Archive of ‘Eileen Roche’ category

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/

See Your Designs on Your Hard Drive

If you’re like me (or how I used to be), you open your design folder on your computer and begin a desperate search, wasting precious minutes sifting through designs.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could see a thumbnail image of your designs? Without opening each design in embroidery software?

Don’t waste anymore time searching for designs. Install Perfect Stitch Viewer on your computer and let the program work its magic in the background.  It’s not a software program you have to learn, you just install it and forget it.

You can take advantage of our special offer this week and download Perfect Stitch Viewer.  Once purchased, you’ll receive an email thanking you for your purchase.  It will look like this:

You’ll receive a second email with your activation number and a link to download the program.  It will look like the image below.  I added the red box and arrow to call out the serial number.

Click on the link and this window appears:

Click on Perfect Stitch Viewer (1) and the program will download and appear at the bottom of the screen. Double click on the download (2).

The Install Wizard will appear.

Follow the prompts to install and click Finish.

Double click the PSV icon on your desktop.

Fill out the Registration form with the serial number (case sensitive, include dashes) you received in your purchase confirmation email.  Click Register Now.

Open a design folder.  You have two options for changing your view in explorer. Click on the View tab (1) and select Large icons or click on the thumbnail icon at the lower right corner of the screen (2).

Now you see all of your designs!  It’s like magic!

Before Perfect Stitch Viewer, my neckline designs looked like this:

Now, I don’t waste any time for searching for my designs.

You can learn more here.

Quilts, Monster Blocks, and Birthdays-Oh My!

If you watched my Facebook LIVE session today, you know I discussed lots of things going on here at DIME including my promise of sharing the how-to for making the China Cabinet Quilt, Monster Block Maker, and birthday shout outs to our friends Scott Goodman and Marie Zinno! Marie will actually be joining us for our next Facebook LIVE event on June 12th.

Oh and great news! We did an entire broadcast without any sound issues or grainy images!

Designs in Machine Embroidery

image via giphy.com

Watch Below:

Make sure to take advantage of our weekly special, the Monster Block Maker, here: https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/monster-block-maker

China Cabinet

The China Cabinet was published in a very early issue (issue #5) of Designs in Machine Embroidery – dating back to 2000 – that’s 19 years ago!  Some of the information in the original article is not applicable today as the embroidery designs are not all of the embroidery designs are available.  Today, you can find most of the original designs at http://www.greatnotions.com. Many design companies have similar designs so be sure to search in your favorite source.  I searched at http://www.emblibrary.com and found great substitutes for the designs shown on the original quilt.

Stack of teacups: https://www.emblibrary.com/EL/Products.aspx?Catalog=Emblibrary&ProductID=M10805

Collection of cups: https://www.emblibrary.com/EL/Products.aspx?Catalog=Emblibrary&ProductID=X10511

The original teacup with doily:

https://www.greatnotions.com/pr/embroidery/great-notions/floral-cup,-doily–spoon/1/58183.aspx

The original Teapot collection:

https://www.greatnotions.com/pr/packs/great-notions/tea-pot-1/1/74480.aspx

Mimic Real Life Furniture

Observe the direction of wood grain in real furniture to guide you in cutting your fabric sections. In the China Cabinet quilt, the wood grain runs vertically in the back of the shelves, door fronts and side moldings sections.  The grain runs horizontally on the shelves, valance and kickboard.

Cut the Fabrics

Wood Grain (purchase 2 yd. to allow ample fabric for directional cutting)

Vertical Direction

Cut three recessed shelf panels: 28” x 9”

Cut two cabinet doors:  10 ½” x 10”

Cut four cabinet door frames: 1 ¾” x 8 ½”

Cut two side moldings: 3” x 33”

Cut one recessed book area: 6” x 7”

Horizontal Direction

Cut three shelves: 26 ½” 1 ¾”

Cut one top valance: 30 ½” x 3 ½”

Cut one valance: 25 ¾” x 3 ½”

Cut one kickboard: 30 ½” x 4 ¼”

Cut two cabinet door frames: 8” x 4”

Cut two cabinet door frames: 8” x 1 ¾”

Cut two facings: 32” x 3”

Black Tulle (2 yd.)

Cut six recessed shelf panels: 28” x 9”

Cut four cabinet doors: 10 ½” x 10”

Cut two recessed book area: 6” x 7”

Backing and Batting

34” x 42”

Recessed Panels: The addition of black tulle over the wood grain fabric adds a realistic dimension to your project.

Place two layers of black tulle on a Teflon pressing surface.  Place fusible web (paper side up) on the tulle.  Press with a hot dry iron.  Let cool.  Carefully peel the protective paper away and reserve it.  Place the right side of the wood grain fabric onto the adhesive side of the tulle.  Cover with the protective paper and press.  Continue pressing to melt all the adhesive into the wood grain fabric.  I found flipping the fabric over and pressing on both sides helped speed the process along.  Do this for three recessed shelf panels and the cabinet doors.

Piece the shelf fabric to the bottom of each tulle/wood grain recessed section with ¼” seam allowance.

Embroidery: Print templates of each design to use for placement.  Evenly space the embroidery designs across the shelves, sitting the base of the teapots, stacked cups and plates on the shelf. The teacup design with the lace doily will stitch over the shelf.

Hoop tear away wash away stabilizer with the tulle/wood grain fabric for each embroidery design.

Add other elements from your design stash.  The bottom shelf on this sample has pies, fruit bowls, candle, Shaker baskets and canisters.  Have fun with this!

Once all embroidery is complete, piece the bottom row:  the two cabinet doors and books.  The book section is strips of fabric (varied widths and heights) pieced to strips of tulle/wood grain fabric.  The finished size of this unit is 6” x 10”.

Piece the bottom row to the shelves.

Valance: Place the 30 ½” x 3 ½” valance right sides together with a 30 ½” x 3 ½” piece of tulle. Sew with a gently curved seam on the lower edge to mimic the valance on a real china cabinet.  Then turn right side out and press.  Baste the valance to the top of the shelf unit.

Piece the side moldings to the quilt. Piece the bottom kickboard to the quilt.

Quilt: Make a quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting and backing fabric.  Free motion quilt in the direction of the wood grain in the recessed areas.  Stitch in the ditch in all seams.

Trim the quilt.  Place a strip of facing fabric on the top and bottom. Sew a shaped curved edge on the top valance.  Add feet on the bottom.  Trim close to the stitching lines and turn the facing to the back of the quilt and press.  Bind the vertical sides of the quilt. Add a sleeve for hanging.

I hope you enjoy the pattern and I encourage you to add your own touches.  Change the width, add more shelves or give it a modern slant with sleek lines and edges.  Most of all – make it yours!

Top 5 Tips For Continuous Borders Video!

Hello Embroidery Friends!

On Wednesday, Eileen filmed a LIVE video giving her Top 5 Tips on Continuous Borders. She also gave an awesome demonstration on how helpful the perfect alignment laser (PAL) is!

Watch below.

Note: Please excuse the graininess in the beginning, still working out the kinks and the video clears up after a few minutes.

Designs in Machine Embroidery

image via giphy.com

 

Enjoy!

Take advantage of our Special Offer and get $10 off both PAL 1 and 2 (plus FREE shipping) when you use code FBPAL.

Happy Stitching!

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