It doesn’t matter how many embroidery designs you have if you can’t find them. Organizing them is not difficult. Think of your computer’s hard drive as a filing cabinet and store designs in one main folder on your computer that contains sub folders for various categories.

Organize your embroidery machine files how they best make sense to you by adapting the following suggestions to your own needs.

Where to Keep Machine Embroidery Design Files

Perhaps the best location for machine embroidery designs is in a specific folder on your computer’s hard drive (C:). Create a primary storage folder called Embroidery. This is your “home base.” If you have a stand-alone cataloging program, you may want to set up your primary storage folder as the default from which it access files.

As an alternative, you may to keep files on a thumb drive or external hard drive which would change the home base address to another letter.

Wherever you build your filing system, make it easy to find. If you have difficulty navigating your computer, create a shortcut on the desktop that takes you directly to your embroidery design storage area.

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Separate Machine Embroidery Designs into Categories

Create a sub-folder of the Embroidery folder for each different category of machine embroidery designs you wish to organize. You may choose to arrange files by topic, technique, or manufacturer, and any combination of the three.

Suggested categories by topic might include Alphabets, Applique, Christmas, Monograms, Quilting, and Redwork. It is best to start out grouping files generically, getting more specific as sub-categories make themselves evident.

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Depending on your collection, you may instead want to file designs according to manufacturer.

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Organizing Embroidery Designs Into Sub-categories 

Create sub-categories where appropriate within each of the machine embroidery design categories. The Applique category may have sub-categories of Frames, Sock Monkeys, and Sunbonnet Girls, depending on your collections.

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If you have a large amount of sock monkey designs, further break the Sock Monkeys category down into sub-categories of Christmas, Patriotic, and Redwork, for instance.

Alternately, you could add Christmas sock monkey designs to the Christmas folder or redwork sock monkey designs to the Redwork folder. That depends upon whether or not you want to go to one main folder for all Christmas designs or sock monkey designs. If you prefer Christmas designs be filed in their technique categories, place them there. You also can place a copy in both locations so that you will find them whether you look in the seasonal category or the technique category.

The most difficult part may be in locating all of the existing embroidery designs scattered throughout your hard drive. You may need to search for different embroidery file extensions to find all of them. [link to blog on file types]. Wherever the designs are located, click and drag them into their respective folders.

By properly organizing your machine embroidery design files, you will be better able to find them when you want to use them. Grouping in categories also makes it easier to backup files and to get the most out of cataloging programs on the market.

You will probably find designs you forgot you had—bonus!