I realize I probably sound ridiculous... oh well!
Oh and also, I don't understand a lot of the words and embroidery jargon so when I've googled in search of this answer, I don't get very far!
I'm considering buying an embroidery-only machine, after no luck of trying to figure out how to decently hand-embroider (from books and youtube). Even called around and there appear to be no teachers in my town to teach me for money! Crazy. It may not help that I'm left-handed, I don't know.
Anyway, in this case at least, I'm more interested in the end-result as opposed to the process (e.g. more quickly making gifts for multiple people, which takes time, as opposed to the slower, zen experience of going into the zone during the homemade process) if that makes sense. I have other things for said "zen" experience e.g. knitting, playing instruments, etc.
All that said, I'm not super happy about the idea of making embroidered gifts based on other people's designs, within reason. I'd really like to be able to "write" (embroider) short sentences for example onto fabric that will be cut and appliqued onto something like a pillow, but using my own handwriting so to speak. Especially when I think of giving something like that to my children. I'd basically like to cheat but without losing that personal touch (the style of my own handwriting) without it taking as long as hand-embroidering would! Same with drawings/designs although frankly I'm not to that point yet.
So, I'm wondering if there's extremely simple software out there (particularly Mac-friendly - or friendly enough) that will allow me to hand-draw or hand-write onto a piece of paper (or digital screen?) and then will convert it to a digitized image that can be transferred into an embroidery machine WITHOUT my having to delve into the technical, preparatory aspects of the digitization. In other words I'd love to find software that will take what I've drawn (via scanner?) and not ask too many questions of me, for a beginner's level at least. E.g. I'll say the size I want it to be and what type of thread I want to use or how wide I want the font to be maybe (?) and it will do the rest - or at least offer a simple version with the option of growing into more details and options withint the program later maybe.
Is there such simple, rudimentary, intuitive, automatic software out there for beginners?? Can I have my cake and eat it too???