KP Compositions, 2/19/09

When I first looked at Ken Parson’s Compositions, I was confused by it, not because it was difficult in itself, but because I had never seen anything like it before. Once I had a grasp of the features, I must say, I am so impressed.  I hope you will be as well!  This software can do so much for your projects and I will try to explain most of them for you.  (Not in any order)

  • Even if you cannot digitize, you can rework your design to be really individual.
  • The software automatically adds ‘pull compensation’ and ‘underlay’ to ensure the quality of the finished product.
  • Resizing in ANY amount-not just the 20% standard resize recommended, rotation and mirroring of designs are a snap.
  • Gives excellent recommendations for needles, stabilizers and thread.
  • Repeating of designs, especially in a ‘pattern’ is automated; and, those colors are set to significantly reduce thread changes.
  • Import and export of newly created designs, in most available formats, are simple.
  • Splitting of designs is automated.
  • Add an autobaste for your project if you desire.
  • Use slow draw to see just how the design will sew out.
  • Instant lettering and/or monogramming is available and easy to use. (Available in English, French or Italian)
  • Two manually digitized lettering sets at 4mm. (24mm is approximately 1")
  • The more I play with the software, the more things I find I am able to do.

Well, I could go on, but instead, you can walk with me through a simple project.

I am making a kitchen towel as a gift for Valentine’s Day.  After opening KP Composition, it asks me for a new or existing project.  I select ‘new’ and it asks me some questions.  In photo #2 I tell the software my fabric is a (velour) towel in the PES format, it is a towel, and the size is even listed.  I can indicate the color but the really interesting section is the ‘Recipe Suggestions.’  It recommends the needle, thread, topping, backing and lets me know that it will be making some adjustments for the ‘pull’ of the design.
  KP Composition 1   KP Composition 2

I don’t have to use the recommendations, but I find them to be very good.  However, I will use a stronger backing, because that has been best in my experience.

Next, it gives me information regarding the ‘location’ area.  It lets me know that I need to be in that location area to do tasks.  Without this information, I would have not been able to get to the first stitch.  I am pleased that the programmer helps me to understand the rules.  The next photo shows the overall layout of my project. 

KP Composition 3   KP Composition 4

From the ‘toolbar’ (circled) I can select a template of the ‘location’ style or design my own.  I choose a circle from the template.  Notice that the ‘handles’ around the location show that I have selected the location.  In the second photo, I am moving the ‘location’ down toward the bottom of the towel.  In this case, it is not a big issue; however, if I were doing a man’s shirt, it would be important.  The circle in the 2nd photo is the handle with which you can rotate your design which is handy. 

KP Composition 5   KP Composition 6

Now that the location is in position, I double click on it so that the area is ‘full size.’  I could have used the “View Menu” as well. TIP:  You may see that if you don't make this full size, you cannot merge/import designs.  In photo #2, I select “Merge Stitch File” from the File Menu.  Or, I could have used one of the designs from the left side of the screen.  From my designs, I have selected a ‘Saying’ that I got from ca few months ago.  I like it because the font is different and it says “Eat Chocolate,” my favorite motto. . . .

KP Composition 7   KP Composition 8

My design is in the location and in the 2nd photo, I have selected the hoop from the toolbar.  That will let me know that I am within the area of my desired hoop.  TIP:  If you don't use the correct hoop size, and stay inside it, you may have error messages later when trying to do a sewout.  I may have to adjust some of the pieces of the designs.  In the right side of the screen, there is a Sequence View indicating that ‘Eat Chocolate’ will be the first item to sew out.  If I prefer, I can have it sew out in a different order by selecting the specific item, and move it in the Sequence View.  Doing likewise, with a piece of a design (single or multiple colors) I can remove, duplicate and rotate the piece.  So, if I had a single leafy branch, I could make dozens of that part only and change each of them a little bit thereby making them a bouquet of leafy branches!

 KP Composition 9   KP Composition 10

I rotated ‘Eat Chocolate’ and I have brought in the 2nd and 3rd design in the same manner as the first.  The Sequence View shows the new items and how they will sew out.  You can also see the ‘properties’ of the 2nd design because it is selected (handles are in view).  Any adjustments in size or rotation can be made in either of the property (lower right) or selected areas (using the box handles).  For instance, if I make the (abstract) chocolate bar smaller, the software will automatically decrease stitches and vice versa.

    KP Composition 11

Next, I am going to make the chocolate bar a lot smaller.  The 'rule of thumb' is never reduce or expand a design more than 20%.  In this case, I am making it about 35% smaller because the software automatically reduces stitches AND, if I think it is still too dense, I can further reduce stitching in the Properties/Advanced selection.  That can be significant when you are doing baby designs for infant clothing! 

I am using the ‘Circle Template’ to add more bars to the design.  They will be exactly spaced and placed.  I will do the same for the small flower I am using in the design.

KP Composition 13

KP Composition 14   KP Composition 15  

Everything is still inside the hoop and I just want to be able align everything to the center of the hoop.  I use the toolbar and select the ‘align’ icon.  I can still move/rotate the chocolate bar or flower, the software is so flexible.

 KP Composition 16  

I am ready to save and sew out my new design.  To save the project, use the File Menu and select ‘save as.’  To save the design, in the File Menu, select ‘Export Stitch File’ and save it with your other designs or wherever you want it.  Since you have previously selected your format, it will automatically save in that format.

 KP Composition 17   KP Composition 18

These great towels are from AllaboutBlanks, the red is absolutely gorgeous and the white a true white!!!

Towels   Towel

Here are a couple of other designs I created.  It was fun once I had a good handle on what to do to build my ideas.

KP Composition 19   KP Composition 20

Before and After - Sorry about the photos, they are drawings, the stitching is appropriate.

Ducks 1   Ducks 2

Here is my attempt at adding some freehand stitching - I NEVER SAID I COULD DRAW!!  The pitcher is from Composition Software which I rotated and added water spilling out.  I am just having fun with this software.


As with most software, there are multiple ways to complete a task; these are my methods and I hope you find them useful for you.  You have nothing to lose, there is a 30 day free trial and keeping the above info in mind, you are going to have a lot of fun!  This is a good value for your dollars, you can do so much with it.  No more 'bullet proof' density or rotating problems!

Comments (30) -

This does sound great.  

Hi Pat,

Downloaded it and the 30 trial button won't work, wants a license number.  I know I will end up buying it but I do want to try it first.


this program looks really good. I'm using embird 2004 at the moment. do you know this one ? I need to upgrade as embird doesn't work on vista.

Would you be able to compare embird with this program ?

Hi Marge!  You know that I just love your avatar.  I just learned that the cut you see was originally done to protect and keep warm the areas left long.  The leg cuts are on the joints are clearly for that reason!  (Maybe I need long hair on my joints - - - ) LOL

If you are having difficulty with the trial button, get in touch with Support for assistance.  Use the 'Contact' button at the bottom left of this screen.  

Hi Patmazuel - There are some questions about your Embird that you need to ask yourself.  First, what parts of Embird do you already have.  And, second, what do you want to do with  the software.   Composition does not do digitizing (I think Ken Parsons needs to consider making it an addition to this software).  Embird does not digitize unless you specifically paid for that part.  

I don't remember if Embird is able to split designs.  Composition can do this, and that is a serious plus!!  Even if you have a 4" by 4" (100mm x 100mm) you can do the largest designs that you want to do.  

I also don't recall if Embird has the 2 different density corrections, which Composition does have, also a very big plus.

I am not an expert in Embird, perhaps someone could add info that may help you.  

The bottom line for me is that software must be user friendly and have the ability to increase your ability to create different projects.  For that, I found Composition to be excellent.  Mind you, you have to play with it and learn ANY software to be successful with it.  Only you can tell if you are benefitting from the program.


I want to download and try the 30 day free but I don't know where to download too.  Do I just download to documents ? Do I try to download to my Futura 150 embr.program that came with my machine.  I would like some further input  on where I should put thius program to have it work sucessfully. Thanks Margaret

Excellent Question Margs!!

It does depend on the operating system you are using, but you will probably start by placing the download in "Programs."  That is the generic place to keep all software working because part of the programming will be pointing to "Programs" as a default.

At that point, you need a place to put the 'shortcut' to the program so that you can open it when desired.  I personally put them on the desktop, assuming I will be using it frequently.  I don't put every program on the desktop - but since you are working with a 30 day trial, you want it to be easy to access so you can work with it to learn the software.  

No matter where you put the software, it does not interfer with any other software.  Successful downloading will be all you need to get started.

I do recommend that you print (upper right corner of this blog) this mini tutorial so that you can refer to it as you go.  It is so easy to miss a step if you try using your personal memory only.  Don't forget, learning a new software can be a real challenge.  Don't give up to easily or you could miss a great addition to your tools for embroidery.


>>Embird does not digitize unless you specifically paid for that part.  

I do have that but rarely use it. However I would like to use it more.

In embird, I mainly change colors, delete part of designs, and join different designs. I also change the order of the colors.

I'll use the trial to see how that works. If ken is planning on adding digitilizing, it would be a serious +

I just downloaded KP composition and I am able to open it however, the only file types it will let me open are KPP.  My question is how can I open any of the designs I already have...

Nina in Lakeside, CA

luvrazz- It is a matter of learning the software.  I am not certain where you are in the process, but it is important that you:  1-open a location.  Without that, you cannot get any where.  2-double click in that location.  That makes it full size.  3-open the file menu, and select 'merge stitch file.'  4-use the down arrow in the 'projects' box to go to your designs.

Once you get this part down, you will start to have more fun with this program.  I think that this is the most detailed part of the process.  You need to remember that you have to do this 'sort of thing' with any software.  I call it - "getting the computers attention."  

The computer/program cannot think for itself, you need to tell it "where to go."  (Tempting sometimes!)

As I got familiar with the software, and it took me about 3 weeks (an hour here and there), and I keep getting more and more ideas.  

I find that now when I look at designs to purchase, I am looking at them differently.  For instance, when I found the "perfect" design, I had to decide between getting the small, medium or large.  Occasionally I bought two sizes because of the 20% limitation on resizing.  Now I buy the medium because I know I have the tools to make it any size I want.  

I also understand that 20% limitation better.  With 2 sources to change the density, I have no limitation except I would not make an intricate, detailed design in mini form, it just would not sew out right.

What else did Compositions do for me?  It helps me understand designs and their structure so much better.  I am applying what I learn from this program.


WOW, I like this program. Ok , it does have a bit of a learning curve, but any program worth it's salt does also.  Still haven't quite figured out the lasso tool but have only been working for about 30 minutes.

Question again about difference with embird and this program.

Say I have a drawing of a bike wheel, with 15 spokes, all black. What I need to do is get rid of 5 spokes, but keep the rest.  In embird I can spit a design ie take the wheel and spilt it into 16 parts, the rim + the 15 spokes, then I can delete the spokes that I don't want, then combine the remaining pieces.

Can I do this with this program ?

Thanks for the advice

i like to play with the software

i try to get back in to this program but won,t let me in

patmauzel-I don't know the answer to that question.  I would need the time to play with the software to do that.  Right now, that won't happen.  That is an interesting issue.  Let us know if you resolve it and I believe that you can write to " " and ask (don't use the quotation marks.)

idaelly-It is necessary to know what the error you are getting is.  Again, perhaps  can help you.  


I've had some feedback from Kenparsonsdesign. VERY good contact.

They confirmed that I can break down a project by color . This creates as many items as colors, and I can delete/recolor/move  one of the items (which I had been able to do). However I can not spilt 1 item into multi-items.

I will keep on eye on this software because it is a great program, and their support is really top !  Unfortunately I won't be buying it at the moment, because I really need the ability to break 1 item apart.

Thanks for you tutuorial, it helped a lot

patmazuel-You make an excellent point!  A good tutorial will give you enough information to know if the software is right for you, and more important still, wrong for your needs.

Thanks for the info, I know that the other features are so great and the SALE PRICE is outstanding, so many people will be very happy with the program.


I've signed up for their 3 month membership. Now Ann the Gran has my money, and I can't even get logged into their website.  And long and behold the sale price is now gone.  I'm just wondering if anybody else had problems with this company?

rrhen23-When you sign up for the Ann's Club, there is no further logging in.  You automatcally get the best prices as you purchase and the goodies automatically come to you through your email.

You may want to check with Support on the sale.  It was for one week only.   I sure have done the same thing myself.  

More is instore for Ann's Club, and make sure you get that stabilizer because it is high quality and the price cannot be equaled.


I had my doubts, I just do not catch on to things quickly.  However I really liked the looks of this software and wanted so much to combine designs.  Girls,  I can do it!!  If I can work this software anyone can.  It is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Do not be afraid to download and try it.  You will soon be hooked.  Thanks Ken, And thanks Ann.  I am putting my designs in my Catalog Express.


Neva-My thoughts exactly.  When you have been disappointed in software before, it can sour you very much.  I am constantly thinking about how to do other things with it.

I just picked up the "Beads, Baubbles and Bling" and what fun.  I am going to do a t-shirt with the designs.

You can buy the designs without the software, but then you have to be able to put them together.  Perhaps you have a machine that will do that, mine does not.  


Hi, this software while not doing all that I would like is SO good, that I want to buy it anyway.  I see it is on sale again, but I can't seem to get the club price . I see it on the first screen . I get 109.98, but when I go to pay I get 139.98. I've have to wait till monday till I can talk to someone, unless someone hear can help me.  I don't want to take the membership separetly to then find out the software is no longer on sale 15 minutes later Wink

Support is on line on Saturdays just not for the whole day.  You might try to contact them by using the "Contact" at the bottom of the page.  

This is NOT a digitizing software, and I hope everyone understood that.  I mentioned that at the start of the blog.  I think that any software is going to have some thing you think should be there but is not.  That is how it works.  If someone had every feature that everyone thought about, that would be miraculous.

I really like the software, and hope it will be helpful to you as well.


>>, that would be miraculous.

I don't agree, it wouldn't be miraculous, it would just cost WAY TOO MUCH for anyone to afford it.  Not sure about the the other people here, but I'm just doing this for fun, and have to think about limiting the price.

I clicked on "contact" and got a quick answer. Thanks

ATG and Ken Parsons said that they would only have the sale for 7 days, and they have extended it a few more days.

If you are still thinking about it, I really do recommend it for those who want to eventually digitize.  It does NOT digitize, but will start you with a lot of things you will learn and grow just from this program.


I bought KP Compositions at the sale price and it is a good deal. It doesn't contain all I really want to do,but should in the next version.

The program is much more modern than all the other's I've looked at in the same price range. I find the embroidry of alphabets to be much better than other programs.

I had some programs installing the license key but the support group was very helpful. Thanks for this blog, without it I probably wouldn't have thought abuot this program,

I am so new at machine embroidery, don't understand most of what I read, but I am learning slowly.

So far I am only doing free downloads, but want to venture further.  I have 4D Embmroidery and a Designer l

Not only am I new to embroidery age 60, I don't have a clue how to unzip anything on a computer. Please advise where I would find step by painful step to unlocking this wonderful software.  I look forward to using KP Compositions!!!!!!! I bought it in great anticipation...right now...I'm in great frustration! Frown Please help me.

Thanks for your blog! I enjoy reading it!


Forgot to mention I have VISTA & downloaded KP Compositions to my external hard drive. I sounds as I know what I'm doing......but I really don't.



Pat - just a couple of questions:

Will this work on Windows 7?

Can you import other designs (besides Parsons) into it, like AnntheGran, etc.?

Support? I notice messages and dates both here and on the Parsons website seem to end about Nov of 2009.

Thank you so much.


You may want to try the 30 day trial for your questions.

I have Windows 7 and have no problems.  But we must remember that there are all sorts of issues that can make it workable or not.  

You can put in other designs and save to your format as well.  There are somethings that are easy and some more complex.  As with any software, there is a learning curve which can be really steep for some.  If you are computer savvy, the curve will not be so bad.  

I noticed that Ken was on my Facebook site recently, so I believe he will assist with any issues you may have.  He may be working on some other project right now and allowed his Composition site to languish.


Pat - actually Ken did get "right back" to me (I had emailed him also) and was affirmative as to Windows 7 and designs, and obviously is available - thanks so much, think I will download the trial and give it a try - looks like fun. Thank you so much for your help. Mary

Please login to comment