I get asked this question all the time so I thought I’d write a blog post that I can point folks to for some answers. Just trying to be efficient here. 🙂
Embrilliance is a suite of 3rd party software for your machine embroidery projects made by a company called Briton Leap. 3rd party means it’s not proprietary to any particular brand or make of machine. Depending on what you want to do with it, you only buy what you need. All of the software packages in Embrilliance work independently of one another and they all work together and build on each other. They all have their own special purpose in life. Over the years, I’ve found that Briton Leap works very hard to keep their software up-to-date and so far I’ve gone from Windows 7, to 8, to 10 with the company keeping the software current and zero problems.
Embrilliance software creates files for every embroidery machine: Brother, Baby Lock, Singer, Pfaff, Husqvarna, Viking, Janome, … you get the idea. It allows you to save embroidery files in every machine format type. It does not interfere in any way with the internal software that might be in your embroidery machine. It installs on your computer (vs. on your embroidery machine) and it works with both Windows and Mac computers. It does not have a dongle and you can install a single license on multiple machines. No kidding. The company lets you do that. Oh, and most of the software modules are less than $200. Yes, you read that right. I didn’t leave out a zero.
What do I do with Embrilliance? In Essentials, which is what you need if you’re a beginner, you can modify existing designs by resizing them, you can remove parts you don’t want, and you can add in customization like a monogram or text lettering to personalize something like the birth announcement below. Speaking of lettering, Embrilliance uses BX fonts which I LOVE. They allow you to type up your text so the letters align like on a word processor, vs. an alphabet where you have to position each letter individually. Also, in the Embrilliance Utilities menu, there is a new feature to wirelessly send designs to the Babylock Solaris and Brother XP1 Luminaire. That is SO slick! Be gone you pesky USB sticks! Enthusiast has a precise positioning system I find incredibly helpful and I used the exact percentage resizing feature to make sure I got the birthday and weight/length all the exact same size in the birth announcement. No guesswork. I think at the moment, I have 5-6 modules of Embrilliance. I customized this adorable Birth Announcement from Designs by JuJu for my new great nephew using Embrilliance Essentials and Enthusiast. It could not be simpler – click the A in the top menu to open text editing, type it in, and move it where I want it. Boom. Done.
One of the Embrilliance modules I have is the Thumbnailer. Even if I didn’t have any other pieces of Embrilliance software, Thumbnailer is an absolute MUST and it works independently of the rest of the software. You do not need any other modules of Embrilliance for Thumbnailer to work. It is a utility program that works outside of the embroidery software, and it allows you to actually see the embroidery designs in your computer files like you see previews of images in your pictures folder. It also shows longarm design files as well which I find incredibly helpful. Below, you can see the elephant Birth Announcement from Designs by JuJu as I see them on my screen. It’s so easy to tell the metric from universal measurements, AM vs. PM, etc.
Without Thumbnailer, the same designs look like this image below on my computer. Big difference. And this little piece of software gem is less than $50. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.
Here’s a quick video where I explain Embrilliance and how Thumbnailer works.
So now let’s talk about Simply Applique (SA). SA is a module of Brother’s BES4 embroidery software. It only does one thing, and that is to create applique embroidery files from .fcm files that can be created either by the Brother Scan n Cut or the Brother Canvas Workspace in the Brother cloud. Once the .fcm file is imported into SA, with one click of a button, the program creates a placement line, a tackdown stitch, and a final stitch that can either be a satin, blanket, run, or motif stitch. You can do minimal design editing in SA, but not like you can in Embrilliance. SA “automates” applique quilts. While it’s made by Brother, it saves to all machine brand formats so you do not have to have a Brother or Baby Lock machine to use Simply Applique. You do not need a dongle however you can only have one license at a time on one machine. It does NOT work on a Mac, however I have heard that it works in the Windows module if you have that installed on a Mac. No promises.
Do you need both? I do. I love applique quilts and I detest the stopping, starting, and repositioning of sewing applique down by machine. The two programs are very complimentary to each other but they do separate things. Embrilliance can do what Simply Applique does, however that feature isn’t found until Stitch Artist 3 (and you have to buy Stitch Artist 1 & 2 first to get to 3) and by that time, you’re way past the less-than $200 price tag of Simply Applique. I’m by no means a digitizer so I just don’t need those modules of Embrilliance. If you like to digitize and have all 3 modules of Stitch Artist, you don’t need Simply Applique. Don’t ask me how that works in Stitch Artist; I have no clue. 🙂
So I hope this was helpful. If you’re interested in Embrilliance, please check out my page on Embrilliance software and thanks in advance for using my links. https://powertoolswiththread.com/embrilliance/
If you’re interested in Simply Applique, please call Allbrands or visit their website. If you live outside of the USA, call Allbrands at 1-800-739-7374, ask for Barbara, and she will give you a download code so you don’t have to wait for shipping or pay import taxes. How nice is that?