Archive of ‘Embroidery Techniques’ category

Facebook LIVE Tutorial on Conquering Your Fear of the Snap Hoop Monster: Magnetic Hooping

We hope you enjoyed our second Facebook live this week but due to technical difficulties we decided to re-shoot a video just for the blog! Take a look below to learn more about magnetic hoops and why you shouldn’t be afraid of the Snap Hoop Monster.

Set the Stage

Many embroiderers are stitching last minute gifts and that can mean trying to tame long fibers like faux fur and lofty knits. You need to ‘set the stage’ for the beautiful stitches and give them a foundation to sit on. Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Nap Blocker feature is the answer for providing a base for the beautiful stitches while taming the fibers. Nap Blocker adds a layer of complex fill stitches that’s just light enough to flatten the lofty fibers creating a smooth surface for the embroidery. Here’s how to do it in PEP.

Select the Text tool and type JOY in the Properties Box.  I used the Bookman font. 

Select the design, right click to access the command menu.  Select Utility, Nap Blocker.

Instantly, a layer of complex fill is added to the design in the first color position.

The fill extends .15” beyond the design to ensure any long fibers will not obstruct the embroidery.  You can change this by selecting the fill only and resizing.

Notice how the complex fill is placed at the beginning of the design in the color sequence. 

Stitch the complex fill in the same color thread as the fabric. This is key because you want these stitches to disappear behind the beautiful embroidery.  And…you don’t have to use a topper when you use Nap Blocker. How sweet is that?

If you’re working with intricate text, you might want to adjust the shape of the nap blocker.  the image below shows the default nap blocker for a paragraph of text.  Remember, nap blocker has a default setting of .15″ so if it sees a space wider than that, it will leave it open.

It’s easy to adjust this.  Click on the shape tool, select the nap blocker (color 1).  All of the points will be visible. 

Drag the cursor over the points you want to remove.Hit delete on the keyboard. Poof!  They’re gone and the space is not filled!

Much better presentation!

Crazy Quilting

My Quilt Embellisher features 50 crazy quilt stitches that can be combined, sized, rotated and morphed to create hundreds of gorgeous stitches. My Quilt Embellisher is the software I used to create the projects in Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine. To embellish a block with crazy quilt stitches, take a photograph of the block and load it into the software as a Backdrop. Define the horizon and the scale. You’ll find those tools on the left toolbar, just click on the arrow under the Backdrop icon.

Select the Crazy Quilting icon.

Select a stitch from the drop down menu. Select stitch #10.

Once selected, you’ll notice the cursor changes to a small crosshair. Left mouse click and drag the mouse to create the motif. The longer you drag, the larger the motif. Each motif can be dropped individually creating an organic, hand-stitched look. The line of crazy quilt stitches  shown below is five repeats – all slightly different sizes. If your individual units are not aligned, select all and click on Horizontal Center Align to align the units. 

If a design is skewed, just select the individual design and drag the corner handle to rotate it.

Crazy quilting stitches are such a fun, decorative technique for adding embellishments to quilt blocks, small wall hangings, purses and more. One of my favorite projects from the book is this charming storage box.

If you like crazy quilting, you might enjoy my book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  The book includes instructions for creating your own crazy quilt blocks using My Quilt Embellisher software. Follow the steps in the book and watch the video on the CD to learn everything you need to know.  You can learn more about the book here.

 

 

Thanksgiving Leaf Applique Center Piece

Allow me to introduce Angela Wolf to you.  She is a fashion designer and sewing expert, anchor of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy, host of a weekly facebook live show Behind the Scenes, and founder of the Angela Wolf Pattern Collection. She teaches online classes on Craftsy, Patternreview, and http://www.AngelaWolf.com.  Author of How to Start a Home-based Fashion Design Business, Angela is also a blogger, vlogger, spokesperson, a brand ambassador. She is the author of today’s post.  Read on for step-by-step instructions on the Brother Luminaire. ~ Eileen

Whether you are hosting a feast for Thanksgiving dinner or looking for a simple table decoration for the fall season, this leaf applique center piece is ideal.  I am starting with a small circular center piece, but keep in mind you can add as many leaves as you need to cover your table or counter top!  Let’s get started …

Supplies

  • cotton fabric cut 11” by 11” for each leaf
  • Sticky-back tearaway stabilizer
  • ½ yard cotton fabric backing
  • Applique scissors
  • Embroidery Thread
  1. Choose a leaf embroidery design. I am using a built-in leaf design from My Design Center in the Brother Luminaire; another idea would be to sketch a leaf and scan in the design.  
  2. Click on SIZE and expand the leaf to over 200mm

Optional Design Tip:  Choose a solid color cotton for the leaves and add stippling.  I will leave instruction on when to embroider the stippling.

  1. Convert the design into an embroidery design and change the leaf outline and stem to a running stitch. SAVE the design.
  2. In the EMBROIDERY screen, DUPLICATE the leaf. MOVE one design to the top half and the other to the bottom half of the screen.  ROTATE the designs so they overlap.
  3. Add an APPLIQUE outline to each leaf; change the distance to 5.0mm.

EMBROIDERY

  1. Hoop the Sticky Back Tearaway Stabilizer with the paper side up, score the paper and insert the hoop into the embroidery machine.
  2. Open the list of embroidery steps: skip ahead to the first set of applique stitches and stitch the placement line.
  3. Remove the hoop. On the backside of the hoop: Center the backing fabric (with right side facing out) over the leaf outline and tape the fabric in place. On the topside of the hoop: center one of the colored fabrics over the leaf design.
  4. Stitch the next step in the applique. Remove the hoop.  Trim off the excess fabric on the front and back fabrics.
  5. Insert the hoop. Stitch the remaining applique stitches. (Optional: stitch the stippling). The first leaf is finished!  Skip ahead to the next set of the applique stitches and stitch the second leaf placement outline.
  6. Repeat steps 7 – 10.
  7. Remove the hoop and tearaway the embroidery stabilizer.

ATTACHING THE LEAVES

  1. Hoop a piece of sticky-back tearaway stabilizer with the paper side up and score the paper. Place the first set of leave along the left edge of the hoop as shown (the leaves should stick to the stabilizer).  Use the SCAN feature, then MOVE the embroidery design or finished leaves until all the leaves are overlapping.
  2. Use the StitchVison feature to project the embroidery design onto the hoop. Double check the overlapping on the first set of finished leaves.  Continue to move the finished leaves or embroidery design as needed.
  3. Follow steps 7 – 12.

TIP: Add Fray Check along the edges to prevent fraying, which is exactly what I will be doing when my center piece is complete!

MINI LEAVES

  1. Follow the same steps to design and embroidery smaller individual leaves, just make sure the leaf embroidery designs are not overlapping.

CUTTING TIP:  Transfer the leaf applique .PES embroidery file to the Brother ScanNCut.  Let the ScanNcut do the cutting.

There are so many possibilities with this leaf pattern! Consider using a solid colored fabric with metallic embroidery thread for the stippling or try a lace for the fabric. I am planning on embroidering up both for the holiday season.  Be sure to share photo’s of your new table decorations, I always love seeing what you are working on.  #angelawolf #brothersews

Cheers,

Angela

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnetic Hoops

I take magnetic hoops for granted.  I invented them so long ago, I’d have to check the patent to verify the year.  I use them everyday for many embroidery tasks.  So it surprises me when I attend events and meet embroiderers who are not familiar with magnetic hoops.

They’ll ask if they work.  And the answer is, “Absolutely!”

They ask if they’ll harm their machine.  And the answer is, “No!”

They’ll ask what size should they buy.  And the answer is, “Every size available for your machine!”

So let’s dig a little deeper.  Magnetic hoops work like a dream because they do not cause fiber distortion. They have a flat metal bottom frame and a flat magnetic top.  The magnets are quite strong and firmly grip a quilt sandwich, a terry towel, a knit shirt and many other fabrics.  They do not replace a standard embroidery hoop, they complement it!

Magnetic hoops do not harm your machine as the magnetic force is shielded by the metal frame.  The magnetic force grips the fabric – not the machine.  The hoops have been thoroughly tested on all machines during the prototype stage.  There has never been an issue with a magnetic hoop interfering with the machine’s operating system.  Many years ago, we were told not to use magnetic pin cushions.  At that time, the computer in the machine was encased in a light plastic housing and magnets could interfere with the operating system. In you owned a cell phone in that era, it was housed in a tote bag with long coiled wire!

Today, the machine’s computer, although very powerful, is tiny. It’s highly insulated and the magnetic force can reach it.  Think about the power of your cellphone, the advancements in embroidery technology are very similar.

So what size should an embroiderer buy? I always ask, ” What size hoop do you stitch the majority of your embroidery projects in?”

Whatever the answer is, that’s the first magnetic hoop size they should purchase.

Now if someone is starting to quilt with their embroidery machine, then the answer is, the largest hoop that’s available for your machine!

The Formula for Embroidery Fun & Success

Stitch Lab, the formula for embroidery fun and success, debuted last weekend in Dublin, Ohio!  What a blast, I’m so glad I attended.  Inspirations consultant Ashley Jones led the 2-day hands-on event  for 72 embroidery enthusiasts. Our host, Quilt Beginnings, was a delight – boy, do they know how to treat their customers.

I met so many old acquaintances and friended new ones. We stitched 6 unique projects and everyone learned something new.  Even the ladies who told me they’ve been stitching since the first embroidery machines were available, learned some new tricks.  That shouldn’t have been a surprise to me because every class or event I attend, I always learn something new!

Look at some of the fun we had. 

After all that stitching, Kathy Daum, Quilt Beginnings owner and customer cheerleader, donated all of the projects made in class to a local charity – a women’s shelter that helps countless women and children in the Columbus, OH area.  We stitched items for home, mom, baby and pets.

But the best part, all attendees took home a kit to stitch at home on their own machine.  I hope you’ll consider attending a Stitch Lab this year.  I’m heading to several Stitch Lab events this fall, scattered all over the country.  I’ll release the schedule soon and maybe you can join me at an event in your town.

Make Sketch Fonts

Spotted on garments, chalkboards, wood signs and even glassware, open, airy fonts are the rage. It’s easy to get the same look if you have Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Follow along and you’ll be stitching this look in no time.

Open a new screen in Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP).  Go to File, Import TT (True Type Fonts).

Select a script font from any true type font installed on your computer. Write the message in the text field and place 500 in the size field. Click OK.

The text appears on the screen.  To produce the best stitch file, meld the connecting elements.  Select the o and v, right click, Shaping and Meld.

See how the o and v are one continuous line and do not overlap like the v and the e? 

That’s the looks you’re going for.  At this time, the ov is one unit and the e is a separate element.

Select the ov and e, right click, Shaping and Meld.

Select all, right click, Convert to Complex Fill.

With Love selected, change the Fill Type in the Properties Box to Contour. Click Apply.  Change the density to 1.0 and the stitch length to 2.6. And there’s your sketchy font!

I just learned this trick from one of our education consultants, Tina Bartelmay.  Tina is an embroidery whiz – she uses PEP everyday – evident in her awesome samples!  Catch her at upcoming DIME event at a dealer near you.  Click here to learn more about Tina.

Thanks for sharing this great tip, Tina!

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.

 

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?

Nancy’s Sewing Weekend

I just arrived in Beaver Dam, WI for Nancy’s Sewing Weekend.  It’s always a fun time – full of great classes, inspiring samples and wonderful people.  Of course, this year will be a little different without Nancy but we’re all committed to carrying on this great tradition.  If you’re in Wisconsin or Ilinois or Iowa or Minnesota or…well, you get the idea, head to Beaver Dam.  I’m reposting Saturday’s blog from Zieman Productions here.  Read on to see what’s happening at Nancy’s Notions this weekend, May 3-5, 2018.

What started as a grand opening in 1985 has grown into one of Wisconsin’s largest annual sewing events. This year’s events start Thursday, May 3rd, and run through Saturday, May 5th. FREE Admission and FREE Parking!

Join in on 24 seminars featuring top educators and designers

New! Sewing Weekend speakers include:

      • Sara Gallegos
      • Mike Johns
      • Joi Mahon

Returning favorite speakers include:

      • Eileen Roche
      • Marti Michell
      • Linda McGehee
      • Pamela Leggett
      • Mary Mulari

Find seminar details and class ticket pricing over at the Nancy’s Notions website.

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012Test-drive a Baby Lock Sewing Machine!

Baby Lock LogoHands-on classes are running throughout the weekend. While many are sold out, tickets for select days and times are available onsite at Nancy’s Notions Sewing Weekend.

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012Free Demonstrations by the Experts

Company representatives from some of the top brands in the sewing industry are available at Sewing Weekend to answer questions and demonstrate products.

NEW! This Year: Food Trucks

    • Food Trucks—7 food trucks/vendors will be part of the Sewing Weekend festivities this year. You won’t need to leave the event to travel to an off-site food location, unless you choose to do so. A seating area and tent will be near the food trucks. It’s a great way to enjoy a variety of choices plus support other Wisconsin-based businesses. Trucks and vendors participating include:
      • Lisa’s Pizza (serving an array of pizzas and pasta)
      • Mac’s BBQ (serving chicken sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, shredded beef sandwiches, jambalaya, coleslaw, potato salad, etc.)
      • Cold Stone Creamery (serving various flavors of ice cream, of course)
      • Curd Girl (serving their specialty fried cheese curds)
      • Gouda Girls (serving specialty grilled cheese sandwiches)
      • We Go Waffles (serving waffles that are both sweet and savory)
      • Mobile Café Express (serving coffee as well as breakfast and lunch food options)

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012Don’t Miss the 3-Day Super Sale!

  • Over 10,000 yards of fabric on sale; and more! Save up to 75% on select Clearance and Overstock items. New deals daily!

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012

  • Ride the FREE! shuttle buses to seminar locations.

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012

  • You can even check your packages while you’re attending seminars and workshops.

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012

  • You’ll find lots of inspiration! Scott Stanton, accounting and IT guru, sports one of his personalized ties. Yes, Scott made it himself. Every day of Sewing Weekend he wears a tie that he made.

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012

Nancy Zieman Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo 2012Special Exhibits and Displays!

Quilt_Expo_Black_and_White_Plus_One_First_Place_WinnerQuilt_Expo_Black_and_White_Plus_One_Second_Place_WinnerQuilt_Expo_Black_and_White_Plus_One_Third_Place_WinnerQuilt_Expo_Black_and_White_Plus_One_Honorable_Mention_WinnerJoin us in celebrating the 34th annual Sewing Weekend, May 3–5, 2018—at Nancy’s Notions in Beaver Dam, WI. What started as a grand opening in 1985, Sewing Weekend has grown into one of Wisconsin’s largest annual sewing events.

Remember the first Sewing Weekend?

Check out these photos from the 1985 Grand Opening of Nancy’s Notions:

Thank you to Nancy, for her vision in creating an annual event for us to gather and celebrate sewing. This year, we celebrate Nancy and her many contributions to the sewing world, her elegant style and gracious living.

Hope to see you there!

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