no longer use

- matching sewing thread

- embroidery face design (click here to see the Pillow Kids Face collection)

- embroidery thread

-medium weight tear-away stabilizer

-wash away stabilizer

-temporary adhesive spray

What you do:

1.   Make your pattern first. Draw a line around your hot water bottle ...then mark another line about 3/4" outside the original line. This will be your cutting line. Cut the pattern out.

Note:  If you look at the pictures you will see that I did not do mine in the correct order.  Anna was over the other night and wanted to "sew" (meaning push the buttons) so we embroidered the towel first.  It still worked out just fine.

2.  Lay the towel flat. On one half of the towel align the top edge of the pattern with the side edge of your towel so you will not have to finish the top edge.  Pin and cut.  Repeat on the other half of the towel for the second piece.


3.  Hoop the tear away stabilizer.  Center one piece and use temporary adhesive along the edges to hold the terry in place.

4.  Cut a piece of wash away stabilizer that will cover the hooped area.  Use a little temporary adhesive along the edges to hold it in place on top of the terry.

5.  Embroider the design.  Carefully remove the stabilizer on both sides.

6.  With right sides together, using a zig zag stitch, sew around the cover.  Leave the top edge open.  Carefully turn right side out.  Launder if desired.

7.  Fold the empty water bottle in half lengthwise and insert into the opening.  Slowly work it into position.  Fill and use.

I was going to make this out of an old turtleneck sweater but I just gave all my old ones away a couple of weeks ago.  If I find an old one and make it, I'll be sure to post it in the gallery.

Here is another project that uses an out-grown or old t-shirt to make a fun pillow.  This comes from Starbird. 


Click here to download the pdf instructions for the t-shirt pillow.


Take care,


P.S.  I do have a heating pad and I do use it - for under the bread dough that needs to rise.  But that is a story for another day.

Comments (5) -

I also use the heating pad for rising dough! Works wonderful on these cold winter days. Love the hot water bottle cover. Cute.  

twinkiedeb60 2/20/2010 9:34:49 AM

I will be 50 this year and was not familiar with the hot water until I visited my daughter in Chile, a year ago. SInce I was sure I'd never find one here I brought 2 to bring home.

Thanks for the great cover idea. Love you website!

Wow, great idea.  My daughter has severe disabilities and her feet are cold all the time.  We use a hot water bottle wrapped in a blanket almost every day (well, at least during the winter).  I think I'm going to make one of these today.


Very Cute design collection, and a great idea! We have a sick 4 year old today and something like this would be fun.

We gave up on our hot water bottle some years ago, switching to a sewn bag filled with rice. 2 minutes in the microwave and it does the same thing, but without the leaks. Ours is now 14 years old - oh my! I feel horrified just writing that!



craftdesigns 2/27/2010 10:59:26 AM


Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.


Nancy Ward">

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