How to Make a 3D Logo – Bernina Embroidery Software 8

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Designer Plus is a hugely powerful package that really helps you to bring your embroidery sewing machine to life and deliver to the maximum it is capable of.  Anything this good is always going to be complicated and difficult to master though.  

When I first purchased the software, Bernina provided a free day’s tuition at their centre in London.  I have spent several hours since then immersed in the software manuals and numerous You Tube videos in an attempt to make the software create something I can be proud of.

I was looking for a project that would catapult me on from just reading the manuals and watching the videos into hands on creative mode.  If you want to master something practical like a software package, there really is no substitute for the “Just Do It” approach.

The ideal opportunity soon presented itself and it was time to get the laptop out, brace myself for the inevitable frustrations of mastering something new and difficult and get creative!

My local Podiatry Clinic asked me if I could create a foot to help decorate the clinic walls.  This was the perfect challenge for the Bernina Embroidery Software, so, I agreed to give it a go.

Their logo is a nice simple foot design making it an ideal first project for the Bernina Embroidery Software 8 package.

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Project Logo
The Podiatry Clinic Logo

I wanted to create something eye catching and sporty looking.  Appliqué seemed like a good choice of embroidery technique to try because I could create the background of the feet in fabric rather than trying to embroider the colour all over which would have used up a lot of thread.

I had to have a couple of practice attempts – but this was the finished embroidery:

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Project Logo

What you will Need

Hardware Requirements

You will also need a PC/laptop capable of running the software.  It is a very powerful package and it is well worth making sure that your computer is powerful enough to run the software efficiently.  If it isn’t powerful enough, long response times make it very frustrating to use.  I had to upgrade my laptop before I could get the most out of the embroidery software.  I now use an HP 470 G7 laptop i7 AMD with a 17.3 inch screen.

The minimum hardware requirements to operate the software successfully are:



CPU Intel® Core 2 Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 3GHz + Latest 64-bit (x64) multi core processor 

Operating System

Windows® 10 (64-bit Edition) or Windows® 8.1 (64-bit Edition), with latest service packs.


8 GB or more

Hard Disk

256 GB or More (Solid State Drive)


Wide screen – 1366 X 768 screen resolution

Bernina Video Tutorials - You Tube

Bernina have collated a whole series of videos dedicated to helping you use their software effectively.  I found these invaluable in my own learning process.  It does take time to work through them all, but it is well worth the effort.  

Working your way steadily through the tutorials will – eventually – enable you to transform what starts off as a rather bewildering sea of icons on a screen into a toolbox jam packed with creative goodies.

Click the button below to access the full playlist.  There are 19 videos in total (!)

Everything is covered –  from navigating the screen when you first switch on to advanced appliqué techniques.    A link to the first video is included below, to encourage you to take the plunge and get started.

Step-by-Step Guide

Time needed: 1 day

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 gives you a number of ways of tackling any given project.  I played around with quite a few of them as I was learning.  My aim with this post is to inspire you with a real life example of what the software can do to tempt you to experiment with it yourself and enjoy climbing your own learning curve.  I have set out all the basic steps I followed to complete the logo project here, but you will need to supplement this by watching the tutorials on the link above.

Digitising the Design

  1. Take a photo of the artwork on your phone.
  2. Import the photo into the Embroidery Software.  I am a Mac user, so I had to use dropbox to do this as Bernina Embroidery Software 8 is Windows based.
  3.  In the Embroidery Canvas, Select the Insert Artwork Icon.
  4. Select the Hoop Size you want to use.
  5. Resize your image to fit the hoop – you can just click and dig the handlebars.
  6. Select the image and click on the Auto Digitise – Magic Wand Tool.
  7. Reduce the number of colours to 2 and click OK.
  8. The software then magically detects all the discreet shapes within your design – you can see them cross-hatched out as you hover over each element.  Once the tool has performed its magic, you can right click, select object properties and apply all sorts of creative stitches to your design.  Simply hover over the area of the design you want to work on and use LEFT click to FILL or RIGHT click to OUTLINE.
  9. There is an “add holes” option in the magic wand tool that I used to carve out the circle for the foot sole.
  10. The first element in the design was an outline stitch which I needed to secure the appliqué fabric to the background material.
  11. If you select the design and duplicate it, you can then chose a variety of fill stitches to embroider the inside of the logo.  The stitches I chose to use were:  Ripple stitch (toes), Fancy Double-cross Fill Stitch (Circle – Ball of the Foot), Lacework L0004a (Foot Sole).  With the padding beneath it, the ripple effect made nicely 3D raised toes with stitches that looked just like fingerprints.  The fancy double cross stitch I chose for the ball of the foot created a lovely textured 3D finish.
  12. If you select the design and duplicate it, you can then apply a satin stitch outline which will stitch out after all the inner embroidery has been completed.

With the design now successfully digitised, I could move on to the fun bit – sewing it out.  Before you do that though, there are a few tips and tricks it’s well worth being aware of to save you time, frustration – and (last but definitely not least) precious fabric and thread.  Jump to the last section for these.

Sewing Out the Embroidery Design

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Project Background Appliqué
Step 1 - Background Appliqué

I used the large oval hoop for this design.  You need to make sure you have selected the right hoop before you start.  You can select zoom “To Hoop” to check that it fits nicely.

I made a fabric sandwich:

Layer 1 – Stabiliser

Layer 2 – Lightweight Wadding

Layer 3  – Background Fabric (Embroidery Linen)

Layer 4 – Applique Fabric

I laid my appliqué fabric over the top of the hoop rather than inside it.  This is really important, because you need to cut it away from the outline stitches WITHOUT REMOVING THE DESIGN FROM THE HOOP.  Once you remove the design from the hoop, it is GAME OVER – because you will never be able to place it in exactly the correct place!

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Project Trim Away Fabric
Step 2 Trim Away Fabric

Cut the surplus appliqué fabric away from the design using a pair of super sharp scissors reserved for detailed work like this.

I found a lint roller useful for picking up tiny bits of thread and lint that would otherwise have stuck to the embroidery and spoiled it.

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Project Embroidery
Step 3 Complete Inner Embroidery

Complete the inner embroidery.

This is the design with the inner embroidery all sewn out.  You can’t see the 3D effect very well in the photo – but trust me – it feels lovely to touch and I think looks quite realistic?!

Bernina Embroidery Software 8 Project Logo
Step 4 Satin Stitch Outline

The final step is to outline the design in satin stitch.

You can play about with the stitch length and width to get the effect you want.  The default setting left too much overlap on the toes, so I had to reduce it a bit.

Tips and Tricks

  1. The Colour Film Toolbar on the RHS of the screen is a great tool.  Opening this reveals each stage of your design so you can see it all really clearly.  You can use the Colour Film tool to: elect an individual element of the design so you can easily delete it or change the object properties.  You can also use it to quickly re-sequence a design to change the order in which it is sewn.  Simply click and drag or use the arrows to move elements around.
  2.  The Stitch Out Tool is another really useful feature.  You can find this on the far RHS of the second row of the top toolbar.  If you click on this, you can see virtually exactly how your design will stitch out.  It’s really useful for identifying any mistakes in your design and getting rid of them before you start using up fabric and thread.
  3. Three clicks is usually enough to digitise a closed object.  LEFT clicks are for points/corners/changes in direction and RIGHT clicks form CURVES.  Work around your shape and let the software close out the object by pressing return.
  4. There is a Re-Shape Tool which you can use to make marginal adjustments to your auto-digitised design if it isn’t exactly as you want it.
  5. Next time I try a project like this, I will experiment with changing the pull compensation.  I read that this is recommended when using the Magic Wand Tool, but I didn’t use it on this project.  To change the pull compensation:  Select all the design, right click to select OBJECT PROPERTIES, Select EFFECTS, Select OTHERS and change the pull compensation to .4 mm.

The First of Many Projects

This was my first project using the Bernina Embroidery Software 8 suite.  I learned a lot doing it – but the software is capable of so much more.

I will continue to record my progress on this learning curve and share with you any tips/inspiration that I find helpful along the way.  Future blog posts will be tagged “Bernina Embroidery Software 8” – so if this is your own area of special interest, you will be able to find all the related content easily by using this tag for your search.

Happy Creative Sewing!

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