Archive of ‘Digitizing’ category

Circles Got You Going in Circles?

If your embroidered circles look more like ovals than you know what I mean by ‘circles have you going in circles?’  What you see on the computer screen is not necessarily what you see stitched on fabric.  That can be frustrating but help is just a click away.

Recently, I was digitizing a new Stipple collection that features a rainbow of embroidered polka dots.  Unfortunately, I can’t unveil the new collection just yet but it will be available soon. Back to the problem at hand,  I was diligently working away and stitched my sample.  Ugh! My circles weren’t round, they were oval.

And that’s definitely a rookie digitizing mistake.  In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro, it’s so easy to fix this problem.  I selected all of the polka dots and changed the Pull/Pull setting in the Properties Box.  Here’s how to do it.

Use the artwork tool to draw a small circle (.25″) diameter).  Convert it to satin.  Click on the Pull/Push tab in the Properties Box.  Notice the Value is set at 100%.

Change the value to 120%.

View the difference on the screen.  Notice the higher percentage fills out the circle across the width. The width of the dot now measures .28″ while the height remained the same at .25″.

The difference is minute but it’s all that was needed. My circles are now really circles!

Hidden Treasure

Buried in the Properties Box in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro is Projection. A hidden and often forgotten treasure, Projection takes a simple shape and transforms it into a hoop full of beautiful stitches.  When Projection was introduced as a new feature in a free update in June 2017, most of us looked at it as something fun to incorporate into open airy designs, like this butterfly.

But let me show you what it can do with a simple geometric shape like the diamond. Click on the Run stitch tool and select the Art tool. Select Diamond from the drop down menu. Drag the cursor to draw a 1″ x 1.25″ diamond.

In the Properties Box on the Run tab, select Projection from the Type field. 

The diamond is filled with smaller diamonds, the default setting is 3.0 stitch length and 1.5 Density.  That’s a too many repeats for me so I’ll decrease the density.

Change the stitch length to 2.4 and the Density to 5.0.

Select the diamond and click on the Carousel tool.  Select Reflect.

In the preview window, type 2 in the repeat field and click Apply.

The hoop is filled with the diamond repeats. 

Select the diamonds, go to to Edit, Optimize Sequence.  Click on Slow Redraw to watch the design stitch seamlessly from diamond to diamond. 

I can’t wait to stitch this in some specialty threads. First, I’ll use KingStar Metallic and then I’ll stitch a second sample in Medley variegated thread.  After I see those samples, I’ll copy and paste the diamonds to fill the open areas.  Oh my, so many possibilities! There are so many hidden treasure in your software!

April 2018 Update!

It’s update time!  On Monday, April 2, 2018, your Inspirations software programs will be updated.  When you open your software, you’ll find a prompt that says, Update available.  Would you like to update now? When you click OK, your software will be updated to remain compatible with Windows 10 plus your My Today screen links will pop up in your default browser (Chrome Internet Explorer, Edge, etc). Previously, the links defaulted to Internet Explorer.

You’ll also find an updated ‘Exquisite Thread 40’ thread chart as some names have changed since it’s initial upload.

I’m excited about this handy new update at the digitizing level in Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Block Piecer, My Fabric Designer and My Quilt Embellisher.  Now you can align points when using the Shape tool.  Select more than one point in an object, right click and select Align.

 

Also when using the shape tool, you can now see the length when editing an angle line. 

 

A new digitizing option that’s a real time saver is for making prefect curves / circles with only 5 points.  The new default setting is a more controlled way of digitizing curved lines and satins.  To use this new feature, go Tools, General options, Digitizing, Circular curves. Turn on “Circular Curves” and click OK.With just five clicks, you’ve got a perfect circle!

No tweaking needed! Now, that’s a time-saver.

Lastly, there’s very exciting news for Vintage Software owners, you can now change any design to Vintage style with just a click.

As always, there’s no fee to keep your Inspirations software up to date. I hope you’ll enjoy all these new, free features!

 

Texture, Texture, Texture

It’s National Quilting Day so I decided to revisit some quilting designs I digitized several years ago for a shower gift for my niece.  When I looked at the one of the quilting designs on my screen, I was not very impressed. It just a bunch of jagged lines!

I wondered what I was thinking when I digitized this design.  Then I dug around to find a few photos of the quilt. 

Ahhh, I remembered how the texture was the star of the quilt.  

Those jagged lines really popped in the negative space.  I think I’m going to have to incorporate these quilting designs into a new project. Wouldn’t they look great on tree bark? What other elements would they look go on? Fire, maybe? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Design the Block, then the Quilt

Quilt blocks don’t stand alone so when designing the quilting for a block, remember the block is just part of a whole.  Use digital tools to duplicate the blocks so you can envision the whole quilt.

Open a new screen in My Quilt Embellisher.  Click on the Block icon and select Curved Blocks/Curved Blocks-Misc/ Hands All Around.  

 

The block appears on the screen. 

When designing the quilting for one block, it’s important to imagine what it will look like when multiple blocks are pieced together.  

Work on the individual block first.  Then copy your finished work to see the whole quilt. I used the Contour feature to fill the diamonds in each corner. 

The Texture tool (#144) added the pebbles in each curved patch. 

Stipple (Hilbert) filled the remaining areas. 

When I looked at the whole block, I was pleased. 

After changing the color of the stippling, I felt the shape in the center was lacking interest. 

I used the Contour tool again to create a focal point in the enter of the block. 

When viewed in a traditional layout, the quilting is quite appealing. 

The next step is to view the stitching in redraw and make any necessary changes.  Then test the block on scrap fabric -I usually stitch the design in contrasting thread on felt.  Watch for consistent stitch lengths, unnecessary color changes and registrations.  Make changes on the file and save under a new name.  Test again.  As you test, keep in mind quilting adds texture to a block and enhances the block design.  On the actual quilt, you’ll probably use a thread to blend with the fabric so the stitches will not take center stage.  It’s also important to remember to leave some space for the batting to breathe. Texture is created by crushing (with stitches) some of the batting and leave some areas open.  My Quilt Embellisher gives you all the tools you need to make stunning blocks!

 

Filling Negative Space with Background Fills

Inspirations’ My Quilt Embellisher offers many ways to fill negative space on a quilt block. I enjoy trying different background fills because virtual quilting is fast and easy.  Auditioning a variety of background fills gives me confidence that I’ll like the final outcome and it’s easy to do in My Quilt Embellisher.  Just a few clicks and the background or negative space of a quilt block is filled with interesting texture. Every detail can be customized right down to the distance between the stitches and the length of each stitch.

I created my simple applique flower and drew a rectangle around the flower – the same size as the block.  This is a quick project so my block is 6″ square. Here’s how to do it: select the flower, right click and Create Outline. Set the distance to zero.  Select the outline and the run stitch rectangle and touch the Combine tool (paper clip).

Next, play with a few of the features after selecting the combined outlines.  I chose Texture, Stipple and Echo for my first three trials.

I’d love to know what background you prefer.  Do you like the Texture block?

The Stipple?

Or the Echo?

Please share your thoughts!  Texture, Stipple or Echo.  If you have another style, by all means let us know!

Easy Scalloped Borders

Katherine Artines is at it again with her recent Welding Wizardry video on YouTube.  She explores the difference between the Weld, Intersect and Trim shape tools in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro. These helpful tools expand your drawing capabilities and streamline complicated processes.

Katherine’s video will show you how to add an enticing scallop border to the outside of a simple heart or better yet, to the inside of the same heart.

Scallops invoke a sweetness that is particularly inviting to many Valentine’s Day designs. They can elevate a plain, applique heart into a dainty love-filled message. Follow Katherine’s easy to duplicate steps to achieve the same results.

In this 50-minute video, you’ll learn how to use guidelines for accuracy plus Katherine shares her tips for precise positioning of objects – a real time saver!  Plus, she illustrates how to sharpen corners in just two clicks of the mouse.
As you watch the video, you’ll see why she has embraced the Navigator tool.  Often, we forget to use the new tools that have been added to our software.  Navigator was added as a new free feature in November, 2017. Navigator allows you to view areas of a design quickly by blending the Zoom and Pan tools into one window. You can access the Navigator on a tab at the bottom right of the screen, next to the Library and Color Sequence tabs.

Click here to watch and learn Katherine’s latest wizardry. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Embroidered Eyelets

When I log into this blog to add a new post, I can see what information people are searching for online. I often use that info to help me write blog posts. After all, if the blog information isn’t relevant to the reader, what’s the point in writing it?

This week, I noticed many embroiderers are looking for information on how to make embroidered eyelets because laced necklines and sleeves are popular in ready wear. And when you have digitizing software, you don’t have to wait for a design company to offer a new trendy design – you can do it yourself. Of course, I (and all of us) would be lost without the BEAUTIFUL AND ARTISTICALLY digitized designs embroidery companies furnish for us to purchase. The techniques I teach here on Software Saturday do not replace the embroidery designs available at reputable companies, these techniques complement those designs. I am not an artist and never will be but I can do awful lot with Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro to bring my ideas to life.

Here’s how to get the fun ‘laced up’ look. Set the measurements to millimeters by clicking on the ruler at the top of the screen. Select the ellipse tool and draw a circle with a 11.3 mm diameter. Select the circle, right click and select Convert to Steil.
The inner dimension of this eyelet is 6.0mm, a comfortable opening for the standard eyelet cutter of 3.0mm.
Click on the ruler to set the measurements to inches. Select the eyelet, and click on the Repeat tool.
Change the numbers in the preview screen to 2 across, 5 down, 1 in distance for both Horizontal and Vertical. Click Apply.
The eyelets are evenly spaced and measure 1.75” x 5.91”.
This spacing is a good starting point for most projects. To customize the space, measure the area of the garment where you want to stitch the eyelets. For instance, if you want to fill a 7” vertical space, draw a 7” vertical line to use as a guideline. Select the bottom eyelet and align it with the bottom of the line. Hold down the CTRL key and use the keyboard’s down arrow to move it straight down.  Select the whole left column of eyelets and click on the Distribute Vertically tool. Boom! The eyelets are evenly spaced. 
Now repeat the process for the column on the right. You’re ready to stitch.
It’s a good idea to test one eyelet on your fabric. Cut it open and insert the yarn you’ll use to lace the eyelets. Once you’re satisfied everything works as planned, then add the eyelets to a bag, neckline or sleeve.

Small Hoops – Jumbo Designs

If you love jumbo designs but don’t have a jumbo hoop, you can easily split a design in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro. Follow along with me to learn how.

Open a new file in Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Monogram tool and select Mono17. Type in the letter P. Change the height to 6” and click Apply. Split1

Select the design on the screen and click on the Split Design icon. Split2

The Split Design screen appears. Click on the arrow in the Hoop field and select your hoop. I entered 130×180. The red boxes illustrate two hoopings: 1:1 and 2:1. You can move the boxes to select what portion of the design you want to stitch in the first and second hoop. It’s a good idea to move the boxes to split the design at a natural point. In this instance, where the upper right of the P meets the left leg of the P. Click on Split Preview to see the actually split.

The first hooping appears in the preview window.Split4

When you click in the second hooping area, the preview window changes to the second hooping. Split5

Toggle between the first and second hooping to view each individually. If you want to adjust the split, click on Split Preview again. Move the boxes around each portion of the design. Click on Split Preview again to see you changes.

Once you’re satisfied with the split, click Save and the software will save the design into two separate files and templates of both portions.Split6

Print a template of each design and send the designs to your machine. Splitting designs has never been easier.  Give it a try, this is a skill you’ll use over and over again!

 

 

8 Tips for Embroidering with Metallic Thread

Tis the season for shiny, sparkly embroidery!  Many embroiderers shy away from metallic thread but a few tips will help even the most hesitant embroiderer master this holiday favorite!

  1. Use a vertical thread stand. If it comes off the spool and kinks, slip a thread net over the spool. Don’t have one?  Cut a 3” section of pantyhose and slip over the spool.
  2. If you’re worried about feeding the thread from the stand to the machine, add an extra thread guide. Tape a safety pin to the top of the machine (closed end up) and feed the thread through the hole. 
  3. Need another guide? Tape a straw onto the top of the machine.  Just a 1” section will do the trick.
  4. Select the right stabilizer. Soft is best as a heavy, dense cut-away can shred the metallic thread as it enters and exits this tough barrier. Consider polymesh, soft tear-away or tear-away wash away stabilizer.
  5. Tension – decrease the top tension to let the metallic thread slide through the tension discs.
  6. Slow the machine down to 500-600 stitches per minute. Remember this is a specialty thread so it needs special attention!
  7. Chill It – really, many embroiderers swear their metallic performs better after resting in a freezer for 30 mins.
  8. Insert a new sharp metallic needle. The large, polish eye prevents shredding.  You can learn more about needles at SchmetzNeedles.com

 

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