Archive of ‘Current Posts’ category

Instant New Baby Gift

As embroiderers, we are always driven to create a custom gift for new parents but it can be difficult to find time to create something special.  For the new parents, there’s nothing quite like seeing the statistics of your new baby etched in thread on pretty fabric. Inspiration’s Word Art In Stitches has just what you need to put a smile on the parents’ faces.

Subway blocks were added as a free update to the software several months ago and I think many of us forget they are in the software.  Let’s take a look. Open a new file in Word Art in Stitches and click on the Library icon under the Properties Box (lower right corner).  Scroll to the bottom of the list.

Here you’ll find nine different blocks for baby, new home, wedding and more.  Select the first one, Baby 4×4. Once the design appears on the screen, select it, right click and Ungroup.

It’s so easy to change the name, date and weight to customize the block for the new baby.  Just click on the name and type the new name in the Properties Box.

Select the name, drag one of the side handles to stretch the text to fit the space.  It’s that easy!

Do the same for the date and weight.

The block is 4×4 but you can resize it to fit your needs.  Wasn’t that simple!  You can use as framed artwork, a custom block in a quilt or as a quilt label.  I’m sure you’ll find many ways to use the Subway blocks.

Remember to join me on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1:00 CST on Facebook Live and YouTube Live to see gift #4 in our holiday gift making countdown!.  I hope you had a chance to see gift #5 on Nov. 7 – it was one of my all time favorites!  If you missed it, you can watch it anytime, check it out!

Holiday Gift Countdown #5!

Fall into the spirit of the holidays when you uncover what number 5 is on the Holiday Gift Countdown! Eileen was super excited to share this one and we all couldn’t help but be excited with her as the countdown narrows down.

Watch the rebroadcast of her live below!

Be sure to take advantage of gift number 5 when you use code SHIPTSRS10 for FREE shipping up to $10, CLICK HERE. 

Digitizing for Metallic Threads

Last week, I provided some tips on digitizing for metallic thread.  Reader Janis O’Connor asked for some clarification on how to stitch the underlay of a complex fill in polyester thread and finish the decorative layer of the fill with metallic. There may be a better way to do this but this is how I do it. Let’s walk through the process. Draw a hexagon with the artwork tool. Select the design, right click and convert to Complex Fill.

Click on the Redraw tool, and notice the underlay that’s automatically added to the complex fill. Below is a screen capture of the underlay only.

Of course, in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro, you have control over the type and density of the underlay.  Click on the Underlay tab in the Properties Box and note the underlay is Perpendicular with a density of 3.0.  Remove the underlay by clicking on the check mark next to Perpendicular. Click Apply.

Now, select the hexagon, copy and paste it.  Change the color of the first hexagon to pink, this will serve as the underlay.  Select the pink hexagon.  The Fill tab will be open in the Properties Box.  Change the density to 3. Click Apply.

The pink hexagon is the same density as the original underlay but the stitches are traveling in the same direction of the blue hexagon.

Change that by selecting the Shape tool and moving the black circles to the opposite sides of the hexagon. 

Now the underlay will be perpendicular to the complex fill providing a stronger foundation.

Small changes to run stitches and satin columns help light reflect off the metallic thread resulting in eye-catching sparkle. Lengthen short running stitches to provide more metallic surface.  Just change the stitch length in the Properties Box to 2.8 or even longer.

Add curvy edges to satin columns. Use the shape tool to move the nodes on each side of the column.  If your column doesn’t have a node, place the cursor where you want to add one, right click and Add Point.

The image below shows an exaggerated example as just a little movement can make big changes in a metallic design. 

So go ahead, add a little sparkle to your stitches!

Quilt Market Vendor Walk Giveaway!

There’s still time to win the goodies from the Quilt Market Vendor Walk.  If you missed it live, you can watch anytime this week as we’ll select the winner on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.  Two people who share the most will receive half the goodies!  All you have to do is tell your friends, leave a comment, share an emoji, spread some hearts or give a few thumbs up.  I had a blast – it was long – over two hours – but you’ll get to see new fabrics, new tools, new lights, new everything!  All of the vendors have their latest products on display.  Some were generous and gave Christopher Blakeman and I wonderful give-aways.  We ran into sewing celebs – Jenny Doan! Kaffee Fasset!  Alison Glass! Shelly Smola!  Well, you really have to watch to see everything.  I can’t believe it’s two hours long because it flew by.  I loved chatting with the viewers during the broadcast. Just so fun!

Tomorrow, I’ll unveil gift #6 on my Holiday Gift Making list.  Join me at 1:00 CST on Facebook or YouTube (broadcasting on both channels simultaneously). You don’t want to miss this because I’ll doing something on a single needle machine that many think is impossible!

Get More Sparkle from Your Designs

It’s sparkle time!  You can add a shiny element to many designs but you should set yourself up for success.

Use your digitizing software to change some elements into metallic-friendly details.  In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro digitizing software, lengthen run stitches.  My normal stitch length for quilting designs is 2.4.  For metallic threads, I increase the length to 2.8.  The longer stitch length lets the metallic thread shine on the fabric while shorter stitch lengths, tend to hide the pretty sheen.  Imagine how pretty those longer stitches will look on a dark fabric.

Reduce the density of a complex fill.  The stitches should lay right next to each other without overlapping. The density default setting is 5.0, type in .80 and click Apply.

If your design requires underlay, consider making the underlay a separate color.  Stitch the underlay first in a coordinating polyester thread, then switch to the metallic to add the top layer.

Satins – think curves!  Metallics really shine when light bounces off the thread at different angles.  So curve your satin columns, and adjust the widths to take full advantage of the light.

The satin column on the right will reflect more light than the blue, straight column.

When digitizing for metallic thread, schedule some extra time for testing your digitized designs.  I hope you had a chance to watch our Facebook Live session this week. Embroidery expert Deborah Jones and I shared ideas for using metallic thread and there’s a special offer on a holiday 6-pack of Kingstar Metallic thread. Click here to take advantage of the special price.

Holiday Gift Countdown: #7

Hey Embroidery Friends!

Who’s ready to add a little sparkle and shine to their holiday projects this year? Well we revealed number seven on our Holiday Gift countdown that will do just that and more: Kingstar Metallic Thread!

Watch our live video below with special guest Deborah Jones to see some of the wonderful projects you can create with this high quality thread.

Use code SHIPMT6PK for FREE shipping up to $10 on all U.S. orders when you take advantage of our special metallic thread sale HERE.

Also be sure to tune into Facebook LIVE this Saturday October 26th at 2pm CST to watch Eileen share another exciting Vendor Walk at Quilt Market. Hope to see you there!

Celebration Quilt

Celebration Quilt – Sashing Instructions

We’re wrapping up the Block of the Month series from the Volume 118, September/October issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.

Download the files for the sashing here: Celebration Quilt Sashing

Horizontal Sashing Units

Piece four cornerstones to three sashing strips.  Make five horizontal sashing units.  Set aside.

Block Units

Piece four sashing strips to the sides of three blocks as shown.  Repeat for four rows.

Piece one block unit to one horizontal sashing unit.

Add another block unit to the pieced block/horizontal sashing unit, matching the seams of the cornerstones to the blocks.

Continue piecing the quilt.

Add the borders.  Press the quilt. 

Quilting with a Sewing Machine

Cut the batting and backing 41” x 50”.  Place the backing on a flat surface, wrong side up.  Center the batting on top.

Center the quilt top on the batting. Pin baste the quilt.  Stitch in the ditch around all blocks with the sewing machine.  Use a decorative stitch such as a serpentine stitch to quilt the borders.

Quilting with an Embroidery Machine

Download the sashing and cornerstone designs from the blog (http://www.dzgns.com/blog). Hoop each sashing and cornerstone

Trim the excess backing and batting.  Bind.

Patches!!!

Once you make a monogram patch, you’ll know why patches are #8 on my 2019 Holiday gift-making list!  It’s so easy in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Open a new file in Perfect Embroidery Pro. Select the artwork tool and the Ellipse.

Hold the Ctrl key down on the keyboard and drag the cursor across the screen to create a perfect circle. Size the circle to 2.25″ for left chest embroidery.  Select the circle, right click and select Convert to Applique.

Select the Text Tool. Type the three-letter monogram in the Properties Box and select the Circle Monogram from the list of fonts. Size the monogram to fill the 2.25″ circle. Change the color of the monogram if you don’t want it to stitch in the same color as the applique outline.

Save the design in the appropriate format and stitch it on the heavy-duty water soluble found in the Patch Maker Kit (special offer this week!).  Then follow the instructions in the Patch Maker Kit to permanently attach the patch.  Watch last week’s Facebook Live video to learn more.  You’ll find tips on using patches on slippers, shoes, down jackets, children’s wear and more!

Holiday Gift Countdown: #8

Hello Embroidery friends!

We released number 8 on our Holiday Gift List countdown: The Patch Maker Kit!

Watch the rebroadcast of Eileen’s live tutorial below to see a couple of different ways you can use these versatile patches!

As always we love to create specials just for you during our lives! Get FREE shipping up to $10 in the US when you get the Patch Maker Kit on sale now HERE.

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