During a trip to Australia to an Echidna embroidery convention in Melbourne two years ago, I was introduced to the Hatch Embroidery software by John Deer. Even though I have been a dedicated user of Embird for well over 18 years, I was fascinated by the Hatch program.
Now as most of you are aware, I have written extensive tutorials for Embird and it’s add-ons for as many years as I care to remember! I have lived and breathed Embird for many years and my tutorials and lessons would number in the hundreds. I have also dabbled in other programs, and written quite a number of tutorials for the Brother/Babylock PE Design software. I own and still use the Husqvarna and Bernina Artista software. So you can see that I love embroidery programs and really enjoy seeing how they work!
As I was following the introduction to Hatch in Melbourne I realised that I really did like this software. The program has been created by Wilcom who are well known for their great software programs. As well as their own commercial digitizing program (Embroidery Studio) they currently create embroidery software for brands such as Bernina and Janome. They have become the world’s favourite embroidery software for quality, ease-of-use and service. And now their latest baby has arrived for the home embroiderer – Hatch.
Because of their introductory offer I decided to buy Hatch and try it out. I had been a little disappointed that Embird weren’t appearing to keep up to date with the changes in the embroidery world. Too many of their updates were just tinkering around the edges instead of giving us something great and new. For a number of years, for instance, I had been asking for a decent stippling to be added to Embird Studio which would be wonderful for those wishing to do their quilt tops combined with embroidery designs. My guess is that I probably asked for this feature about eight years ago. They promised they would but, no, never delivered. And now Embird is starting to look a bit tired. So don’t get me wrong, I still use Embird because I know it so well and I have more to learn in Hatch.
Another good thing about Hatch is that you can purchase it in four different modules according to the type of embroidery editing/designing that you wish to do. There are upgrades between each module so that you can move up to the next level when you are ready.
The four different levels are:
- Basics. You can open your designs, convert, change colours, manage design files and save, print and write your design to your machine.
- Customizer. The next up which includes all the above as well as the ability create monograms, add lettering, edit or reshape letters, the ability to use True Type Fonts which also includes 60 pre-digitised fonts as well.
- Creator. Creator is the next level up again and includes all the above as well the ability to use the Multi hooping feature, edit your designs (as in adjust stitches, shapes, add stitches etc) and change the stitching order. Creator also includes auto-digitising as well, which is a great plus for those quick designs.
- Digitiser. Digitiser also includes all the above as well as the ability manually digitise, it includes multiple fills and shapes and also the ability to create your own appliqué. You can also create your own unique borders and patterns.
See the handy chart at this link to compare the features of all levels.
I purchased the complete program on the spot as I wanted to be able to use everything. There is a free 30 Day Trial available that is the full version, which is a great place to start. It’s fully functional so you can edit an existing design – change colors, edit objects, resize, add lettering etc or digitize your own embroidery designs from scratch.
Another thing I really like about Hatch is that you don’t have to purchase anything other than Customizer (2nd level) if you want to create lettering. Customizer accesses all the True Type Fonts that are installed on your computer and as well has 60 pre-digitised fonts available as well. Think how much Font Engine is alone in Embird and in Hatch it’s all included!
The lettering is really awesome – as is the whole program.
One thing Hatch does not have is a Cross Stitch add on as Embird does, nor does it have a Photo Embroidery program (yet) like Sfumato.
I feel that the program is really great value for money and I am very comfortable using it. It has such lovely features that I did not upgrade from Version 7 Bernina Artista to Version 8 as all the new features in the Bernina upgrade were already in the Hatch program. (The engine of both being made by the same parent company – Wilcom.) I already had the new stuff – why would I pay dearly for it all over again from Bernina?
Oh, and it has automatic stippling – YES!!!!
I also really like the editing side of Hatch. The stitches are clear to see and to edit. Here is an example of what I mean:
I had purchased a design as I liked the lettering shape but when I stitched it the serifs were just too narrow as I was stitching on a fine knit. I needed to adjust the shape and make the swirls wider (wider satin stitch.) In the image below the top design is the original and the bottom is the design after I adjusted it in Hatch. Notice that the letter L is wider in places. It now stitches beautifully.
All I had to do was Select the object, select Reshape and adjust the stitch nodes. Very simple.
This is just one example of how Hatch impresses me. There are many more examples– too many to list here.
An important thing to mention is the huge amount of support available from Wilcom. There are free designs and projects to help you learn Hatch, and loads of great videos. Wilcom is the industry leader, and a very solid company that provides a ton of resources.
So I will be writing about Hatch on my Hooplah blog, and doing short lessons if you would like to follow my learning curve! I will still be writing about Embird as well, for those of you who decide to stay on with Embird.
I’m just adding another feather to my bow – here is the link to the Free Trial if you want to come along for the ride!