Gold Coast, Australia was recently the site of one of the largest embroidery conventions ever held, and yours truly was invited once again to be a guest presenter! It was a fun event with over three hundred embroidering 'Delegates' participating each of the three days and nearly four hundred people for the formal Grand Finale. I met friends new and old, and we all enjoyed the process. Some real 'good' came from this too, which I'd like to share with you: Earlier this year, the city of Brisbane and surrounding areas was hit with flooding that affected tens of thousands of people, displacing them from their homes and obliterating many homes and commercial buildings, including some schools. Brother Australia and Echidna Sewing returned one school's sewing program to normalcy by replacing their sewing machines lost in the flood. And they did it with class; they stepped up with sewing and embroidery combination machines. Thirteen other schools were the recipients of sewing/embroidery machines too, showing that some folks are working hard to get the next generation interested in our hobby! Moved by the schools' commitment to sewing and embroidery, several companies, including ours, also kicked in some goodwill with titles and products for these schools. We even got to meet the teachers involved and got them onstage for some well-earned recognition. If any of you Granners know of a school that teaches embroidery, please let us know and we'll investigate if we can help them too.
Home scarcely a week, and I was off to Denver for an embroidery event that had hands-on projects and tons of fun! Thanks to Kate and Patrick for producing a wonderful embroidery experience.
Lately, and only partly due to my travels, I've been realizing what an international family embroiderers have become. There was a single day in the early part of this year that I was in communication with customers or distributors or manufacturers in: USA, Canada, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, China, South Africa, Costa Rica and Australia. This was just a happenstance, but that evening as the final Skype came in from Italy it occurred to me how connected we all are, and I consider myself better for that fact!
Now for my Mac people, I'll let you know what's going on. We've released version 1.6 Embrilliance Essentials. It took awhile to get the Mac App Store to update it, but they are getting faster, and for that we're thankful! Naturally, you can purchase Embrilliance products right here at ATG which means you will get your updates a bit quicker! You will also see a couple more releases in the near future in repsonse to your feature requests. In the latest version, we've repaired all reported glitches, and added a couple new commands, improved the multi-color fonts, and edited some of the fonts to sew even larger. Did you know that some of the Essentials fonts are designed to fill the largest of your hoops?
We are working hard to keep the Windows and Mac versions in sync - but occassionaly it is a challenge. You might be interested to know that we sell about 50/50 Windows and Mac. With the growing popularity of 64 bit systems on Windows, we see that our 64-bit version is being installed on almost half of the Windows systems, which is cool to us and provides a nice speed-up for those Windows 7-64 owners.
Yes, we are looking at OSX Lion, which when released in July will be the final chapter in OSX. Or so we're told. Once the release is final, we'll do an official compatibility update and let everyone know then. Yes, it will be free to our registered customers.
If you're thinking that maybe a Mac is in your future, I'll just remind you that we include licenses for both Windows and Mac with Embrilliance programs, so you won't have to purchase again later.
We also have iPad embroidery apps running, but we're not entirely certain what to release and when. The issue with an iPad is that, as of now, Apple does not have a standardized way to get embroidery designs on and off the iPad with a USB stick. There are some 3rd party solutions, and we're considering them, but Apple tends to one-up those products when they release their own, so we're holding out for Apple to provide a solution to the file issue. In the meantime we're taking suggestions for iPad apps. Also, we'd like to know how many of you are using Android tablets?
For our card-based machine owners, we have begun the task of enabling our Mac side to write embroidery cards. We're not done with it yet, and progress is back-burner because of the relatively small number of you who need that feature, but I know you'll be glad to hear we're on it. If your machine is USB capable or you have a way to write a card for it, let me please remind you that Embrilliance Essentials will resize with stich recalculation, so you can use many of those larger designs too.
The next bit of news is that we're very close to release of some new products including an editor and a digitizer. We recently finished digitizing some font packs for one of our other products and we used our Embrilliance ABC Digitizer on those. While these products are at a state for internal-use only, we think we'll be able to release something this year, finally!
I'm sorry it has been so long since my last post! As you can see, we've been very busy, but I'll try to pop in more often.