This year at Bernina University, Bernina introduced an update to their embroidery software. Because I am a pretty steady user of their software, I wanted to investigate right away.
You can download a free version of the software to use for 30 days. So that’s what I did.
I decided to lay out the pros and cons for you if you are a Bernina software person.
–Corel is gone. And good riddance. It caused the software to take forever to load. If you had to update the software, that was an intense, long, drawn-out download…all because of Corel. If you were a graphics person, you likely had your own software to use. In my experience, most machine embroiderers simply never learned to use the Corel side of the program. It also was buggy, froze your computer, sometimes shut it down and was just a real pain. For me, not having attached is a plus.
–New home page. I like it. I don’t think it has a whole lot of use for those of us who have used the program a lot, but I did like that it saved images of my most recent designs, It also provides a link to embroideryonline.com, which is helpful. The red x just appears because I removed my USB and took the design over to my computer.
–Keyboard Design Collection. This sounds interesting, but I wasn’t able to test it, as the free sample did not include any collections (as far as I could tell.) I’d like to explore this further. However, I have downloaded fonts online and I really haven’t had a problem getting them to stitch out. So this is a question mark with possibilities.
–Small changes. I do a lot of lines of text embroidery, quilt labels, things like that. And it’s usually pretty large. So I hate working sideways to fit in the hoop. I used to have to go into multi-hooping to turn the hoop sideways. Now there are a couple of icons at the top of the page that turn the hoop by 15 degree increments. Love this. (It’s the little things.)
–Wifi connection. Apparently, we can now simply transfer our designs directly to our machines. I don’t know for sure if this applies to me, because I have an older machine. But a nice feature, nonetheless. In fairness, our machines are not storage devices. So if you transfer directly, make sure you know how to delete from your sewing machine.
–Apply closest join. This is a new feature added under options>>general. The one thing I wanted it to do was eliminate the enormous jump stitch between lines of text. When stitching text it only stitches left to right, the way we read. This causes an enormous jump stitch after every line that sometimes interferes with the next line. I hate it, and I have to babysit to cut it before the text moves on. I suspect that this is resolved completely in newer machines that cut jump stitches. But is it worth a $10,000 purchase for me to get a new machine? Not yet.
–Overall look and feel is very, very similar to previous versions. Not a whole lot of improvements or changes.
For me it’s worth the price to update my software to stay current. And I am happy to be rid of the wonky anvil around the neck of this software (Corel). A few minor stitch and icon improvements are helpful.
However, if you are cost-conscious and happy with what you have at the moment, you may want to wait it out for the next version (v10, I would guess…years from now) The retail price at the moment is $699 for a DesignerPlus update. That is a promotional price. It is compatible with versions 6,7,8. Any of them can be updated. Also, if you are still dragging around a dongle, I would really recommend an update.
For a comprehensive review, you can take a look at this webinar from Bernina. Start at 14:17 to jump right to the software section.
Welcome to fall. May you rediscover your embroidery capabilities.