Embroidering p8tch QRCodes at the Lancaster Quilt Show

Embroidering a p8tch QRCode at the Lancaster Quilt Show

I’ve always wanted to have actually-embroidered QRCodes on my p8tches, but commercial embroiderers laugh me off the phone once they learn that each unit has a UNIQUE code. The overhead involved in setting up a design for embroidery is not trivial, and it takes time to stitch each design (commercial embroiderers use fifty-head machines, making fifty of the same thing at once.)

Kate and I went to the Lancaster Quilt Show today, and I stumbled on the booth that sells home embroidery machines (the ones you usually use to make Tigger baby blankets, or whatever.) They also have the digitizing software, which I was very interested to see.

The fellow at the Brubaker’s Sewing booth was REALLY awesome and helpful — he showed me how the digitizing software works It’s kind of a hybrid of Illustrator, PaintShop Pro, and, um… embroidery; there are lots of special commands, like "rotate area fill stitch direction" that don’t have an analogue in other software that I’ve seen.

He also showed me the machines, which as you might expect, are essentially big robotic printers.

The software imported the QRCode with one click: I used the sample LAHBG p8tch QRcode mentioned on the homepage of www.p8tch.com (the file itself is here.)

Then, he exported it as a .dst file, put it on a thumb drive, and fed it to the machine. The machine dutifully stitched away, until, 19 minutes later, the finished QRcode had been stitched into the muslin.

It was really cool. Now I TOTALLY understand why an embroiderer can’t possibly do a run of 100 p8tches, each with a unique QRCode, and charge me less than an arm and a leg.

The home version of the digitizing software retails for $2,500.00(!), and the full commercial version is sold for about $15,000.00(!!!)

One response to “Embroidering p8tch QRCodes at the Lancaster Quilt Show”

  1. With a $500 (or so) Singer Futura CE-250 machine, you could easily do this without any added expense or hassles. these machines did not get good reviews when they first came out (the 100 and 200 models) because of an early production problem involving the bobbin, which Singer replaced every faulty machine at no charge, even though it was just a bobbin problem – anyway, the new 250 and 350 models are fabulous and feature much-improved software, though the old software was pretty good too, for the price. Unlike costlier machines, the Futuras run off your laptop or desktop computer, so you are not duplicating firepower you already own. The software is included and there is nothing else you need to buy, unless you want to — compare this to the expensive machines which cost a fortune and don’t include any software. These machines stitch beautifully and would be more than adequate for what you need them to do. Check ’em out!


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