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Signal boost: Embroidermodder
Not my thing, but I'm sure I have friends who will be interested in this Kickstarter project. This team is in the middle of building a relatively inexpensive, open-source, full-featured embroidery-software platform. It seems to be basically The GIMP for embroidery: highly customizable, even allowing folks to build their own plug-ins.

So if the phrase "computer-controlled sewing machine" turns you on (and I know for a fact that at least one of my friends is attuned to it), check it out...

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I'm already on this one. Embroidery machine software is all proprietary and crazy expensive

Unlike the GIMP, this interfaces with moving parts. Dealing with the analog world, within the physical constraints of the parts, while making performance tradeoffs, is a fairly specialized skill. These guys seem to know what they're doing.

Oh, sure. I mostly meant at the conceptual level: taking a somewhat specialized and very expensive tool, and creating a highly flexible open-source version of it so that more people can use it...

Didn't that used to be the punchline to the old joke "How do you instantly get the attention of a room full of SCAdians?"

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