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arrow_circle_down Why does my Machine stitch in a different order than your Instructions

I make mistakes - yes I am human. and I'm sure you've seen where I have made an error and sent you an e-mail advising there is an updated version of a design file.

Generally, this happens fairly quickly once I've released a new design.  (You should see my In Box when that happens)

Sometimes we get a query about a design that has been stitched by hundreds of people without issue.

We go thru a process of elimination to work out what is happening.

99% of times, this issue occurs when the embroidery file has been transferred via Embroidery Software

 We strongly recommend that you transfer our files direct from your Computer to your Machine, without opening in Embroidery Software.

Why?   Some software automatically color sorts, or joins similar colors, so when you open the design on your machine, it has changed our original file.  It might not matter too much on a filled stitch embroidery design, but on an applique file, it may mean your machine won’t stop when it should, and our Instructions will not make sense.


Here is an example – We received this message

Pumpkin Coaster


Trying to stitch out your pumpkin coaster, small size . On step 3 it stitched the white fabric all around the perimeter of the coaster , which I have to RIP out . And the color steps only go to color 8 , not 10 . Is it the design or me


Don’t get me wrong, I make mistakes like everyone, so yes, there may have been a fault in the design, but I  know this particular design is correct – we’ve had hundreds stitched without issue, and her comment about 8 Colors instead of 10 rang alarm bells with me.

This is the colors/steps on our design – 10 Colors/steps

‘Something’ was changing our design to make it only 8 colors/steps. From the photo, it looks like Color 3, 4 and 10 have merged

I checked with her, and yes, she transfers her designs to her machine via embroidery software.

The software was being ‘super clever’, and automatically joining similar colors or color sorting for her.     That may not matter on some designs, but on applique designs, we end up with this exact problem – the machine not stopping when it should.

What was the fix?  

In this case, she did transfer her design via her software BUT REMOVED COLOR SORT – the design did then show the correct 10 Colors. 

Transferring direct from her computer to her Sewing Machine would have the same results.


Now I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel – if you have been transferring your embroidery designs via your software for years, without an issue, then no need to change.   But if you do find that what shows on your machine is different than our instructions, then PLEASE try the transfer direct from your Computer to your machine. 

MB4 and JEF Files

This was a very interesting issue.

Our amazing Darina has a Janome MB4 and had a problem with a design not stitching correctly – it was way off!! – something was definitely wrong.

The format was JEF which is the suggested format for the MB4

We had a few members of our Admin Team all checking the JEF design on different machines – they were all fine.  But when Darina loaded the exact file on her MB4, it was wonky?    A real mystery.

How did we fix it?    Darina posted the issue on an MB4 Group, and a member suggested to try using DST format

You know what?    It worked!!

Now I have no idea why the same design should be different between formats, but for that particular machine DST stitches correctly, when the JEF didn’t.


If you still have an issue, then please e-mail and let us know the Design Name, the hoop size you are using AND the type of Embroidery Machine you have.

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