StitchBuddy

StitchBuddy v2.13.0 (Mac)

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I just submitted StitchBuddy for Mac v2.13.0 for Apple's App Store approval. This free update will include some minor changes, e.g. an updated hoop menu and import support for PES v10 designs. But as a major enhancement StitchBuddy for Mac supports iCloud Drive.

This new feature is a preparation for an upcoming update of StitchBuddy's iOS companions: As you know from former postings, I took a change in Dropbox' programming interface as an opportunity to move to Apple's iCloud synchronization. I've created a FAQ article to provide some more detailed information about this move.

Once released by Apple StitchBuddy for Mac will automatically update to version v2.13.0 depending on the App Store settings in your Mac's system preferences. This update preserves In-App purchases you might have made to unlock the trial's limitation.

Please leave a rating / review in Apple's Mac App Store or update your existing one if you want to support StitchBuddy's development.

Hello Mac App Store

Starting today with version 2.12.0 StitchBuddy for Mac is exclusively distributed via Apple's Mac App Store, providing an even better user experience: With one click you can download and install the free version, which updates completely automatically. This version offers all functions, but can only save designs up to 1,000 stitches. And if you decide to buy the unlimited StitchBuddy Pro version after your test, registration is only another click away and without delays instantly active.

And no worries for existing customers: In the past all StitchBuddy updates were provided for free, and this is not going to change: Install StitchBuddy's free version from the Mac App Store, and it will recognize your existing license code and unlock the Pro version with no additional charge. Please be aware that unfortunately I had to remove the function to delete hidden system files from USB sticks as it did not comply with store guidelines, and StitchBuddy requires OS X 10.9 or higher, now.

Please leave a rating / review in Apple’s Mac App Store to support StitchBuddy's development!

Ready for macOS 10.12 "Sierra"

sierraApple has just released the new operating system, macOS 10.12 "Sierra". Unfortunately I had to learn that it doesn't run on my MacBook Pro, which I used the last 7 years for StitchBuddy's development, and its replacement will have to wait some more months…

Today I borrowed my son's computer and was able to test StitchBuddy's compatibility with Sierra: After a quick check I can confirm that the current version of StitchBuddy works perfectly with macOS 10.12!

StitchBuddy v2.11 (Mac)

I just released StitchBuddy v2.11 for Mac: This update is supporting new hoops of the embroidery machine Janome MC500e and is introducing a new, flat-styled toolbar with support of Retina displays. So StitchBuddy is looking better than ever on high-resolution displays. More details about changes can be found in the version history.

For several reasons I had to increase StitchBuddy's software requirement to OS X 10.7 ("Lion"): This version of OS X was introduced five years ago, and it became too complex to support older OS X versions anymore. Given Apple's free update policy for the last years I consider this decision a fair move.

To all MC500e users: Despite contradicting information I was receiving about the new hoops, I decided not to postpone this release any longer. Although I'm confident about the current implementation, please contact me by email if you face problems like unrecognized hoops in StitchBuddy or wrong hoop assignments. Make sure to include a sample file and the size / name of the involved hoop, and I will be able to incorporate a fix on short notice.

After some grace period the iOS apps StitchBuddy View and StitchBuddy HD will be updated in near future.

StitchBuddy v2.11 is a free update for all registered users of the Mac version, and can be downloaded from the corresponding Download page.

Please leave a comment at Facebook, and spread your opinion about StitchBuddy by word of mouth.

Toolbar Renovations

StitchBuddy's next minor release is coming soon, and while its main intention is support for Janome MC500e hoops, I'm using this opportunity to renovate all toolbar icons of StitchBuddy (Mac): They were only grey-scaled versions of the original images, and didn't serve well, especially in context of the iOS-style as introduced with OS X Yosemite. Now I'm changing all icons to match Apple's design:

StitchBuddy_Toolbar

The effect is quite impressive, especially on high-resolution displays. What do you think…?

StitchBuddy v2.10.4 (Mac)

Save as
I just released StitchBuddy for Mac v2.10.4 as a minor bugfix release: As mentioned the "Save as…" dialog preselected the wrong file type when saving a design, which often resulted in a converted file (if the user confirmed the wrong selection). This issue is fixed. In addition I improved the recognition of writable file types, which sometimes prevents saving a design using the "Save" command although StitchBuddy could write the corresponding file type. Registered users can download the new release for free.

Edit: Please download again if you're facing problems with lost preferences / license codes in this version! I've provided an emergency fix.

"Save as..." with wrong file type

Some users reported that StitchBuddy would save PES files in the JEF file format, and I was surprised by this problem as there is no function in StitchBuddy to auto-convert any file formats.

Today I investigated further and - at least - could identify the problem:

I found out that until StitchBuddy v2.9.1 the „Save as...“ dialog preselected the current file extension (e.g. PES) when prompting for a new file name, while since StitchBuddy v2.9.3 its default is the first file format of the list, which is JEF. This happens without any related code changes in StitchBuddy, so it seems Apple has changed some of their libraries in the meantime, and I wasn’t aware of this behavior. So StitchBuddy doesn't convert PES to JEF on its own, but preselects an incorrect file type in the "Save as..." dialog and - after the user's confirmation - converts the file.

Quite inconvenient and I will work on it! Until a solution you need to change the file type manually when using the „Save as…“ option.

Edit: Apple, that's not funny: After I rebuilt StitchBuddy with the current version of Apple's developer environment (Xcode), the problem disappeared ... so it seems they found and fixed it in the meantime. Good that I can provide you a fix within the next days, but bad as I wonder what they might have broken, now. I will perform some more tests before uploading a new StitchBuddy version for OS X.

OS X 10.11 "El Capitan"

OSX11

For those of you who are waiting excitedly for Apple's release of OS X 10.11 aka "El Capitan" today: The current version of StitchBuddy for Mac is compatible with the new OS, including its plugins.
By the way: the same is true for StitchBuddy's iOS apps and iOS 9...

StitchBuddy v2.10.3

The last update is some time ago, but finally I released StitchBuddy v2.10.3 for all platforms with some enhancements like
  • Selection of background color (iOS)
  • Background colors can be printed (optional)
  • PDFs are created rasterized or vectorized (iOS)
  • Stitch optimization improved
  • VP3 import fixed (for old files with thread offsets)
  • Context menus work with <Ctrl> + left mouse click (OS X)
More details can be found in the version history on StitchBuddy's website (OS X, iOS).

StitchBuddy v2.10.3 is a free update for all registered users, and can be either downloaded from the corresponding Download page (OS X), or (after Apple's approval in a few days) updated in Apple's App Store (iOS).

Please leave a comment at Facebook, a rating / review in the App Store, and spread your opinion about StitchBuddy by word of mouth.

Have a wonderful July, 4th!

FAQ: Toolbar buttons stay gray

I just had conversations with users, that were unable to modify designs with the corresponding toolbar buttons grayed-out. This is no limitation of the trial version, which is full-functional, but just a step they missed when modifying designs.

I assume that some more new users might struggle with the same problem, and decided to publish a new article in the FAQ section

StitchBuddy v2.9.3

Since yesterday StitchBuddy View v2.9.3 is available in Apple's App Store, and can be downloaded / updated for free on your iPhone or iPad.

This version incorporates a canvas size based on the opened design, and the corrected VP3 import. The approval of StitchBuddy HD is still pending, but I expect it the next days including the mentioned changes and a basting function using not locking but overlaying stitches. The Mac version has just been released, too, and can be updated for free by registered users.

Have fun with this update, and if you like StitchBuddy I'd appreciate a rating or even a review in the iOS App Store.

Update: It took Apple nearly a week to approve StitchBuddy HD, but finally it's available since January 13th, 2015.

VP3 import fixed

Few users have reported problems importing VP3 designs: Sometimes new threads were shown with wrong offsets, corrupting the whole design. This problem was very rare, only happening after designs were written by TruEmbroidery, and other programs are showing the same effect (e.g. Embrilliance Essentials and Wilcom TrueSizer).

I used this Christmas season to analyze the VP3 file structure more in detail, and finally I found the root cause and how to fix it. With the next release StitchBuddy will import these designs correctly:

VP3 Bug Corrected

After incorporating some further minor changes and testing everything thoroughly, you can expect this update somewhere in January.

Bugfix release v2.9.1

Some moments ago I released StitchBuddy for Mac v2.9.1 as a minor bugfix release: Unfortunately I broke the template (real-size) printing when introducing the new scroll view with version v2.8, resulting in too small printouts. This issue and some minor internal ones are fixed, registered users can download the new release for free.

In parallel I submitted new versions of StitchBuddy HD / View for Apple's App Store, with native support of the new iPhone 6 / 6 Plus screen sizes, and a fix of Dropbox syncing in combination with case-sensitive file names. I expect them to be approved in about one week.

Update (2014/10/11): I just decided to withdraw both iOS versions and resubmitted v2.9.2 today: the "zoom-to-fit" (by two-finger double-tap) didn't honor device orientations, and I just fixed it. Now the design will always zoomed to the maximum size while remaining fully visible.

StitchBuddy v2.9

All StitchBuddy products were renewed this week: With StitchBuddy HD the stitch order of threads can be changed and color changes can be deleted. The Mac version shows a color indicator in the thread list, making it easier to identify colors of small design parts. The overall memory consumption was improved, and some bugs were fixed.

More details can be found in the version history on StitchBuddy's website.

StitchBuddy v2.9 is a free update for all registered users, and can be either downloaded from the corresponding Download page (OS X), or updated in Apple's App Store (iOS).

Please leave a comment at Facebook, and spread your opinion about StitchBuddy by word of mouth.

StitchBuddy v2.8 for OS X

During the last two years I was busy building and enhancing StitchBuddy's iOS apps, so the Mac version was sometimes missing my attention ... this time is over now! The last weeks I spent considerable work on StitchBuddy's OS X version, and now I am proud to release StitchBuddy v2.8 for Mac with some long-awaited enhancements:
  • The color list includes previews for each thread's usage
  • The stitch-order of threads can be changed
  • Threads can be split or combined, especially useful for monograms
  • The canvas size is fixed, so the display remains constant while resizing / moving stitches
  • Selections can be converted between regular and jump stitches
  • The scroll performance was enhanced
I posted a video on YouTube, showing some of the new features, and more details can be found in the version history on StitchBuddy's website.

StitchBuddy v2.8 is a free update for all registered users of the Mac version, and can be downloaded from the corresponding Download page.

Please leave a comment at Facebook, and spread your opinion about StitchBuddy by word of mouth.

Create embroideries with Inkscape

By coincidence I found a very valuable resource: "svg2embroidery" is a PHP script by Ellen Wasbø which converts SVG files into EXP embroidery designs. This way you can use the powerful user interface e.g. from Inkscape to compose your design, and Ellen provides some useful tutorials (how to create satin stitches, fill stitches, ...). Once you have created a design and saved it as a SVG file, just visit the mentioned web address, upload the source file, and after specifying the stitch length you will receive an EXP embroidery file in response. Thanks, Ellen!

Version 2.7 renews all products

Today I released version StitchBuddy v2.7, renewing all iOS and the Mac applications, including Quick Look and Spotlight plugins. Although you can find comprehensive descriptions of all changes in the version histories (Mac, iOS), here is a short overview:
  • Gallery with subfolder support (iOS)
  • Designs can be opened in other apps (iOS)
  • X-ray view shows underlays when selecting stitches
  • Madeira Rayon thread colors added
  • Support of JEF+ file format (read-only)
  • Support of Janome MC 9900 (new hoops)
Update your apps for free, either from StitchBuddy's download page (Mac) or in Apple's App Store (iOS).

Are you already using subfolders in StitchBuddy's application folder on Dropbox, e.g. as an archive of designs? Please move these subfolders out of StitchBuddy's Dropbox folder before updating the iOS versions.

Please share your opinion at Facebook, and support StitchBuddy by leaving a rating / review in the App Store.

StitchBuddy v2.5.3 released

I just released a minor update of StitchBuddy (v2.5.3) fixing an issue when importing some rare PES designs, and preparing StitchBuddy for OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" by an internal change of the stitch simulator. Although the latter modification might impact the simulator's performance, I am confident it will not effect the user's experience.

New releases of the iOS apps were sent for Apple's review in parallel, incorporating Facebook / Twitter integration and minor bug fixes.

New versions ahead

During my vacation a user reported that some few PES files were not shown correctly by StitchBuddy. With the given example file I could easily reproduce the error, and today I was able to identify and fix the problem. Interesting enough: Some other embroidery programs have the same issue.

The bug fix still needs some thorough testing, but I expect minor updates of all (!) StitchBuddy products in the next weeks. The new version will also include a fix to support OS X 10.9 "Maverick", and Facebook / Twitter support for iOS ... and the mentioned limitation to iOS 6.0 (and above).

Surfing the first wave

On Monday Apple has introduced the next versions of OS X and iOS at its Word Wide Developer Conference. While OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" (a surfing location in California) is expected to come with only little changes for the end user, iOS 7 features a complete redesign of the user interface.

The WWDC keynote made me curious enough to download and install very first versions of both operating systems, previews only available to registered developers: Although I was able to identify minor issues with StitchBuddy's Quick Look plugin and the stitch simulator on OS X 10.9, these might be caused by the very early state of Apple's preview. I will check again at a later more stable state, and I am confident to resolve any possible problem. iOS 7 is currently only available for the iPhone, so I checked StitchBuddy View, and found it working, yet with an unfamiliar appearance.

This was only a very first glance, both OS are still subjects to change in the next months, but it was fun surfing the first wave and finding my apps working well…

Update (2013/07/12): Apple has fixed the mentioned Quick Look issue with Mavericks 3rd Developer Preview (I filed a bug report), and I figured out how to fix the Stitch Simulator. I'll incorporate this minor change in the next update, and everything will be fine for the next OS X version.

Gaps and Jumps

A user reported gaps in her designs after importing PES / PEC files and saving them with StitchBuddy. It turned out that StitchBuddy was too strict when identifying regular stitches: Some were interpreted as jump stitches, resulting in gaps after optimizing the design when saving…

This bug existed since the early days, but now it is corrected, and I just released StitchBuddy v2.5.1. While Mac users can immediately download from the web site, the iOS versions of StitchBuddy View and -HD will take some more days until they are approved by Apple.

Update (2013/03/06): StitchBuddy HD v2.5.1 was approved today.

Mac OS X 10.5.x crash corrected

A user reported StitchBuddy to crash on Mac OS X 10.5.8, so this morning I took an old Leopard system back to work and started StitchBuddy v2.4.5 and ... it crashed. It turns out that Apple had changed some internal handling when building programs, something I wasn't aware of. As a matter of fact I hadn't tested StitchBuddy's last release with this OS X version, which last update is about 3.5 years old: Shame on me.

Fortunately a fix was easy to apply, and StitchBuddy v2.4.6 is ready for download.

Black Friday Sale: 70% off

At Christmas StitchBuddy and its predecessors will celebrate their 5th birthday! I have started developing the first Quick Look for Janome JEF files in the Christmas season of 2007. Since then a remarkable track record of enhancements was built, mostly based on your feedback! To show my gratitude for your input, all updates were offered free of charge, but now I want to give even new users a hearty welcome:

For one week, from November 23rd to 30th, 2012, both StitchBuddy products are offered with a 70% discount: Get StitchBuddy for your Mac (USD 14.99), or for your iPad (USD 8.99), and enjoy your embroideries like never before.

Be sure to place your order in the mentioned timeframe to entitle to this rebate.

JPX / WonderFil support added

As I announced on Facebook yesterday, StitchBuddy v2.4.5 is just released for both, Mac and iPad as a free update. In addition to some minor enhancements the new version is able to read Janome JPX design files, and adds WonderFil Splendor to the supported thread charts. Customers asked for both features, and I'm happy I could provide them.

Unfortunately the support for JPX files is not as smooth as I wanted it to be: As a matter of fact the file extension ".jpx" is already reserved by another file type: JPEG 2000, a graphic file, so Janome made a bad decision using the same extension for their embroidery designs. Implications for StitchBuddy can be found on the related support pages (Mac, iOS).

Feel free to download the new version for your Mac here, or use the App Store update function on your iPad.

How to use Janome JPX Files

I'm currently looking into Janome's JPX embroidery format: extracting stitches / threads seems quite easy, but I'm unsure about the image background which is used to layer JPX designs with graphics. Unfortunately I don't have any Janome software and therefore no experiences with this feature on my own. @Horizon users: How are you using the new file format? Feel free to comment on StitchBuddy's Facebook page.

More Thread Charts

Apple has just approved a new version of StitchBuddy HD, and I have updated the Mac version, too: Version 2.4.4 is now available for both platforms and supports Coats Rayon and Trilobal thread charts. In addition the iPad app has a feature to highlight a selected thread, which makes it easier to identify where a specific color was used in a design:



Update StitchBuddy for free on both, your Mac and your iPad... either in the App Store or from the download page.

Watch the Mountain Lion!

Today I enlisted in Apple's Mac Developer program to support the "Gatekeeper" security feature in OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion": Unfortunately my iOS certificate was not sufficient to sign StitchBuddy for Mac.

I just uploaded a very, very, very minor release of the OS X app and its plugins: StitchBuddy v2.4.3 is now completely code-signed to comply with Gatekeeper of OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion". In addition I tested all functions of StitchBuddy and the Quick Look / Spotlight plugins with the upcoming operating system, and everything is working flawless.

Minor bugfixes

Tonight, after one week "Waiting for review" a minor bugfix of StitchBuddy HD was approved by Apple. It addresses some issues that were identified by a customer using specific PES files. So far unknown color codes were included in these files, and selecting these caused the app to crash. Thanks for your help, Di!

Additionally I made some changes to improve the performance on the new iPad's Retina display. Here's a list of all changes:

  • Leading / trailing jump stitches are not included into selections
  • Performance improvements for Retina displays.
  • Enhanced PES support (additional color codes).
  • Fixed: Corrupted grid at some zoom levels on Retina displays.
  • Fixed: Crashes caused by unknown thread colors.
The Mac application StitchBuddy benefits from some of these changes as well, so a minor update to version v2.4.1 was released today.

Some bugfixes

Some issues required an immediate bugfix, especially the first two:
  • StitchBuddy crashed on Mac OS X 10.5.x when opening any design. This was caused by using an internal function available since Mac OS X 10.6 (aka "Snow Leopard"), only.
  • By eliminating the title bar of the delay screen, it was impossible to enter a license code.
  • When the "Stitch Simulator" was closed after forwarding, but without running the simulation, the display showed an unfinished design.
All these issues were fixed with StitchBuddy 2.3.1, which can be downloaded here.

Simulator, Full-Screen, Resume

Today I released the first version with features especially for users of OS X 10.7 "Lion":
  • Full-Screen allows you to edit embroideries without any disturbance from the dock or the menu bar, fully integrated with Mission Control
  • Resume (aka "Windows Restoration"), prevents the status of open windows incl. zoom level, scroll position, selections / selection mode even if you close and relaunch StitchBuddy
Do you miss "Autosave" or "Versions"? In my opinion Apple's implementation of a (basically) good idea is quite poor, and Versions and the locking mechanism will need much more refinement, before users will feel confident about it. To avoid file modifications being accidentally saved by StitchBuddy users, I didn't implement Auto-Saving.

An additional new feature for all users is the Stitch Simulator: This "Virtual Embroidery Machine" gives you a perfect impression how a design will stitch out in reality: The stitching process is drawn step by step, showing underlays, jumps, the color sequence, and all details. You can abort or pause a stitch out, adjust its speed, and jump to any position. StitchBuddy stays completely operational, so you can change zoom levels, view options, even select stitches during the animation. This function is extremely helpful to examine designs before stitching, and just for the fun of it I've added an appropriate sound effect (actually it's my wife's Janome MC350E).

StitchBuddy v2.3 is a free update for all registered users. New users are encouraged to download and test the full-featured trial version before purchasing a permanent license for USD 49.95 / EUR 39.95.

Coexistence with others

A few customers were reporting that StitchBuddy wouldn't open embroidery files it claims to handle: The designs were not selectable in the "Open" window (greyed out), and even the Finder refused to open these files with StitchBuddy.

It turned out these customers were using other Mac embroidery software in parallel, and this software assigned file types to embroidery designs, StitchBuddy didn't know. For some reason this issue wasn't effecting all users of such a software combination, but only a minority; I wasn't able to reproduce it myself.

Fortunately this behaviour could be fixed by a small configuration change in StitchBuddy. Therefore a minor release v2.2.3 is available for download, and is still compatible with the PowerPC architecture (despite my former posting). But this version is expected to be the last one…

Bye bye, PowerPC...

With OS X 10.7 (aka "Lion") Apple has completely dropped support for Macs with PowerPC processors: Five years after the transition of all desktops / laptops to Intel processors, and shipping the last model with a PowerPC, it is no longer possible to run PPC applications on the current OS. Additionally there is no (officially supported) way for developing PPC applications under Lion.

After long considerations I decided to move forward, and StitchBuddy v.2.2.2 is the last "Universal" application, supporting both, the Intel and PPC architecture: Future versions with additional features will require an Intel processor, but StitchBuddy v2.2.2 will remain available for download.

So you might have noticed: StitchBuddy's summer break has ended, and I'm eager to implement some cool new things, finally with Lion and a new development environment ("Xcode 4").

Janome Memory Craft 12000

I just released a minor update of StitchBuddy and both plugins: Janome has introduced their new "top-of-the-line" embroidery machine, the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000, and it features a couple of new hoops:

StitchBuddy v2.2.2 is able to write JEF embroidery designs up to the size of 230 x 300 mm, and its USB export function supports the MC 12000 as well. Look at the version history for some details.

And again: This update is a free download for all registered users, and can be evaluated by others with all features before purchasing a license.

Lion fully supported

Today I published StitchBuddy v2.2.1 as a bugfix release. It mainly addresses two problems with OS X 10.7 (aka "Lion"): As mentioned in the previous article Apple decided to change the background color of Quick Look plugins to a solid white, so now StitchBuddy-QL displays black text when used under Lion. As a second issue toolbar icons were not displayed correctly after a printing operation was canceled.

Additional I fixed some minor bugs unrelated to Lion, more details can be found in the version history. Unfortunately one of them prevents the update check of StitchBuddy to notify about this minor release...

StitchBuddy v2.2.1 is a free download for all registered users, and can be evaluated by others with all features before purchasing a license

Roar!

I'm happy to announce that StitchBuddy v2.2 is compatible with Apple's brand-new OS X 10.7 aka "Lion".

There's one small issue when viewing embroidery files with the Quick Look plugin: As Lion uses a white background, the white text (thread names, etc.) is unreadable. I will fix this problem with a minor release the next days.

Another problem unrelated to Lion was reported by a user, and will be fixed as well: StitchBuddy crashes after entering too small or too large zoom factors manually. Thanks, Gregor!

StitchBuddy v2.2 writes PES files

For over two years many users asked me to support writing of PES embroideries, a file format used by Brother, Baby Lock, and Bernina. A long time I wasn't able to offer this feature, but finally I was able to decrypt PES version 1.0 embroideries, and now a new release of StitchBuddy is released with write support for this file format. Major new features are:
  • write support of Brother / Baby Lock / Bernina PES v1.0 designs
  • read and write support of Brother PEC designs
  • three new thread charts: Ackermann Isacord, Floriani Polyester, Fufu Rayon
  • some minor bug fixes and enhancements (look at the versions history for more details)

StitchBuddy v2.2 is a free update for all registered users. New users are encouraged to download and test the full-featured trial version before purchasing a permanent license for USD 49.95 / EUR 39.95.

3D View enhanced, bugs fixed

I decided to release a minor update of StitchBuddy and both plugins as a specific error should be fixed as soon as possible: Under very rare conditions a JEF file could be corrupted, and wasn't recognized by Janome embroidery machines, anymore. This issue occurred only if a color change happened to be a jump stitch, too, a possible combination introduced with Janome Designer 3.0N.

Together with this bug fix StitchBuddy v2.1.2 includes some minor enhancements, my favorite is the improved 3D view I mentioned earlier:

  • 3D effects improved (using gradients): Much better visualization at higher zoom levels
  • Jump stitches are ignored when marking the first stitch; until now it was always at (0, 0)
  • JEF export corrected: Files were corrupted if a color change happened to be a jump stitch (rare situation with Janome Digitizer 3.0N)
  • Alignment of PES files corrected: Offsets to the design's origin were ignored
  • Export function supports devices with a smaller capacity (max. 16 MB), formatted with MS-DOS (FAT12)

As you might have guessed StitchBuddy v2.1.2 is a free update for all registered users, and can be purchased for USD 49.95 / EUR 39.95.

Version 2.1.1 fixes PES bug

Sometimes life's funny! A few days ago I stumbled over a long-time error in StitchBuddy reading PES files: Under certain conditions regular stitches were interpreted as jumps / link stitches. While viewing an unmodified design, these stitches were still shown as dashed lines (if the display option "View" - "Design" - "Jumps" is checked), but when modifying / saving a design, the jump stitches were combined automatically, leading to holes in the design. As a blessing in disguise StitchBuddy still doesn't save PES files, so the original embroideries were never in danger.

Changing a single line of code fixed this bug, and as no user seemed to be effected by the error for two years, I decided to incorporate it with upcoming enhancements into the next release.

Yesterday a user reported this issue, so I changed my mind and released StitchBuddy v2.1.1 today, which also includes some minor corrections (details can be found in the version history).

Eye Candy

From the first days of StitchBuddy I was looking for a way to make the look of displayed embroideries more realistic. Users should get an impression about the stitches, their directions and layers, with the drawing still fast enough to allow modifications. I don't like static 3D previews without any user interaction.

I faked a 3D display by drawing a black outline around each stitch, and an additional white one in its center: Good enough for overviews, but pretty rough at higher zoom levels. The last days I evaluated several other methods, looking for a faster display performance and a better look, and I succeeded. Here's a comparison between the current and the new approach:


With the next release StitchBuddy will use gradients to simulate 3D stitches, and as you can see the effect is quite impressive, with even a (slightly) faster performance.

StitchBuddy v2.1 released

I decided not to wait for more feature enhancements before releasing a new version of StitchBuddy: On one hand I'd like to spend the next days with my family celebrating Christmas, on the other hand I want you to benefit from new developments as soon as possible.

Feel free to download version 2.1 of the application and both plugins including the following new features:

  • Support for different measurement units (millimeters, inches with decimals, inches with fractions)
  • Auto conversion of thread charts
  • Selected stitches can be moved by Drag'n'Drop
  • New function "Measure" to measure a distance in a design
  • Designs can be copied as images or text by Drag'n'Drop, even to Mac OS X Finder (creating JPEG files)

Starting today StitchBuddy and both plugins will share the same version number: As all modules are based on the same core functions, any modification will lead to new releases anyway. The same version number will avoid unnecessary confusions.

StitchBuddy v2.1 is a free update for all registered users and can be purchased for USD 49.95 / EUR 39.95.

Support of more PES formats

I just released a minor update of StitchBuddy and both plugins, because a user stumbled over PES files that couldn't be opened. Actually she found freebie designs of version 5.5, 5.6, 7.1, and 8.0 at Babylock's website. Although I don't know, what is changed in detail, the part of a PES file StitchBuddy uses to read designs isn't modified. So more PES formats could be supported by changing a single line of code.

StitchBuddy v2.0.2 is a free update for registered users and as always StitchBuddy-QL / -MD v1.4.2 can be downloaded for free.

"Open" dialog confuses users

Sometimes starting StitchBuddy causes confusions: The "Open" window looks very similar to one of Mac OS X's Finder (which is true for a lot of applications using this standard dialog). So some users tried to navigate to the application again, and found its icon grayed out (as StitchBuddy can't open its own program file).

The solution is quite simple: StitchBuddy is already running, so just navigate to any supported embroidery file and open it.

Because some users faced the same confusion, I decided to add a related answer to this "Frequently Asked Question", which might help others facing the same situation.

StitchBuddy reviewed by Jim Stutsman

Some of you might know Jim Stutsman, Janome guru and owner of "The Sewing Room" in Frisco, Texas. Jim is one of my first customers and during the last year we discussed a lot of topics related to machine embroidery, especially involving Macs and Janome embroidery machines. A lot of his suggestions found their way into StitchBuddy and he was an early beta tester of version 2.0.

These days Jim wrote a review in his blog "Online Sewing" and I'm really proud about his conclusion: "If you only work with purchased designs, then StitchBuddy is all you need for the Mac. It's the single best tool I've ever found for working with Janome embroidery designs, and that includes all of the ones available for the PC". Thank you, Jim!

More hoops and "any color"

I just released a minor update of StitchBuddy and both plugins:
  • Now owners of Janome's MB-4 can select the standard hoop M1 (I just missed it for some reason) and the new AcuFil Square Quilting Hoop (ASQ) was added.
  • JEF designs with the "any color" thread code (like some of Janome's quilting designs) are supported.
  • Some minor adjustments were made to improve the usability when switching between color modifications and selection modes.
StitchBuddy v2.0.1 is a free update for registered users and as always StitchBuddy-QL / -MD v1.4.1 can be downloaded for free.

StitchBuddy 2.0

Happy birthday, StitchBuddy, you’ve grown up!

After four months of serious coding and one year after its first release, a major update of StitchBuddy is released. I won’t summarize all changes in this blog entry (some more details can be found in the version history), but now StitchBuddy has become a full-featured embroidery editor: You can select parts of a design and move, resize, rotate, flip and delete them. All modifications can be undone, real-size templates can be printed and a lot more functions were added. Just look at the feature page for more information. StitchBuddy-QL and StitchBuddy-MD were updated to support new thread charts and hoops.

To reflect these major changes this web site was completely redesigned, featuring a blog, some YouTube videos and a detailed FAQ section to answer all product-related questions.

StitchBuddy v2.0 is a free update for all registered users and can be purchased for USD 49.95 / EUR 39.95.

Snow Leopard bug fix

Mac OS X 10.6 aka „Snow Leopard“ was released by Apple, and users reported StitchBuddy and its plugins to work well. Anyway, after I received the OS update for my new MacBook Pro I realized a bug in StitchBuddy v1.2: When zooming into a design no scrollbars became visible. This issue will be addressed by a complete new zooming in the next major release, which is already under construction. In the meantime I disabled the „auto-hide“ feature of the scrollbars, now they are visible all the time, and StitchBuddy v1.2.1 is released as an interims bug fix.

More Pfaff formats

After the last feature update I focused on file formats in the last weeks. Now all StitchBuddy components read Pfaff’s KSM, PCS, PCQ and PCD files, and PCS embroideries can also be written. While KSM is once again an industrial format without color information, PCQ and PCD are used for small hoopless embroideries, e. g. at a hemline. I’ve learned that there are different PCD formats, text-based and binary ones, and StitchBuddy can read the binary type, only.

Thread charts and VP3

The first (free) update of StitchBuddy changes the handling of thread colors: The color picker of Mac OS X is used to select colors (it was just a list of items before), and I updated the internal representation of colors: It’s possible to change the thread charts of a design, and even EXP/DST files can be colorized. In addition designs can be rotated by any angle,q and Pfaff’s VP3 embroidery format can be read, now.

Both plugins are updated as well to support the new thread colors and VP3 embroideries.

Stand-alone application StitchBuddy

Yippee! One year after the first JEFview version the stand-alone StitchBuddy application is born!

Its main purpose is to preview changes of a design’s thread colors, but I added some more features: Designs can be flipped and rotated by 45° and it’s possible to center a design in its hoop. Based on the StitchBuddy framework the application can read JEF, PES, SEW, EXP, and DST embroidery files. Unfortunately I didn’t find enough information to write PES, so saving designs is limited to JEF, EXP, and DST.

StitchBuddy can be purchased for USD 25 / EUR 20.