Archive of ‘Current Posts’ category

Block of the Month – Block 11

Block 11 – Diamond Snowball Block Instructions

We’re up to Block 11 in the Block of the Month series from the July/August issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  You’ll find everything you need for Block 11, video instructions, step-by-step instructions and all download files.  Enjoy!

If you prefer watching the video directly on YouTube, click here.

Download the files for block ten here: Block 11

 Recommended fabric for 1 Block

Base Block one 9” square – muslin or No Show Mesh

Back Block – 9” square

Front – all cut parts from Block 11 Diamond Snowball

Warm and Natural or White Batting – 7 7/8” square

Block 11 Diamond Snowball Block Supplies

1 – Back Block

2 – Bottom Base Muslin

3 – Top Base No Show Mesh

4 – Batting

5 – Center

6 – Middle Corners

7 – Corners

LOADING THE MONSTER BLOCK MAKER

Follow the directions included with the purchase
of Monster Block Maker to apply the Maker to a 200mm x 200mm Baby Lock/Brother
Snap Hoop Monster.

 

Place the muslin flat on the work surface. Center
the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

Insert the batting into the opening of
the Maker. Place the Top base No Show Mesh over the batting.

 

Working from the center out, firmly
press the No Show Mesh (top) and muslin (bottom) onto the adhesive tape on
the edges of the Maker.

 

Attach the hoop to the machine.

 

STITCHING THE BLOCK

Stitch color #1, the block layout.  Place glue at fabric #1 as shown in blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #1, right side up,
aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline. Stitch color #2, the
tackdown. Place glue at the seam for fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning
the raw edges and stitch color #3, the seam.  Place glue at fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #2 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #4, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #3.

 

 

Place fabric #3, right side down, and
stitch color #5, the seam. Place glue at fabric #3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press
the seam.  Smooth the fabric and stitch
color #6, the tackdown. Place glue at the seam of fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #4, right side down, and
stitch color #7, the seam. Place glue at fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #8, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #5, right side down, and
stitch color #9. Place glue at fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #5 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #10. Place glue at the seam for
fabric #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #6, right side down, and
stitch color #11. Place glue at fabric #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #6 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #12. Place glue at the seam for
fabric #7.

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #7, right side down, and
stitch color #13. Place glue at fabric #7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #7 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #14. Place glue at the seam for
fabric #8.

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #8, right side down, and
stitch color #15. Place glue at fabric #8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #8 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #16. Place glue at the seam for
fabric #9.

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #9, right side down, and
stitch color #17. Place glue at fabric #9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #9 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #18.

 

 

 

 

ADDING THE EMBELLISHMENT

Stitch colors #20 and 21, the
embellishments.

Congratulations your Diamond Snowball block is complete!

 

 

 

Block of the Month – Block 10

Special Announcement: Join embroidery expert Deborah Jones tomorrow (Thursday, July 11, 2019) on Designs in Machine Embroidery’s Facebook Live at 1:00 PM CST.  She’ll be discussing precision placement on multiples because who wants to stitch ten napkins to get eight that match?

Now back to business, read below for the Block 10 instructions of the Block of the Month series:

Block 10 – Zig Zag Block Instructions

We’re up to Block 10 in the Block of the Month series from the July/August issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  You’ll find everything you need for Block 10, video instructions, step-by-step instructions and all download files.  Enjoy!

If you prefer watching the video directly on YouTube, click here.

Download the files for block ten here: Block 10

Recommended fabric for 1 Block

Base Block – one 9” square – muslin or No Show Mesh

Back Block – 9” square

Front – all cut parts from Block 10/Cut Files

Warm and Natural or White Batting – 7 7/8” square

Block 10 Supplies

1 – Back Block

2 – Bottom Base Muslin

3 – Top Base No Show Mesh

4 – Batting

5 – Background

6 – Center

7 – corners

LOADING THE MONSTER BLOCK MAKER

Follow the directions included with the purchase
of Monster Block Maker to apply the Maker to a 200mm x 200mm Baby Lock/Brother
Snap Hoop Monster.

 

Place the muslin flat on the work surface. Center
the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

Insert the batting into the opening of
the Maker. Place the Top base No Show Mesh over the batting.

 

Working from the center out, firmly
press the No Show Mesh (top) and muslin (bottom) onto the adhesive tape on
the edges of the Maker.

 

Attach the hoop to the machine.

 

STITCHING THE BLOCK

Stitch color #1, the block layout.  Place glue at fabric #1 as shown in blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #1, right side up,
aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline. Stitch color #2, the
tackdown. Place glue at the seam for fabric #2.

 

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning
the raw edges and stitch color #3, the seam.  Place glue at fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #2 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #4, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #3.

 

Place fabric #3, right side down, and
stitch color #5, the seam. Place glue at fabric #3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press
the seam.  Smooth the fabric and stitch
color #6, the tackdown. Place glue at the seam of fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #4, right side down, and
stitch color #7, the seam. Place glue at fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #8, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #5, right side down, and
stitch color #9. Place glue at fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #5 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDING THE EMBELLISHMENT

Stitch colors #12, 13, and 14, the
embellishments.

Congratulations, your Zig Zag block is complete!

Splitting Designs

Serious machine embroiderers never let hoop size hold them back. When they think big, they stitch big. But that doesn’t mean they have to have a big hoop. No, they just need the right software and some handy notions (okay, the notions are optional but really helpful!) to get the job done.  Here’s how to do it.

Select a large design. My sample is the letter M from http://www.EmbroideryArts.com, Arabesque 9 XL.  I enlarged the design to a height of 262 mm – a whopping 10.31” in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro. Now that it’s so big, it won’t fit in my largest hoop.  But Perfect Embroidery Pro has a great splitting feature. Open the design in Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Split Design icon. 

The Split Design screen appears. Click on the arrow in the Hoop field and select your largest hoop.  I entered 200 x 300. 

The preview screen shows two hoopings: 1:1 and 2:1. 

Click in either hooping to move the split. Toggle between the first and second hooping to view each individually.  Look for a natural break in the stitches. for instance, I would avoid splitting the column of satin stitches.  It’s better to have one leg of satin stitches in one hooping, and the second leg in the second hooping. Once you’re satisfied with the split, click Save and the software will save the design into two separate files. Print a template of each design and send the designs to your machine.

Place the templates on the left side of fabric (allowing room for the second hooping).  Slide a target sticker under template Hoop 1:1 and align the target sticker’s and template’s crosshairs.  Remove the template. Hoop the fabric with tear-away stabilizer, centering the target sticker.

Stitch the first design: Hoop 1:1. The last color is a vertical basting line (placement line) which will align with the second hooping. Stitch the line in a contrasting color to make alignment easy. 

I added the bold yellow line to the photograph to make the stitched line more visible. In reality, a single line of running stitches is underneath the drawn yellow line.

Remove from the hoop.  Hoop another piece of tear-away stabilizer. Stitch color 1, the placement line, of Hoop 2:1 on the hooped stabilizer. Remove the hoop from the machine.

Place the hoop under PAL, Perfect Alignment Laser, aligning the stitched placement line with PAL2’s beam.  

Spray the wrong side of the embroidered fabric with temporary adhesive.  Slide the embroidered fabric under the beam aligning the stitched placement line with PAL2. Finger press the fabric to the stabilizer. 

Attach the hoop to the machine and restitch color 1 to verify the design is aligned. 

Stitch the remainder of design Hoop 2:1. Wasn’t that easy?  I often approach splitting designs with a bit of intimidation but I’ve learned if I take my time and pay attention to the details (like aligning the fabric with the laser crosshair), the results come out as planned.Splitting designs is very rewarding – people will think you’re an embroidery rock star!

Our Chat with Christine Conner of Amelie Scott Designs

After some minor difficulties (first time bringing on a virtual guest!), we’re so happy Eileen was able to chat on Facebook LIVE with our special guest Christine Conner of Amelie Scott Designs! Christine Conner is the author of Edge to Edge Quilting and her new book, Custom Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.

Watch below to learn more about Christine and all the fun, exciting events coming up at DIME.

A Very Cool Tool

Wouldn’t you agree the planning process is the most time-consuming and challenging part of machine embroidery?  Well, you’re not alone.  One of our team members thought previewing a design on fabric would streamline the planning process and after several months of development, we now have a way to do that.  Check out this cool new tool.

The Maximum View Projector, or MVP, is your solution for intricate design placement. The MVP comes with MVP software that converts any embroidery design into an image – sized perfectly – to audition on your fabric.

It’s so easy to use.  Let’s take a look at the process.  Download and install the software. Attach the projector to a work surface with the included clamp.  Measure the projector’s image area which will be up to 14″. Enter the measurements into the software.

Load the embroidery design (any format).  Then save the design in Color, Silhouette Positive or Silhouette Negative.

Save the image(s) to a USB stick and insert it into the projector.  Use the remote (included) to view the images. Slide your fabric under the image, moving the hooped fabric until you are satisfied with the placement of the embroidery.

The leaves and stem are printed features of the fabric while the flower is the image of the design. Notice the 3-d embroidered flower in the finished block above.

 

Align a Target Sticker (included) with the image’s crosshair.  Attach the hoop to the machine and center your needle over the Target Sticker.  It’s just like using a template without the hassle of a printer.  You can watch a video demonstration here.

I’m sure this will be a hot topic during our Wednesday, June 26 Facebook Live session at 1:00 CST.  Not only will I take questions on the MVP but I have a very special guest joining me – Christine Conner of Amelie Scott Designs and author of Edge to Edge Quilting.  Christine is helping me wrap up Hoopapalooza month as she’ll be sharing tips for edge to edge plus custom quilting.  I can’t wait to hear what she has in store!

Please follow us on Facebook to get a reminder for our Live session.  See you on Wednesday!  https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

My 5 Embroidery Pet Peeves

Machine embroidery is supposed to be beautiful.  And the process of making beautiful embroidery should be fun and enjoyable.  But all of that can be for naught when the experience is dampened by poor results, painful tasks and laborious placement. Enough already!  Let’s get the fun back into embroidery.

I have five pet peeves that annoy the daylights out of me when I’m embroidering.  And since I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, I’ve come up with solutions.  My pet peeves are hoop burn, hand strain, fabric distortion, laborious placement and tedious rehooping. What’s my solution? I ditched the standard hoop about 10 years ago and haven’t looked back.* Let me elaborate.

When knits, textured and napped fabrics are squeezed between two standard embroidery rings, the hoop often leaves a noticeable impression around the embroidery.  Those lofty and delicate fibers are now flattened – and possibly permanently flattened. Yikes!  The flat frames of Snap Hoop Monster leave no hoop burn – they firmly grip the fabrics and hold them in place without permanently damaging the fibers.

Twenty years of embroidery can wreak havoc on your hands, fingers and wrists.  Pushing an inner ring into an outer ring and tightening a screw 5, 10, 20 or maybe 30 times a day is grueling punishment.  No more.  I just snap that magnetic top frame over the bottom and I’m done!

Fabric distortion is a thing of the past because I pull and tug on the hooped fabric while it’s hooped in Snap Hoop Monster.  It’s the inner and outer rings that squeeze and distort fabric – doesn’t happen when fabric is sandwiched between two flat objects – a magnetic top and metal bottom.

I’ve invented all kinds of placement tools but sometimes I want to move the fabric just a smidgen under the needle.  With Snap Hoop Monster, I lift the top frame, slide the fabric, drop the frame back in place and press start!  No hooping and unhooping to move the fabric a millimeter or two.  I like the freedom Snap Hoop Monster gives me right at the machine.

Speaking of the machine, when I use Snap Hoop Monster, I can remove the top frame and advance the fabric to the next hooping without taking the bottom frame off the machine!  Oh my, what a time saver!  If you’re not sure why I love that benefit so much, take a look at this video.  It’s long – about 12 minutes – but you’ll see how I quilt entire quilt (62” x 80”) in one day!  Oh baby – I love those Monster hoops!

If you’ve been following along, this month is Hoopapalooza at DIME and in honor of that celebration, The Hoop It Up book is on sale.  My Stitching Sister Marie Zinno and I co-wrote this handy hooping tutorial.  You’ll find 99 hooping tips in there!  You can check it out here: https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/hoop-it-up

*’Ditched the standard hoop over 10 years’ is an exaggeration.  I still use a standard hoop on occasion as you’ll see in the Hoop It Up book!

Custom Hoops

Hundreds of hoops are already in all Inspirations software but you did you know have the ability the edit the list by eliminating brands and adding new hoops?

It’s fairly obvious why you would edit the list.  I think we all agree there’s no point scrolling through dozens of hoops that don’t apply to your machine.  It’s easy to do.  Just click on the Hoop icon and select Filter.  When the hoop list appears, remove the check mark next to each hoop that you want to eliminate. Click OK.

The next time you access the list, you will see only the hoops you want to see.

Let’s explore custom hoops.  In my list, I’ve created three custom hoops: 12″ Block, 12″ Round and Placemat.  I can see at a glance how an array of embroidery designs will fill a 12″ quilt block, a 12″ wooden embroidery hoop for wall decor and a standard placemat.

Click on the Hoop icon and select New.  Select Rectangle and type 12″ in the width and height for the 12″ Block hoop. Click OK.

Instantly, I can see how nicely this embroidery layout will fill a 12″ quilt block.

Follow the same steps for a round hoop but select Round from Frame Type field.  This same array doesn’t quilt fit in the 12″ wooden hoop.

To add the Placemat hoop, select Rectangle from Frame Type and type 15″ in the width and 12″ in the height.  Place the digit 1 before the word Placemat to position it at the top of the list. Click OK.

As you can see, this placemat layout needs some work.

Custom hoops make planning embroidery a breeze.  They provide a quick view of the finished layout.  You can then use the Split Design feature to break up it for the hoop you will actually use.

What sizes would you add to your list of hoops?

Top 10 Hooping Tips with the Stitching Sisters!

Happy HOOPAPALOOZA! My Stitching Sister and co-author of Hoop It Up, Marie Zinno and I just did our first Facebook LIVE as the Stitching Sisters! We shared our Top 10 Hooping Tips and some special news on our hoops this month.

Watch below!

Receive a FREE gift ( our e-book Quilting Continuous Line Designs plus TWO designs) and FREE shipping when you purchase our Snap Hoop Monster 🤩
Use Code: SHIPHOOPFREE 😎

Look Closely…

Did you know there’s a speedy auto sizing feature in all Inspirations software programs?  It’s practically hidden but once you know how to find it, you’ll make it a habit to use all the time.

Open a design in any Inspirations software program such as Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Quilt Embellisher, My Block Piecer, Word Art in Stitches and more.  Click on the Hoop icon (on the left tool bar).

Click on the hoop you want to use from the drop down menu.  Use the scroll bar on the right to see all the hoop options.

The design appears centered in the hoop but it’s much larger than the hoop I intend to use.

Click on the arrow under the Hoop icon and select Auto Fit.

Instantly, the design is resized to fit in that hoop! Of course, the stitches have been recalculated so there’s no worry about the design being too dense due to resizing.

Auto Fit is such a time saver!  The feature evens provides a little wiggle room so you don’t have to struggle during the hooping process.

Speaking of hooping, it’s HOOPAPALOOZA at DIME this week!  If you’ve had a Snap Hoop Monster on your wish list, this is the time to take advantage of our low price, free shipping and gift with purchase.  You can learn more here. 

Join me on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live. Marie Zinno, my Stitching Sister and co-author of Hoop It Up will be joining me in the studio. We’ll share our Top Ten Tips for Hooping. Follow us on Facebook to get a reminder here https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

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