Author Archive

The Best Way to Learn Your Software

People ask me, “What’s the best way to learn my software?” My answer is always, “Use it!” You can read, watch videos and go to classes but until you start using your software as often as possible (ideally everyday!), you really won’t be comfortable. You just have to get in there and do it!

If you don’t know where to begin, start with the free monthly projects that are available through the My Inspiration Today screen. When you open your software, click on the Free Monthly Projects icon on the opening screen. 1Proj2

 

You’ll arrive at the Inspired by Dime website.1Proj2a

Scroll down the page to view the download link. Click on the link to download the project.2Proj6

Once downloaded, you’ll find two PDF files in the folder – instructions for preparing the design in the software and the other for embroidering/sewing the project.3Proj7

Tamara Evans, Inspiration Consultant, has created these projects just for you. She openly shares her wealth of knowledge in each project. You’ll find quick steps to efficiently edit the designs, secrets to controlling the stitches in the software plus methods of good practice to cut down on errors.4Proj8

The software lessons in all of these projects are designed to help you learn how to use the software’s features.   Even if you’re not tempted to stitch the project – take the time to work the software lesson. What you learn can be applied to any project you would like to stitch. And before you know it – you’ll be comfortable with the icons and features.

 

My Most Rewarding Embroidery Task

J5Yesterday, I had the honor of embroidering my daughter’s white coat for her graduation ceremony at University of Texas, Pan American. Janelle has completed her Master’s degree and will be a certified Physician’s Assistant.

It’s been a long journey. Her path included several semesters spent in a cadaver lab during her undergraduate studies where her passion for medicine was ignited. That was followed by intense study to pass the GREs. Sweating out the application process (50 available seats for 1000 applicants) and then waiting for the acceptance letter.  The jubilation that her goals were within reach pushed her into the next phase: twenty-seven months immersed in medical studies – orthopedics, cardiology, obstetrics, gynecology, internal and pediatrics. Testing, testing, testing and finally, clinical rotations in the field. Last week, she passed her final exams with flying colors. Today, she graduates and will wear her white coat – monogrammed by her mom.

My life is a whirlwind often swirling so fast it’s hard to catch my breath. On Wednesday, Janelle brought me the white coat, fresh out of the shipping bag and asked me to embroider her name and credentials above the left pocket. She was kind enough to write it out for me first (and smart enough – maybe because she remembered just a few months ago when I embroidered linens for her friend’s wedding gift with the bride’s maiden initials! They look just great on my bed now). She dropped the coat (and her significant other’s) in my office and we went on to other tasks.

The next day, I looked at the pristine coat, tags still attached and thought about how hard it was to earn that coat. The sacrifices she made along the way and the sacrifices I made to get her through undergraduate school at the University of Oklahoma. As a single mom, I was determined to see both of my children graduate with a bachelor’s degree. It wasn’t easy but they both have succeeded.

Janelle did graduate school on her own and is now empowered to enjoy a career she loves. If she’s as lucky as me, she’ll never work a day in her life because she’ll love what she’s doing.

So, it was with great honor that I opened Perfect Embroidery Pro and clicked on the Text icon. I typed in Janelle Roche….in the properties box and scrolled through the fonts to the mini fonts.J7

 

I selected the Diana font and hit Apply.j1

Suddenly, there it was on the screen – all those years of preparation. I couldn’t wait to see it stitched.

I measured the pocket – 5” wide and adjusted the size of the text. I hooped tear-away stabilizer and similar fabric and stitched a test. Perfect!

I placed a target ruler above the pocket and inserted a target sticker into the hole. J3

I hooped the coat with tear-away stabilizer in Snap Hoop Monster, centered the needle over the sticker and pressed start. I have to confess, I stayed with the machine and watched it stitched every letter. I didn’t really relax until the machine stopped. Those mini-fonts in Perfect Embroidery Pro are perfect!J4

After clipping the thread tails and removing the stabilizer, I fingered the white cloth and experienced a little déjà vu remembering another white coat – her baptismal gown. Oh, how time flies.

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Janelle and Kegan Milstead Graduation Day University of Texas, Pan Am, 2014

Look What Comes With the shortE

 

On Friday, I showed the ShortE to students in my recent Stitching Sister event. Many were intrigued by the designs that come with The Shorte so I thought I’d give you a closer look.  We’ve included two versatile sets of quilting designs for allover quilting on whole cloth quilts or pieced quilts. The stipple collection fills the embroidery hoop with linking repeats of meandering wavy lines. You’ll find nine designs in this collection: top left, top center, top right, center right, center, center left, bottom left, bottom center and bottom right.

Shorte2

The Chandelier collection stitches very quickly and consists of a center medallion (for the center of the quilt), a half vertical (for the left and right edges), a half horizontal (for the top and bottom edges) and two border designs. There are several ways to arrange the designs to produce a variety of quilts.

Shorte1

The best way to get started is to print templates of all of the designs so you can audition them on the actual quilt. I love the new Print & Stick Target Template paper – perfect for auditioning quilt designs on a quilt – and they stay put! Before printing, change the thread color on each design to black to make it easy to see. If you’re using Perfect Embroidery Pro or My Quilt Embellisher, select the design and click the 3D icon to change the image to a more vivid rendition of the design.

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Place the templates on the quilt and review the layout. If you’re pleased with it, it’s time to get stitching! This week, I’m finally getting a chance to quilt my Sunkissed quilt from Nancy Zieman’s Quick Column Quilt blog tour way back in September. I’m tempted to use the chandelier designs, I’ll keep you posted of my progress.

Sunkissed

Here’s your assignment this week:Leave ac comment and tell us if you think the chandelier or stipple designs will look best on the Sun Kissed quilt. One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $25 gift card to use on the DIME website. Good Luck!
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question…What size quilt do you typically make?  Post your comments and 2 lucky winners will be randomly chosen to win a pack of the new Print & Stick Target Paper.The winner is… Maxine M.  “I love quilting and I challenge myself constantly. I do wallhangers, baby quilts, quilts of all sizes up to king. My God’s Promise Quilt took 1st. place at the Calgary Stampede and was my first time ever putting a quilt in to be judged. I was so very humble as any quilt I make is for the enjoyment and to see the finished result is so rewarding.”

 

The Case for Applique: Open and Closed

By Tamara Evans

This week’s blog explores two different, but simple, methods of creating applique designs. We have received many requests for instructions to create the necktie applique on the onesie shown at our Inspiration Socials. Here are some very simple instructions using My Quilt Embellisher software. (The same steps may also be used with Perfect Embroidery Pro software.)

Find, or draw, an image of a necktie and save it to your computer. Load the image as a backdrop in the software. Resize if desired. This one 5″ long.

The applique is created in two sections so that the fabric on the top of the tie could be placed in a different direction than the tail of the tie; just like a real tie. The knot of the tie is a “closed” applique, and the tail is an “open” at the top.

Select the artwork option. Click Fill in the Properties – Artwork box, then click apply. Select the magic wand icon.

 

Closed Applique – The Knot

Click in the yellow knot area at the top of the tie to create an artwork image.

Zoom in to the view the new artwork. Select the Shape tool, then click on the artwork to display all of the nodes.

Since this design is quite pixelated, it needs to be cleaned up. Select and delete nodes to smooth out the shape. Reposition the remaining nodes until the shape is acceptable.

Select the artwork with the Select tool, then click the Applique tool to convert it to applique. The knot of the tie is now complete.

 

Open Applique – The Tail

Select the Artwork tool. Click the down arrow next to the tool to select the Pen option. Using the backdrop as a guide, click in positions 1-5 (shown below), then right click to finish the input.

With the newly created artwork selected, click the Shape tool to display all the nodes of the tie tail artwork. Select the node at the point of the tie, and then right click to display the options dialog box, as shown. Select the Smooth option for the selected node.

Adjust the “antennae” on either side of the node to soften, or smooth, the point. Pulling them further out will adjust the curve of the point.

Once the artwork has been satisfactorily adjusted, click the Select tool. Then, select the Applique tool to convert the artwork to applique, as shown.

 

Finishing

With the tail of the tie still selected, click the Send to Back icon. Now the tail will stitch first, leaving a raw edge of fabric at the top under the knot. The knot will cover the raw edge at the top of the tail.

Save the design in the C2S format. Use this format to resize, adjust the applique stitches, etc. When ready to stitch, save the design in the proper stitch format for the embroidery machine.

Have fun with the sizing and fabric options for the necktie applique!

To locate a DIME Inspiration Social near you, click DIME Inspiration Socials

Meet the shortE

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Until now, quilting a whole quilt on an embroidery machine was like pulling a 24 ft. fishing boat with a Volkswagen bug. It just didn’t make sense. Well that has changed. I’ve been working on a solution for over a year and I’m so excited to finally begin to share it with you.

Let me introduce you to the shortE – the Embroidery Short Arm with a Long Reach. The shortE holds the weight of the quilt while Snap Hoop Monster creates the tension on the quilt sandwich.  The shortE is a frame that sits under (and around) your machine so your machine can do its thing – stitch beautiful embroidery.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The shortE works with any single needle embroidery machine that is compatible with a Snap Hoop Monster. Why? Snap Hoop Monster enables you to rehoop right under the needle. You don’t have to remove the quilt from the machine to rehoop – this is a huge issue when quilting with your embroidery machine!

Meet the shortE

I’ve been having a blast quilting with my machine. I started small – table runners, crib quilts and the like. Then I ramped up to 66” x 80” and then…at the suggestion of an experienced quilter, I moved to queen and king size quilts. And it works!  Oh my goodness, I haven’t had this much fun with my embroidery machine since I designed my first Stipple! Collection.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’ve always loved quilting – love to play with the fabrics, piece them together but the actual quilting – left me in a lurch. I’ve never wanted to invest in a long arm – too expensive and WAY too large for my sewing space.  But now I can get the same experience and results with my embroidery machine! One very cool feature is the shortE sits on any sewing machine table or folding table.  It’s completely adjustable to accommodate different heights and machines.  Very versatile!

Quilting with the shorte is a bit like quilting with a long arm. You have to ‘work the quilt’.  Just like longarmers have to advance the fabric rolls, you will do that too on the shortE. And just like longarmers clamp the sides of the quilt to create tension, you will make sure the quilt sandwich is snug in the Snap Hoop Monster frame.   Take a look for yourself…

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Meet the shortE!

shortE for Large Quilts!

 

 

Here’s your assignment this week:What size quilt do you typically make?  Post your comments and 2 lucky winners will be randomly chosen to win a pack of the new Print & Stick Target Paper.
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question…Is there something special you made for someone and loved it so much wanted to keep it for yourself? Tell us what it was and one random comment will be chosen to win a $25 gift certificate to use on the DIME website. Good Luck!The winner is… Ann S.  “I actually made a photo pieced applique for my daughter.  It was my grandchildren,twin girls.  I meant to give it to her but it looked so good on my wall.  I’ll just keep it for a little while.  She’ll get them at some point.”

 

December Update in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Beads, Crystals, Pearls and Rhinestones

Do you love to add crystals, beads and pearls to some of your embroidery designs? Then you’re going to love December’s free update in Perfect Embroidery Pro! Now you can audition gems on a design in Perfect Embroidery Pro before you ever take a stitch. Click on the video below to see how easy it is to add crystals to a lace neckline.

If less sometimes leaves you wanting more, then watch the video below to see how a demure neckline can be transformed with holiday sparkle.

Gems are not just for garments as they make lovely additions to home décor items. LuLu Christmas includes a lovely trio of Christmas ornaments – perfect for linen guest towels when sprinkled across the towel. But I don’t always have time to fill the width of fabric with edge to edge embroidery yet I still want a fluid design. The video below shows how crystals are a simple solution in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

When  you update, you’ll find 24 beads, 12 crystals, 16 pearls and 40 rhinestones – each customizable by size. And of course, you can add your own images to the library. Just set the position of each crystal by placing a node on the design or let the software automatically create a string of gems for you – all evenly spaced. Adjust the spacing by changing the instructions in the properties box or fine tune the placement by adjusting the individual nodes.

Stitch marks (you choose between a cross and a circle) are inserted into the design so that the placement can be easily achieved after the embroidery is complete. The size of the stitch marks is adjustable so that even the tiniest gems cover the small marks.

I hope you enjoy December’s free update – I know I’m going to have fun adding sparkle to my creations!

Do You Need Embroidery Software?

Recently, somewhere searched my blog for an answer to this question, “Why do I need embroidery software?”

I been giving that some serious thought and it took me back to my early days in machine embroidery. Back then (geesh, that’s sounds ancient!), embroidery software was not available to the consumer. Digitizing was a mysterious process to all consumers and frankly, we didn’t give it much thought. The embroidery design companies offered dozens of embroidery cards that seemed to suit most of our needs. As we became more passionate and brave with our stitching, reality set in. We experimented with different projects and realized we needed to tweak the designs that we had purchased. And not just mirror image and copy, oh no, we wanted to change the size (drastically), add or delete underlay, morph the shapes, remove colors, merge elements from one design into another. We needed editing abilities that our machines didn’t offer. We needed software. Maybe we didn’t need to digitize but we most certainly needed to manipulate designs.

Today, those needs remain the same. Ninety percent of embroiderers who own digitizing software do not digitize. They are not artists, they are embroiderers. They don’t want to create or find the perfect artwork and figure out how to transform it into beautiful embroidery. They want to buy designs and make them work on the project they are stitching today. They want to open the design in software and inspect it. They want to review the color sequence, watch the design in slow redraw so they know what to expect before they stitch. They want to look at the underlay and see if there’s enough coverage for a terrycloth towel or too much for a sheer scarf. Then they make adjustments to make the design their own – perfect for the project they are stitching next.

If you’re wondering if you need embroidery software, give some thought to your level of frustration when trying to plan an embroidery project.

If you find yourself saying, “I wish I could…”, know that you can with embroidery software!

It’s Sew Easy TV: Episode 708

Another free episode of It’s Sew Easy is online this week!  Starting at noon on Friday, November 14, episode 708 will run for 7 days.  Pop on over to see how I make an on-trend infinity scarf from a t-shirt using embroidery on the Brother Quattro® 3 NV6750ISE 708-1 PIC 1

 

I stitched a jumbo scalloped lace design on a comfy knit mesh.  You’ll learn the hooping techniques and stabilizer options. Then, see how easy it is to convert the Quattro® 3 NV6750 from embroidery to sewing by simply changing the foot and pressing a button on the screen. ISE 708-1 PIC 2

 

You’ll also see my good friend Joanne Banko on this episode.  ISE 708-2 PIC 1

Joanne shares the how-to for making a fashionable sheer wrap.  Joanne shares an excellent tip on how to use the left needle position to prevent a sheer fabric from being pulled below the stitch plate.  She then shows how to sew the sheer fabric on the Quattro® 3 NV6750 using the straight stitch plate.

Be sure and tune in this Friday at noon for episode 708 – free for 7 days! Click here to bookmark the page.

Here’s your assignment this week:

What Holiday goodies are you creating this season? Tell us what you’ve got stitching and one random comment will be selected to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question… 

We love words of wisdom!  They can inspire, make us smile and motivate!  Share your favorite quote — whether it’s from someone famous, a family member or some pearl of wisdom you tell your children or grandchildren.  We want to know!  One random comment will be selected to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The random drawing winner is… Beth R  “I never make the same mistake twice. I make it five or six times just to be sure!”

Thanks Beth and thank you to everyone for your Words of Wisdom!

Add Fabrics to MQE or MBP’s Fabric Library

Want to add new fabrics to your Fabric Library in My Quilt Embellisher or My Block Piecer? Let me show you how easy it is to that.

First, gather the digital images of the fabrics. Most fabric companies have all of their collections in a downloadable format on their websites. I popped over to Moda fabrics to download one of my favorite designers, Stephanie Ryan.

Go to unitednotions.com and click on downloads at the bottom of the page. Select the design collection of your choice and click on the blue scissors to download a zip file of the digitial images of each fabric in the collection. Once the file is downloaded, unzip the folder.  Remember where you stored the folder.

Open a new file in My Quilt Embellisher. Select the Fabric icon. Left mouse click on the Moda folder.1

 

Select New Folder. 2

Type in the name of the new collection, Stephanie Ryan for this example.

3Right mouse click on the Stephanie Ryan folder and select Add.9

Go to your unzipped folder and select all of the images. Click Open.

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Boom! All of the images are in your fabric library! Love that!6

 

Software Saturday – November Update to Perfect Embroidery Pro

The latest updates for DIME’s Perfect Embroidery Pro are so exciting there’s only one way to show them to you – by video! Click on of the four short videos to see what’s coming your way on Monday November 3, 2014. All you have to do is click on Update when prompted by Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Reflection Template

Scatter Template

 

Enhance Repeat Features

Don’t forget to update on Monday to enjoy these new features and November’s free embroidery designs! Enjoy!

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