Author Archive

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.



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

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Meet the shortE


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…


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.”


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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!

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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!

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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!

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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 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.


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


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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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It’s Sew Easy – Episode 705

ISE 705-2 PIC 1

Embroidery adds so much to garments you make, ready-to-wear and accessories.  And It’s Sew Easy to add embroidery to any project with Brother at your side.

Be sure to catch episode 705 on the It’s Sew Easy website starting at noon on Friday, October 24. It will run for 7 days.

Using computer design software to create a unique design, Angela Wolf embroiders a stunning tote bag.  She uses the basting feature to create an outline that defines where to place the design that she printed out on fabric.  Eileen Roche uses the embroidery hoop to make it easy to quilt any fabric to create a trendy clutch bag.  Using the positioning feature on the Quattro® 3 NV6750D to determine exactly where the crosshatch quilting stitches will appear on the printed fabric.  She aligns it with the snowman sticker. Once the embroidery is finished, she quickly completes the purse and is ready to go.  Angela returns to demonstration free-motion embroidery on the PQ1500s. She draws the design and then sets the machine for free motion. With the free motion foot attached, she moves the hooped fabric under the needle to embroider an organic flower design on her jeans.

Episode 705 Embroidery

Show off your embroidery skills with great totes and jeans. One of the best parts about sewing is the chance to show off some of your latest creations. On this show guest experts give you lots of opportunities to be proud of your embroidery skills.  First, Angela Wolf creates an embroidered tote with an amazing kaleidoscope design.  Then, Eileen Roche has her own quilted clutch with embroidery. Last, Angela returns with a restyle of your favorite pattern or ready-made jeans with embroidery embellishments.

Make sure to stop by beginning at noon on Friday, October 24th to see episode 705 Embroidery.

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Come Sail with the Stitching Sisters and DIME


Exciting news – Flash Sewing in Naples, FL is hosting a Stitching Sisters cruise in February, 2016 and to kick off the announcement, they are offering a special offer until October 30, 2015, buy one cruise at full price and the second cruiser is 50%.

My Stitching Sister and I are so excited to sail on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas – voted the Best Cruise Ship by Travel Weekly. Click here to see why we think this is the best ship on the water.

Allure of the Seas

When you’re not marveling at all the Allure has to offer, you’ll head into an embroidery studio filled with top of the line Baby Lock machines. Marie and I will guide you through three days of designing, digitizing, stitching and quilting with an embroidery machine. But we’re not heading to sea by ourselves, oh no, we’ll be joined by one of DIME’s Inspiration Consultants, Flash Sewing and Baby Lock staff. You’ll be in good hands for three days of embroidery fun and exploration.


You can learn more about the cruise and select your cabin at the special rate by visiting

Marie and I have already booked our rooms and we’re working on the class materials now. Since we want all of the projects to be fresh and new for this special occasion, we are making sure all of the latest techniques, ideas and trends are included in the three days of embroidery fun. So details on the stitching portion of the cruise will be available at a later date. But it’s a good idea to grab your cabin now at the special offer rate!

Please call Lenore Deck Travel at 352-270-8658 or email to There is limited space in the embroidery studio so get on the list today.

Hope you’ll join us on the Allure!


Here’s your assignment this week:

It’s not often you get to embroider in such wonderful settings as floating in the ocean on a beautiful cruise ship. What is the most unusual place you have embroidered? One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to the DIME website.

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Urban Threads is giving away four (4) $25 gift certificates to their website. Just leave a comment below about a design you re-purposed for something new, something different! Maybe you turned a kitchen towel project into some doll clothes or made a bracelet out of a sashing – whatever it is, we want to know.


And the winners are: Meg A, Georgia N, Sandi M, and Michelle C - congratulations to all and thank you to everyone for sharing.

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Manipulating Designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Even if you don’t digitize, you can most certainly manipulate designs to get the look you need. All you need are building blocks. What are building blocks? Building blocks are designs – designs that are stashed in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Let’s take a look at a design from the Monogram catalog. 2

Click on the Monogram catalog icon and select Mon10683.3

Select and Ungroup the design (right mouse click or use the Ungroup icon on the tool bar). Select the branch on the right. 4

Copy and paste the branch. Move it to the upper right, connecting the bottom scroll to the original branch. 5

Let’s close the space at the top between the original branch and the new one. Zoom in to get a magnified view. Select the Shape Tool and move the last two black dots to expose the blue squares underneath (the points). 6

Select and pull the blue squares down to the original branch. 7

Position the black dots back on top of the blue squares, this sets the direction of the satin stitches. 8

Hit Enter on the keyboard to extend the satin stitches. 9

Select the new branch, copy, paste and mirror image the section. Move it to the opposite side. 10

Voila! A perfectly shaped design for a child’s neckline.11







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