I upgraded and love the designer version. Features in this (designer and not 1.9) are
You can import svg files (will be in a single layer though)
You also have a sketch option.
To explain more about this sketch feature
you can fill a shape with the above things ie you can add an edge and fill. When you combine with the fill option and line fill options you get pretty cool effects.
edited: Yeah with the designer edition you can add your own patterns. Just open the pattern folder in my library and then drag and drop the folders and the pattern will appear in the fill pattern window. Wow for this alone the dollars are worth spending
Also there is a new rhinestone feature. It has edge fill, radial fill and linear fill. Also a freehand fill and single fill. Now the 1st 3 fills are good for shapes but nope not good for text even single line ones. You will be better off to freehand trace the shapes on top of the actual text placed as template
Then the rulers are enhanced
And eraser and knife tools are so cool. With erasers you can change the width and shape and with knife - we have various knives - sawtooth , zig zag etc
Have fun and see more info at https://www.silhouetteamerica.com/faq.aspx?topicid=100