Archive of ‘Current Posts’ category

What’s Your Favorite Flavor?

A few weeks ago, I shared some tips on digitizing circles in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can read how to digitize round circles, not oval by clicking here.  In that post, I showed a couple of tight shots of a work in progress.  Now I can show you the whole project – Stipple! Sprinkles since it’s available now with free shipping.

I had so much fun designing this quilt. It brought back many happy childhood memories. Growing up in a seashore resort, we had many ice cream choices in the summer months.  Our little 5-mile long island in South Jersey was sprinkled with ice cream stores – from the north to the south and the beach to the bay. 

My mom would fill her station wagon with whatever daughters, (there were six of us), cousins and friends were in the house. Of course, this was before, ahem, seat belts! You really could load eight or more small children in a station wagon – we survived.

She would take us to her favorite spot – Titleman’s Ice Cream – and let us order whatever our hearts desired.  To a child, it was a huge treat – the menu board offered so many choices.  And it was fun to read it aloud to the younger siblings who didn’t read yet. I can still see the yellow neon lights of the stand and Mr. Titleman’s gleaming white work pants and t-shirt.  He worked hard – making fresh ice cream every day.

Today, when I scoop ice cream, I think of those summer days. I think of the joy a scoop of ice cream can bring to a child’s face.  I also think of how sharing ice cream makes you feel. There’s something unifying about sitting across a table and enjoying a cold, creamy treat.  It’s different than sharing a meal – the formality melts away – it’s just shear pleasure. And it’s brief – it only lasts a little while.  Whether you are licking a cone or scooping a dish, ice cream brings smiles.

You can imagine the fun I had while I was digitizing this new collection.  My first thought was to make the quilt on blue fabric.  Blue is always a winner in my book but i was disappointed at the first couple of blocks.

So I switched gears and picked out some yummy fabrics for the appliques and a plain white background.  After surveying my selections, it dawned on me that I should ‘sprinkle’ color on the white background. That’s when the embroidered sprinkles were born! Adding the embroidered sprinkles to the white fabric was the key to success- it let me match my thread to my fabric colors.

Today, I’m more of a chocolate chip fan. How about you, what’s your favorite flavor? Are you a vanilla, strawberry, butter pecan or rocky road fan?  Or maybe you love gelato?  Possibly you like sherbet like I did when I was a child.  Share your favorite flavor and you could win a copy of Stipple Sprinkles!

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 7 – 9 Patch Star Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 7 – Nine-Patch Star
Sewing Instructions

Block 7, Nine Patch Star, is a three-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. As you know, My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the three units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance. In the software instructions for Block 7, we merged the three separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides for each of the three units into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Nine Patch Star design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for all three units.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1.Stitch color 2, the tackdown. Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patch 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown. Place patch 4, right side down over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam. Flip the patch open and stitch color 8, the tackdown.

Repeat the process on the bottom unit. Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 9, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 10, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 11, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 12, the seam of patch 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 13, the tackdown.

Place patch 4, right side down over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 14, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 15, the tackdown.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 2 (the unit in the middle) right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 16, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 17, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 18, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 19, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 21, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 22, the tackdown.

Place patch 5 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 23, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 24, the tackdown.

Remove the block from the hoop. Cut the units on the outer stitch line and piece the units together on the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

 

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 7 – 9 Patch Star Software Instructions

 
  1. My Block Piecer
    Block of the Month : Block 7 – 9 Patch Star
    Software Instructions
    By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 7.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!


    1. Open MBP.
    2. Click on Create a New Design.

    1. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
    2. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
      1. Check marks by:
        1. Maintain aspect ratio
        2. Snap to grid.
      2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
      3. Click OK.
    3. Click on the Block Icon.
      1. Enter 9_Patch_Star in the Find box at the bottom of the window (DO NOT CLICK THE ENTER KEY).
      2. Click on the Down green arrow.
      3. Click OK to place the block on the design page.
    4. In the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.
      1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
      2. Change the Width to 6.
      3. Click Apply.
    5. Click on the Reorder icon.
      1. Number the patches in the block. Look at the diagram below for the numbering sequence.NOTE: Also notice that the first row is numbered from left to right and the second from right to left. This was done so the seams will nest when sewn together. Third row is same as the first with only colors in different positions so it does not need to be numbered.NOTE: When numbering the pieces of the block, keep in mind that this is a sew and flip method of piecing, so each patch can only have a single straight seam joining it to a previous patch/patches.
      2. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
    6. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around patches 1 through 4 (top row).
    7. Click on the Workflow icon.
      1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
      2. Click the Auto Build button. If the right window looks like this, the block was created with one unit, go to Step 8.
      3. Right Click in the window on the right side (with the numbers) and Click Reset.
      4. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.
      5. Right Click and Group.
      6. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      7. Right click and group.
      8. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
    8. Click Preview.
    9. Click Save.
      1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name it Block 7.
      2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
      3. In the File name box enter 9_Patch_StarA.
      4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
      5. Click Save.
      6. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
        1. 9_Patch_StarA_001.c2s.
        2. 9_Patch_StarA _artwork.c2s.
        3. 9_Patch_StarA _preview.pdf.
      7. Close the file window.
      8. Close the Save window.
    10. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around the middle row.
    11. Click on the Workflow icon.
      1. The numbers have been changed to 1-5.
      2. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
      3. Click the Auto Build button. If there is only one unit, go to Step 12.
      4. Right Click in the window on the right side and Click Reset.
      5. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.
      6. Right Click and Group.
      7. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      8. Right click and group.
      9. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 4.
      10. Right click and group.
      11. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
    12. Click Preview.
    13. Click Save.
      1. In the File name box enter 9_Patch_StarB.
      2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
      3. Click Save.
      4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
        1. 9_Patch_StarB_001.c2s.
        2. 9_Patch_StarB _artwork.c2s.
        3. 9_Patch_StarB _preview.pdf.
      5. Close the file window.
      6. Close the Save window.
    14. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
    15. Click the Cutter icon.
      1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
      2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
        1. If going to print the templates, and use them to manually cut the fabric pieces, select the Paper Letter 210×279.
        2. If going to use the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
        3. If going to use the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”. When using digital cutters, add a 4 in the repeat box if making four blocks for the large quilt.
      3. Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces file on the paper.
      4. Click Apply.
      5. Select the appropriate format for your cutting method and Click Save.
        1. In File name enter 9_Patch_Star Templates.
        2. Click Save.
        3. The Following Files have been created.
          1. 9_Patch_Star templates.pdf
          2. 9_Patch_Star templates_preview.pdf.
      6. Close the files window.
      7. Close the Cutter window.
    16. Click on New Design.Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.Note: If desired the embroideries can be saved in a specific format individually or they can be combined into one file.OPTION 1: Save each design individually.
    17. Click on the Hoop Icon and select 200mm x 260mmhoop or similar.
    18. For each of the two embroideries, Click File, Merge.
      1. Locate the file 9_Patch_StarA.c2s or 9_Patch_StarB.
      2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
      3. Click Save.
      4. In the Name field, Enter 9_Patch_StarA OR Star_B.
      5. In the Save as type select the format for your machine.
      6. Save.
      7. Go to Step 24.

OPTION 2: Save entire block in one hoop.

  1. Click on the Hoop icon and select a Hoop size to 200mmx260mm or similar size.
  2. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 9_Patch_StarA.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
    3. Move it to the top part of the hoop.
    4. Copy, Paste.
    5. Move embroidery to the bottom part of the hoop.
  3. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 9_Patch_StarB.c2s.
    2. Move to center of hoop.
  4. To save time at the machine, stitch all placement guides in the first color.
    1. Select all.
    2. Ungroup.
    3. In the Sequence window move each of the other two placement stitches below the first one.
  5. Click Save.
    1. In the Name Field enter 9_Patch_Star.
    2. In Save as Type select the format for your specific machine.
    3. Click Save.
  6. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  7. Load the design/designs into your machine create the 3 pieces for the block. Remembering on the bottom to reverse the two triangles.
  8. Sew the 3 sections together manually to complete the block.

 

 

 

Not an Artist? Not a Problem!

You don’t have to be an artist to digitize embroidery designs, the tools are right at your fingertips in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro. Familiarize yourself with the art tools and your creativity will soar.  Let’s take a look.

Click on the Artwork tool and select the heart.  Drag the cursor across the screen to draw a heart.  Use the pen tool to draw a quarter section of the heart.

Select the small shape, right click and select Convert to Complex Fill. 

Do the same for the remaining portion of the heart.  Select the run tool and draw a straight horizontal line across the top of heart.  On my heart, it’s about 1” long.

In the Properties box, select Symbol from the Type menu.  Scroll down the menu to find the star.   Click OK. 

The line will now be a series of connected stars.  Copy and paste the line to fill the blue area.

When drawing stripes, rely on the art tools to make uniform stripes.  Select the Rectangle from the art tools and draw a rectangle over the right half of the heart.

Copy past and change the color of the second rectangle.  Continue to copy and paste the rectangles to fill the heart, placing each rectangle next to each other.  This will create even stripes with equal spaces between them.

Convert every other rectangle to complex fill. Remove the rectangles that marked the open spaces.  Use the Shape tool to move the end points of the rectangles to align with the outer edges of the heart.

 

Select the white stripes, right click, select Utility, Remove Overlaps.  Add a border and convert it to Steil to complete the design. Change the gold stars to white.  Save the design as Patriotic Heart and use it to embellish your 4th of July picnic linens.

 

6 Tips for Digitizing Continuous Line Designs

Have you tried your hand at digitizing quilting designs, continuous line designs? Follow these 6 tips to create your own quilting designs

Continuous line designs present unique challenges to digitizers. Since the designs are just one line of thread, there’s not a lot of room for error. But the biggest challenge may be in the pathing – where the needle will travel throughout the design. Sometimes the pathing is intuitive. Other times, you’ll have to make several attempts at creating streamlined pathing.

Start with pencil and paper. Sketching a continuous line design is the best way to address the pathing. Even if it’s digital clip art, print it out and trace over it. If you have to lift the pencil to draw the next area, there’s going to be a break in the stitching.  Find another solution like backtracking (retracing over previous stitches) or looping (adding an extra design element like a vein on a leaf) to get to the next area.

Dive in –Go to the software and get started. You’ll find the time spent sketching/tracing has already focused your brain on the task. Sketching is like stretching exercises before a run – they prep your mind and body for the task ahead. Start drawing the design and adding nodes.  It will flow faster than you think. Don’t worry if it looks like a mess at first. You can tweak each node later.

The Close Line feature is a time saver. If you’re drawing a closed shape, at the last node, right mouse click and select Close Line from the drop down menu. The shape will instantly close and you won’t waste time wondering why your continuous line turned into a two-ply. In Perfect Embroidery Pro, draw the shape, (setting modes with a click of the mouse), when the shape is complete, right mouse click to end the line.  Select the Shape tool, right mouse click and select Close Line.CL4BL

The Slow Draw tool is your best friend.  Before you begin tweaking the nodes, click on the Slow Draw tool. This tool allows you to focus on the pathing. Keep a close eye on the screen as the design stitches.  Get your pathing right, and then tweak the nodes.CL1BL

Zoom in. Magnifying the stitches on the screen helps you see exactly where they lie in the design.  This is quite helpful when perfecting individual shapes within a design. There are several ways to zoom in on a design in Inspriations’ software programs. The most obvious is to click on the magnifying glass.CL2BL

Or select a percentage from the drop down menu at the top tool bar.CL3BL

If you’re using a mouse, just push the wheel away from you to zoom in.  Do this while holding down the CTRL key and the magnified area will focus on the location of the cursor, not the center of the screen. That’s a huge time saver!

It’s important to remember when you are zoomed in, you are seeing a magnified view of the stitches – not what it will appear when sewn. So don’t stress out too much!  Pull back to actual size often to keep it in perspective.

Save As often. You really can’t have too many versions of your work. Go to File/Save As and rename the design every time. Eventually, you’ll be satisfied with the final design and you delete the earlier versions.  But during the design phase, it’s wise to keep each version. Just go for something basic like HeartV1, HeartV2, HeartV3, etc. Use the same method for all your digitizing and you’ll know where to find your latest and greatest.

I’ve found these tips to be real time-savers. I seem to be immersed in quilting designs right now – there’s so many beautiful designs dancing in my head! I’d love to know what you’ve been working on.

Remembering Nancy Zieman

I think about Nancy Zieman often – absolutely every time I’m sewing. I use her patterns, her tools, her books and her techniques.  Since I learned to sew by watching Sewing with Nancy, of course it makes sense that I would think of her when I sew.

We wrote books together, developed product and taped almost 20 Sewing with Nancy episodes.

But we were friends and I treasured my relationship with her. She was a wise woman. Patient, fair and classy.  I miss her tremendously.  If I was facing a business challenge, she was the first person I called.  As our friendship deepened, I would turn to her for personal advice and she would do the same to me.

You don’t replace a friend like Nancy but you can honor her legacy by remembering what she meant to you. Even if you never met her, there’s a good chance she changed your life – your sewing life – by making your hobby more enjoyable.

Today, June 21, she would have been 65 years old. I hope you’ll spend a minute and think about what Nancy meant to you. What did she teach you?  Maybe, how to accomplish large sewing tasks in 10-20-30 minutes segments?  Or how to bind a quilt or turn a collar point?  Possibly how to create a breathtaking landscape quilt?

I’d love to hear what you remember about Nancy.  Do you have a favorite technique you learned from her?  Maybe you received a hand written thank you or get well note from her.  Do you continue to watch Sewing with Nancy?  Do you have a bookshelf full of Nancy’s books?  Please share your thoughts…

 

 

Water Soluble Stabilizer Substitute

Colleen Bell’s gorgeous quilt in the most recent of Designs in Machine Embroidery (Vol. 110, May/June 2018) was made with Shannon Fabrics’ Cuddle.  Wrapping yourself in a Cuddle quilt is like submersing yourself in a teddy bear hug.  Its fibers are luxurious and irresistible to the touch. 

Those luscious fibers can make embroidering on it a challenge. The fibers want to work their way through the embroidery stitches leaving your embroidery looking lackluster. Colleen’s traditional method of taming the fibers was to add a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top of the Cuddle before adding the embroidery.  Colleen is an embroidery whiz – she knows what stabilizer to use when and what hoop is best for the job as seen in this photo. 

Her water soluble stabilizer covers the whole design area and is easily removed by just tearing it away after the embroidery is applied.  Her Snap Hoop Monster won’t leave any hoop burn on the tender Cuddle fabric.  This approach is tried and true but what if you don’t have a supply of water soluble stabilizer on hand?

Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro has the solution with one of its most popular features – Nap Blocker.  In just a few clicks you can add a light density fill BEHIND the design that will permanently hold down the fibers. Here’s how you do it.

Open your embroidery design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Colleen used Urban Threads UT17449, Floral Arrow. 

Select the design, right click, select Utility, Create Nap Blocker.

The Nap Blocker, a light density complex fill, is now listed as the first element of color 1. 

Select the complex fill and change its color to match the color of the fabric.  This is crucial as you want the complex fill to disappear behind the embroidery.  

Just hoop your fabric, stitch the first color in thread that matches the fabric and complete the design.  No need to tear or wash away a topper!  Love that feature!

What’s your favorite feature in PEP?

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight
Sewing Instructions

Block 6, Diamond Delight, is a two-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. As you know, My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece both units in one hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance. In the software instructions for Block 6, we merged the two separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Diamond design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for both units.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1.Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patches 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown.

Place patch 4, right side down over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam of patches 3 and 4.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 8, the tackdown.

Place patch 5, right side down over patch 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam of patches 4 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tackdown.

Place patch 6, right side down over patch 5, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color11, the seam of patches 5 and 6.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 12, the tackdown.

Place patch 7, right side down over patch 6, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 13, the seam of patches 6 and 7.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 14, the tackdown.

Place patch 8, right side down over patch 7, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color15, the seam of patches 7 and 8.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 16, the tackdown.

Place patch 9, right side down over patch 8, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 17, the seam of patches 8 and 9.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 18, the tackdown.

Place patch 10, right side down over patch 9, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color19, the seam of patches 9 and 10.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Place patch 11, right side down over patch 10, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 21, the seam of patches 10 and 11.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 22, the tackdown.

Follow the same steps for the second unit.

Remove the block from the hoop. Cut the units on the outer stitch lines and piece the units together on the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight Software Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight
Software Instructions
By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 6 or spend a little time catching up.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!

Before we get started, save the image below to your hard drive. Save it as Diamond_Delight.png


  1. Open MBP.
  2. Click on Create a New Design.
  3. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
  4. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
    1. Check marks by:
      1. Maintain aspect ratio
      2. Snap to grid.
    2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click on the Background Tool.
    1. Locate the image Diamond_Delight.png
    2. Click on the image.
    3. Click on the Open button.
  6. On the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.
    1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
    2. Change the Width to 6.
    3. Click Apply.
  7. Since the block is symmetrical from left to right, we will build only the left side of the block. After the design is completed, we will copy, paste and mirror image it to stitch the complete block. Click on the down arrow by the Artwork Icon and select the Pen tool.

    1. On the Properties Window, Check the Fill Box and Click Apply.
    2. Left Click on Color 1 at the bottom and change it to a beige.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Right Click on Color 1 to make it the color to use.
    5. Using the cross hair, Left Click on each of the 3 corners of the upper left triangle.
    6. Left Click on the first corner again.
    7. Right Click to create the patch.
    8. Repeat for each of the other three corners.

      Note: If at some point the cross hair for the pen tool disappears, just click on the Artwork icon.
    9. Left Click on Color 2 at the bottom and change it to a dark pink.
    10. Click OK
    11. Right Click on Color 2 to make it the color to use.
    12. Repeat 7e through 7h for each of the segments shown below.
    13. Continue changing colors and create the artwork for each of the other pieces of the block.
  8. Click on the Reorder icon.
    1. Look at the diagram below for the numbering sequence.
    2. Click on each patch on the left side of the block, numbering from top to bottom.

      NOTE: The reason for doing this is that the two halves are identical shapes, but with different colors. By numbering it in this way, when the two halves are sewn together, the seams will nest.
    3. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
  9. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around the left half of the block.
  10. Click on the Workflow icon.

    1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
    2. Click the Auto Build button.
    3. If you DO NOT receive this message go to Step 11.
    4. Right Click in the window on the right side (with the numbers) and Click Reset.
    5. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.

      1. Right Click and Group.
      2. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      3. Right click and group.
      4. Repeat ii and iii for patches 4 through 10.
      5. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
  11. Click Autobuild.
  12. Click Save.
    1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name it Block 6.
    2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
    3. In the File name box enter Diamond_Delight.
    4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    5. Click Save.
      1. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
        1. Diamond_Delight_001.c2s.
        2. Diamond_Delight _artwork.c2s.
        3. Diamond_Delight _preview.pdf.
    6. Close the file window.
    7. Close the Save window.
  13. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
  14. Click the Cutter icon.

    1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
    2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
      1. If going to print the templates, and use them to manually cut the fabric pieces, select the Paper Letter 210×279.
      2. If using the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
      3. If using the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”. When using digital cutters, add a 2 in the repeat box if making one block and 8 if making four blocks.
    3. Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces file on the paper.
    4. Click Apply.
    5. Click Save. Select the appropriate format for your cutting method.

      1. In File name enter Diamond_Delight Templates.
      2. Click Save.
      3. The Following Files have been created.
        1. Diamond_Delight templates.
        2. Diamond_Delight templates_preview.pdf.
      4. Close the files window.
      5. Close the Cutter window.
  15. Click on Create a New Design.
  16. Click on the Hoop icon and select a 200mmx200mm hoop or similar for your machine.

    Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.

  17. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file Diamond_Delight_001.c2s.
    2. Double click on the file to open OR Click on the file name and Click Open.
    3. Move to the left side of the hoop.
    4. Copy, Paste.
    5. In the Properties window Click on the Transform Tab.
      1. Rotate 180.
      2. Click Apply
    6. Move to the right side of the hoop.
    7. Click Save.
    8. In the name field enter Diamond_Delight.
    9. In the Save as type select the format for your machine.
    10. Click Save.
  18. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  19. Load the design in your machine and have fun making this block.
  20. Manually sew the two halves together.

 

 

Stitched Snapshots Plus – Part 3

Converting Sketches to Stitches
By Denise Holguin

Having multiple roles at dime, I have a unique opportunity to play with all our new embroidery software.  I had been playing with Stitched Snapshots Plus Software by converting my favorite vacation and adventure photos in to stitches.  Then I pushed myself even more by converting clip-art in to stitches.  If you’ve been following along in this 3-part Software Saturday series, you saw examples of photos and clip art being converted by Dalene McDonald and Lisa Knight. 

After experimenting with photos and clip-art my mind wandered to other options.  I grabbed a black sharpie and paper.  I wrote the word “Love”.  Using my cell phone, I snapped a photo and emailed the image to myself.  I imported the image in to Stitched Snapshots Plus… and behold… my handwritten word was converted to stitches.  And the crowd goes wild with endless oohs and aahs!

Isn’t that a fun technique?

Here are the step-by-steps:

Click on the Stitched Snapshots Plus icon in the top left corner.

A new window will appear.  Click on Browse to locate the image you want to import.

Once you’ve selected the image, it will display on the right side of the window.  Options abound on the left side of the window.  I left the size untouched.  For this example, I chose the Mono for the Color Mode.  You’ll notice the background turns to a crisp white.  The white “background” disappears – it won’t end up being part of the embroidery design.

I chose the Stippling style of stitches.

Click on the Show / hide preview button to view the effect of your choices.

Click on the Show / hide preview button again.  Select the Hatching style of stitches.  Click on the Show / hide preview button again.

I stitched both examples using my Baby Lock Spirit.

Stippling Example

Hatching Example

But I didn’t stop there.  I wanted to see the effects of Medley Variegated Poly by Exquisite. Take a look:

Stippling Example using Denim Blues Variegated Poly

Hatched Example using Carnival Variegated Poly

 

Here is a fun example of unleashing creativity to see what happens.  My coworker, Sam Solomon, designed and hand colored the sheet that you see.  I conveniently “borrowed” it for my experiments.  I photographed it, cropped it and changed the colors.  How delightfully fun!

I like the free-spirited nature of the design.  It’s not the expected or traditional.  It’s a more artistic approach to machine embroidery that I hope you too will embrace and experiment with on your next project.

Note that if you own additional Inspirations Software, like Perfect Embroidery Pro, you can manipulate the design further.  But as a standalone software, it has plenty of tools for you to create and have fun – without breaking the bank.  From photos, to clip-art to your hand written words or sketches, you can create one of a kind embroidery designs.

For more information on Stitched Snapshots Plus, visit the Inspired by DIME website.

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