Archive of ‘Digitizing’ category

A Hidden Treasure

My daughter Janelle’s paternal grandmother, Ron Roche (known as Mom Mom in our family), gave her a very special family heirloom at Janelle’s bridal shower. It was the wedding ring she wore on her wedding day. That ring was actually the ring of her mother – Janelle’s great grandmother. The family tradition has been that every Roche woman wears or carries the ring on her wedding day and then passes it to the next bride. What an honor for Janelle to carry this tradition on.

It has been worn by Mom Mom (who was married 71 years), her daughter Sue (currently enjoying 43 years of wedlock),  granddaughters Susie (celebrating 15 years), Katie (10 + years) and Monica (5+) years.

Of course, it was Janelle’s decision on whether she would wear it, tie to her flowers or pin it to her dress.  She didn’t make the final decision until we were in Hawaii for the wedding. I arrived in Hawaii armed with an emergency wedding dress kit – scissors, pins, needles, thread, bits of lace, ribbon, seam binding, hooks and eyes.  I wanted to be prepared for any dress emergency.

Just moments before the photographer arrived, Janelle decided to sew the ring to the dress. I looped the ring through a length of ribbon and hastily sewed it to the label.LabelBL

To have Mom Mom’s ring incorporated to the label brought tears to my eyes.  Mom Mom and I have guided Janelle through her life with love and tenderness.   I don’t think two women have ever loved a girl more than we have loved Janelle. To have the tender touch of our hands joined in this momentous day was almost more than I could handle! But I sniffed away the tears and just beamed at my beautiful little girl – now a grown woman.  My only wish was that Mom Mom could be with us in Hawaii.

That dream would be fulfilled in Ft. Worth, when Mom Mom made the trip from Philadelphia to Dallas for the Texas reception. Here she is – 93 years old – still as full of life and love as she was on the day she was married.momBL

Click here to see the software lesson on making the label.  In the meantime, tell us if you (or someone you love) carried a family heirloom on your wedding day.  A random winner will be selected to win a copy of my newest book, “Hoop It Up, The Stitching Sisters’ Guide to Hooping”.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us if you (or someone you love) carried a family heirloom on your wedding day.  A random winner will be selected to win a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery gift card!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

As the fall equinox arrives today it also ends the season of summer. Its funny how the days grow shorter and the embroidery project list grows longer in in the fall. What exciting fall projects do you have in store?

The winner is:  

Debe: “My 2 elder grandsons want a large scarecrow & I want to make a new fall table runner & wall-hanging. I am starting on Christmas gifts, also.”

A Reader Suggested…

Yes, I’m still talking about the wedding! I’ve had so many people ask for details about the, well, the wedding details, I thought I’d keep you in the loop.  Although I didn’t actually embroider the wedding gown lace, I did add some very personal touches to the dress.  I thought long and hard about documenting the ceremony on the inside of the dress. I even asked you to leave a comment and tell me what you would do. My final decision was to add a label at the waistline and an embroidered ribbon to the lining’s hem.

I made several attempts at the label, starting with a traditional slant of the bride and groom’s names, date and location of the wedding.  I didn’t like this at all – the J’s were overlapping and the digits overwhelmed the letters.LabelSS6BL

Making a label is not really that big of a deal unless you think about how it will be read in 20, 30 or more years down the road. It was Janelle’s day, not mine, so I wanted the focus of the message to be on her. And I kept coming back to your suggestions. One of you –  Ruth Peterson – left a beautiful suggestion on July 24. It stayed with me for weeks so I decided to use it. Thank you, Ruth, for your suggestion.

For the next version I switched the font to one of Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro’s mini fonts – Diana Small. I typed each line of Ruth’s poem on a separate line and hit Apply. LabelSS3BL

I loved what appeared. I quickly did a test stitch out, switching the needle to 65 and the thread to a 50 wt.LabelSS2BL

I didn’t have to make any changes to the text but I did want the label to be finished on all edges. So I went back into the software and selected the Artwork tool and a rectangle. LabelSS4BL

I drew a rectangle around the lettering and selected the rectangle. I right clicked on the rectangle and selected Convert to Run. LabelSS8

When the Properties Box appeared,   I selected Two-ply from the Run menu and reduced the stitch length from the 3.0 default to 2.2. I changed the color to 2 so that the machine would stop after stitching the poem. LabelSS9BL

I hooped a fresh piece of the Bemberg rayon lining and stitched color 1, the text. I placed another piece of the rayon on top of the text and stitched color 2, the outline.  Once removed from the hoop, I trimmed the edges, slit the back and turned it right side out.  And then low and behold, I found a hand needle and actually sewed it to the dress! LabelSS10BL

Check back on Wednesday to see why another addition to the label made it so very special to not only Janelle but the whole Roche family.

Editing Text in Perfect Embroidery Pro

A few weeks ago, blog reader Jenny left a comment on the June 27th post. She asked, “Can you please help me figure out how to “Edit” what I had “Grouped” together? I am not able to ungroup the design as was once before? I have to keep typing the poem up every-time I want to change the name on the stitch out.”

At the time, I responded with this, “Jenny, select the design, right mouse click and choose Ungroup from the drop down menu. There are also Group and Ungroup icons on the top tool bar but I can’t load an image here into comments to show you. Oh, I just realized you mentioned a poem – so that’s a little different. Again, click on the Select tool, select the poem, right mouse click and select Breakup Text from the drop down menu.”

I can do a more thorough job of explaining the process and give more options for editing text. Since the only information I have Jenny is what she stated above, I’ll start from scratch with a recipe. Follow along with me. Open a new page in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Text icon. The cursor changes to an A and the Properties Box opens. Select your font. I’ve chose Arial Small. Type a fictional recipe into the Properties Box, then click Apply. Text1

With the Text tool still selected, change the justification to Left Alignment. Click Apply. Notice all of the editing features available on the text itself. You can move individual letters, whole words and lines. Text2

When the Select Tool is used, your options diminish. You can size the design (the software sees it as a design and not text when the Select Tool is used), rotate, mirror image, duplicate, etc. But you do not have the freedom to edit the individual letters. Text3

Click on the Text tool again, and all of your text editing options appear. I’ve readjusted the kerning on the word chips. Text5

When I click on the Select tool again, my changes are there. Text6

Save the design now in C2S – the native format of Perfect Embroidery. Change the color of the thread to green and save it as Chips.pes. Close both designs.

Open Chips.pes. The design is no longer recognized by the software as text – it’s just an ordinary design. When you click on a letter, the sequence field now shows all of the individual elements of the design – runs and satins. Ugh – that’s very challenging to edit. Text7

Not to worry, you have the original file. Open it and you’ll find the software recognizes it as text and all of your editing abilities are right at your finger tips! Text8

For instance, you can increase the 5 cups to 6 cups in the Properties box.. Text9

This is a great example of why it’s so important to save the original file in C2S and a working copy in your machine format. Make your changes to the original and you’ll always have the ability to edit.



Inside Scoop on Placement Marks


Want to look like an embroidery rock star? Learn how to stitch continuous embroidery designs. Many embroiderers are afraid to stitch continuous embroidery although it’s not difficult; you just have to set yourself up for success.

There are several approaches you can take but my favorite is the addition of placement marks. Placement marks are stitched around the embroidery design to help in placement. They are removed after the project is complete.

Here’s how to add them in all of Inspiration’s software programs: Perfect Embroidery Pro and My Quilt Embellisher.

Open a design in PEP and select it. I’m using a strawberry design (53688) from January’s free designs.

Click on the Placement Marks icon.AM2bl

Click on the mark in each corner. If you’re using a large design, you might find it helpful to add the center marks.  Click OK. AM3bl

Move the marks away from the design for increased visibility and easy removal after they are needed. Select the top two marks. AM4bl

Move them up and away from the design. It’s important that you do not move them left or right, just straight up. Use a keyboard shortcut to ensure the marks will not move to the right or left. Hold the Control key and click on the keyboard’s up arrow to move the design. Continue to click until they are about ¼” away from the design. AM5bl

Repeat the same process for the marks on the bottom.  AM6bl

Now let’s take a look at the color sequence, the placement marks are now the first color – the software automatically moves them to the beginning of the color sequence. I like to tweak that a bit. AM15bl

Select the two marks at the right of the design (if you are stitching from left to right). AM16bl

In the Properties Box, select the command tab and type in the number 9 in the color field. Click Apply. AM17bl

Left mouse click on the number 9 in the color sequence. AM18bl

Move it to the end of the sequence.  AM19bl

Now, let’s take a look at multiple repeats of the border design. AM20bl

Here’s how to make it happen on fabric. Stitch the first design of the border on hooped fabric. When stitching the second design, stitch only the first color (the placement marks at the left) on hooped adhesive stabilizer. AM21bl

Place the hoop under PAL (Perfect Alignment Laser), aligning the laser’s horizontal line with the stitched placement mark.  AM22bl

Then simply slide the embroidered fabric under the beam, aligning the beam with the stitched placement mark on the design.AM23bl

The designs will align perfectly!  Continue for the entire border. You’ll look like an embroidery rock star! AM24bl

If you attend an Inspiration’s Hooping Clinic, you’ll get to learn this technique hands-on! Our education consultants are embroidery wizards – experts all things embroidery – you’ll learn tons of new techniques, tips and tricks! Click here to see where a Hooping Clinic is scheduled near you.

Converting Designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro has a unique feature – batch conversion. This handy feature quickly converts one, two, several or dozens of machine embroidery designs from one embroidery format to another. It all happens in the blink of eye – which lets you get to the fun part of embroidery – the actual stitching!

View this quick video to see how easy it is.

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To watch on YouTube, click here.

No more, Save AS, Save As, Save As over and over again!

Resizing Quilt Blocks in My Block Piecer

It’s so simple to customize the size of the 1,200+ quilt blocks that are stored in Inspiration’s My Block Piecer’s quilt block library.  All it takes to learn this Software Saturday’s lesson is to watch a quick two-minute video. You’ll learn how to resize in the block library or on the editing screen.  Check it out! [KGVID width=”640″ height=”415″][/KGVID]

If you’re having trouble viewing the video here, you can watch it on You Tube. Just follow this link.

February Update: an industry first!

Here’s an industry first that brings digitizing to your fingertips!  If you have a touchscreen laptop or Windows tablet such as the Surface, you can now digitize with your touchscreen! Just click an icon, pick up your stylus (or use your finger) and draw on the screen!  Your drawing can then be converted to embroidery stitches.

Watch the video to see how simple it is in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Update today!


Click here to view video

Software Saturday – True Type Fonts

Want more embroidery fonts?  All you have to do in Perfect Embroidery Pro is click on File, Import TT Text and you’ll find every font that’s installed on your computer.  Just click, type and convert!  It’s that easy.  Learn how here:

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If you can’t view the video here on the blog, use this link to view it on YouTube.

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

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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